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Rates for transcription of audio files: how to calculate
Thread poster: Thomas Johansson

Thomas Johansson  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 17:29
Member (2005)
English to Swedish
+ ...
Nov 6, 2008

A quick question:

I have received an enquiry regarding the transcription of audio files (recording client calls to call centers), and they are asking for a "quote per audio minute".
No translation is required, just audio typing.

I have never done this sort of job before.

In order to be able to give them an appropriate quote, I wonder how long time of processing/work one audio minute reasonably would take, in average.
Would 10 minutes sound reasonable?

I'd be grateful for any replies.

Thomas


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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 17:29
French to Spanish
+ ...
In my experience... Nov 6, 2008

...10 minutes work for 1 minute audio is far too much.
That's what it takes for translation for subtitling, without dialogue lists, and putting the time code.

I would cut it at half: 5 minutes (maybe less, but depending, of course, on audio quality and difficulty).

Good luck.


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Doreen Schoon-Hammermann  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:29
Member (2007)
English to German
+ ...
Be very careful Nov 6, 2008

Hello Thomas,

please be very careful when quoting on transcription jobs - I speak from my own experience. You should calculate four to eight working hours for one hour of the source text, even if you use speech recognition and have excellent typing qualities.

Good luck!
Doreen

[Bearbeitet am 2008-11-06 20:12]


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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 17:29
Spanish to English
+ ...
6 minutes, but may vary Nov 6, 2008

In my experience, the average is 6 minutes of work per minute of audio. I haven't been able to go much below that, but it might be possible with excellent quality audio and slow, clear speech.

On the other hand, with poor audio, fast talk and/or crosstalking, the sky is the limit! You should not make a firm quote without listening to the material first.


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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 17:29
Partial member
Spanish
+ ...
6 and 5 minutes is my average Nov 6, 2008

GoodWords wrote:

In my experience, the average is 6 minutes of work per minute of audio. I haven't been able to go much below that, but it might be possible with excellent quality audio and slow, clear speech.

On the other hand, with poor audio, fast talk and/or crosstalking, the sky is the limit! You should not make a firm quote without listening to the material first.


But it can vary A LOT depending on the quality of the audio files. You and your client are safer if you charge by the hour. It also depends on other factors; for instance, whether you have to time-stamp the transcription or not, or if there are parts you have to skip, or if the person that's doing the talking mumbles the words.

[Edited at 2008-11-06 21:14]


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Thomas Johansson  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 17:29
Member (2005)
English to Swedish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Nov 6, 2008

Thank you very much for these responses! They have been very helpful and I have now been able to send an appropriate response to the client.

I have a follow-up question: Would I need any particular, special resources, hardware, software, etc. to handle these sorts of jobs? (For instance headphones, like the ones people use for skype?) The client says the audio files will be 8 minute long MP3's.

Thomas


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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 17:29
French to Spanish
+ ...
Nah! Nov 6, 2008

Nothing special... for 8 minutes. You'll listen it in Windows Media Player.
Don't forget your ears, though.
Good luck.


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Roy Chaudhuri  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 03:59
Member (2006)
English to Bengali
+ ...
Scribe Nov 7, 2008

I use a software called Scribe Express which was sent to me by my client. Here you can slow down the pace of problemmatic areas for clarity.

I think the rates for transcription should be quoted after asking for and listening to a sample audio, to see how the clarity is. For a clear audio I agree with the consensus of 5 to 7 minutes (depending on my expertise of the subject).


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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 17:29
Spanish to English
+ ...
Where to get Express Scribe Nov 7, 2008

You can download it here. It is free.

A big advantage of using Express Scribe is that it allows you to start, stop and rewind using hotkeys from within Word, so you don't have to be switching back and forth between the Word window and the audio player window.


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