Subtitling rates and test
Thread poster: Philippe Oubelhaj

Philippe Oubelhaj
Local time: 20:27
French to Dutch
+ ...
Sep 13, 2010

I'm a freelance translator, and I have been contacted by a subtitling company because they are looking for Dutch translators.
I have always been interested in subtitling as well, but I don't know if I should pursue this...
Here are some fragments from the e-mail:

Their rates: "Translations at USD 2.25 per minute runtime and proofs at USD 0.400 per minute runtime."
I don't know what the rates are in that industry? Is this too low, or reasonable?

And they want me to take a translation test. However, the test would take 4 hours. Is that normal for subtitling texts?

"Since we’re based in India we request you to send us an email between your 8:00 hours and 13:00 hours, saying you’re ready to receive the test and complete it within four hours and we’ll send it immediately. Please note that for your application to be considered, you must finish the test within four continuous hours."

It seems to be a good company, also according to Proz and the Blue Board...

Also another question I have: I suppose you need special software (that you have to buy) to work for such companies?

Thank you for your help and information!

Best regards,



sokolniki  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:27
English to Russian
+ ...
Wa-a-ay too low Sep 13, 2010

Philippe, it is at least two or three times below regular rates. Also, it is huge difference timewise if they provide the original file for translation with timing in MS Word, or they want you to use their subtitling software (in most cases extremely clumsy and time consuming) to insert the translation (and sometimes watch and write down the timing) - the second option could take five times more time vs. MS Word file. In general, subtitling is fun - good luck!


Sies van Gijtenbeek
Local time: 20:27
English to Dutch
low rates Sep 13, 2010


these Softitler rates are very low, even for template subtitling. They provide you with their own software I believe, but PLEASE refuse to work for them if you can afford it. Most professional subtitlers do. You end up with a rate of about 5 euros an hour.


Philippe Oubelhaj
Local time: 20:27
French to Dutch
+ ...
Softtitler Sep 14, 2010

Hello Sokolniki en Sies,

Thank you for your feedback!
And it was indeed the company Softitler.
In that case, I think I will refuse that test and not work for them.
And maybe I should just stick to translating and interpreting, and forget about subtitling.

Best regards,



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