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average pay for transcription/translation
Thread poster: enloude
enloude  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:52
French to English
Feb 18, 2009

Hi, I have been doing quite a bit of transcription (French), then translating the transcripts into English. The client (non profit) doesn't have clear idea of what they can afford to pay me, and I don't have a clear idea of what to charge. Awkward. On a scale of per minute or per hour (of recorded audio), what's the pay range for this type of work?

Is it normal to charge per hour of audio for the transcription, then per word for the translations, or is it usually the same fee for both?

Any advice appreciated!


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Laurence Forain  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:52
Member (2007)
English to French
+ ...
My two cents Feb 19, 2009


I cannot give you a range of rates but give you a piece of my experience.
For the transcription, I apply a X4 ratio to my hourly rate.
So for example, if my standard hourly rate is 10, my rate for transcription will be 40/recording hour, basically because I'll spend 4 hours to transcript an hour of the record (on average).

Then the translation is an other service that I charge on the wordcount basis at my standard rates.

But I generally transcript FR-FR documents, I almost never do the translation into an other language myself so I never charge both services together.

Hope that helps.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:52
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Question: Any need for the transcription? Feb 19, 2009

As I began wearing earphones to translate video for lip-sync dubbing - where the speaking rhythm must be preserved - I've always translated directly from audio.

All right, if your transcription will be later translated into other languages, it's worth the effort. But if all you need is to have the audio translated into English alone, maybe it would be worthwhile for you to translate directly, without transcribing first.

In my case - I know I'm an oddball in doing it - I have a fixed rate per minute for working on ANY audio/video file. It doesn't matter if it's transcription, translation for dubbing, translation for subtitling, or complete translation (possibly for re-shooting in a different language). So, if the client wants both transcription AND translation, they'll be spending twice as much as for direct translation alone.

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