Rate for "Cajun" transcription
Thread poster: Crystal Samples

Crystal Samples  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:25
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
Nov 2, 2007

Dear colleagues,

I just did my first transcription job, but I'm not sure what to charge. I know I should have agreed to the terms beforehand, but it was a rush thing, and I accepted it mostly just to see if I could do it. It was a song in 'Cajun' French, and upon the first few listens, I could only make out a line or two. However, after several listens, slowing down the audio a good bit, and enlisting the help of a francophone friend, we came up with the lyrics.

The audio was only 21 seconds long and the type-up was 59 words, but it took a bit of work on both our parts.

I want to charge $30, and give half to my friend, but is this too much for just 21 seconds?

Normally, I would probably charge $15 or $20, but the "French" took quite a bit of deciphering.

I appreciate any advice you could give.

Thanks in advance,

Crystal Samples


Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:25
French to Spanish
+ ...
Well... Nov 2, 2007

...this is not an average translation.
You had to do it "by ear" (no written suport). And... a "rare" language.
How long did you and your friend invested in it?
Bill according to that.


Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:25
English to Spanish
+ ...
Time Nov 2, 2007

With transcription work you can never tell how much time it will take. Just charge for the time you and your friend put into it. The fact that it was only 21 seconds and 59 words has nothing to do with it.

Of course, you should always make sure the client understands that before you start.


patyjs  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:25
Spanish to English
+ ...
Minimum charge... Nov 2, 2007

This is where having a minimum charge comes in handy. As Henry says, you really can't tell with transcriptions even though you may know beforehand how many minutes the recording is.

I just found this out by experience. I'm just finishing up a transcription where I've had babies crying into the microphone and the interviewee just keeps right on talking. And then another part which is full of place names which are hard to hear and have to be looked up etc.. Not easy when only have a (sometimes muffled) pronunciation to go on. Well, you get the idea.

Since you hadn't discussed payment before, I think you could probably get away with $30 as your minimum charge, and then quote it on future jobs.

Good luck!


P.S. Interesting job though!!


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