Agency offers $4/minute for "French to English Transcription" job
Thread poster: GregSmith

GregSmith
Local time: 13:56
French to English
+ ...
Aug 9

I got a mail through ProZ from a US translation agency looking for "French to English Transcription" & offering $4/minute.

Any established translation agency knows the difference between transcription and translation.
Reminder:
- Transcription on its own is the conversion of audio content to written format and involves one single language. A reasonable rate for any client would be $2/minute (if good quality audio)
- Translation is the conversion of content from one language to another, within the one single media format: text. A reasonable low-end rate for any client would be $0.07/word.

If what the agency wants is transcription PLUS translation, that works out at $0.024/word, for the two services. If they don't want (source language) transcription itself, the "short cut" of translation takes longer (so should cost more) and transcription accuracy cannot be checked or guaranteed.

One minute of French speech contains, on average, 167 words (at 10,000 words/hour), so a reasonable rate to pay for transcription + translation would be [(0.07 x 167) + 2 =] $14/ minute (to the nearest $), or $0.082/word, i.e. well over three times what the translation agency is offering, and which they can expect to sell for $30/minute.


Maybe ProZ should send them a reminder of what bottom-end rates should be for this kind of service.


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Christophe Delaunay  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 13:56
Member (2011)
Spanish to French
+ ...
Maybe you should revise your rates... Aug 11

"A reasonable rate for any client would be $2/minute (if good quality audio)"??

$2/minute is surely not a "reasonable rate". Sometimes it takes you 10 mn to transcribe one minute. So in the end you may end up with $12/hour!! I don't know for you but I'm not selling my valuable time that cheap...


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Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 20:56
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Transcription vs translation Aug 11

Christophe Delaunay wrote:

"A reasonable rate for any client would be $2/minute (if good quality audio)"??

$2/minute is surely not a "reasonable rate". Sometimes it takes you 10 mn to transcribe one minute. So in the end you may end up with $12/hour!! I don't know for you but I'm not selling my valuable time that cheap...

Transcription is by nature a less premium service than audio translation. Translators can choose not to offer the service, but it's hard to charge much more than the field. I would also say that if it takes one 10 minutes to transcribe one minute on average, their time might be better spent on other services.

Charging by the amount of time it takes is the wrong way to look at it. It takes pretty much the same amount of time for me to transcribe audio as translating it directly, but my standard audio translation rate is 4-5 times my transcription rate, because it's a premium service.

[Edited at 2017-08-11 09:57 GMT]


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GregSmith
Local time: 13:56
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I agree. Aug 11

Christophe Delaunay wrote:

"I don't know for you but I'm not selling my valuable time that cheap...


I'm on your side, Christophe. Basically, I'm saying that "even" compared to a very favourable rate, the client's offer was several times less!

Professional transcription is specialist in itself & most can deliver an annotated transcription within 4-6 times the audio duration. Another reason why this job is actually in two parts, requiring two separate specialists.


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