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Viki brings a host of subtitled films to the Web

The site offers 100 million video selections in 143 languages.

Dec 24,2010
Ho Chang-seong, Viki creator
A Korean couple living in the United States is creating a new sensation in the global video-content market with the community-based Web site Viki, which offers television shows and movies from around the world in multiple languages on a real-time basis. Ho Chang-seong, 36, and wife, Moon Ji-won, 35, established www.viki.com in 2008.

The couple visited Seoul to establish content partnerships with Korean production companies.

“Ever since its test launch in 2008, Viki is the world’s first global video platform that uploads television dramas and movies and provides multiple subtitles so people anywhere can enjoy them,” said Ho.

The site includes everything from popular Korean television dramas and Japanese cartoons to Indian Bollywood movies.

“We came up with software and a system in which translators from different countries can get together to provide subtitle translations,” said Ho, describing Viki as the fastest growing video translation Web site.

This is how the site works. Viki first buys the copyrights of popular video files. The files then get subtitles from professionals or volunteer translators. The public then pays a fee to download the files. Viki recently raised $4.3 million from investors in the U.S. and India.

Viki recently translated the Korean television drama, “Naughty Kiss,” which aired on Hulu for three months.

“This show was translated into 40 languages and 20 of them were completed in a single day,” said Ho. “That is how much participation we get.”

The idea of launching the Web site came from his wife.

“While my wife was a graduate student at Harvard University, she started the Viki project in order to overcome the language barrier,” Ho said.

The goal of the company is to help anyone enjoy popular entertainment in their own language, and in the long-run, help people learn foreign languages.

The company currently has offices in Palo Alto, Calif. and Singapore.

Though still a start-up company, the site has more than 1 billion accumulated views and has 100 million video selections with subtitles in 143 languages.


By Kim Tack-whan [ebusiness@joongang.co.kr]



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