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[Subtitling Rates] per minute rates
Thread poster: The LT>EN Guy

The LT>EN Guy  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2007)
Lithuanian to English
Aug 6, 2006

Hello all,

I was just wondering if anything had changed since March 2005, when the per-minute rates were discussed in this forum. Back then opinions ranged from 3 to 7 USD/min with $5 being agreed to be an average rate.

Any replies appreciated!

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2009-03-15 18:07 GMT]


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marie-christine périé  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:53
English to French
+ ...
For all I know Aug 6, 2006

Earlier this year, or was it last year, the company I used to work for asked me if I would reduce my rates... I said no and stopped subtitling altogether...

So for me, that was the end of that story! Sad end, I would say...


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sokolniki  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:53
English to Russian
+ ...
Pretty much the same Aug 6, 2006

In the U.S. it is $5.00 - $5.50 - pretty much the same it was back in March 2005.

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theangel  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 20:53
Swedish to Italian
+ ...
For 3 USD... Aug 6, 2006

....everyone (at least all Europeans) should refuse to even turn on the computer...

Sources from the UK say that they get 7 £ there, but I don't know if this is a myth or reality. I know about 4 € per minute, though...



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biankonera  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 21:53
Italian to Latvian
+ ...
another rate Aug 7, 2006

Dont know about myths but what I know for sure is that there is such a rate as ~0.5 euro per 1 minute that one company has as its official rate for translators in one European country...

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Sergei Tumanov  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:53
English to Russian
+ ...
and in the end of the day Aug 14, 2006

it seems that this masterpiece left their workshop:

http://www.menu.spb.ru/salads-en.shtml


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Sylvano
Local time: 20:53
English to French
How do you make ends meet ? Aug 26, 2006

theangel wrote:

For 3 USD....everyone (at least all Europeans) should refuse to even turn on the computer...



theangel is right, guys !

I'm subtitling full time in France, mainly for cable TV and dvd, and I do work for rates around... 15 euros/min (19 USD, if I'm right). Many French subtitlers would even consider that a cheap rate, I'm afraid.

French rates for cinema would give you (and me) a heart attack...

Seriously, asking you to translate a 90 min feature for 270 USD is a joke.

[Edited at 2006-08-26 12:47]

[Edited at 2006-08-26 12:48]


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biankonera  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 21:53
Italian to Latvian
+ ...
if thats a joke... Sep 11, 2006

Sylvano wrote:

Seriously, asking you to translate a 90 min feature for 270 USD is a joke.

[Edited at 2006-08-26 12:47]

[Edited at 2006-08-26 12:48]


if 270 USD per 90 minute feature is a joke then 57 USD for the same thing is.... no comments simply...


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JulietteC
Local time: 20:53
English to French
wow... Sep 12, 2006

Sylvano, I am very impressed by your rates of 15 euros/minute, especially if it is for DVD or TV subtitling.

I'm a beginner and I saw very low rates from big DVD subtitling companies (about 3 euros/minute), some higher from others...but always very far from 15 euros !

Out of curiosity : are these companies located in France ? And is it your rate or is it the set rate for all their subtitlers ?

Very impressing indeed... I thought only subtitling for cinema could reach these rates...

At least I assume it is the rate for the spotting and translation ?

Juliette.


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Sylvano
Local time: 20:53
English to French
Surviving on 3 euros/min : I AM impressed ! Sep 12, 2006

Yes, those are French companies.
And those are set rates too, for all translators
(cueing + translating, indeed).

I too have worked for big bad companies
trying to pay as low as you say per minute.
They have no limits in that matter, but I do.
Subtitling's my only job, I must make a living out of it !
I insist : those are (should be) normal rates ! ! !
How do you pay the rent with 3 euros/min ?
Working day, night and week-ends ?

May I suggest you go and check this place :
http://www.traducteurs-av.org/index.html

Regards,
Sylvano


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JulietteC
Local time: 20:53
English to French
good news Sep 13, 2006

Hi Sylvano

I don't work for 3 euros/minute as I don't work yet. I'm just finishing my studies after a work placement in subtitling (in a company that paid decently its translators) so I'm only beginning to look for work. But I already know 2 other big companies that offer such rates as 3 euros per minute...

I quite agree nobody can earn a living at such a rate. That's why many translators do subtitling and technical translation to survive, as technical translation is often better-paid.

The thing is, companies that pay decently their translators also ask for higher prices to the clients, so they lose many clients...

The worst is that as the very big companies (no names, but everybody know who they are) pay such low rate, their translators have to do too many subtitles a day, and the resulting quality is poor... but many clients prefer low quality at a better price, as they consider the subtitling part is not important on a DVD...

Anyway, your post is actually quite a good news: it's possible to ask for such rates for DVD subtitling from English to French, and not only in cinema

Just out of curiosity: what percentage of yuor rate is for the cueing ? Meaning what is your rate for translation of subtitles only ?

Best regards,

Juliette.


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Sylvano
Local time: 20:53
English to French
Well... Sep 13, 2006

Hi, Juliette

You say :
"The thing is, companies that pay decently their translators also ask for higher prices to the clients, so they lose many clients..."

...and I think you're wrong.

1 - That's not because clients pay less that we're mechanically paid less. I know different companies having the same clients and not paying (at all) same rates to their translators. Cutting our rates is only a way (they reckon) to increase profit, keep that in mind.

2 - From experience, I can tell you that the main reason why clients dump a subtitling company is poor quality of the translations or delays in delivering them.

3 - Some companies pay good money to translators only because they are sensible : they negociate good quotes with their clients in the first place or they don't take the job.

You also say : "many clients prefer low quality at a better price, as they consider the subtitling part is not important on a DVD..."

True, but only to a certain extent. Again, I assure you that companies following that path can't do that on the long term without facing difficulties (with the very clients who were okay with "low quality", their translators and their reputation). Anyway, cutting on the translators' rates doesn't increase their margin that much. If they think it does, they are stupid.

As far as cueing is concerned, I have no idea. I always do cueing myself and I charge an overall rate for that and translating.


[Edited at 2006-09-13 12:33]


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Nathalie Schon  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:53
German to French
+ ...
?? Sep 11, 2008

How can you compare rates paid for translating subtitles with rates paid for subtitling+time coding.
You can't compare the 3EURO/min and 15EURO/min


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Sylvano
Local time: 20:53
English to French
On the contrary Sep 15, 2008

NathalieSchon wrote:

How can you compare rates paid for translating subtitles with rates paid for subtitling+time coding.
You can't compare the 3EURO/min and 15EURO/min


Yes, you can. If I'm paid 15 euros for the full job, do you really think it means I get 12 euros for timecueing only? Of course, the translation bit should be the most expensive part of the process (around 2/3rd of it I'd say).


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kmtext
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:53
English
+ ...
The rate varies Sep 18, 2008

For monolingual captioning, most companies in the UK pay anything from £3/minute to £5/minute including timing.

Translation rates vary depending on the language pairs and the availability of translators. The greater the number of people working in a given language pair, the lower the rate. People seem to be very reluctant to discuss these, but I've heard rates ranging from £5/minute to £15/minute, some including timing, some not.

I'd really like to hear from more UK subtitlers so I can be sure I'm not under-charging!


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