Audio translation going rate
Thread poster: maybellinebrown
United States
Mar 20, 2014


My husband got an inquiry recently (from a lawyer) about translating 10 minutes of audio
on a tape (Spanish). I understand the going rate in the US is 7 to 10 dollars per minute of
recorded audio.

He would first transcribe it himself, then translate it, and then do the editing.

My question is: Would the going rate of 7 to 10 dollars per minute include all of
the transcribing and editing as well?

He is a Federally certified Spanish Interpreter, but also does translation work.

Thanks very much for your thoughts.

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:00
English to Spanish
+ ...
NO "Going Rate" Mar 20, 2014

There is no "going rate" for audio transcription and translation, mainly because the time required for transcription can vary tremendously depending on the quality of the recording. Body wires are the worst - heavy background noise, many people speaking at the same time, voices not identifiable, low volume, static, poor tone, etc. Formal depositions are generally the best quality; phone recordings can be variable. Special equipment is also needed, with a feature to "return and kick back" the recording a few seconds. These used to be operated with a foot pedal. They also have features to improve the sound quality. If you do not have any special equipment, I would not advise taking on a job with just an ordinary play-back machine.

You have to receive and listen to the entire audio recording to decide how long it will take to transcribe on an hourly basis, then the translation can be at your usual per-word rate. But do NOT agree to any job before hearing the entire recording.

A viable alternative would be to use a good transcribing service fluent in the language of the recording, then you just verify accuracy by checking between the recording and the transcription, then translate. I have done that on occasion, they do not charge nearly as much as we do and the one I have used provides proven quality.

You can research this subject on the forums here, it has been dealt with many times already and I recommend it.

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Audio translation going rate

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