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advice on translating educational scripts
Thread poster: Susana Galilea
Susana Galilea  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:44
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jul 24, 2006

A production company is inquiring about my rates for the translation of scripts for a series of animated art-education DVDs for children. Each video is about 25 minutes in length, approximately 2,700 words.

I would appreciate your input about what factors need to be considered for this project, in terms of pricing. Specifically, I am concerned about the issue of timing, as I am assuming length of sentences would need to closely match the English version (videos feature animated characters representing visual artists from the past, directly addressing the viewers).

As always, all input greatly appreciated

Many thanks,

Susana

[Edited at 2006-07-24 20:44]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:44
English to Spanish
+ ...
No help Jul 25, 2006

Well, I see you've received no help so far. I haven't done a large amount of work in that area, but I have done some, and involving similar work. Yes, in video timing is extremely important. You will have to spend extra time on that, reviewing the video sometimes and deciding what you are going to do to resolve certain problems.

Don't quote the job without seeing the videos. Don't quote on a per-word basis. Check it out completely first.

Tell the client frankly that you must know what the entire job entails before you can make any quote, or else they will have to live with whatever you bill them, which may end up being on a time basis.

If they are non-responsive then they are probably not the kind of clients you want.


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Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:44
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
Bill them per time spent Jul 25, 2006

Hi Susana,
Bill them per time spent, not per word count, as Henry said above. I am not sure if the language expands or shrinks when translating from English to Spanish, so I cannot give you an advice on that. This would be an important factor that you need to take into consideration, since you may spend more time adjusting the wording to fit the video timing.

Good luck,
Monika

Susana Galilea wrote:

A production company is inquiring about my rates for the translation of scripts for a series of animated art-education DVDs for children. Each video is about 25 minutes in length, approximately 2,700 words.

I would appreciate your input about what factors need to be considered for this project, in terms of pricing. Specifically, I am concerned about the issue of timing, as I am assuming length of sentences would need to closely match the English version (videos feature animated characters representing visual artists from the past, directly addressing the viewers).

As always, all input greatly appreciated

Many thanks,

Susana

[Edited at 2006-07-24 20:44]


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Susana Galilea  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:44
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
still pondering... Jul 25, 2006

Henry Hinds wrote:
Yes, in video timing is extremely important. You will have to spend extra time on that, reviewing the video sometimes and deciding what you are going to do to resolve certain problems.


Thanks all for your knowledgeable feedback. I honestly am unsure as to whether I would be getting myself in over my head with this project. Would an experienced translator's instinct and common sense be enough for this kind of assignment? Or is it likely to turn into a nightmare?

Any further tips on the logistics involved will be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks,

Susana


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Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:44
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
More info please Jul 25, 2006

Dear Susana,
Are they giving you the script or will you extract it from the video? If the later is the case, in my experience, a 30-minute video might need about 3 hrs of work, just for transcribing it. This will be a separate charge. Then you can charge them for the time spent translating and editing the Spanish script. If they will give you a written script, you can charge them for both, translation (per word) and editing (per hr.,) to fit the necessary format.

Just an idea,
Monika


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Susana Galilea  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:44
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Monika :) Jul 25, 2006

Monika Coulson wrote:
Are they giving you the script or will you extract it from the video?


My guess is they would provide me with the script, but I would need to confirm. Obviously, an important question to ask upfront.

In terms of fitting the necessary format, I am still unsure as to whether I would know how to handle this. I've seen excerpts from the DVDs, and these are very expressive cartoon characters, not at all a monotonous narration. I am concerned about the process of translating the script so that the Spanish will match the tone of the original, as far as timing is concerned (i.e., when a specific gesture or reaction takes place onscreen).

Am I making too big a deal? Is there an obvious trick I am overlooking? I still have a feeling I would be getting in over my head...

Susana


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Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:44
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
My personal experience Jul 25, 2006

Dear Susana,

I have translated scripts from several Medical Educational Videos, and from my experience, this was easier than I had initially thought. You should do just fine.

Monika


Susana Galilea wrote:

Am I making too big a deal? Is there an obvious trick I am overlooking? I still have a feeling I would be getting in over my head...

Susana


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Francesca Pesce  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:44
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
Maybe you just have to do the translating... Jul 25, 2006

It might come out that you "just" have to do the translating, while an expert in educational videos will take care of the editing, fitting in, etc. I would think this is quite likely.

In this case you would just have to be kind enough (towards the future editor) to work out translations that "sort of fit in" without having to calculate the precise timing.


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Susana Galilea  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:44
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
not likely Jul 25, 2006

Francesca Pesce wrote:
It might come out that you "just" have to do the translating, while an expert in educational videos will take care of the editing, fitting in, etc. I would think this is quite likely.


The client is also inquiring about my experience with voiceover work and soundtrack recording supervision, so obviously they are looking for an all-inclusive package.

Thanks,

Susana


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:44
English to Spanish
+ ...
Time Commitment Jul 26, 2006

It's obviously a time commitment with many unknowns insofar as how much time may be involved. I think you need to deal with it on that basis with the client and leave it open or it could be a nightmare. Just be frank with the client on that issue, you cannot give a flat price, you are not comfortable with that, and you do not have a basis for it.

But it ccould also be a lot of fun and a good learning experience. Don't be negative on it if the client is willing to be flexible.

But like I say, if they are non-responsive then they are probably not the kind of clients you want.

For Monika's benefit, Spanish normally comes out longer than English; however, for some kinds of work it can come out about equal or even shorter. It is quite variable but the general rule is longer.


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Susana Galilea  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:44
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
indeed Jul 26, 2006

Henry Hinds wrote:
But it ccould also be a lot of fun and a good learning experience. Don't be negative on it if the client is willing to be flexible.

But like I say, if they are non-responsive then they are probably not the kind of clients you want.



Thanks for the excellent advice, Henry, this is how I will be approaching it.

All best,

Susana


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