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Tape Transcription: how much to charge
Thread poster: Yongmei Liu
Yongmei Liu  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:53
English to Chinese
+ ...
Nov 4, 2004

I just agreed to transcribe a tape with 50 minutes of conversations. What's a rough estimate of how much time I will probably going to spend doing this? Thanks.

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xxxBrandis
Local time: 04:53
English to German
+ ...
two and a half times as much Nov 4, 2004

Hi! a regular typist reads and writes simultaneously. If you take this hourly rate as a standard, then your price must be two and a half times as much, because you have to listen and type and listen again. After that comes the translation.
Rgds,Brandis
Yes, Harry says, a lot depends upon your equipment and your personal ability also. There is no marked rule for this.

[Edited at 2004-11-04 20:44]


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
3 - 7 hours Nov 4, 2004

It depends on your writing speed, your equipment, clarity of speech and how structured the conversation is.

Even if you can type nearly as fast as they speak, you will have to rewind the tape for some words at the end of most sentences. Audio typists use a special equipment for this (foot switch and automatic rewind), and the persons who usually dictate are trained in speaking in a way which facilitates the transcription.

A conversation, in contrast, is the worst case scenario for a clear text. You should also allow for reviewing the text after typing.

For a more exact estimate I suggest you transcribe 10 minutes and calculate on this basis.


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Yongmei Liu  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:53
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you both for your input Nov 4, 2004

I also read some of the previous discussions on the subject.

I do have a foot pedal (connects to a serial port on my PC; bought online for about $80) and a free transcription program (http://www.nch.com.au/scribe/), but never really had the chance to use it.


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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 21:53
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
6 times Nov 5, 2004

My experiences with transcribing have run to 6 times the running time of the tape. The advice to test 10 minutes before giving a firm quote is very good. Also you should hear the whole tape to make sure that the quality and density of your sample is typical of the entire tape.

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:53
English to Spanish
+ ...
Don't Agree Until... Nov 5, 2004

Don't agree on anything until you have had a chance to review the tape, audio recordings can be extremely variable in quality and some can be hellish.

You also may consider having someone else do the transcription and then you do the translation. Transcribers are generally a lot cheaper than translators (you), if you can find a good one in the language involved.

It is good that you have reviewed some of the previous postings, there are many good tips there.


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Sara Freitas
France
Local time: 04:53
French to English
Minimum of 6 times as much Nov 5, 2004

...or 400-600 euros per hour of tape.

This was the guideline for a recent transcription/writing project I worked on...

Regards,

Sara


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Wilman  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:53
Chinese to English
+ ...
Audio translation Nov 16, 2004

Hi,

I've been doing transcription/translation for a radio station for over two years. It depends on the type of program, i.e. news, call-in programs, interviews etc., but the average is approximately 1.3 hour per audio minute.

I hope this helps.


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Carolina Mendez  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:53
English to Spanish
+ ...
I do agree with Henry Nov 23, 2004

Henry Hinds wrote:

Don't agree on anything until you have had a chance to review the tape, audio recordings can be extremely variable in quality and some can be hellish.

You also may consider having someone else do the transcription and then you do the translation. Transcribers are generally a lot cheaper than translators (you), if you can find a good one in the language involved.

It is good that you have reviewed some of the previous postings, there are many good tips there.


Do NOT agree on anything until you had review the tape COMPLETELY.

I had quite an experience with a set of tapes I accepted some months ago. I was first told that they were a conversation between 2 or more people. Well, it ended up being conversations at offices, then in the vehicle, and parts at a restaurant including 4 people and the appearance of a waiter taking their orders!!! I would never accept those tapes again .. unless I use a transcriber and then after she has gone through the worst part I receive the plain written version and do my job: the translation. This would have saved me much time and effort. I remember that after dealing with those tapes I would try to sleep and their voices were still in my mind.

Good Luck!

Carolina


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scooty
Local time: 04:53
English to French
the client doesn't need the transcription Jan 6, 2006

But how much to charge for an interview in your native language that has to be translated, but the client doesn't need a transcription. You just have to translate the interview directly ?
The client asks me the price for a 90 minute interview.


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Walter Landesman  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 00:53
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Same help needed here Jan 26, 2006

I`m having the same dilemma. I remember having done this kind of job about 10 years ago. It was a 25 hours course/lectures in English, in tapes, and needed to be translated in Spanish. Unfortunately, I don´t remember how much I charged for that and on what base. Anyway, times were different then. We run stagecoaches then.

I have to quote now on something similar, but I really dont know what to do. Henry is right. Maybe I won`t even send the quote. It seems to be very hard and complicated and outsources will probably not be willing to pay the cost.


Walter


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