Price for a work
Thread poster: Marina Diaponon

Marina Diaponon
Cote D'ivoire
Local time: 04:29
English to French
Dec 11, 2015

Hi fellow translators

I'm having a real problem,I been offered a job to translate 1000 titles of movies/week for 80 $ each 1k
I accepted it but now i think the price is really not so much, i use too much time to translate them. Either way i'm gonna finish the first wave but i mean to ask what will be the actual price since i'm a beginner and this is my first job, or maybe the price is reasonable and i'm just too slow.
Thanks for the help.
PS: Theses titles together are about 5000 word

[Edited at 2015-12-11 15:20 GMT]


 

Joakim Braun  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 06:29
German to Swedish
+ ...
Ripoff Dec 11, 2015

$80 for 1,000 subtitles = $0.08 per subtitle.

10-15 years ago I used to do 20 minute programs with about 200-230 subtitles.
That used to take me 2-3 hours.
With your fee, I would have made $18.
I think I made 5 to 8 times as much as you're making today.

(The work involved was:
  • Watching the program and marking subtitle divisions on a script printout

  • Translation from script according to subtitle division

  • Rough subtitle spotting (basically making sure text fits in subtitle's alotted time). That usually involved watching the program twice more.

)

[Bearbeitet am 2015-12-11 17:43 GMT]


 

Marina Diaponon
Cote D'ivoire
Local time: 04:29
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Ripoff?! Dec 11, 2015

I had a feeling it was a ripoff but doesn't the fact that i'm a beginner is a cause of this?
So what price do you suggest me? ( I mean a reasonable one for a fresh starter like me)
Ahhhh and i was so happy when i landed my first job (this one)


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:29
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
How much are you actually earning? Dec 11, 2015

Lylaby Brown wrote:
translate 1000 titles of movies/week for 80 $ each 1k
...
Theses titles together are about 5000 word

I can't work out from that exactly how much work is involved for how much in total. Also, as far as I know, there are all sorts of complexities involved in subtitling, such as open vs closed captioning, that might have a bearing on the rate quoted. I really don't know enough about the service to comment. Have you seen this thread, with all its links?: http://www.proz.com/forum/subtitling/286153-subtitles_per_minute_rate.html

I had a feeling it was a ripoff but doesn't the fact that i'm a beginner is a cause of this?

The fact that you're a beginner doesn't come into the price you quote per subtitle. Either you're capable of delivering a good job, or you shouldn't be doing it in the first place. And if they're going to get a good job, then clients should pay you the same price as they would pay an experienced translator.

The fact that you're a beginner has a bearing only on the time it takes you to finish a job. It would normally take you up to twice as long, so you would expect to earn less per hour than you will when you're more experienced. But the client doesn't even have to know about that. If it's taking you so long that you're earning less than half what you think you should be earning, then either you're being ripped off or perhaps you aren't capable of doing the job.


 
Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member because it was not in line with site rule

Marina Diaponon
Cote D'ivoire
Local time: 04:29
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Problem resolved Dec 11, 2015

I asked the client and he said there isn't a time limit so he can't raise the price and the 1K/week is what the others translators do.
So at this point i can do his work since it is a long term and search for another one.
Thanks for answering my question about the price


 

Miguel Carmona  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:29
English to Spanish
... Dec 11, 2015

Joakim Braun wrote:

Ripoff

$80 for 1,000 subtitles = $0.08 per subtitle.


Assuming 20 words per subtitle, that would be $0.08/20 =
$0.004/word.

1000 subtitles/week x 20 words/subtitle =
20,000 words/week.

20,000 words/5 days =
4,000 words/day.

4,000 words/day x $0.004 =
$16/day.

Something seems wrong here, and I do not thing it is the Arithmetics...


 

Marius Reika  Identity Verified
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
I assume Dec 12, 2015

that the outsourcer is exploiting the translator, due to the fact that the latter is living in a country with a very low minimum wage, - if the poster is actually living in Côte d’Ivoire.

 

Marina Diaponon
Cote D'ivoire
Local time: 04:29
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Wage Dec 12, 2015

Actually here the minimum is 100 $ = 60 000 xof (Côte d'ivoire)
The real problem is to find a work, too hard here so i can't really complain about the wage
I think there is a misunderstand it is not subtitle of a video but the title like "Mission impossible" to translate to 60 characters and each 1000 titles to 80$
And the total of these 1000 titles is about 5000 words

[Edited at 2015-12-12 08:14 GMT]


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:29
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
100 film titles? Dec 12, 2015

Lylaby Brown wrote:
I think there is a misunderstand it is not subtitle of a video but the title like "Mission impossible" to translate to 60 characters and each 1000 titles to 80$
And the total of these 1000 titles is about 5000 words

This is bizarre. At least a proportion of them already have official names in French. (I'm assuming it's EN>FR.) And they aren't direct translations by any means.

Are you sure this is a legit client with a legit job? They aren't offering some sort of advance payment, are they? Or paying by travellers cheque? Did they contact you personally or was it a public posting on a job board?


 

Marina Diaponon
Cote D'ivoire
Local time: 04:29
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Sheila wilson Dec 12, 2015

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Lylaby Brown wrote:
I think there is a misunderstand it is not subtitle of a video but the title like "Mission impossible" to translate to 60 characters and each 1000 titles to 80$
And the total of these 1000 titles is about 5000 words

This is bizarre. At least a proportion of them already have official names in French. (I'm assuming it's EN>FR.) And they aren't direct translations by any means.

Are you sure this is a legit client with a legit job? They aren't offering some sort of advance payment, are they? Or paying by travellers cheque? Did they contact you personally or was it a public posting on a job board?

99% of the titles offered are in english.
It was on a job board i had submitted a 2 weeks ago, and the pay is by paypal

[Edited at 2015-12-12 14:40 GMT]


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:29
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Strange Dec 13, 2015

Sheila Wilson wrote:
Lylaby Brown wrote:
I think there is a misunderstand it is not subtitle of a video but the title like "Mission impossible" to translate to 60 characters and each 1000 titles to 80$
And the total of these 1000 titles is about 5000 words

This is bizarre. At least a proportion of them already have official names in French. (I'm assuming it's EN>FR.) And they aren't direct translations by any means.

I too feel that this job is a bit strange. Translating movie titles into French just like that, with no relationship to the official titles? What would be the purpose of such translation? Does not make any sense, unless it was some sort of research project aimed to compare direct translations to official translations.

Film titles are one of the small pieces of information that are given a lot of thought by film studios and distribution companies: the title must be related to the movie, be capable of attracting the target audience, avoid legal issues (duplicate translations), avoid negative connotations... Translating ONE title can take a very long time if these things are considered.

Just in case, I would ask the customer what they want exactly. They might be expecting you to check for the official title of the films in French and, if no official title exists, translate it in a way that makes sense (getting to know what the movie is about, checking that you are not using some other film's name...). If this is the case, count on at the very least 15-20 minutes per title... which makes the pay microscopically small (you would be able to translate a maximum of some 200 words/40 titles a day = maybe US$ 3 a day with 5-word titles).


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:29
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I can only agree with Tomás Dec 13, 2015

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:
ask the customer what they want exactly.

That has to be the first thing to do. Of course, that applies to each and every job you do. Asking here is no substitute for hearing it from the client. Apart from the absurdity of agreeing to a price and deadline for a job that you don't understand, a prolonged exchange of emails helps you to gauge whether it's a serious offer being made by a suitable potential client... or not.
Lylaby Brown wrote:
It was on a job board i had submitted a 2 weeks ago, and the pay is by paypal

Well, those two make it just a little less likely that it's an outright scam. However, I'd advise you to do some careful checking. Personally, I'd want to do most if not all of the following:
- check the scam centre here: http://www.proz.com/about/translator-scam-alerts/
- check out the risk management wikis mentioned there
- check the client's Blue Board record (if any); and maybe request entries: http://www.proz.com/blueboard/
- check the client's record on similar translators' sites
- check the physical postal address on Google Earth
- phone the client or find an alternative email address if you can find one
- Google for the email address plus the word "scam"; same for the company name and any contact names
- ...

Edited to add that I've just done the maths based on this new information about the job. It seems as though you're to be paid USD 80 for approximately 5,000 words. Is that right? My calculator makes that a rate of USD 0.016 per word. Now, even if you're happy to put up with being exploited, that's ridiculously low. USD 0.16 is maybe pitching it a bit high if they just need a straightforward translation of the words; although it wouldn't be high enough if they want you to research how each film got its name. (As an aside, some English titles aren't translated into French at all; they're given new English names!: http://www.buzzfeed.com/marietelling/26-hilarious-titles-of-hollywood-movies-in-france#.pv7NY63me .) For a "simple" translation, USD 0.08 would be on the low end of reasonable. And there's a massive gap between that and USD 0.016. If they're only willing to pay that much then they should just put it through GoogleTranslate, save themselves a few cents, and let you get on with better things.

[Edited at 2015-12-13 17:30 GMT]


 

Marina Diaponon
Cote D'ivoire
Local time: 04:29
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
After talking with him Dec 14, 2015

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:
ask the customer what they want exactly.

That has to be the first thing to do. Of course, that applies to each and every job you do. Asking here is no substitute for hearing it from the client. Apart from the absurdity of agreeing to a price and deadline for a job that you don't understand, a prolonged exchange of emails helps you to gauge whether it's a serious offer being made by a suitable potential client... or not.
Lylaby Brown wrote:
It was on a job board i had submitted a 2 weeks ago, and the pay is by paypal

Well, those two make it just a little less likely that it's an outright scam. However, I'd advise you to do some careful checking. Personally, I'd want to do most if not all of the following:
- check the scam centre here: http://www.proz.com/about/translator-scam-alerts/
- check out the risk management wikis mentioned there
- check the client's Blue Board record (if any); and maybe request entries: http://www.proz.com/blueboard/
- check the client's record on similar translators' sites
- check the physical postal address on Google Earth
- phone the client or find an alternative email address if you can find one
- Google for the email address plus the word "scam"; same for the company name and any contact names
- ...

Edited to add that I've just done the maths based on this new information about the job. It seems as though you're to be paid USD 80 for approximately 5,000 words. Is that right? My calculator makes that a rate of USD 0.016 per word. Now, even if you're happy to put up with being exploited, that's ridiculously low. USD 0.16 is maybe pitching it a bit high if they just need a straightforward translation of the words; although it wouldn't be high enough if they want you to research how each film got its name. (As an aside, some English titles aren't translated into French at all; they're given new English names!: http://www.buzzfeed.com/marietelling/26-hilarious-titles-of-hollywood-movies-in-france#.pv7NY63me .) For a "simple" translation, USD 0.08 would be on the low end of reasonable. And there's a massive gap between that and USD 0.016. If they're only willing to pay that much then they should just put it through GoogleTranslate, save themselves a few cents, and let you get on with better things.

[Edited at 2015-12-13 17:30 GMT]


Sorry for the time i took to answer,I asked him and it was for a school project, the title like "mission impossible" was just an example, I accepted thinking it was just a "translation" but after 300 titles i saw it was more of give a title of 60 characters to each video, quite arduous if you ask me. I asked him to remove the 60 characters conditions or to raise the price, he declined the two of them so i emailed him just now to say i quit the job.
Next time i'll verify the file before negotiating the price, i learned my lesson!
My first job resulted in a total failure.
Thanks for all your comments, it was really helpful.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:29
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
That's really sad Dec 14, 2015

Lylaby Brown wrote:
My first job resulted in a total failure.

I wouldn't be surprised to hear that we've all had less-than-perfect beginnings. I certainly had some stressful hours that weren't compensated by anything like appropriate rates before I learned how to quote and when to say "No". But this really was a sad start and you have my sympathy. I hope you didn't waste too much time.

Still, you've been able to take away a whole lot of learning. There's something to be said for total wipeouts - they shorten that learning curveicon_smile.gif.

Better luck (and better risk management, of course) next time.


 


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