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I need advice on the rates of translation directly from audio without transcription
Thread poster: fidaa2007

fidaa2007
Jordan
Local time: 04:26
English to Arabic
+ ...
Dec 2, 2009

Hi everybody,
I've received a translation job from a British agency. They want me to translate directly from the audio without transcribing first and they asked me to give a rate per minute or hour of audio rather than per hour of work.
This is really confusing!! because in all of the transcription-translation projects I've worked on, I used to give rates per minute and per word.What do you think? any suggestions?

Thanks,
Fidaa


 

Monika Rozwarzewska  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:26
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
You are absolutely right Dec 2, 2009

fidaa2007 wrote:

I used to give rates per minute and per word. What do you think? any suggestions?


You are absolutely right: the recording should first be transcribed and then translated. Two types of rates are applicable here (per minute for transcribing and per word for translation).


 

Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)
English to Italian
+ ...
Unfortunately... Dec 2, 2009

...there is a "new trend" on this. I have been offered something like this, and at the end I turned it down, since it is quite impossible to calculate a rate in this way. It is obvious that they are trying to save some money and that makes it more difficult on us.
The only thing I can suggest is that you ask for a sample of the audio before you quote. That way you might try to work on a couple of minutes and figure out a rate that is decent for you.



[Modificato alle 20
... See more
...there is a "new trend" on this. I have been offered something like this, and at the end I turned it down, since it is quite impossible to calculate a rate in this way. It is obvious that they are trying to save some money and that makes it more difficult on us.
The only thing I can suggest is that you ask for a sample of the audio before you quote. That way you might try to work on a couple of minutes and figure out a rate that is decent for you.



[Modificato alle 2009-12-02 18:52 GMT]
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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 22:26
English to Portuguese
+ ...
In memoriam
Have a look at... Dec 2, 2009

http://www.lamensdorf.com.br/audio_-_en.html

and then
http://www.lamensdorf.com.br/palestras_br-1.html
mostly on recording quality issues.

The last section of the first article above should lead you to the answer.

[Edited at 2009-12-03 01:12
... See more
http://www.lamensdorf.com.br/audio_-_en.html

and then
http://www.lamensdorf.com.br/palestras_br-1.html
mostly on recording quality issues.

The last section of the first article above should lead you to the answer.

[Edited at 2009-12-03 01:12 GMT]
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OlafK
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:26
English to German
+ ...
Turn the job down Dec 2, 2009

You'd still have to transcribe it before you translate it. Do you know if the recording is any good?
I've been offered something like this a while ago and turned it down. They obviously just want to save money, i. e. more work for less money.


 

Geraldine Oudin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Japanese to French
+ ...
Quite common Dec 3, 2009

I think this kind of work is quite common since most client don't want to pay for a transcription they don't need, and I don't see why you should turn it down. I am also an interpreter, so I don't find it hard to translate straight from the tape, but if you need to see the written text before you translate then you'd rather turn it down, indeed (if the material is professionally recorded and there is only one speaker, a speach to text software can do a reasonably good transcription for you, thou... See more
I think this kind of work is quite common since most client don't want to pay for a transcription they don't need, and I don't see why you should turn it down. I am also an interpreter, so I don't find it hard to translate straight from the tape, but if you need to see the written text before you translate then you'd rather turn it down, indeed (if the material is professionally recorded and there is only one speaker, a speach to text software can do a reasonably good transcription for you, though).

If you decide to go for it, all you have to know is how much you want to earn per hour of work and how many source audio minutes you can translate in an hour (or how long it takes you on average to translate one minute). Then you do the math.

It is always better to ask for a sample to give a better estimate, as the quality of the audio will greatly influence your speed. Don't forget that it is a very tiring work and that you won't be as fast at the end of the day, and that you will have to proofread yourself. Softwares such as Express Scribe (free) will help you work faster.
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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 22:26
English to Portuguese
+ ...
In memoriam
Bravo, Geraldine! Dec 3, 2009

You said everything I would say, and did it more concisely.

One additional point... many clients think that a transcript is necessary, while it's not. If you can do it, you can do it directly.

Express Scribe is a must-have for anyone who intends to get into this kind of work.

Finally, for those clients that insist that they must have both a tran
... See more
You said everything I would say, and did it more concisely.

One additional point... many clients think that a transcript is necessary, while it's not. If you can do it, you can do it directly.

Express Scribe is a must-have for anyone who intends to get into this kind of work.

Finally, for those clients that insist that they must have both a transcript and a translation, I charge double... or I charge for the transcription per minute of playing time, and thereafter text translation on a per word/char basis.
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Patricia Veghelyi
Austria
Local time: 03:26
Member (2007)
English to German
+ ...
Current experiences Aug 5, 2010

I am negotiating this week and looking for experiences of other colleagues as well.
I found that I would need at least 3-5x the time of the audio length for direct transcription GER>EN. 5x is more likely (because somebody may speak not loud enough, too fast, special expressions you must look up etc.)
I did my test (had a good quality) directly into EN without writing a GER text first. It works. In every field you must practicepracticepractice, then you get faster, then what you earn
... See more
I am negotiating this week and looking for experiences of other colleagues as well.
I found that I would need at least 3-5x the time of the audio length for direct transcription GER>EN. 5x is more likely (because somebody may speak not loud enough, too fast, special expressions you must look up etc.)
I did my test (had a good quality) directly into EN without writing a GER text first. It works. In every field you must practicepracticepractice, then you get faster, then what you earn per hour gets also higher.
Regarding rates: GBP 1,4/audio minute after an offer of GBP 1,2 first. Seem to be usual rates, I found it it other discussion forums as well.
I also suggest to ask for a sample, even when it's only one minute or two, because then you are able to assess the quality... Now I am curious whether I get a sample...
And I have the impression as somebody had turned it down and now they needed another colleague very fast... Audio length is too long for the first job (3 hrs)...
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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 08:26
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Method of subtitle translation for audio-visual training materials Aug 5, 2010

Geraldine Oudin wrote:
I think this kind of work is quite common since most client don't want to pay for a transcription they don't need, and I don't see why you should turn it down. I am also an interpreter, so I don't find it hard to translate straight from the tape, but if you need to see the written text before you translate then you'd rather turn it down, indeed (if the material is professionally recorded and there is only one speaker, a speech to text software can do a reasonably good transcription for you, though).
----------------------------
It is always better to ask for a sample to give a better estimate, as the quality of the audio will greatly influence your speed. Don't forget that it is a very tiring work and that you won't be as fast at the end of the day, and that you will have to proofread yourself. Software such as Express Scribe (free) will help you work faster.

I totally agree with Geraldine.

I did subtitling job without getting the transcription. The document was video on training materials of a NC lathe that contained many technical terms. It was fortunate since the client provided me with technical glossary to use. After completing this job (without submitting the transcription), I was hired for many training material translations of the same client.

This trend of translation is rising quickly due to demand of localized training materials of high-tech subjects. I feel that subtitling translation technique is very helpful to refer to.


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 22:26
English to Portuguese
+ ...
In memoriam
Bravo, Patricia Aug 5, 2010

Patricia Veghelyi wrote:
I found that I would need at least 3-5x the time of the audio length for direct transcription GER>EN. 5x is more likely (because somebody may speak not loud enough, too fast, special expressions you must look up etc.)


You sound like a speed demon on the keyboard, Patricia. I am pretty slow (80 strokes/min), and my average in translating/transcribing is 6:1.

Patricia Veghelyi wrote:
Regarding rates: GBP 1,4/audio minute after an offer of GBP 1,2 first. Seem to be usual rates, I found it it other discussion forums as well.


This seems to vary from market to market, and one same professional might offer quite different rates for each type of service (transcription, straight translation, translation for dubbing, translation for subtitling). I chose to standardize all my rates at GBP 5.40/minute for any of four types, translation being in either direction. After all, in my case they take me the same time, it's just a matter of instructing my brain to select one of the four 'working modes'.

Quite frankly, I'm not interested in transcription work. A while ago I was offered a huge transcription job: 100 hours of phone tap recording. Deducting all the countless but unwanted profane interjections I heard on the sample, some 70 solid hours should remain. The winner offered to do it for GBP 0.72/min!

Patricia Veghelyi wrote:
I also suggest to ask for a sample, even when it's only one minute or two, because then you are able to assess the quality... Now I am curious whether I get a sample...


If you get enough demand for it, now and then it might be worthwhile to use audio enhancing software, like Acoustica, NCH's WavePad, or the free Audacity to filter out constant background noise, like tape hiss, PA system hum (from poor grounding), or even traffic/surrounding noise.

However if you cannot discern the words, learn to drop it like a hot potato! It's not worth the time and effort it will take you in trying to accomplish an impossible mission.


 


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