Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Is USD1 per minute rate too low for subtitling?
Thread poster: Aditya Ikhsan Prasiddha

Aditya Ikhsan Prasiddha  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 03:44
Member (2012)
English to Indonesian
May 25, 2010

Dear all,

I'm Aditya and this is my first postingicon_smile.gif I'm applying for a subtitle translation job for a company that list their rate at USD1 per minute of the film. Don't you think it's rather too low? Should I ask for a raise? Thanks.


 

Veronica Lupascu  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:44
Dutch to Romanian
+ ...
I think it is low... May 25, 2010

..., but not from my own experience.

I remember a thread, where somebody said that uses to subtitle often and can subtitle 150-200 minutes per week. It means about 40 minutes per working day and about 5 minutes per working hour. 1 USD per minute would mean then 5 USD per working hour and it is a very low rate.

This is from what I have read so far. I don't have experience in subtitling, but I had recently my first transcription job and it takes time to transcribe a minute of continuous talking. You should wait for an advice from someone who does it often.

Good luck!


 

Giulia TAPPI  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:44
French to Italian
+ ...
In France May 25, 2010

somebody told me the average rate is 0.93€ per subtitle, not per minute!

 

Andrej Pavlovic
Local time: 21:44
English to Serbian
+ ...
yes and no May 25, 2010

Hi Adytia,

1USD is a bit low, but the starting rate for subtitling with one company was 1.25USD per minute of air time. That means that if you have 40 min episode, you will be paid 40*1.25 regardless of how many words are to be translated.

Personally, it is a fair amount of money considering the time invested in the project.
But after a few projects for that firm I think you can raise the question of the rate.

Best of luck, A


 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 22:44
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
1 per frame May 25, 2010

I am paid 1 Euro per frame, which is quite fair. If you want to deliver quality and not assault the viewer you have to think carefully at every instance. Do you have the spoken text written in a file or do you even have to translate from audio? In the latter case you need far more time.

Regards
Heinrich


 

Sergei Tumanov  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:44
English to Russian
+ ...
5 euro per 1 minute May 25, 2010

This is the rate an agency from Slovakia offers me. And pays.

 

Ulozas
Luxembourg
Local time: 21:44
Lithuanian to Latvian
+ ...
It's OK for movies, not documentaries May 25, 2010

And only if you have the script, it's OK, but not if you have just A/V, because it's much more time consuming, thus it has to be more expensive.

 

Sylvano
Local time: 21:44
English to French
Peanuts... May 26, 2010

dan138zig wrote:
a company that list their rate at USD1 per minute of the film.


http://nopeanuts.wordpress.com/


 

jbjb  Identity Verified
Estonia
Local time: 22:44
Estonian to English
+ ...
rates May 28, 2010

Everything ultimately depends on the country and project.

It is normal for the prices to differ 15-20 times between countries, as living costs and other factors are also different.
You cannot compare the rate paid in UK/France to rates paid in Eastern Europe or Asia.
A sliding scale from EUR 1 to EUR 15 for the same job is normal.

As for the types of jobs - small occasional subtitling jobs always pay more. Regular jobs offering large volumes always pay less.
The rates generally go:
the lowest - local companies subtitling for local TV or DVD projects. For them USD/EUR 1 per minute to translators is a normal rate in many countries, also in some European countries.

step higher - bigger international companies that have set up local offices. Generally pay a bit more for TV/DVD projects. They are unable to take over the projects of the lowest-paying local companies because their rates are too high for clients. Their translators can expect to be paid 1.5-2 times more.

the third step would be local channels (usually state-owned) protected by trade unions, as well as occasional international projects: a big international company that does not have a local office but has a few DVD projects in the target language, outsourcing them from North America or London directly to freelance translators. Expect to be paid 3-5 times more than the lowest national rate.

and the fourth step is occasional subtitling projects - you can ask 5-10 times more than the lowest rate if the client is stupid enough to freelance it, rather than commission it from a subtitling company. Fortunately there are many such clients.


 

Veronica Lupascu  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:44
Dutch to Romanian
+ ...
15 times lower prices??? May 28, 2010

jbjb wrote:

Everything ultimately depends on the country and project.

It is normal for the prices to differ 15-20 times between countries, as living costs and other factors are also different.
You cannot compare the rate paid in UK/France to rates paid in Eastern Europe or Asia.
A sliding scale from EUR 1 to EUR 15 for the same job is normal.


Why on earth does everybody think that living costs are much (15 times!) lower in East European countries? I never get that. Eastern European countries are poorer, but not cheaper. This is a big difference.

In my country, Moldova, the prices do not differ substantially from prices in Cyprus, where I live now (the most expensive EU country). Only real estate is much more expensive here.

Last summer, in my 1 month vacation in Holland, I had enough time to observe that prices there are the same as in Moldova or... even smaller sometimes!

A German friend told me, after visiting Moldova, that apartments in Chisinau (Moldova's capital) cost the same as apartments in center of Berlin and renting fees are higher in Moldova than in Germany.

So why do you think I can not compare the rate paid in UK with a rate paid in Moldova?

Markets never develop solely, there is always the international factor.


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:44
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It is worth reminding... May 28, 2010

jbjb wrote:

Everything ultimately depends on the country and project.

It is normal for the prices to differ 15-20 times between countries, as living costs and other factors are also different.
You cannot compare the rate paid in UK/France to rates paid in Eastern Europe or Asia.
A sliding scale from EUR 1 to EUR 15 for the same job is normal.


... that is is more difficult to find people with a good command of "Western" languages in "Eastern" countries.

While lots of people around the world drive a Korean car, watch a Japanese TV, use a Chinese computer, and so on, it is not so easy to find a good translation into English, French, German, etc. done in India.


 

jbjb  Identity Verified
Estonia
Local time: 22:44
Estonian to English
+ ...
Rates May 28, 2010

Yes but I meant the translation of, let's say, a typical Hollywood movie into the local languages.
In France this could mean EUR 15 per minute for the English-French translator
In the Nordic area the price could be between EUR 5-10 for the English-Norwegian or English-Swedish translator.
In Eastern Europe EUR 2-3 per minute for the English-Romanian or English-Bulgarian translator would be a very good price.
There are places in Eastern Europe that would pay a flat rate of EUR 50-60 for the whole movie (less than EUR 1 per minute) and there still are translators happy to work for that money.

The initial question came from Indonesia. There are probably big differences in payment between the Asian countries as well. What a European or a South American thinks how much an Indonesian translator should be paid per minute is completely beside the point. Everyone writing in this forum is just as qualified to answer this as to give an opinion about how much apartments should cost in Jakarta, based on how much they cost in Paris or Brazil.
All we can say is - yes, USD 1 per minute or horrifyingly low for most translators, yet there are countries even in Europe where translators work for that kind of money.
Yes, people who work for EUR 1 per minute think they should get more - just the same as Scandinavians who earn EUR 5 for doing the same thing believe that they are paid peanuts. And there probably are French translators earning EUR 15 per minute translating the exact same movie, who believe they are getting a shitty deal.

And the scale I offered is of help in this way: if you find out that USD 1 is indeed the normal price for local translations, you can safely ask USD 2-4 if you are asked to quote a London- or LA-based subtitling company. And you can go up to USD 5-10 if it is a company that has turned out a corporate video and need subtitles for such a one-off thing.


 

Sylvano
Local time: 21:44
English to French
Well... Jun 1, 2010

jbjb, let's consider your point of view the other way round: I'd be curious to know, according to you, what would be the bottom quote per minute one should accept in let's say the lowest market of all... Of course, I don't think working for free qualifies as an answer.

 

Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 21:44
Member
Italian to English
Very low Jun 1, 2010

Going on my own experience, that seems VERY low. I would not work for that rate. Try transcribing a minute of any film, and see how much dialogue you end up with; of course there will be parts of the film with less dialogue, or perhaps even silence, but when there is a sustained flow of dialogue you will be able to see for yourself how much work is involved, and ultimately judge whether it is a fair price.

 

Ronald van der Linden  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 14:44
German to Dutch
+ ...
link video minute fee to word count fee Jun 1, 2010

From time to time I'm translating subtitles of soap operas. My experience is that I can translate about 2 mins per hour. My max is about 15-18 minutes, which is the equivalent of 2,500 to 3,500 words per working day.

Perhaps you could try linking your word price with 1 video minute. This means you could negociate fee per video minute based on word count. 2500 words in a video project of 20 minutes is usually my maximum = 125 words per minute x your fee per word = X and this could be your per minute fee.

You could also relate it to your hourly fee. Imagine you could translate 250 words per hour. In the above calculation this equals 2 video minutes. If you like to earn 10 USD per hour, then your price should be 5 USD. Now if your hourly fee is USD 25, this method would not work very smoothly.

I would highly recommend investigating the word count of each subtitling project. And base your fees on word count, not on minutes.

Ronald

edit: PS of course when you have a script to fall back on!






[Edited at 2010-06-01 22:01 GMT]


 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


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


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

Is USD1 per minute rate too low for subtitling?

Advanced search







Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »
memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »



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