Subtitles: per minute rate
Thread poster: Luigi Borriello

Luigi Borriello  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:44
English to Italian
+ ...
May 22, 2015

Dear all,

I am posting this question about which many have already talked about, but it looks like there is no up-to-date information about this.

What is a competitive per minute rate for subtitling? My combination is English-Italian.

I have subtitled a lot for University and festivals, but the payment was not on a per-minute base.

Thank you to those who will reply!


 

Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:44
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
Difficult May 22, 2015

Dear Luigi,
You are right to say there is no up-to-date information about this. I prefer a rate of per subtitle in Word, or per subtitle when you insert the subtitle underneath the video itself. In the latter case, I suggest a higher rate as you have to adjust according to character count. I am afraid I still have not found an answer to a similar question posed not too long ago, and, if forced to give a rate per minute, take care to quote a higher rate than you would for translations as it takes ages, I expect you know that too. Make it clear, too, that you are quoting a rate of per minute of translation not per minute of video. Good luck,
Josephine Cassar


 

Luigi Borriello  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:44
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Ty! May 22, 2015

Thanks Josephine for your reply!
As far as I know, subtitling rates are based on a per-minute of video rate, regardless if minutes contain silence or tight dialogue... does it need to specify in quotations?


 

Diego Sibilia  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:44
Member (2014)
English to Italian
+ ...
It's really complex to establish a rate May 22, 2015

HI guys,

I am searching the same answers. EN > Italian

Price per minute:

- without English script provided, translation + subtitling into Italian:

- with timecoded English script provided: translate into Italian:

I guess it could be fair between $15/20 per minute. But i dunno who will be willing to pay this amount.

I hope someone can give me a better view on the matter.

Best to you all,

Diego


 

Diego Sibilia  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:44
Member (2014)
English to Italian
+ ...
for subs May 22, 2015

For subtitling only $5/$10 per minute could be fair. But nobody want to pay more than $5.

 

Gabriele Demuth  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:44
Member (2014)
English to German
There was a recent job post May 22, 2015

for subtitling suggesting $3-$4 per minute using their system - the content is media/films.

They happily offered $4 and sent a test to be done on their system, but I am yet to do it and see how much could be done in a day/hour.

I feel it depends on the hourly rate I end up with, if I can't get anywhere near my expected hourly rate I will not do it.



[Edited at 2015-05-22 12:29 GMT]


 

Andriy Bublikov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 13:44
Member (2009)
French to Russian
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
Here are same links about subtitling rate May 22, 2015

Luigi Borriello wrote:

Dear all,

I am posting this question about which many have already talked about, but it looks like there is no up-to-date information about this.

What is a competitive per minute rate for subtitling? My combination is English-Italian.

I have subtitled a lot for University and festivals, but the payment was not on a per-minute base.

Thank you to those who will reply!


Dear Luigi,

Welcome to ProZ.com forums!

Here are same links about subtitling rates:

http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/284728-current_subtitling_rates.html

http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/227905-what_is_a_reasonable_rate_for_translating_subtitles-page2.html

http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/271439-subtitling_rates.html

http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/281794-rates_and_working_times_for_subtitling.html


http://www.proz.com/forum/subtitling/52756-[subtitling_rates]_per_minute_rates.html

http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/271439-subtitling_rates.html

http://www.translatorscafe.com/cafe/MegaBBS/forumthread381.htm?start=1

http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/227905-what_is_a_reasonable_rate_for_translating_subtitles.html

http://www.proz.com/forum/subtitling/255043-advice_on_subtitling_rates.html

https://www.google.ru/search?q=subtitling%20rates%20per%20minute%20site:www.proz.com&newwindow=1&biw=1464&bih=899&sa=X&ei=lh0TVbyjLYTOygOHxoGQAg&ved=0CCoQrQIoBDAA


How to calculate you rates including subtitles translation and subtitling rates

It is easy to calculate using Excel but it is necessary to know the rate for translation and the turnaround.

There are two different jobs:

1) Subtitles translation from a script provided by customer translating of .srt file, for example:

The rate depends of ordinary translation rate per word and can be equal or a little bigger than translating rate per word.

It is it is easy to calculate. This rate can be converted to rate per minute but it depends of your turnaround.

2) Subtitling that means subtitles creation = translation without script (on fly translation) that means audio track translation + time coding for synchronizing video and audio.

The rate can be calculated only per minute. Because this rate depends of your turnaround and video quality.

So you need to see the file to be subtitled before accepting the project.

This rate should be bigger than the rate for subtitles translation because it is not only translation but also audio track translation + time coding for synchronizing video and audio (translation + transcription).

To calculate it is necessary to know: the rates on the market + translation rate + turnaround.

Here is an example of rates calculation using Excel according to the translation rate:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZFLETm67QY&feature=youtu.be

[Edited at 2015-05-22 21:02 GMT]


 

Diego Sibilia  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:44
Member (2014)
English to Italian
+ ...
wow May 22, 2015

pretty clear!! But now the employer has the last word.

 

Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 15:44
Member (2013)
English to Russian
- May 22, 2015

Hopefully Monica will chip in. It's one of her language pairs.

 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 07:44
English to Portuguese
+ ...
On establishing a rate May 23, 2015

Diego Sibilia wrote:

It's really complex to establish a rate

I am searching the same answers. EN > Italian

Price per minute:

- without English script provided, translation + subtitling into Italian:

- with timecoded English script provided: translate into Italian:

I guess it could be fair between $15/20 per minute. But i dunno who will be willing to pay this amount.

I hope someone can give me a better view on the matter.


Incidentally was talking about it yesterday with my wife - who is an ESL teacher. Our home policy is that I don't teach, while she doesn't translate.

I told her how difficult it is for a translator to set a rate properly and, despite not having changed mine for years, I think I got it right.

Many translators (not only for subtitling) accept the rates outsourcers force upon them, and then complain endlessly, everywhere they can, about how low these are. I see nobody imposing prices upon other personal services providers like dentists, plumbers, doctors, electricians, etc.

The trick is in the translator setting a rate that will keep them busy for at least 80% (Pareto!) of their chosen working hours, and sticking to it. The 20% will probably be taken up by urgent requests where price is not an issue, or used for marketing, maintenance, etc.

Anyone charging less for whatever they do will face a demand higher than 100%, and will work longer hours, to a certain limit. Someone charging more will have more "unsold" hours, though they might end up making the same per month.

I think that, after so many years, I got my rates "right", communicated to the "right" clients, as I spent nine solid months stable at 110% of my production capacity. No, not just one client with one large project; but instead a succession of many clients, most of them with a succession of projects. For time management reasons, I diverted the overflowing demand, less than 10%, to reliable colleagues I know.

Then it subsided, for no particular reason, for a month or so. Now demand is recouping, at 65% now, and showing a rising trend.

Bottom line is that I'll keep my rates as they are, and hope demand stabilizes on a high again.

I like to work using averages, so I won't waste too much time making cost estimates that I never get paid for. I began translating video without a script, so when one is provided, all I use it for is in assuring that the proper nouns will be spelled correctly without any research. I charge about USD 15 (less in USD now, because of recent changes in BRL exchange rates) per minute of playing time to translate video for either dubbing or subtitling, regardless of anything else.

Time-spotting is 30% of that if the translation is mine, or from some colleague who really knows how to do it; 45% otherwise. Burning varies, depending on picture size (DVD, HD, FHD). If burning is involved, there is a minimum of 15 minutes per order on all three components, to cover the cost of some once-per-job analysis & settings.

The "average" approach lets me win on some, lose on others, and keep a healthy balance.

Who is willing to pay for that? Some people are, others aren't.

One of those who are is a local translation agency. They keep me loaded with up to 5 different jobs at a time. While I do all their video work, they send all text translation work to cheaper colleagues; we've talked about it, and it's okay. One day I was away, and they assigned a subtitling job to someone else. No idea on how much they paid for it, but they told me "Never again!". Next time they'll advise the end-client to wait for my return.

Yesterday this same agency consulted on an end-client's request to review a subtitled video, translated EN-ES by some other agency/vendor. The end-client considered the translation too literal. Though I outsource the ES translation work with a colleague (they often request PT+ES from me), I stopped it before that. While I speak ES rather fluently, I learned it "on the street", never studied it formally, so I'm illiterate. Nevertheless, I spotted a typo: the same word written twice on a subtitle, each time spelled differently. However the subtitling visual quality was awful! So my advice was that while I wasn't sure about the translation, the entire job would be worth redoing.

Meanwhile other clients consider me too expensive. I've heard of some who get it done for a fraction of my price. Anyway, I wouldn't have the time to serve these. That is my plan.


 

Andriy Bublikov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 13:44
Member (2009)
French to Russian
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
My 5 cents May 24, 2015

I answered to Luigi because I see this question nearly every day, here or on Facebook does not matter.
So it means the question is very actual. The people need the answer. In order to facilitate the search I give some links to Luigi and copied them on Facebook.

@ Luigi:
“But now the employer has the last word.”

Yes of course.
Do not hesitate to ask questions in forums Proz.com
Good luck.

@ José Henrique

Dear José Henrique,

Thank you for your participating in this topic. Your opinion is important for me, I think I think for the others too.

Thank you for sharing your experience. I read your postings, it is very useful for me. I think for the others too.

“I began doing it in 1987.”
http://www.proz.com/forum/subtitling/280682-subtitling_novice_if_i_should_even_get_into_it.html

At 1987, I only left the school. I was 17 years old.

Thank you for not supporting dumping rates.

In all sincerity.

[Edited at 2015-05-24 20:34 GMT]


 


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