Proofreading/editing of subtitles and rate of pay
Thread poster: Josephine Cassar

Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:13
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
May 6, 2015

Hello, I would like your help about a recent job I had. The PM was very understanding and open to discussion so here I am. I received a file to proofread, together with the source text. I was told these were subtitles, so I was sent the video so I could check and proofread it. Well and good. I then received the same proofread file and the source text with time codes and was told to edit if necessary because there was a character limit, so some of the lines had to be edited; others that consisted of just a few words just copied/pasted. I was offered a rate of €0.9 per minute and I let it be as I thought it was not a bad rate. Usually, I set the rate, not the PM. However, I asked the PM how I was going to show her the time I had really spent on her file as it was going to take long, seeing a lot of lines needed editing to fit the character limit and to check the character limit too. The PM got back to me saying that she had meant €0.9 per minute of video, not working minute. I politely pointed out that the file would need a lot of time and editing in order to limit the characters and a video minute took nearly a whole A-4 page literally, so it would take ages to edit, and the PM had answered late, so I had already started the work as there was no way I would meet the deadline, otherwise. Well, the PM answered that she saw my point, I was to carry on with the editing and she would discuss the rate after I had submitted the document so as not to interrupt me, but I am at a loss how much to ask as I worked hard at it and it took me almost three full days. This happened because of a misunderstanding-I understood €0.9 per working minute; she meant €0.9 per video minute. I pointed out that she should be clearer in her instructions next time-I should too, now I learnt. I wonder what you can suggest about rate or how to go about it as I am at a loss. Thank you for your help and ideas.

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Ana Carla Guimarães  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 09:13
English to Portuguese
Subtitling rates May 6, 2015

Josephine,
I can only give you a range of prices in the USA...but it could help. I have an agency that pays $3.3 per minute of video, but they don't have the best pay because I've seen translators saying that price ranges from $5 to $10 per minute. Of course that it's very difficult to make the high end, unless you're the most famous movie translator in your language, or if you're translating for a direct client, not an agency. So, I would say that minimum would be $3.3 to $5 (USD)
Hope that helps
Ana Carla


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Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:13
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Less May 6, 2015

Thank you for your answer. You're talking about translating, proofreading/editing? Which one? That is far less than what I was offered then. Yes, I know that in the US, those are the rates that are offered as I was contacted by an agency from another site where clients are inclined to pay less, and their accepted was $3 a minute but it was not worth it even if there were no limits to character amount, just plain text. €0.9 per working minute means €54 an hour which is not excessive given that this concerns subtitling as it involves far more than a straight translation/proofreading/editing job as you have to stop and check the character limit and then consider how to turn round the phrase or part of the speech. Thanks however, hope others will answer. At least you kick-started the discussion.
Best,
Josephine

[Edited at 2015-05-06 12:44 GMT]


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Vladimir Pochinov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 00:13
Member (2002)
English to Russian
Per-hour rates vs per-word rates May 6, 2015

Josephine Cassar wrote:

... means €54 an hour which is not excessive given that this concerns subtitling as it involves far more than a straight translation/proofreading/editing job as you have to stop and check the character limit and then consider how to turn round the phrase or part of the speech.


In contrast to per-word rates, per-hour rates do not depend on the parameters of a particular job. If the job is complicated, you just spend more time on it, therefore the total cost to the client will be higher. You do not charge €54 per hour for translation and €18 per hour for proofreading.


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Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:13
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Not just proofreading May 6, 2015

Hmm, it did not involve simple proofreading where you check spelling, punctuation, etc. There was far more involved. It was editing as you have to turn parts of sentences or speech round, so it involves and costs more. Time consuming, more than a straight translation. Editing some 1550 subtitles means about 100 pages, 3 days worth of work, especially because of the character limits.

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Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:13
English to German
+ ...
Apply good reasoning May 6, 2015

Josephine Cassar wrote:

Hmm, it did not involve simple proofreading where you check spelling, punctuation, etc. There was far more involved. It was editing as you have to turn parts of sentences or speech round, so it involves and costs more. Time consuming, more than a straight translation. Editing some 1550 subtitles means about 100 pages, 3 days worth of work, especially because of the character limits.


That's the key to a fair and reasonable price quote. Knowing the amount of work the project involves. I don't recommend blindly charging a rate/price without having seen the material or a rate/price that someone has heard about or a rate that seems utterly ridiculous. If a minute of video contains 200 words and you would do nothing else but translating the transcript (not even looking at the video) and let's say you would charge .15/word, that would already be $30.00
Subtitling for $5.00/minute? Well, do your own calculation.


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Gabriele Demuth  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:13
Member (2014)
English to German
A minute of video doesn't really mean much May 6, 2015

If you haven't been able to assess the material (there could be several hundred words of technical language or under hundred words of simple language) how would you possibly be able to quote or agree to a price?

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Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:13
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Agree to a price May 6, 2015

I had already proofread the text; it was the same video/source text/target text that I had proofread, but not edited and changed according to character limit. I think you overlooked this, so I knew what we were talking about, and I also knew it would take an awfully long time, but there was a misunderstanding about whether rate was per minute video or per minute worked as editing subtitles is really downright time-consuming. Thank you though.

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Gabriele Demuth  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:13
Member (2014)
English to German
OK May 6, 2015

So you know what is involved then you can suggest a price that reflects the time you will spend on this, maybe a fixed price?

[Edited at 2015-05-06 15:25 GMT]


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Proofreading/editing of subtitles and rate of pay

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