Usual rates for transcription without translation
Thread poster: Peter Schaefermeier

Peter Schaefermeier  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:24
Member (2018)
English to German
+ ...
Nov 18, 2019

Hello,

I have been asked by an international translation agency about my fee per minute for transcribing German videos. So I don't have to translate anything but simply transcribe German videos into German. It is not a German translation agency but an international one with branches in the USA, Asia and Europe. What are the usual fees per minute in US dollars?

Thanks


 

Daniel Williams  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:24
Member (2018)
German to English
+ ...
Charge by the hour if you can. Otherwise it depends how fast you can transcibe. Nov 19, 2019

I may be missing the point here, but I always prefer to offer my transcription clients a rate per hour of my time, because so much depends on the quality of the recording and whether they want a verbatim or a 'media ready' (e.g. without pauses) transcript. Bad quality audio done at a per-minute rate is not usually worth the hassle. If they insist on a per-minute rate, work out how many minutes of audio you can normally transcribe in an hour and work from there. For instance, if your hourly rate ... See more
I may be missing the point here, but I always prefer to offer my transcription clients a rate per hour of my time, because so much depends on the quality of the recording and whether they want a verbatim or a 'media ready' (e.g. without pauses) transcript. Bad quality audio done at a per-minute rate is not usually worth the hassle. If they insist on a per-minute rate, work out how many minutes of audio you can normally transcribe in an hour and work from there. For instance, if your hourly rate is, say, 30USD/hr and you can normally transcribe 3 mintues of audio for every hour you work, then charge USD 1.50/min of audio. In my experience transcription usually takes longer than you think it will, so be wary of setting your rates too low.Collapse


Josephine Cassar
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:24
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Per hour of your time is the only possibility for unheard audio Nov 19, 2019

The complexity of audio transcription means that it would be incredibly unwise to commit to a per-audio-minute rate until you've heard random excerpts from throughout the audio.

At one end of the scale, it could be one person speaking clearly, with gaps -- e.g. one end of a telephone conversation, with the client needing simply a readout of what was said. You could maybe get through that in as little as four times the length of the audio, including time for checking.

A
... See more
The complexity of audio transcription means that it would be incredibly unwise to commit to a per-audio-minute rate until you've heard random excerpts from throughout the audio.

At one end of the scale, it could be one person speaking clearly, with gaps -- e.g. one end of a telephone conversation, with the client needing simply a readout of what was said. You could maybe get through that in as little as four times the length of the audio, including time for checking.

At the other end, the audio could be full of argumentative people all speaking at once; or they could be non-native speakers or have speech impediments; or a road drill could start up outside or a microphone get damaged ... And the client may want time stamps every time the speaker changes, or every minute, and they may want each speaker identified separately ... In that scenario, you'll need more like ten times the length of the audio, and even then there may be things you can't tie down.

Bear in mind that monolingual transcription is really a job for an audio typist. So, why give it to a translator? We generally expect to earn more per hour, so the client should be prepared to pay more even if they're asking us to do "menial" work. After all, if we're transcribing, we can't be translating. You will find that many clients will laugh at your rate and say it's many times more than they're prepared to pay. It's a service I offered for a while to give the day some variety, but I soon stopped -- not only because I struggled to get a decent rate, but because it's generally a very boring job too.
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Usual rates for transcription without translation

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