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subtitling and dubbing : translation of movie scripts
Thread poster: Wolfgang BRECH

Wolfgang BRECH  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:55
German to English
+ ...
Jun 27, 2003

Hi all!
I have been approached by a company regarding translating movie scripts. Although, that sounds interesting and exiting, I don't know how to charge them!??
Does one charge by the hour, per word? To charge per word seem unfair, (to the translator!) since this kind of work involves more "creative" thinking than strictly transaltion. Or am I off line here?
Any advice from an expert out there???

Thank you,
Wolfgang


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Kathi Stock  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:55
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Fee for subtitling Jun 27, 2003

From my experience with subtitling companies, they pay a fee per movie minute. Most of the time it is around USD$5.00 per movie minute.
Hope that helps!

Kathi


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Jana Teteris  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:55
Latvian to English
+ ...
How to charge for subtitling Jun 27, 2003

Just over a year ago I charged per 1,000 words for subtitling, but I understand that this is no longer the 'industry standard' (if there is such a thing). More recently I have been asked to charge per film-minute, which benefits the translator if there isn't that much dialogue in the film! If I'm not mistaken, some translators charge per subtitle (although I have no personal experience of this).

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Chiara Yates  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:55
English to Italian
+ ...
Charge by the word Jun 27, 2003

Wolfgang Brech wrote:
Hi, I have translated scripts for years now and you can do it two ways. Charge by the word by charge more than what you usual charge (this pays for your creative work), or if you can review the work to be done then give them a price for the whole translation.
Hope this helps.
Chiara


Hi all!
I have been approached by a company regarding translating movie scripts. Although, that sounds interesting and exiting, I don't know how to charge them!??
Does one charge by the hour, per word? To charge per word seem unfair, (to the translator!) since this kind of work involves more "creative" thinking than strictly transaltion. Or am I off line here?
Any advice from an expert out there???

Thank you,
Wolfgang


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Chiara Yates  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:55
English to Italian
+ ...
Charge by the word or page Jun 27, 2003

I have translated tv scripts for years in my experience you charge either by the word or by 1500 character page but at a higher rate(that pays for your creative effort).
Some experienced translators I worked with would charge about 25 euros per page. Others even more. As for subtitling I don't know and would like to get some insight since I am venturing down that lane too.


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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 06:55
French to Spanish
+ ...
Beware. Jun 27, 2003

Translation for subtitling is my specialty.
First of all, ask your client what do you have to do exactly.
1 Just translate (all the script or just dialogues?)
2 Would you have what we call "spotting list", that is, the time in and time out from every subtitle, or would you have to "localize" them (that's a lot of work !)
3 Would you have the VHS (I suppose so, but sometimes clients are so wird !)

And yes, in the US, 5 bucks per minute of movie seems quite fair to me. (From the very first image to the very last, dialogues or no dialogues).

Please, excuse my very poor english writing, and contact me if you have more doubts.

Juan Jacob.


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C Greene  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:55
Partial member
English to French
+ ...
Try the following Jun 27, 2003

Hello,

You'll probably get many interesting details in the following earlier threads.

HTH

Chris

http://www.proz.com/?sp=bb/viewtopic&post=62331#62331

http://www.proz.com/?sp=bb/viewtopic&post=21845#21845


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 09:55
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Translating scripts? Dubbing? Subtitling? Jun 27, 2003

Most of the replies so far dealt with subtitling.

Translating a movie script might mean several different things:
1. Translating the (written) script, as the film WILL BE shot in another language.
2. Translating the film for subtitling with the final script (you get a VHS tape and the script on paper or electronic file).
3. Translating the film for subtitling without the script (if poor mixing causes music and effects to 'cover' the speech at times, you'll have to guess).
4. Same as (2), but for dubbing.
5. Same as (3), but for dubbing.

In case (1), it's a text translation like any other, and you can charge by words, characters, pages, whatever.

In all other cases, the normal rule is to charge per minute, from the start (even if it's just the FBI warning on piracy) through the end of the final credits. The quantity of text will be your luck, or lack of it.

Translation for subtitling and for dubbing are two quite different kinds of work, though they might look the same to the untrained eye. Btw, I only translate for dubbing, have been doing it for the past 17 years or so.

Nowadays, when you translate for subtitling, you are often requested to use studio-specific software, and to mark the "in" and "out" times for each subtitle, so it can be done automatically. Formerly, you'd deliver the translation printed on hardcopy, or in a text file, and someone would have to retype it in a subtitling equipment, which would require some additional steps to check for "new" typos introduced in the process.

The critical aspect of subtitling is that the average spectator must be able to read the lines during the limited time it remains on the screen. In the worst case, e.g. in a talking-head film with a fast-speaking host, depending on the source and destination languages, you might have to shrink/discard the text in up to 40%.

When the case is dubbing, you are expected to provide a printed or a printable file for the dubbers, identifying each character in the film. If it's printed, type must be large and clear. Most studios request me to use 14 pt. Arial/Helvetica bold, double-spaced.

In dubbing, "metrics" is the critical factor. The translated text has to be timewise "matchable" to the mouth movements of the actor or actress, if they appear on the screen. This often calls for rebuilding the whole phrase, as e.g. "cus-tom-er needs" (4) in English becomes "ne-ces-si-da-des do cli-en-te" (9) in Portuguese. Also, since the original sound won't be present any longer, eventual word plays or jokes have to be re-created in the destination language.

This kind of work requires a mix of natural talent and acquired skill. Methods vary. Some poople use standard home VHS sets; others use more advanced video players, with precise play-pause-restart features. I transfer the audio either to an open-reel audio tape recorder, or to a *.wav computer file, as the "pause" function in most VHS machines misses several seconds.

Prices are usually quite different when translating for subtitling or for dubbing, being more expensive for the latter.

Many translators add 50-100% to the price when a written script is NOT provided.

I hope to have given you a general idea on how it works.


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