One thing I’ve noticed over the years as Viki gained speed is the gradual disappearance of fansubbing groups or individuals. Viki’s platform makes it easy for fans to help time (or segment, as they say on Viki) and translate whatever they can, whenever they can, which causes the work to get done faster since there are so many to help out at one time, unlike fansubbing groups — and this is especially true of lakorn subbers — where, if they’re fortunate, each role is normally filled by one or two people (or if they work alone, they have to fulfill all the roles themselves).
Viki subbing is still fansubbing, so technically, it’s not the end of fansubbing as I dramatically titled this post, but what I was referring to was the slow death of official fansubbing groups/individuals. Their number has dwindled considerably over the years. Some of the reasons have to do with real life, but I think the main reason is that there are other means and venues of obtaining faster English subtitles elsewhere, especially from Viki. Viki makes it possible for subtitles to be available within hours of the episode’s upload, whereas subtitles usually take official fansubbing groups or individuals a week, give or take. And although drama/lakorn addicts appreciate any kind of subtitling, everyone can agree faster is better (though not always best).
There are still some fansubbers hanging on, myself included, but it’s dawned on me that perhaps it’s time to abandon my singular pursuit and either join the Viki bandwagon (I’ve joined The Bride Team on Viki, but I haven’t done anything there in weeks, which I feel really bad about) or focus my efforts elsewhere. To put it succinctly, perhaps it’s time to move on and I’ve just been stubbornly holding on.
I don’t speak for all fansubbers out there because they’re more active than I am, and maybe I’m just in a slump, but I find it harder and harder to sit down and focus on my subbing. I’ve been staring at the subtitles for JSS/MB for weeks, and every time I settle down to work on them, I literally fall asleep. So while I’m working on them, I’m also not working on them. I don’t know if it’s the lakorn itself. It’s true the sheer length and number of episodes is daunting (22 — only 19 more episodes to go!), but I know part of it is the development of the lakorn as well. They could have seriously done away with the majority of the lakorn and ended it at 13 (and that’s being generous). Kwan and Om had great chemistry, but the storyline meandered so much and there were so many unnecessary subplots added that working on it — or just thinking about it — tires me out. One of my biggest pet peeves is doing unnecessary work, and that’s how I see all those subplots that had nothing to do with the original premise of the lakorn.
But I digress. I didn’t mean to rant here. I guess my main point is that these two projects may be my last ones. After this, I’ll work on re-uploading previous projects, and once that’s done, I’ll have to see where I stand. I think fansubbing is in my blood so I might not give it up completely, but I don’t think I can focus on it like I used to (when I was in the mood to sub, anyway). Or perhaps I’ll join Jasmin’s team in re-doing old projects and uploading them to better video quality. Or maybe I’ll help out a little more on Viki (although to be honest, I’m not a big fan of working online). I guess the sky’s the limit — at least as soon as I’m done with all my obligations.