[subtitling rates] HOW MUCH?????
Thread poster: Hamza Awamleh
Hamza Awamleh
Jordan
Local time: 07:31
English to Arabic
+ ...
Sep 23, 2008

hello all
i've been reading the topics on how much to charge per minute of video, and honestly i haven't had a clear answer to it, many say so different prices, to narrow this, how much is it in the USA?
im studying a new business project of subtitling, and we deal with minutes of video here, so can anyone provide any close estimate?
i'll just add that i'll be getting a video and transcript from the client, and lets say its a video file, not DVD or VHS or such.
another thing, its subtitling with time cuing.

help is much appreciated

[Edited at 2008-09-23 02:47]

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2008-09-23 16:05]


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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 23:31
French to Spanish
+ ...
One question, as always. Sep 23, 2008

You say "subtitling".
Are you going to subtitle a DVD, or something else, or are you going to translate a spotting list in order other people will do the subtitling?
That's not the same.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 01:31
English to Portuguese
+ ...
There is no CLEAR answer Sep 23, 2008

NOTE: Figures in Brazilian currency (reais) See http://www.x-rates.com/d/BRL/table.html to convert, however it will still be the Brazilian market.

The problem is that rates vary a lot within the same country.

I tend to the corporate video market, which demands Disney-like (I don't know how much they pay) quality. So my working method takes time and effort, and is considered too expensive for TV/commercial video.

I charge BRL 15 per minute of total playing time. People who do it for TV usually get BRL 6-8, and it's not too difficult to find really sloppy work for BRL 4-5.

Then I charge BRL 5 per minute of total playing time to spot my translation. I'd charge more, maybe BRL 7-8, were it not for the market pressure from sesquilingual operators. I keep the same rate for translations so far by ONE colleague, who does a decent job. Otherwise I charge BRL 10 to spot anyone else's translation, probably done by the BRL 3-5 guys; there is more to fix to make them "spottable", than to spot... quite often it's just a poorly translated script.

And then I charge BRL 5 per minute of total playing time to burn the subtitles, either on the film itself (like VHS) or on overlay files for DVD. Authoring is extra, depending on complexity.

Finally, as I also speak - but don't translate - Italian, French, and Spanish, I also spot/burn subs when these languages are involved, either as the audio, or as subs. In these cases, the translation had better be good, because I don't write well enough in these languages to fix it. However note that each spot/burn is charged separately, so the total involves multiplying the total minutes by the number of languages.

There isn't so much secret in rates for subtitling. The problem is that they vary a lot, not only from one place to another, but also among the various markets in the same place.


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Hamza Awamleh
Jordan
Local time: 07:31
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
still not clear... Sep 26, 2008

Juan, the translation and subtitling are done by the same person, and its not DVD, i receive the video from the client in any form, and translate it and subtitle it then send the file back to client to be added to the broadcasted program on TV, does it make any difference in that matter?
i hope this clears it.

Jose, we're sure not going to deal with BRL but in USD, and i think there's a difference in rates in these two currencies, i guess i have to contact the client directly and see how much they're willing to pay, the point is i want to know the rates so i can decide if the proposed rate is acceptable or not, so I'm looking for an average rate. plus, we don't just get an hour or two of video, but hundreds of hours to be done in a year or so, so its lots of minutes, quality check and proofreading is a whole other story, that's why i need to be almost accurate about the rate.
also, if i'm right as i read in x-rates.com, ur charges can reach BRL 25 to 30 in some cases, which is about USD 13 to 15, from what i've heard, the rates can reach USD 20, and thats alot of money, thats why im so busy trying to find the "true" rates.
thanks for your info.

[Edited at 2008-09-26 04:16]


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 01:31
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Some light Sep 26, 2008

Hamza,

I made it clear that I work with corporate video, where careful craftmanship is required. Wholesale mass subtitling for TV is a different game, unless it's the Disney Channel, but they only use first-class dubbing for kids who don't read (at least fast enough) yet. TV demands low price first and foremost, quality second, if available at an affordable cost.

If it's cable TV, in most cases they'll just want the translation. Spotting will be done by some kid who can barely understand the source language, and is paid a (low) monthly salary. No burninng subs anywhere: the broadcasting system will generate the subs from spotted text files in real time. That's why you can turn them in and off on your TV at home, sometimes even choose the language you want.

Of course I know that you might never see Brazilian money in your life there, but I used it to emphasize that each local market will be totally different. For instance, I guess that subtitles in Middle-Eastern languages have much less characters than any other using Latin, Cyrillic, or Greek alphabets, so spotting is way easier, hence possibly cheaper... or not. I saw films subbed in both Arab and Hebrew, one line for each, and the subs remained onscreen for quite a while, in spite of the fast talk in English.

The only way for you to find out is to check with local vendors of such services. However bear in mind that there are no true rates in this subtitling racket... I mean market. Your client will be willing to pay as little as they can for the minimum quality level they need.


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Hamza Awamleh
Jordan
Local time: 07:31
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
settled Sep 26, 2008

ya, i guess your right, so i'll do what i have to and just check the local prices directly from clients, thanks for your time my friend

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yasmin fatouh
Egypt
Local time: 06:31
English to Arabic
+ ...
plz help me Oct 12, 2008

Hamza Awamleh wrote:

ya, i guess your right, so i'll do what i have to and just check the local prices directly from clients, thanks for your time my friend



I'm Egyptian translator and i have translated some English box office 2008 just by hearing without source language script to Arabic and some anime series with English sub but i was using the dubbed videos to translate much more clearly and accurately and I want to know how much (approximately) should I request and how can I get a job in some tv channel and how much translators get paid there


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