Transcribing songs:prices
Thread poster: Christina Fonthes

Christina Fonthes
Local time: 08:38
French to English
+ ...
Nov 22, 2011

Hello

I have been offered a small job, it involves transcribing 5 Congolese songs in a day. I have never done anything of the sort before but I accepted the job nonetheless to get some practice.
I wanted to know firstly is 5 songs in one day possible or would I need more time?
And secondly, they are offering 20 pounds (sterling) for all 5 songs, is this ok or am i being ripped off?

Many thanks in advance.


Christina


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:38
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
What size job is it? Nov 22, 2011

Christina Fonthes wrote:

Hello

I have been offered a small job, it involves transcribing 5 Congolese songs in a day. I have never done anything of the sort before but I accepted the job nonetheless to get some practice.
I wanted to know firstly is 5 songs in one day possible or would I need more time?
And secondly, they are offering 20 pounds (sterling) for all 5 songs, is this ok or am i being ripped off?

Many thanks in advance.


Christina


Hello Christina,

Firstly, I see you are a student member, so the question must be whether the client sees this as a commercial transaction. As a student, you are not necessarily doing this purely to earn money, the experience being useful in itself. However, that's no reason to give your services cheaply or freely to a client who will then use your work to gain financial profit.

Then, you have to consider the size of the job. "5 songs" gives absolutely no clue to the size of the job. Some pop songs seem to have about 10 words in total, whereas some folk ballads tell a long, long story. I would imagine you will be dealing with the latter here, but you would need some idea of the volume to calculate the cost. I don't know anything about transcribing, except that it's normally done per hour. But I imagine a song with long instrumental sections and a repetitive chorus would take a lot less time than a ballad.

Lastly, you ask whether it can be done in a day. Well, most of us count 8 hours as a working day. The rate proposed, for a translator in your pair and country, is low for one hour's work. Not ridiculously low, but low. If you think it will take a day then, yes, you're being ripped off.

Without more details, it's impossible to say whether they are taking advantage of you. However, I do hope that you have those details, as accepting any job and agreeing to the client's terms, without being 100% sure of what you are agreeing to, is a highly dangerous thing to do. The steps really need to be
(1) inform yourself of the exact job requirements i.e. volume, format in/out and other technical requirements, terminology, etc
(2) inform the client of your terms i.e. cost, delivery time/date, payment terms NOTE: you inform the client of your terms, not the other way round
(3) once client confirmation/authorisation is received, start work

Hope that helps.icon_smile.gif

Sheila

Edited because I noticed after posting that it said "transcribing" rather than "translating".icon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2011-11-22 17:15 GMT]


 

Christina Fonthes
Local time: 08:38
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
lesson learnt Nov 22, 2011

Thank you for your advice Sheila.

I have done one song which has taken me over four hours and totalled to about 500 words.

I've told the client I cannot do the other songs at that rate. I've also asked for payment for the transcription I've already done.

You are right as a student the experience is invaluable but in this case I feel i am being exploited, especially as the client knows I am student.

Thank you again for your advice, I will definitely refer to it the next time i get offered work.

Best,

Christina


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:38
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Hope it ends well Nov 22, 2011

Glad to have helped. I hope you get paid correctly, or that you can live with it if you don't.

Sheila


 


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