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First job, transcription and translation rates for indie film
Thread poster: mepner
mepner
English to Spanish
Mar 20, 2008

Good morning!

I may have the opportunity to transcribe and translate the dialogue of a 2 hour independent documentary. As it's an independent film I don't know what their budget is yet and, as many aspiring translators, I want to get started in the translation field, but don't want to give away my time for practically nothing.This will be my first PAID translation project out of grad school.

I would appreciate any advice on how to charge the client. Should I charge a per line rate for transcription and then a per line rate for translation? What about proofing/editing? Also, the producer has stated that payment will be deferred until the documentary is distributed. Is this acceptable?

Thanks for the help!


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 13:10
English to German
+ ...
charges.. Mar 20, 2008

Hi! Audio transcriptions are charged by minute, some people charge also by the number of strokes, I think 65 strokes to a line in english language, and translation can be charged per stroke, word or sentence as per agreement whichever fits best. As per agreement you may charge also for proof-read, edited finalized document. You have to clear this aspect with your client. Brandis

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Jing Nie
China
Local time: 20:10
Member (2011)
English to Chinese
+ ...
I charge by minute. Mar 21, 2008

I think this involves at least 3 steps.

1. transcription
2. time-codeing( time-cueing)
3. translation the script.

I usually charge by per minute. Usually you need about 8 mins on transcription , 6-8 mins on timecueing , and 8-10 mins on translation per 1 min of video clip.

you may try it yourself and calculate the time spent on 1 min of video clip and get your rate. But there are many other experienced person doing subtitling , do not expect the price will be good.

mepner wrote:

Good morning!

I may have the opportunity to transcribe and translate the dialogue of a 2 hour independent documentary. As it's an independent film I don't know what their budget is yet and, as many aspiring translators, I want to get started in the translation field, but don't want to give away my time for practically nothing.This will be my first PAID translation project out of grad school.

I would appreciate any advice on how to charge the client. Should I charge a per line rate for transcription and then a per line rate for translation? What about proofing/editing? Also, the producer has stated that payment will be deferred until the documentary is distributed. Is this acceptable?

Thanks for the help!


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:10
English to Spanish
+ ...
Time Mar 21, 2008

I think the best way to approach this project will be on a time basis; your time paid at an hourly rate that you consider is good pay for you.

Forget about things like strokes and minutes of audio. That is useless.

It will take a certain amount of time to transcribe all the dialogue and then a certain time to translate it. You cannot give a precise figure on either task on any accurate basis, especially the transcription part because that can be quite variable.

Nor can the translation be done on a per-word basis, because it may have to be condensed into subtitles, or else timed and adjusted for a voice-over or dubbing, depending on what they want to do.

If someone wants to twist your arm and get you to give an overall price (a cheap one), then resist with all your might. You are not experienced in this kind of work, and if you give in you might regret it. But I would also hope that you are good enough to give them good value for their money.

But by no means should you make any offer at all until you see and hear the product!


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 12:10
Dutch to English
+ ...
Time Mar 21, 2008

I basically agree with Henry. Doesn't matter we do in this field - whether it's translation, revising, transcription, abstracting, whatever - we are effectively selling our time. However you decide to charge things out after reviewing the product, it has to compensate you per hour.

As to having to wait until distribution for payment, no way. In other words, if they can't pull it off, you're up s*** creek. Don't fall for that.


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