How do I charge for a transcription?
Thread poster: Melisa Fernandez Smelstein

Melisa Fernandez Smelstein
Local time: 15:02
Spanish to Portuguese
+ ...
Mar 4, 2006

I'm doing a transcription of a thesis. Portugues to portugues. I have no idea how to charge it. Can anybody help me, please?!

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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:02
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Charge your usual hourly rate Mar 4, 2006

You must have an idea what your hourly translating rate works out at. Just charge that amount per hour. Your time is presumably worth the same, whether you are translating, proofreading or transcribing.


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Ana Sastre
Local time: 20:02
English to Spanish
Transcription Mar 5, 2006

The normal practice is billing by minutes. You have to take into account that five minutes of recording equals to aprox. 30 minutes of transcription. I think 2,20€ per minute is OK!

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Cidália Martins
+ ...
A question I'm interested in too... Mar 6, 2006

You could also do a search, as I know this topic has been covered before. I plan to do so as soon as I finish typing this.

So far, from what I've read on these forums, you either charge per minute of dictation or per hour (everyone has their opinion--I haven't delved into it in detail).

What I did find interesting, and the reason I felt the need to reply is that, I have just completed a course in medical transcription (took me 2 years), and in that industry, the standard payment method is per line. That is, per line typed. The only time a medical transcriptionist earns an hourly rate is if he/she works on-site (hospital, clinic, etc.). Working via Internet, the standard is per-line pay.

And the rates are generally what a translator makes per word.

An experienced medical transcriptionist can make a decent living, but for a beginner (as I am), it's starvation wages if you work via the Internet.

Just thought it was interesting to note the differences in different types of transcription.

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United States
Local time: 14:02
Member (2005)
English to Armenian
+ ...
interesting Mar 7, 2006

yes, i was also wondering how to charge for transcription.
I did it once (armeian-english-armenian), and if i remember correctly the payment was on a per minute basis.

Never heard of a per-line option, but sounds pretty fair.

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Cidália Martins
+ ...
Forgot to add... Mar 7, 2006 the case of medical transcription pay, the line rate is calculated in many ways but the most common "line" is 65 characters with spaces included.

For other types of transcription, per minute of dictation is a good method of calculating payment.

Whichever method you choose, do make sure you are earning a decent amount for your time, as suggested.

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How do I charge for a transcription?

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