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Pricing sub-titling jobs (\"video hours\")
Thread poster: Hege Jakobsen Lepri

Hege Jakobsen Lepri  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:38
Member (2002)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Apr 24, 2002

Thought I knew all pricing conventions, i\'ve been paid per page (in Italy), per source word (Europe) and target word (Japan), but getting an offer for subtitling English- Norwegian has caught me off guard: They ask my prices per \"video hour\".

My translation rates vary from 0.07- 0.1 Euros per source word for this language pair (depending on difficulty and type), and the suggested price for this subtitling job is 300 USD per video hour.

Does anyone have an idea how much work there is connected to each video hour?

Anyone with experience is welcome to guide my baby-steps in this new line of business.


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Rayindra  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:38
English to Indonesian
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Depends! Apr 26, 2002

Depends on the movie, of course. Some movies have a very long narration, but some are just normal.

This system is originated from the movie/TV industry where their subtitlers is working (subtitling, editing, sound-timing, and synchronizing) directly on the subtitling machine, and they don\'t have a word-count softwares. So, the fee is based on the man-hours they spent on the project. Thus, came the standard of \"per minute video\" or \"per-hour video\".

Back to your question, it depends on the project. You may get a very long narration movie, or you may get lucky and get an action-packed movie (no talks, just lots of bangs and crashes), or ehm.. adult movie (very few actual discernible words and lots of repetition!;D)

Just joking - seriously, just take the project and experience it by yourself!

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Local time: 16:38
English to Romanian
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Very good price Aug 1, 2002

If you have ever done translation for subtitling before, than go for it! It\'s a very good price, almost double than the usual, at least for Europe!

If not, think twice, because there are a lot of aspects you need to take into account when translating for subtitling. The most important of which is that the translation rules are all different, as they have to comply with space (and time) limitations. For instance, if you have a scene where two characters are fighting and their speeches overlap, you won\'t be able to translate everything, because the title won\'t have time to stay on the screen, so you need to decide which speech is relevant to the storyline. Try to get some more info on subtitling by searching on the ProZ forums - this topic has been widely discussed lately.

Hope it helps,


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United Kingdom
Local time: 14:38
English to German
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I think the price is a bit on the low side (by UK standards) Aug 2, 2002

I checked some of my old projects. Most films seem to have between 7.000 and 12.000 words and between 90 and 120 minutes. But clients pay less and less for subtitling, so maybe it\'s OK.

Subtitling a feature film takes me anything from one day (my record so far - an action film with very little dialogue) up to a week (two hour film, very chatty script). But negotiate a different price for commentaries (director\'s commentaries on DVD). They talk all over the film and don\'t stop. There might be three times more to translate than in the original film.

I prefer being paid by number of words but every client has a different system.

It can be fun and is quite easy most of the time.

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