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Quote for movie translation?!?
Thread poster: Kai Döring

Kai Döring  Identity Verified
Philippines
Local time: 09:00
Member (2007)
English to German
+ ...
Oct 15, 2008

Dear all,

I received a request for a movie translation from German to English. It is for a whole length movie (estimated 1h30min). He mentioned to me that they normally pay 50U$ per movie hour.

I assume this is way to low since I was doing a proofreading for 25 U$ per 10 min. What are the normal prices for a movie translation.

Since they mentioned that they movie will be published later on, I offered a profit sharing approach. They do not really like it. Would this be a reasonable approach?

Your experiences and opinions please.

Thanks.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:00
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Two separate jobs Oct 15, 2008

Kai Döring wrote:
I received a request for a movie translation from German to English. It is for a whole length movie (estimated 1h30min).


There are two jobs here:

1. The movie has to be transcribed if the script isn't already available. Remember that it takes 6 hours to transcribe 1 hour of tape.
2. The script needs to be translated. For this, you can charge your per-word rate, as far as I'm concerned.


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Jim Tucker  Identity Verified
United States
Hungarian to English
+ ...
You are right Oct 15, 2008

The quote they gave you is way off the low end of the scale. A full-length (120-page standard) screenplay contains roughly 15,000-20,000 words (the one on my desk right now is 18,200 in 127 pages) - so at (just for example) .10 USD per word, the total is $1500-2000 for the whole script. You may charge more or less than that, but those totals are a representative ballpark figure.

And this doesn't assume transcription either!

[Edited at 2008-10-15 06:38]

Of course the original script will have a much higher word count than a transcription from the screen, since it contains long prose passages of setting and character description, and the like. Perhaps the transcription fee makes up for the drop in word count, but I don't know.

[Edited at 2008-10-15 06:43]

[Edited at 2008-10-15 07:27]


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Julius Iannitti  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 03:00
Italian to English
+ ...
And if there is transcrition to do too? Oct 15, 2008

Hi Jim,
I was reading your post and what you daid sounds very reasonable, but I was wondering that if you do need before translating to transcribe the text too, how much would be a fair rate just for this job?
Thank you for any input.


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Adi Al-Ka'bi
Local time: 05:00
Arabic to English
+ ...
Make a ready quote for per minute video/tape/film Oct 15, 2008

Two years ago I translated a video. Counting the words for 5 minutes came up with approximately 100 words per minute. One hour would therefore compose 6000 words.

To translate what's being said on the film would require transcription first. I assessed that transcribing would need about half of the time to translate. Hence transcribing plus translation would require an extra 3000 word worth of translation and translation time. That would mean the equivalent time needed to translate 9000 words.

At a rate of translation for 500 words per hour that would need 18 hours to translate 9000 words.

Now simply multiply that by your hourly rate and you get what to ask for.

If an hours time is worth $25 per hour that's 18 hours X $25 per hour = $450 to transcribe and translate an hours worth/length of video.

Or $450/60 = $7.5 per minute of video.

From there you can put a price to any video of whatever time duration it is.

For example a 20 minute video would get a quote of 20X7.5 = $150

A 40 minute video would get a quote of 40X7.5 = $300

and so on.

Decide what an hour's worth of time for you is acceptable and from there re-adjust the above calculations for 18 hours work required for one hour of video or 18 minutes of work required for one minute of video. Or one hour of work required for every 60/18 = 3.33 minutes of video.

I would make a price list mentioning video translation at $7.50 per minute of video to avoid future need for calculations.

For your specific request (1 hr 30 minutes) that would mean 90 minutes and my quotation for the total video minutes count would be 90 minutes X $7.5 per minute = $675. Or at the hourly rate 1.5 hours X $ 450 per hour = $ 675.

If you are working at $25 per 10 minutes of work (proofreading) that makes your hourly rate $150 per hour which I assume might presently be too much anywhere for most any type of normal work unless you meant something else. But if that's your hourly rate the film would need 27 hours of work making your quotation 27 hours X$150 per hour = $4050.

Upon jotting this I noticed the first two replies. My reply probably fits in with Samuel's reply of 6 hours to transcribe one hour. I've inherently assumed that translation time is double transcribing time. In other words one hour requires 6 hours to transcribe and 12 hours to translate which totals to 18 hours.

I hope that helps you (after deciding what your hourly rate for work is and then working out how long you'd require translating 1.5 hours of film or video or tape).

Regards.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:00
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
What? Oct 15, 2008

Kai Döring wrote:
I received a request for a movie translation from German to English. It is for a whole length movie (estimated 1h30min). He mentioned to me that they normally pay 50U$ per movie hour.


Did you mean to say US$ 50 per movie MINUTE?


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kristijann  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 03:00
English to Croatian
+ ...
This is way too low Oct 15, 2008

You shouldn't accept less than 5 euros per minute. This the minimum rate for this language combination.

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Sergei Leshchinsky  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 04:00
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
translate subtitles Oct 15, 2008

Use this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subrip (or http://www.izone.ru/multimedia/utilities/subrip-download.htm) to get subtitles to a text file and then translate charging you regular rate. All other options mentioned here are too expensive for the client.

Another way is synchronous translation (with headphones and a mic) with the output to mp3-file. Charges as such (per hour).

Surely, the proper way is to do as Samuel says, but this in not a job for one man (frankly speaking). Too difficult. I think they will ask for voiceover later...

[Редактировалось 2008-10-15 07:45]


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Adi Al-Ka'bi
Local time: 05:00
Arabic to English
+ ...
Additional comment Oct 15, 2008

Since German would convert to a higher word count in English you can multiply what I mentioned by about 1.2

Kristijann gives you not less than 5 euros per minute which approximately (slightly less than) also agrees with my comment above in $ ($7.5 per minute = 5.5 euro per minute).

That's just to relieve confusion between dollars and euro.

[Edited at 2008-10-15 07:49]

[Edited at 2008-10-15 07:51]


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Alessandro Zocchi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 03:00
Member (2007)
German to Italian
+ ...
(OT: @ Sergej) Oct 15, 2008

Sergej,

I just wanted you to know that, as You can see, the link you provided cannot be found.


___________________________________________________________________________
Error 404 not found

Запрашиваемая вами страница не найдена...

Это могло произойти по нескольким причинам:

Изменился адрес страницы
Такой страницы вообще нет на этом сервере
Вы набрали неверный адрес
Но вы не расстраивайтесь, еще не все потеряно...

Давайте попробуем найти нужную вам страницу:

Начните с Главной страницы сайта
Воспользуйтесь навигацией (слева на этой странице).
Воспользуйтесь поиском по этому сайту (вверху на этой странице).

***

_________________________________________________________________________

Sasha


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Sergei Leshchinsky  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 04:00
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
new links Oct 15, 2008

Alessandro Zocchi wrote:
Error 404 not found


New links: http://www.free-codecs.com/download/subrip.htm , http://www.softpedia.com/progDownload/SubRip-Download-21126.html , http://zuggy.wz.cz/ ,

Let Google be with you!


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kristijann  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 03:00
English to Croatian
+ ...
rates for film translations Oct 15, 2008

I have been working in subtitling for ten years and I have never heard that you charge per word. You either charge per minute or per subtitle. But if your client insists that you do it this way, I guess you don't have a choice.

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 22:00
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Clarification required Oct 15, 2008

I have been translating video for lip-sync dubbing since 1987, and for subtitling since 2004. Many things have changed, though I started in the days of the VHS, but some things here don't make sense to me.

First, what is the intent of the translation? There are three major possibilities.

1. Full script translation - would be useful to reshoot it in a different language.

2. Lip-sync dubbing or voiceover - requires a specific technique so that the text is sync-able by specialized voice artists.

3. Subtitling - requires a different specific technique, so that a minimum text will cover most of the content.

Now, unless this script is to be translated for #1 or #3 above into several languages from the first translation, there is no need to transcribe (and for #2 it's useless).

Next, most video translators charge a premium rate, often twice as much, if a copy of the original script is not provided.

Most video translators charge per minute of playing time. However to simplify matters some dubbing studios that keep cheaper translators busy all the time with feature movies (90+ minutes) for TV adopt a flat per-film rate, regardless of length. FYI in Brazil these translators get something between USD 300-500 per film.

So the offer you got is outrageously low


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Adi Al-Ka'bi
Local time: 05:00
Arabic to English
+ ...
Pricing Oct 17, 2008

I agree with Kristijaan above about not quoting for charge per word. With a film or video or tape being the source, the per-word charge would appear to be exorbitant to the client when compared to word charge for text to text translation. In all cases for you it's time that's involved and at the end of the day it's how much per hour you are willing to work for whether translation, interpretation, transcribing or whatever. "How much" will depend on your currency value and how much you expect to make monthly from your hourly involvement in the business that you are in, namely translation (and it's sub-branches), that makes it worthwhile for you.

Hence why films/video/etc should not be quoted for word count, but for how long you'd expect a 5 minute (or 1 minute, or 1 hour) films/video/etc needing to be translated into text. Once you have the 5 minute or one hour average you can then fix a per minute price and safely quote for all future requests.

Personally I keep a ready list of prices for most sorts of requests for instant quoting. It contains a 40% negotiation/bargaining factor for those that like to negotiate/bargain. Whether they negotiate/bargain or not, I quote part of that factor as a "special first trial discount" (as a psychologically attracting factor) and send it off. The other part of that factor remains to safely further negotiate/bargain with/for if the prospective client wishes to further negotiate/bargain. In the end, I get what I want or above what I'm willing to minimally work for.

If the currency value inflates or depreciates or whatever the term is/used, I simply multiply all my prices by a new approximate multiplying factor. That quickly churns out a new price list (rounded off to nearest unit currency) without needing the calculations for work time involved vs. costs of living or vs. acceptable hourly work charges, another time.

To further simplify that first consider how much per hour you'll work for and then work out how long (in time) you'll need for each branch off of translation (language to language, topic, text to text, or voice to text, or interpretation plus commuting time and costs, transcribing etc). Once that list is made, you can easily convert to new prices for all possibilities as your currency devaluates. Initiation of the first at-the-time price list might take some time, but once made the rest is simple as you go along.

In the case of the inquiry here in this forum, the per-minute price is best as Jose and Kristijaan have both mentioned. Multiply that by 90 minutes and send off your quote. As I would do, you can add a bit and "specially discount" some of it allowing the rest for further bargaining purposes. On my quotations invoices, I use phrases like "special first trial discount", "high volume discount", "round off discount", "further negotiated discount", "regular client discount" etc (the more the merrier for the client - it gives them a feeling of having had a special treatment). By "round off discount" I mean like rounding off $506 to $500, $24.48 to $24. It gives a neater looking quotation/invoice.

As for "a profit sharing approach", don't go for the thousand birds in the tree. Grasp on to the one bird that you can get in your hand before proceeding. You also have no way to check how much the profit was or how many partners there really are.

[Edited at 2008-10-17 11:52]

[Edited at 2008-10-17 11:55]


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telly75  Identity Verified

Local time: 09:00
Chinese to English
+ ...
LOW QUOTE??? Aug 2, 2011

I recently was contacted through another website to work for a subtitle company. They quoted me $1.75USD per minute of run time after I sent them my per word quote and they said they could only pay me that.....I have not ever done paid subtitle work so I am not sure of the rates, but reading this here- it does seem like their rates are quite low. I read through the forum here and it seems there is a common belief that the rate should be $7sth per minute? Thoughts? I believe it is already transcribed work- if it wasnt, what should a decent rate be incl transcribing and tranlsation?

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