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NEW YORK (AP) — Most nights around 10 p.m. when her family heads off to bed, Carol Holaday signs onto her computer. She’s not falling down Internet rabbit holes of random information or combing through social media at her San Diego home. Holoday is signing on to volunteer with the subtitle translation of Korean TV shows —often referred to as K-dramas— on the streaming platform Rakuten Viki.
“It’s my secret treat,” said Holaday, who has helped to subtitle 200 titles for Rakuten Viki, commonly just called Viki.
Viki has both original and licensed content from Japan, Korea, China and Taiwan and subscribers around the globe. Its largest audience is from the U.S., 75% of which is non-Asian. It offers a tiered subscription, or limited content is available for free with ads.
The translator program enlists volunteers from beginners to contributors designated as gold status based on the quality and quantity of their contributions.
Holaday, who doesn’t speak Korean, is an editor of subtitles. She looks at portions of video that have already been translated to English, and checks the grammar, word placement and spelling. Besides translators and editors, there are also “segmenters” who separate portions of video to be subtitled, so one person is not translating an entire episode.
Another proud, qualified contributor is retired attorney Connie Meredith. She even enrolled at the University of Hawaii to study Korean to become a better translator.
“The grammatical structure is so different from English that it’s really, really difficult,” said Meredith, who