Subtitling novice (if I should even get into it)
Thread poster: Elisabeth Maurland

Elisabeth Maurland
United States
Local time: 15:28
Member (2013)
Norwegian to English
+ ...
Jan 21, 2015

I am fairly new in the translating business and think it's fun learning new things. So when an agency asked me if I could do subtitling for them, I told them that I had never done it before but was willing to learn. And they were willing to give me a test, which I did "excellent" on, and then they offered me some very low rates. I was able to increase them and got them up to my regular per word rate for documents, but my counter offer of £5 a minute subtitling (as opposed to £2) was kind of a shot in the dark. I have no idea. I just checked this forum and saw that £2 was way too low.

Anyway, I got this response:

"Is the £5 per minute your rate for translating scripts and for subtitle use (This could be a time coded Word or Excel file, similar to the Excel test you took). Or is that your rate for Subtitling e.g. translating, time coding and transcribing?"

I don't know what they are talking about! I didn't know there were other ways to do subtitling than the test they gave me. The latter part of their question makes me wonder if that's something that requires special software and/or is beyond my current skills and possibly something I don't really want to spend the time getting into. I am guessing it would also demand a higher rate than the first.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Liza Chase  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 23:28
Member (2013)
English to German
+ ...
transcribing/subtitling/ time-coding Jan 21, 2015

Hi Elisabeth,

transcribing is writing down the spoken text from a video. This transcribed text then gets translated for subtitle use. Time-coding is timing the start and end times of speech in a video. There is free software around that allows you to do this, e.g. Subtitle Workshop or Aegisub. There is also a course on offer for SPOT.
As far as the pricing goes, after doing some researc on this myself a while ago, I charge €5 p/running minute for translating for subtitle use from spreadsheets, as you mention (some agencies use their own software for this), € 8 for transcribing + translating and € 13 per runnning minute for transcribing, translating and time-coding.

Hope this will be helpful:)

Liza


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Elisabeth Maurland
United States
Local time: 15:28
Member (2013)
Norwegian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Jan 21, 2015

That was exactly the information I was looking for! Thank you!

Elisabeth


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 05:28
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Text vs minute Jan 21, 2015

My estimate is that a one hour video consisting primarily of a mostly continuous conversation between two people will result in a script of approximately 8,000-10,000 English words. This gives you an idea of how video minutes compare to your per word rate.

Now, the nature of such scripts is that, all else being equal, such scripts tend to be quicker and easier to translate than standard prose, and a portion of the word count will be utterances that do not result in significant content. So it would be fair to use the low end of your per-word rate as point of comparison. In fact, a high subtitling rate would usually be considered a low per-word rate, compared to the market.

As a very quick worker when doing translations, I stay away from timecoding like the plague, and unless you are familiar with the relevant software AND proficient enough in using them that timecoding ceases to be a significant time drain, you should too.

For me, transcriptions with timecodes take 4-5x the time that of transcriptions without. On the other hand, I translate directly from audio (and by extension video) at pretty much exactly the same speed as a straight transcription. But this isn't a skill that everybody possesses, and in this case the premium is on the product, not the time required.

[Edited at 2015-01-21 17:33 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Elisabeth Maurland
United States
Local time: 15:28
Member (2013)
Norwegian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Also very helpful Jan 21, 2015

Thank you, Lincoln! I think I will stick to the kind of work they gave me the test in.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 02:28
Member (2013)
English to Russian
shameless plug Jan 21, 2015

Elisabeth Maurland wrote:

I am fairly new in the translating business and think it's fun learning new things. So when an agency asked me if I could do subtitling for them, I told them that I had never done it before but was willing to learn. And they were willing to give me a test, which I did "excellent" on, and then they offered me some very low rates. I was able to increase them and got them up to my regular per word rate for documents, but my counter offer of £5 a minute subtitling (as opposed to £2) was kind of a shot in the dark. I have no idea. I just checked this forum and saw that £2 was way too low.

Anyway, I got this response:

"Is the £5 per minute your rate for translating scripts and for subtitle use (This could be a time coded Word or Excel file, similar to the Excel test you took). Or is that your rate for Subtitling e.g. translating, time coding and transcribing?"

I don't know what they are talking about! I didn't know there were other ways to do subtitling than the test they gave me. The latter part of their question makes me wonder if that's something that requires special software and/or is beyond my current skills and possibly something I don't really want to spend the time getting into. I am guessing it would also demand a higher rate than the first.



Dear Elisabeth,

As far as timecoding goes, I invite you to my upcoming webinar on creating timecodes in Aegisub: http://www.proz.com/translator-training/course/10991-timecoding_with_aegisub_boosting_productivity

I normally avoid advertising my services on the forums, but I think it would be a really good thing for you to do — you would learn a lot of useful things that might take you years to figure on your own.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 19:28
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Two major fronts Jan 21, 2015

Max Deryagin wrote:

Dear Elisabeth,

As far as timecoding goes, I invite you to my upcoming webinar on creating timecodes in Aegisub: http://www.proz.com/translator-training/course/10991-timecoding_with_aegisub_boosting_productivity

I normally avoid advertising my services on the forums, but I think it would be a really good thing for you to do — you would learn a lot of useful things that might take you years to figure on your own.


Elisabeth,

Max is right, it might take years, especially if you are not in direct contact with the entire process.

I learned to translate for dubbing fast, because the client who talked me into giving it a try had a dubbing studio, so I could see the entire process to the finished masterpiece. I began doing it in 1987.

In spite of occasional prompting, I only ventured into subtitling in 2004. (FYI it's not more nor less difficult; just some common tools and a completely different mindset.) Self-taught again, however I had accrued enough video experience from dubbing.

The key difference was the shift from analog (= tape) to digital video. While dubbing will always require artists, directing, a studio and some very clever technicians, subtitling digital video can be done entirely on a plain-vanilla PC. All that bulky and expensive equipment is no longer needed for subtitling.

In six months I was doing the entire subtitling process, from original video to a subtitled, interactive authored DVD.

From what I see, apparently your first job was translating pre-transcribed, pre-timed "templates". This is pretty common in the TV/movies industry, as it is the most economical and fastest way to get a video subtitled in a host of different languages. Of course, there is some compromise in the overall quality, but the industry considers this output "acceptable".

It becomes thoroughly unacceptable when translators never see the video, just shove that "template" through a CAT tool, and complete whatever is missing from their TM. Figure out how many different translations you can think of, depending on context, for "It's down!"

The subtitling studio takes care of the pre-translation (transcription, time-spotting) work, as well as post-translation (merging that with the video), so you don't see the entire process nor the final output.

My specialty is corporate video, usually training, institutional, product launch, and I do the entire process, which I describe on this page for clients who know nothing about it.

So I would suggest you take Max's course if you can, even if you don't intend to use Aegisub.
Your goal will be to see what's the process, what it involves. The most important is to learn about WHAT you will be doing. You may change the HOW as many times as you want, until you like the way you are doing it.

You may also search, browse, whatever, on http://www.videohelp.com . Answers to all your questions about digital video should be there, and some good tutorials too.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Elisabeth Maurland
United States
Local time: 15:28
Member (2013)
Norwegian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you, José and Max May 11, 2015

There was so much to think about, and then I got distracted by other work, but now I've had a tiny bit more experience with subtitling, so the pieces are starting to fall into place for me. I can see where time will be spent and how to set my price better, and all the information I have received in this thread is very helpful, more so now than when I asked! I think transcribing/translating/subtitling is kind of fun, so I think I would like to do more of it.
Max, I didn't take your class because of time and money restraints, so I am wondering if you will offer it again?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 02:28
Member (2013)
English to Russian
- May 11, 2015

Elisabeth Maurland wrote:
Max, I didn't take your class because of time and money restraints, so I am wondering if you will offer it again?


Nope. Too busy nowadays


Direct link Reply with quote
 


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


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

Subtitling novice (if I should even get into it)

Advanced search







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 »
SDL MultiTerm 2017
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2017 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2017 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »



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