Why some K dramas have English immediately


Explanation of different K-drama English availability.
If you are a member of viki pass plus, you have access to some Kdramas which may be available only through Kocowa, a consortium of the three major broadcaster in Korea, KBS, SBS, and MBC and viki.

       **Sometimes those dramas are subbed by the broadcaster, not viki volunteers and may sometimes only be available in English.**   An example of this  is Woman of 9 billion.  Subtitles are NOT available  at viki in other languages -- this is due to the licensing.
       **Sometimes there are some KDramas which also come pre-subbed in English, which viki has a license to sub in other languages so the other languages will be provided by viki volunteers.**  An example of this is Beautiful Love, Wonderful Life.  There is no English team but there are teams of other language subbers. 
      **Sometimes viki has a license to a Kocowa drama and the right to produce both English subtitles and other languages.**    - If you are both a Kocowa subscriber and a viki pass plus subscriber you can watch some KBS, SBS or MBC dramas with different  English subs.    An example of this is Secret boutique or Doctor Romantic 2 -- at the viki site, you see the subs produced by volunteers; if you signed up for a separate Kocowa membership, you can see the subs produced by the broadcaster.  If you are a viki pass plus member,  you will see the subs produced by the volunteers.  
        **Sometimes viki gets a drama which is already completed which may already have been subbed by a prior licensee or the broadcaster.  Some will come with English subs** -- An example is Cinderella and the Four Knights --   **without Engish subs.** -- An example is Bride of the Century.   Whether or not the "older drama" comes pre-subbed in English is again a product of licensing and also sometimes the viki staff gives the volunteer channel manager a choice to accept pre-subbing in English or not.  
          And finally the type of drama we are all familiar with --  **Korean dramas which come without any prior English subtitling attached to the video.**  Current dramas such from other broadcasters such as TVN, JTB, and OCN,  usually fall in this category.
        **NOTE:**  viki does not have a license to everything which can be seen on Kocowa.  If a viki pass plus member clicks on the menu item for Kocowa, you will see only viki licensed dramas and not everything which the three broadcasters have uploaded to the Kocowa site.

What are you currently watching?

Thanks for this information. I realized now why the excess of words in the subtitles. I was working on a drama and like if the person says ‘‘Uhum’’ (they wrote as a subtitle: Yes it is) smh. Netflix is doing that with the subs also. The inconvenience of that excess of words is that by the time you finish reading the sentence, the other sub/sentence is in view.

The impatient viewers might be pleased (for faster subs in drama) but personally, it annoys me to have so many words in the ‘‘screen’’ bc I find myself constantly clicking the pause button to finish reading the whole sentence.

On that note, no wonder I’ve seen CM that barely know English (much less Korean), and they are managing on air dramas and even Chinese Channels all at the same time.


On that note, no wonder I’ve seen CM that barely know English (much less Korean), and they are managing on air dramas and even Chinese Channels all at the same time.

Not that I’m condemning what they’re doing my point is, if I knew the drama was going to have English subs in them: I could apply to be the CM. Does anyone know how I can find out if the drama (Korean, Chinese or Japanese) will have the English subs already in the drama. That’s a wonderful advantage and gives EVERYONE the chance to participate in the dramas.


I think at the time we apply to be a CM for an “older” drama, we don’t know whether it is going to come to viki with the subtitles or not. It is information given to the CM shortly before the first upload. I don’t think the staff even know at the time we apply to be CM. And as I mentioned, sometimes the CM is given the option of having the English pre-subbed or just getting the sub files as references for the team.


Does it have anything to do with the broadcasting channel? I have seen several KOCOWA dramas coming with English subs. Is there a specific pattern which one can use to guess?


If there is a pattern, I haven’t figure it out yet. I know that Kocowa members KBS and MBC both have American affiliates so for many years they have provided their own subtitles in English for the dramas they showed on KBS America and MBC America and they uploaded their dramas with subs to youtube too. I’m not aware that SBS has an affiliated broadcasting station in the US. Many years ago, viki seemed to get all of the SBS dramas but not 100% of the KBS and MBC shows. Now, with Kocowa, it’s hard to predict.