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Subtitling rates and application test: reasonable?
Thread poster: Alexandre Chetrite

William Wildt  Identity Verified
Honduras
Local time: 18:28
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
SubTitle & Translation May 4, 2011

Hi! I'm kind of new to subtitling and I have just been asked by a client to give him a rate for Subtitling. What I don't know is, say I tell him I charge US $2.50 per minute (by the way, can anyone give me their comments on this rate, is it too low or too high), does that include the translation work or is that paid apart, per word, as we normally charge?

Thanks for your comments


 

Ulf Samuelsson  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 18:28
English to Swedish
+ ...
Rate depends on what is included May 4, 2011

Your stated rate of $2.50 per minute for subtitling is very low.

Also, you need to be clear on what is included in the subtitling job.

If you receive an already timed and transcribed text for translation only, then $2.50 per minute will give you $225.00 for a standard lenght film. And, considering that you'll have to make the translation as short as possible and not use too long lines for the time it will appear on the screen, then two working days is normal for a 90-mi
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Your stated rate of $2.50 per minute for subtitling is very low.

Also, you need to be clear on what is included in the subtitling job.

If you receive an already timed and transcribed text for translation only, then $2.50 per minute will give you $225.00 for a standard lenght film. And, considering that you'll have to make the translation as short as possible and not use too long lines for the time it will appear on the screen, then two working days is normal for a 90-minute film.
Then $225.00 is bad pay for two days hard work.

But if you only receive the film, and you'll have to time it and figure out what they say (no transcript) as well as translate it, then 25-30 minutes of film in a standard workday is normal for an experienced subtitler.
Then $225.00 is very bad pay for three days hard work.

Take any film you have and run a test to see how much of it you can subtitle in an hour. Then use that test to decide which price per minute you'll need to state in order to get the hourly pay that you deserve for your job.
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Nathalie Schon  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:28
German to French
+ ...
Ridiculous rates May 9, 2011

6US$/minute is pretty low, especially since the dollar lost so much on the exchange market. And that's without spotting.

So 2,50$ is ridiculous.
But if you're not a professional, that's the Mickey Mouse rates some agencies will offer you.


 

Cécile Sellier  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:28
English to French
+ ...
Working with them too May 9, 2011

Hi Alexandre,

I've applied to work with them too and have been accepted (I found that test really quick and easy, I spent 1 hour on it out of the 4 they give us).
I am now in the middle of the training phase: I completed the quiz and now have to proof a file, then hopefully I can actually start working.

I agree with everybody who says that these rates are really low - but I'm planning to get some experience with them and then if all goes well take that experience
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Hi Alexandre,

I've applied to work with them too and have been accepted (I found that test really quick and easy, I spent 1 hour on it out of the 4 they give us).
I am now in the middle of the training phase: I completed the quiz and now have to proof a file, then hopefully I can actually start working.

I agree with everybody who says that these rates are really low - but I'm planning to get some experience with them and then if all goes well take that experience somewhere that won't pay pe peanuts

Cécile
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Sylvano
Local time: 01:28
English to French
Wrong approach of the job, if you ask me May 9, 2011

Cécile Sellier wrote: I'm planning to get some experience with them and then if all goes well take that experience somewhere that won't pay pe peanuts


Good luck with that...


 

kmtext
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:28
English
+ ...
Agreed May 10, 2011

Sylvano wrote:

Cécile Sellier wrote: I'm planning to get some experience with them and then if all goes well take that experience somewhere that won't pay pe peanuts


Good luck with that...


Once you start working for a low rate, it's very hard to persuade anyone to pay you more, no matter how experienced you are.


 

Cécile Sellier  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:28
English to French
+ ...
A few months later... Aug 15, 2011

Hi all,

It's been 3 months since those last few posts and I'm happy to say that I am now working with another agency which also subtitles mainstream films/TV series.

They pay twice as much as that other company and there is no test or training involved - my experience in subtitling was enough to convince them to work with me. And of course they were able to judge the quality of my work with the first assignment they gave me (translating an episode of a current US TV ser
... See more
Hi all,

It's been 3 months since those last few posts and I'm happy to say that I am now working with another agency which also subtitles mainstream films/TV series.

They pay twice as much as that other company and there is no test or training involved - my experience in subtitling was enough to convince them to work with me. And of course they were able to judge the quality of my work with the first assignment they gave me (translating an episode of a current US TV series).

Cécile
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Deapenidra
Local time: 08:28
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Subtitling Rate... Aug 18, 2011

really depends on the nature of program you are translating. I'm in this business for ages so I know very well not to generalize the rates. It is so much different to translate, let say, Discovery Channel programs from HBO programs.

Regards


 
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