Need advioce for QC (Quality Check) French audio transcription
Thread poster: Alexandre Chetrite

Alexandre Chetrite
France
Local time: 03:51
English to French
Nov 19, 2018

Hello,

I am quite new in the audio transcription business and an Indian agency offers me to quality check 30 000 source words of an audio file in French.

They ask for my best per hour rate.

I have no idea what I could charge, but I just know that it would be a low rate, because its a company based in India.It is quite odd to have the number of source words and they ask me my per hour rate, but they say "irrespective of time you will take to QC it.".
<
... See more
Hello,

I am quite new in the audio transcription business and an Indian agency offers me to quality check 30 000 source words of an audio file in French.

They ask for my best per hour rate.

I have no idea what I could charge, but I just know that it would be a low rate, because its a company based in India.It is quite odd to have the number of source words and they ask me my per hour rate, but they say "irrespective of time you will take to QC it.".

What are the minimum and medium per hour rates for this type of job usually and how would you adivse me to calculate my per our rate for this type of project?

It is not audio transcription, but checking the quality according to these guidelines;:

2. Check if French recording is as per French script or not. If there is any issue, please mention in the script.
3. Clarity of voice and word in the French Audio.
4. Clarity of sound in the French Audio.
5. There must be no cut off words.
6. Quality of Native voice.
7. Check if the words used in the French are comprehensible by native population or if people can understand easily.

Also, shoudl I use a specific Windows software to do this?

[Edited at 2018-11-19 11:34 GMT]
Collapse


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:51
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
What will determine how long it takes? Nov 21, 2018

Alexandre Chetrite wrote:
I have no idea what I could charge, but I just know that it would be a low rate, because its a company based in India.

You mean they'll only accept a low rate? That's quite possible. But surely you need to earn what you need to earn? It isn't as though during the days you'll be doing this job you'll be buying your food in their country, at their prices. You have to factor in YOUR cost of living; not theirs.

What are the minimum and medium per hour rates for this type of job usually

Your hourly rate is your normal hourly rate - what you want/need to earn from any hour of your time at work. You may not consider it very often if you invariably quote in rate per word, but it's actually your most important rate. I imagine you know how many words you can deliver per hour (i.e. including checking your work, filling in any QC reports, file handling, etc). Multiply that by your rate per word for your required hourly rate. If you want to lower it a little to land the job, that's your decision to make. Just bear in mind that if you do that too often then your standard of living will fall.

It is not audio transcription, but checking the quality according to these guidelines

It sounds as though you have neither seen the transcript nor listened to the audio. I personally would want to know what I'm dealing with before offering any price for the job. Of course, you can give your rate per hour up front, but I suspect they'll want to know in advance how much you'll be charging for the entire job, whatever else they say - that must be clarified. Remember that there may be sections of audio without much in the way of speech but you'll still have to spend that time listening. And then there will be parts when the words tumble out so quickly that it becomes impossible to listen, understand every word, and check every word against the transcript in normal time. You'll have to pause the audio frequently to catch up, even if the quality is fine. When there are problems, you'll probably need to rewind the audio and listen again - maybe several times. Then there's the time needed to report on those problems. Also, requirement #7 (to check the suitability of the words used) will probably be best done separately in a dedicated re-read of the text at the end as it's a very different requirement.

In summary, you'll definitely need to spend much longer on this than the length of the audio recording, maybe several times longer. But you'll have no way of knowing how long until you've listened to it. In fact, as you're inexperienced you'll need to do a sample. Find a relatively "wordy" section and set a timer. Work for 15 minutes and then see how many minutes of audio you've processed and/or how many words of the transcript. Only then will you start to have an idea of time needed for the whole job. If the agency is insisting on you quoting before receiving the audio and transcript, I'd personally be wondering why. These jobs have a nasty habit of being nearly impossible. Why do they need it done at all? Probably because the end client has complained about the product they've received.

Also, shoudl I use a specific Windows software to do this?

You'll definitely find it useful to have an easy and quick way to pause and rewind the audio. Express Scribe is one that I've found useful. A foot pedal is a godsend in this type of job but you can get by with hotkeys if you don't do much audio work. My own keyboard has little stickers over four of the function keys labelling them as stop, play, rewind and fast forward.


 

Alexandre Chetrite
France
Local time: 03:51
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Great advice from Sheila Nov 21, 2018

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Alexandre Chetrite wrote:
I have no idea what I could charge, but I just know that it would be a low rate, because its a company based in India.

You mean they'll only accept a low rate? That's quite possible. But surely you need to earn what you need to earn? It isn't as though during the days you'll be doing this job you'll be buying your food in their country, at their prices. You have to factor in YOUR cost of living; not theirs.

What are the minimum and medium per hour rates for this type of job usually

Your hourly rate is your normal hourly rate - what you want/need to earn from any hour of your time at work. You may not consider it very often if you invariably quote in rate per word, but it's actually your most important rate. I imagine you know how many words you can deliver per hour (i.e. including checking your work, filling in any QC reports, file handling, etc). Multiply that by your rate per word for your required hourly rate. If you want to lower it a little to land the job, that's your decision to make. Just bear in mind that if you do that too often then your standard of living will fall.

It is not audio transcription, but checking the quality according to these guidelines

It sounds as though you have neither seen the transcript nor listened to the audio. I personally would want to know what I'm dealing with before offering any price for the job. Of course, you can give your rate per hour up front, but I suspect they'll want to know in advance how much you'll be charging for the entire job, whatever else they say - that must be clarified. Remember that there may be sections of audio without much in the way of speech but you'll still have to spend that time listening. And then there will be parts when the words tumble out so quickly that it becomes impossible to listen, understand every word, and check every word against the transcript in normal time. You'll have to pause the audio frequently to catch up, even if the quality is fine. When there are problems, you'll probably need to rewind the audio and listen again - maybe several times. Then there's the time needed to report on those problems. Also, requirement #7 (to check the suitability of the words used) will probably be best done separately in a dedicated re-read of the text at the end as it's a very different requirement.

In summary, you'll definitely need to spend much longer on this than the length of the audio recording, maybe several times longer. But you'll have no way of knowing how long until you've listened to it. In fact, as you're inexperienced you'll need to do a sample. Find a relatively "wordy" section and set a timer. Work for 15 minutes and then see how many minutes of audio you've processed and/or how many words of the transcript. Only then will you start to have an idea of time needed for the whole job. If the agency is insisting on you quoting before receiving the audio and transcript, I'd personally be wondering why. These jobs have a nasty habit of being nearly impossible. Why do they need it done at all? Probably because the end client has complained about the product they've received.

Also, shoudl I use a specific Windows software to do this?

You'll definitely find it useful to have an easy and quick way to pause and rewind the audio. Express Scribe is one that I've found useful. A foot pedal is a godsend in this type of job but you can get by with hotkeys if you don't do much audio work. My own keyboard has little stickers over four of the function keys labelling them as stop, play, rewind and fast forward.


As always Sheila, you are of great advice..I read a lot of your answers on Proz.com forums and learned a lot from them.

Back to my topic. In terms of software, do you think I could use voice commands in Windows 10 nowadays for audio transcription? I know that Windows 10 has built-in voice commands. I wonder if I could use them in Word or elsewhere instead of having to use Dragon naturally Spekaing or such?

It would replace foot pedals and stickers on keyboard..(though at the end of the audio description, my throat would hurt probably:-) )

"Stop. Forward. Rewind.Play" hundred of times with my voice...Well,why not?

Regarding the audio assignement, no they haven't sent me the source files. Anyway I think they gave the job to another freelance, since I gacve them a rate that's superior to the minimum in India..It means they were expecting me to give them a very very low rate according to EU standards...

I think that standard translations are much more efficient in terms of cost return than audio transcription , or am I adding some bias in my statement? (since I have much more translation and proofreading experience than audio transcription?)

In translations, one doesn't have to go back and check all the time. Once the word is translated, a simple general review of the whole document at the end + Word Grammar and Spell check will do usually.But some research on terminology is necessary sometimes, and that's where translators waste most of their valuable time I guess.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:51
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Value your time -- it isn't all about the client or the product Nov 21, 2018

Alexandre Chetrite wrote:
do you think I could use voice commands in Windows 10 nowadays for audio transcription? I know that Windows 10 has built-in voice commands. I wonder if I could use them in Word or elsewhere instead of having to use Dragon naturally Spekaing or such?

I have zero experience of such software but others do seem to be using it very extensively nowadays so it's worth checking out.

I think that standard translations are much more efficient in terms of cost return than audio transcription , or am I adding some bias in my statement? (since I have much more translation and proofreading experience than audio transcription?)

In translations, one doesn't have to go back and check all the time. Once the word is translated, a simple general review of the whole document at the end + Word Grammar and Spell check will do usually.But some research on terminology is necessary sometimes, and that's where translators waste most of their valuable time I guess.

Again, I have to stress that clients should actually be paying for your time, not their words (even if we do all tend to quote per word for practical reasons). And your time is presumably worth the same to you whatever you're doing, isn't it? Of course, your time IS worth a bit more if it's time that would otherwise be used for having a break, a meal, sleeping, going out..., so clients must be prepared to pay a surcharge if they want to use that time. But I can't think of any time during the day that's worth less than my normal rate. So, whether I'm translating, transcribing or copy-editing for a client is irrelevant - the rate per hour can't be reduced unless I have very sound business reasons to offer a discount. However, my rate per word can and does vary. Some texts can be translated very quickly (because they're straightforward, similar to many others I've handled, or are for internal use so don't have to be works of art) while others take far longer to research and perfect. I might manage 500 wph for the first type but only 250 wph for the second, so I can afford to reduce my rate per word for the first type of job and still earn the same rate per hour.

Transcription in its monolingual form is a simple typing task - words go in the ears and come out of the fingers, basically - and typists in general charge less than translators. This, coupled with the fact that most people underestimate the amount of work involved in producing a transcription in a second language, means that clients will almost always baulk at our quotes. However, if the job isn't worth a translator's rate then the client must think again. It isn't up to us to lower our rates to suit them.


 

Alexandre Chetrite
France
Local time: 03:51
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Ok Nov 21, 2018

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Alexandre Chetrite wrote:
do you think I could use voice commands in Windows 10 nowadays for audio transcription? I know that Windows 10 has built-in voice commands. I wonder if I could use them in Word or elsewhere instead of having to use Dragon naturally Spekaing or such?

I have zero experience of such software but others do seem to be using it very extensively nowadays so it's worth checking out.

I think that standard translations are much more efficient in terms of cost return than audio transcription , or am I adding some bias in my statement? (since I have much more translation and proofreading experience than audio transcription?)

In translations, one doesn't have to go back and check all the time. Once the word is translated, a simple general review of the whole document at the end + Word Grammar and Spell check will do usually.But some research on terminology is necessary sometimes, and that's where translators waste most of their valuable time I guess.

Again, I have to stress that clients should actually be paying for your time, not their words (even if we do all tend to quote per word for practical reasons). And your time is presumably worth the same to you whatever you're doing, isn't it? Of course, your time IS worth a bit more if it's time that would otherwise be used for having a break, a meal, sleeping, going out..., so clients must be prepared to pay a surcharge if they want to use that time. But I can't think of any time during the day that's worth less than my normal rate. So, whether I'm translating, transcribing or copy-editing for a client is irrelevant - the rate per hour can't be reduced unless I have very sound business reasons to offer a discount. However, my rate per word can and does vary. Some texts can be translated very quickly (because they're straightforward, similar to many others I've handled, or are for internal use so don't have to be works of art) while others take far longer to research and perfect. I might manage 500 wph for the first type but only 250 wph for the second, so I can afford to reduce my rate per word for the first type of job and still earn the same rate per hour.

Transcription in its monolingual form is a simple typing task - words go in the ears and come out of the fingers, basically - and typists in general charge less than translators. This, coupled with the fact that most people underestimate the amount of work involved in producing a transcription in a second language, means that clients will almost always baulk at our quotes. However, if the job isn't worth a translator's rate then the client must think again. It isn't up to us to lower our rates to suit them.


However negotiating rates really depends if you are in a position of force or not in regards to your skills and the customer...If you are a newbie in a specific area, how culd you possible charge a higher rate? But if you have something (added value) that you can offer to the client, then it is possible..Logically, with no experience or very little, one just can't really argue about charging a rate that is "decent" to live in his home country. The rule is to adapt I guess..So the real challenge with having little or no experience in a field and trying to develop into that field is "What is it tha I can offer more to the customer that justifies I charge him a higher rate ?" But when a customer asks you for an audio transcription, I could offer him also another accessory service or doing it in less time than required, et, etc..But not all customers accept..Therefore the rate is the only parameter that one can influence, and with no credibility and history in the field, its very hard to justifiy a higher price . IMHO. Personnally, in audio transcription I would say that I am already an experienced freelance translator, and therefore I master the target language. It's better to have a translator than somebody who doesn't know anything about the language field, don't you think?


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:51
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
A lower hourly rate is perfectly valid for a beginner Nov 21, 2018

Alexandre Chetrite wrote:
when a customer asks you for an audio transcription, I could offer him also another accessory service or doing it in less time than required, et, etc..But not all customers accept..Therefore the rate is the only parameter that one can influence, and with no credibility and history in the field, its very hard to justifiy a higher price . IMHO. Personnally, in audio transcription I would say that I am already an experienced freelance translator, and therefore I master the target language. It's better to have a translator than somebody who doesn't know anything about the language field, don't you think?

When we talk about beginner's rates here on ProZ.com, we're normally addressing rates per word. They shouldn't be excessively low because the translation that you deliver to the client absolutely has to be fit for purpose - so why charge clients substantially less? On the other hand, when you haven't had much experience in any process - whether it's transcription, using a washing machine, or putting together a piece of Ikea furniture - you're bound to do it more slowly than someone who has done the same thing a thousand times. So your per-hour rate will naturally start off quite low if you quote an "average" per-word rate.

This makes quoting per hour a little problematic for newbies, as it's always difficult, if not impossible, to raise your rate with a client. It's fortunately a problem we all overcome in due course .


 


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


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

Need advioce for QC (Quality Check) French audio transcription

Advanced search







SDL Trados Studio 2019 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2019 has evolved to bring translators a brand new experience. Designed with user experience at its core, Studio 2019 transforms how new users get up and running, helps experienced users make the most of the powerful features.

More info »
SDL Trados Studio 2019 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2019 has evolved to bring translators a brand new experience. Designed with user experience at its core, Studio 2019 transforms how new users get up and running and helps experienced users make the most of the powerful features.

More info »



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