Inserting Time code in a transcript
Thread poster: Cécile Gaultier

Cécile Gaultier  Identity Verified
Member (2012)
English to French
+ ...
Aug 20, 2015

Good evening to all,

I have a question. I just delivered a transcription/translation to a client, who is now asking me to do the following:

can you add in the time code by the lines?
we need that in order to line to the transcriptions up with the footage.

I have never done that before and am not sure how to proceed with this.

Can anyone help me?
All I am thinking about right now is listening to the whole audio all over again and stop every second to code the time on the left margin. That sounds very cost demanding to me.

Any suggestion?

Thank you a lot in advance!
Cécile


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Thiago Hilger  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:02
Member (2015)
English to Portuguese
Unfortunately, yes Aug 21, 2015

Hi Céclie,

Unfortunately I believe that is what they want.
I understand it's very time costing, so quick question: was that a part of the job before you took it? Because if not, you can talk to your client and explain that this is a second step on your work, and that the cost for that is ..., and that it was not agreed that you would that in the first place.

Of course, be nice.

I hope it goes the best way around for you.

Kind regards,
Thiago


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Sandesh Ghimire  Identity Verified
Nepal
Local time: 23:47
Nepali to English
+ ...
Yes, it is the toughest part of transcription Aug 21, 2015

Hi Cecile,
This is precisely what they are asking you to do and trust me, it is the toughest part of this job. Some of the clients have you provide time code every 20 seconds while there are others who want to have every spoken sentence time-coded, a more demanding thing though.

This is succinctly why I always ask the client if they want the time stamp or not and if they do, I charge them substantially high.

I suppose you need a sample of time code. Please have a look at the following sample

1 00:00:17:00 00:00:18:18
I had difficulty wearing my tight jeans.
2 00:00:18:18 00:00:21:12
I wanted to change the zip.

It might vary.

Thanks


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Cécile Gaultier  Identity Verified
Member (2012)
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Aug 21, 2015

Thank you both for your very useful responses.
It is a two-hour adio and no, this was not agreed before I started the job. How much is the usual cost of this as I have no idea?

Thank you very much

Cécile


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:02
English to Portuguese
+ ...
The only reference I found Aug 21, 2015

Cécile Gaultier wrote:

How much is the usual cost of this as I have no idea?


I had no idea either. As I do a lot of subtitling, I was looking for some reference.

The only one I found was from the Brazilian Translators' Syndicate[ at the bottom of the table. They suggest, if time-spotting is required, to add 30% of the translation cost. I have been working happily with this ratio for MY translations.

However... sometimes the client provides their own translation. Though they think that a full-script translation is adequate for subtitling, it is not, on account of conciseness. In such cases, of course, I don't charge for the translation I won't be doing, however I charge 50% of MY translation rate for adapting the text for subtitling AND time-spotting.

HTH.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:02
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
During the job or separately? Aug 21, 2015

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:
They suggest, if time-spotting is required, to add 30% of the translation cost.

I can see that would be OK, or maybe rather high, for adding time-stamps during a transcription job, but adding them afterwards means another full pass of the file just for that purpose. I'd have thought it would be a more significant cost to do it that way.

I'd adopt my usual stance: either examine parts of the file to get a good idea based on experience; or actually do a representative sample of the work to see how long it's likely to take.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:02
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I'm talking about subtitling Aug 21, 2015

Sheila Wilson wrote:

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:
They suggest, if time-spotting is required, to add 30% of the translation cost.

I can see that would be OK, or maybe rather high, for adding time-stamps during a transcription job, but adding them afterwards means another full pass of the file just for that purpose. I'd have thought it would be a more significant cost to do it that way.

I'd adopt my usual stance: either examine parts of the file to get a good idea based on experience; or actually do a representative sample of the work to see how long it's likely to take.


That's the sanest view, experimenting.

For the record, some subtitlers do the spotting while translating; others do it afterwards. Yet the recommendation specifies neither.

Experimenting may lead to puzzling results, though. This week a prospect asked me about my hourly rate. Yes, I do have one, however I reserve it for jobs that require me to "be available" during a specified period of time, like interpreting.

I had a recent sworn interpreting assignment, a court hearing. As my interpretee's statement was deemed unnecessary, I didn't have to do anything other than chat with him before and after the event, however I was fully paid for my time. On another such occasion, I had to interpret two people who had plenty to say, and was paid the same.

My pet example is DTP. I have been using the defunct PageMaker for over a quarter century. I can do ANYthing with it in a snap. If I'm paid by the hour to do anything using PM, I'll get grossly underpaid for the years it took me to master it. However if I'm equally paid by the hour to do the very same job using QuarkXpress, I may take days reading manuals and help screens to sort it out. My client will be grossly overcharged for my lack of experience.

Back to transcription, once I lot a bid to some local contender, who offered to do it for 1/7.5 of my price. While I'm very far from being a speed demon on the keyboard, I once knew a secretary who could type flawlessly at 400 keystrokes per minute, and hold that speed for extended periods of time. She could transcribe normal speech without having to pause.

So, as they say, your mileage may vary.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:02
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Time spent is what counts Aug 21, 2015

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:
I didn't have to do anything other than chat with him before and after the event, however I was fully paid for my time. On another such occasion, I had to interpret two people who had plenty to say, and was paid the same.

So would I be, if I did interpreting.

If I'm paid by the hour to do anything using PM, I'll get grossly underpaid for the years it took me to master it. However if I'm equally paid by the hour to do the very same job using QuarkXpress, I may take days reading manuals and help screens to sort it out. My client will be grossly overcharged for my lack of experience.

Really? I'd say that your hourly rate is probably set at a level that reflects your years of experience in general, so it's probably high enough to reward you for the PM work. It's the client's choice if he uses you for something you "overcharge" for.

I feel the same about transcription. It's basically an audio-typing job, although the jobs I take on generally feature non-native speakers, and audio-typists are generally cheaper per hour than translators/proofreaders (or should be), and faster too. If a client chooses me over an audio-typist, that's his/her choice. It's not for me to lower my rates.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:02
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Explaining the calculation Aug 22, 2015

Sheila Wilson wrote:

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:
If I'm paid by the hour to do anything using Page Maker, I'll get grossly underpaid for the years it took me to master it. However if I'm equally paid by the hour to do the very same job using QuarkXpress, I may take days reading manuals and help screens to sort it out. My client will be grossly overcharged for my lack of experience.


Really? I'd say that your hourly rate is probably set at a level that reflects your years of experience in general, so it's probably high enough to reward you for the PM work. It's the client's choice if he uses you for something you "overcharge" for.


Let's take one specific DTP job, where output to a PDF should look exactly the same.
My estimate is that it would take:

  • one hour for an average InDesign operator to do it
  • 20 minutes for me to do it with Page Maker
  • two days (= 16 hours?) for me to do it using QuarkXpress or Frame Maker

    I am not making any judgment on each software's efficiency, merely counting on my bag of tricks to make my work more efficient than average.

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