Quoting for video translation. Help!
Thread poster: Ishtar
Ishtar
Local time: 16:06
English to German
Dec 20, 2004

Hi!

A client has just approached me for a quoted for translating 4 two-hour video tapes of group discussions of a slightly(?) technical nature which I haven't seen yet. The translation is to be delivered as an audio tape.

Has anybody done this before? How long do you estimate this job would take?

Any suggestions appreciated.

avo


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Surtees
Spanish to English
+ ...
Several different components Dec 20, 2004

I would suggest you break the work down into several distinct components:

1. Transcription. I would normally charge between 1/2 and 2/3 of my usual rate per word for translation, or by the hour.

2. Translation. Normal rate per word.

3. Recording of tape. Are you doing this? If so, will you simply be doing it at home or is it studio work? In the first case, again I would charge by the hour. If it's studio work, then the standard rate for that.

Hope that's of some help.

P.S. A couple of things I forgot to mention before:

- I don't often do studio voice-recording work, but have done it a couple of times in the past here in Spain, and was paid €200-250 for anything from under an hour's work to 3 or 4 hours (don't know what the going rates are in the UK and don't know what people charge for one - or more - full days, which your job would certainly be, but I would guess double that per day would be reasonable).

- The numbers of words in a video can vary greatly, but I often translate documentaries with runtimes of 45-50 mins. and they are generally between 5,000 and 6,000 words, so I would guess 4 hours is going to be at least 25,000 words - probably more, as there won't be sections with just image and music.

[Edited at 2004-12-20 17:08]

[Edited at 2004-12-20 17:10]


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Victor Potapov
Russian Federation
Local time: 18:06
English to Russian
+ ...
audio recording of translated videotape soundtrack? Sounds unusual to me... Dec 20, 2004

Hi, Avo,

I do not do a lot of voiceovers (maybe 1 to 3 a year), but this job sounds unusual to me: I have never heard of audio recordings of translated videotape soundtrack...

This probably means that the client is doing it for the first time - and if you give them the right advice, you will increase the chances of working with them in the future - you provided them with valuable advice, after all!

You probably understand the problem with this approach: audio tape will not be synchronized with the video tape. They will either lose video (which is a powerful tool in understanding the discussion) or will be forced to stop/restart audio tape at appropriate moments in discussion. This is nonsense - it does not work with paper transcriptions and video dialogue (and paper is random-access, you don't have to rewind to go to next page!).

Or you audio tape will have to be time-coded. Please tell me this is not the case, because otherwise you are doing a voice-over, just called a different name.

Conclusions:

I would suggest having a brief discussion with the client: what is it they are trying to achieve with the tape? Will it be used by experts to start their own discussion? Will it be used for training (in this case audio is absolutely not a solution - not synchronized with video and they don't have time for stop/rewind/restart in training programs)? Any other use?

You can either do a voiceover (should be done at a studio - a good home studio is OK, but you NEED a studio!) or send them a translated version of the transcript.

Home-use microphones or even worse - computer microphones just will not do!
Moreover, your audio recording will be of a poor quality (if you will use audio tape and not digital media - MD, for instance. MD is great for this work, by the way!). Nothing personal in this comment - just the quality of home-use microphones and consumer tape decks (plus inherent limitations of cassette tape media) lead to low signal/noise, low sensitivity and other problems that MD-recorders do not have.


So good luck with this project - but you must first define with the client what they want out of this project, otherwise it will be very easy for them to blame the interpreter - for something they should have thought about themselves!

Hope this helps, please post your further questions (or ask via email if you want a private discussion).

Victor.


avo wrote:

Hi!

A client has just approached me for a quoted for translating 4 two-hour video tapes of group discussions of a slightly(?) technical nature which I haven't seen yet. The translation is to be delivered as an audio tape.

Has anybody done this before? How long do you estimate this job would take?

Any suggestions appreciated.

avo


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Connor  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:06
French to English
Depends how you do it Dec 21, 2004

Hi,
You have two options - direct dubbing (really tough/miraculous) or text translation and voice over.
The second option I know well. In terms of time we work on a coefficient of 6 for transcription (writing down in the same language - 1 hour tape = 6 hours work), then reckon on a ceiling of 175 spoken words per minute to calculate the translation cost.
HTH


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