Money matters - video hours vs man hours
Thread poster: Isabluche
Isabluche
France
Local time: 15:09
English to French
+ ...
Mar 10, 2015

Hello,

Just been asked to quote for video hours vs man hours for translation FR>EN and EN>FR, with or without captioning. I do understand the difference between the 2 but not in money terms. Can anyone help me figure out a price please? Do you count more, less? What is it based upon?

Thanks for your help.

Best regards
Isa


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:09
English to Spanish
+ ...
Variable Mar 10, 2015

It's not that easy, it can be quite variable. My advice is to not give any quotes before seeing the entire body of work that needs to be done, otherwise you will be sorry. If they pressure you, by all means do not give in.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:09
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
What I can add for sure to Henry's post Mar 10, 2015

Isabluche wrote:
Just been asked to quote for video hours vs man hours for translation FR>EN and EN>FR, with or without captioning. I do understand the difference between the 2 but not in money terms. Can anyone help me figure out a price please? Do you count more, less? What is it based upon?

The price per video hour is most certainly going to be much higher than the price per man hour.

What length of video (in terms of time) do you reckon you can process in one hour? It's a lengthy process, believe me. Maybe it will take you 4-8 minutes to transcribe each minute of video - and then you've still got to translate it at your normal rate.

I suggest you do a bit of training by working on a minute of video from various sources - film; interview; training video... But even then you won't have any real idea until you've examined a good selection of excerpts from the actual video to be worked on. Don't let the client push you into a ridiculous quote.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 21:09
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Video to text Mar 10, 2015

1 minute of video ~ 100 words

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 18:39
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
1 is to 5 Mar 12, 2015

I do very little video related work, but for the little I do, I have found the thumb rule of 1 video minute is equivalent to 5 minutes useful. This means, a 1 hour video will roughly take about 5 hours to do. But there are many factors that should be taken into consideration before sending in the final quote:

1. The quality and speed of voice - it it clear? Are they speaking too fast? Are there too many people speaking? Are they all speaking in the same language?

2. What is required? - Does the client need just a translation or also a transcription? If it both, then you should charge of the translation separately on a per word basis, after doing the transcription, which should be charged on a per minute basis.

3. Does it require time-stamping - If special software are being used which does this automatically, then this is not an issue, but if time stamps need to be manually inserted, this can take up a large part of the actual time taken to complete the work.

4. Is the audio evenly distributed - In some videos, some portions may have very little audio, while other portions could be choke full with it. So while estimating the time, sample from different spots in the video should be examined.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Beatrice Martinelli  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:09
English to Italian
+ ...
Same question Mar 12, 2015

I have received the same offer from an agency today (I've never worked for them before), asking me to quote per video hour rather than per hour of work. I have no idea what to quote either, but I think I'll ask for a few samples of the audio files, see how long it takes me, and then convert that to my hourly rate.

Does anyone think that's a good idea or a waste of time?

Also, I am not sure why they asked me (I've never done any subtitling before) when there are lots of great subtitlers out there. It's making me think they want it done cheaply. Thoughts?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:09
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
How do you gauge a waste of time? Mar 12, 2015

Beatrice Martinelli wrote:
I think I'll ask for a few samples of the audio files, see how long it takes me, and then convert that to my hourly rate.

Does anyone think that's a good idea or a waste of time?

I suspect it's not going to lead to a job in this instance as they probably are looking for some poor unsuspecting translator to confuse the two rates. And they'll still try to beat them down from that! But maybe I'm just old and cynical.

But it would be useful to have some idea, for the future, I imagine? So if you have a spare moment or two it would be worthwhile, rather than a waste of time. Then at least you can sound authoritative the next time.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Beatrice Martinelli  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:09
English to Italian
+ ...
I thought the same thing Mar 12, 2015

Haha I think I'm just as cynical!

Even if they went with my rates, I'm still not sure if I'd take the job. The feeling of not knowing what I'm doing might be too much to cope with! I don't really know how subtitling differs from translating - I thought it involved some summing up of points to make sure it's not too much to read, etc. Am I right? Is this involved even when subtitling in the same language?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

bbprof
Local time: 15:09
English to Italian
+ ...
Indian Company Mar 12, 2015

Hi, I'm wondering whether you are talking about of an email sent by an Indian Company: I've got a similar offer today, asking for English subtitling and Italian video captioning, all, naturally, at very VERY competitive rates, as the final client is a no profit organization which disposes of an apparently low budget but that can provide with a large amount of work. Well, as far as I am concerned I have considered your precious advice (like the proportion hour of video/time of work) and provided them with a quotation. I'm quite sure I will never hear from the them again as they will not accept the rates, but I have not studied years and years to be treated like a slave
Good luck everybody


[Edited at 2015-03-12 15:31 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:09
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
Not Indian company Mar 12, 2015

No, bbprof, it is not an Indian company as the language combination was, in my case, FR>EN, as mentioned by others too. And if it is the same company, it sent a 'test' which consisted of more than the acceptable 300 words so I will be declining and, besides, translating subtitles, whether in Word, or to be put underneath the video then, consists of far more man hours than video hours, so not worth it.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Beatrice Martinelli  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:09
English to Italian
+ ...
I think it's the company that contacted me as well Mar 12, 2015

@bbprof: Yes, they mentioned the same things to me so I guess they must be the same company. I asked for a sample but I haven't heard since. Mind you, it sounds as if they must have contacted loads of people, so I guess it'll take a while for them to answer. Also, I saw they have quite a good score on the proz blue board.

As per the language combo, they might want the same pieces done into different languages?


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Isabluche
France
Local time: 15:09
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Mar 12, 2015

As usual you all have been very helpful in giving me advice and I just wanted to say that I truly appreciate.

So a very warm thank you and yes I do believe it might be worth my while to try and see how fast/slow I can be with this type of work...

All the best to you all.

Isabelle


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 18:39
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Clear red flags Mar 13, 2015

bbprof wrote:

Hi, I'm wondering whether you are talking about of an email sent by an Indian Company: I've got a similar offer today, asking for English subtitling and Italian video captioning, all, naturally, at very VERY competitive rates, as the final client is a no profit organization which disposes of an apparently low budget but that can provide with a large amount of work. Well, as far as I am concerned I have considered your precious advice (like the proportion hour of video/time of work) and provided them with a quotation. I'm quite sure I will never hear from the them again as they will not accept the rates, but I have not studied years and years to be treated like a slave


Words like "(very) competitive rates", "for non-profit organization", "low budget", "best rates", etc., are clear red flags, and if they appear in any job ad, one would do well to leave them well alone, as they all strongly indicate low-paying bottom-feeding agencies who can't support the professional rates we need to charge to sustain the high quality standards of work we provide.


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Money matters - video hours vs man hours

Advanced search







LSP.expert
You’re a freelance translator? LSP.expert helps you manage your daily translation jobs. It’s easy, fast and secure.

How about you start tracking translation jobs and sending invoices in minutes? You can also manage your clients and generate reports about your business activities. So you always keep a clear view on your planning, AND you get a free 30 day trial period!

More info »
SDL MultiTerm 2017
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2017 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2017 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search