Rates for translation for further voiceovers and subtitling
Thread poster: Katya Filatova

Katya Filatova  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 23:11
English to Russian
+ ...
Apr 3, 2008

Hi everyone,

Tried my best to find an answer in earlier forum topics, with no succes, so I am putting my question here and my apologies if it has already been discussed before: what are the rates when it comes to translating films and TV programs for further voiceover/subtitling? It's not about recording, it's about the translation itself. Can someone at least give me the range?

To be more specific, a new client is asking me to sign a contract for translating audiovisual materials at a rate of EUR 1.5 per minute of "audiovisual work". In addition to translating scripts I'd have to compare the scripts with the video itself for disparities, plus adapt the translation to the text on the video in terms of length of text/sentences so that both texts are synchronized. For some reason word rate does not work here. I have not done that before and have no idea if this rate is ok or not but I feel it's low (tried to read a text out loud and count the number of words per minute), especially since the work implies a lot more than just translating and the contract imposes rather tough conditions on the translator. Am I mistaken? Can somebody with experience in this field please advise?

Any information will be much appreciated. Thanks a lot!

Katya


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juvera  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:11
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Look up the subtitling forum Apr 8, 2008

There were plenty of discussions about similar issues.

I have a feeling, that the client has no idea what is involved. (That's being charitable.)

You are talking about translation for subtitling/voiceover. Both need a different approach to translation; otherwise the results would be very poor indeed.

For subtitling the text needs time-coding, and you would have to be aware of many things to do it efficiently, not to mention the appropriate software.

The fee offered to you is simply ridiculous. It would be about sufficient for editing the translation of finished subtitles or voice-over script of a decent translator's work.

Just look at it from this angle: you can have 10-15 subtitles in a minute. A subtitle may have 10-15 (English) words in it. Even with an extremely low word-count calculation, you would still translate a minimum of 100 words/minute. For EUR 1.5 ?!!!
But it could go up to 200 or more.
Not to mention all the other work you were talking about.

Regards
Judith


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Katya Filatova  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 23:11
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
which of the two parties has no idea of what's involved? :) Apr 9, 2008

Thanks a lot for the information Judith!

As I did not hear from anyone in quite a time I had to base my response to the agency on my own thoughts and insticts, so I just said the rate was too low and offered to raise it. The agency said that would not happen (somehow, I was not surprised). I have a feeling they more or less know what they are doing, it's just their policy. They also said that the work is extremely simple: all I'd have to do is put it in 'stylistically correct' Russian (I got an idea of just how simple it can be from a 550-word test I did before I was offered the contract and the rate). As much as I wanted that job I had to refuse it considering the terms and the risks involved (negative BB record).. Well, "creation comes when you learn to say no", I guess

Thanks again!

Katya


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