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Interpreting, Translation and Transcripts
Thread poster: Shonatranslator
Shonatranslator
United States
Local time: 00:54
English to Shona
+ ...
Aug 8, 2008

I recently got a call from a new client who asked what my charges were for Court interpreting. I told him the amount per hour that I charge and he said fine. He then sent an email telling me that he was sending some discs with the information and I received it in the mail the very next day. On these discs were conversations that I worked on. How do I charge this client now? Do I charge this as an interpretation or as a translation? I am listening and translating the conversating and he wants this submitted as a written transcript. Please help.

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Christina Courtright  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:54
Spanish to English
+ ...
Make sure your client is on board with your fees Aug 8, 2008

Some charge hourly for transcription and then by-the-word for translation. Others charge hourly for the entire process, as sometimes unintelligible or idiomatic phrases are re-listened to during translation and it becomes a little interactive between the two processes. Either choice, make sure client realizes that this is *very* time-consuming. Also agree with client about format: 3 columns with voice ID, original, and translation? Or 4 columns including one for time stamps?
Another question for client: Will you be expected to testify in court as to the accuracy of your T&T?
Good luck!


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Heidi C  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:54
English to Spanish
+ ...
Different questions, different tasks, different fees Aug 8, 2008

1. You must tell the client that you are the interpreter that is heard in the recording, to avoid any conflict of interest. Ask what the translated transcription is needed for (maybe it is to verify the interpretation!!)

2. You also have to explain that there is a difference between interpreting, transcribing and translating.

a. Transcribing takes a lot of time, and it is convenient to have the equipment that will allow you to slow down the sound and rewind in very short intervals. In general, a minute of recording can take you more that three minutes to transcribe (even more if you don't have the equipment or experience, and much more if you have never done it before!).
Transcribers generally charge by the page (and the pages have their own specific format).

And if the transcription involves more than one language, the rates should also be higher...

You could charge for the transcription by the hour, but make it very clear that it will be hour of work, not hour of transcription!! I would also let the client know that this is not something you usually do... And that your hourly fee will be the same you charge for interpreting (after all, it is what YOUR time is worth).

b. Translating the transcribed text is a different task. This you can charge by the word. But it is a separate task!

And Christina is right, you have to know if it is ok that the same interpreter being transcribed is the same one translating the transcript. Because, usually, when there is an interpreter, the interpreter's voice is the record and the foreign speaker's words are not even taken into account. So maybe they need the transcription and translation to check the interpreting!!!

hope this helps...

Oooops!
Just realized, I assumed that the recordings you got were from a court proceeding or a deposition or interrogation which you were interpreting... Maybe it is not even the case, as you say "conversations".
But my comments regarding fees still apply.
And you do have to make it very clear that you are one of the voices heard on the recording (even if you are not interpreting, just talking): clarify that there is no conflict of interest!!

[Edited at 2008-08-08 21:25]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:54
English to Spanish
+ ...
Hourly Rate Aug 8, 2008

This job involves several processes, but they can all be done on an hourly rate basis and the client has agreed to your rate. But as Christina says, make sure the client realizes that this work can be VERY time-consuming and is not surprised by the bill. If you might have to testify in court, then make sure the client also realizes that you will charge your regular rate from the time your presence is requested until you are dismissed, even though they may leave you waiting for several hours.

As you get into the job, you could get back to the client with a range for the final price once you get a handle on it so the client has an idea of final cost and is still in agreement.


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Shonatranslator
United States
Local time: 00:54
English to Shona
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Aug 9, 2008

Thank you all. Christina, Heidi and Henry for replying to my post. That helps a lot.

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