Subtitles: per minute rate
Thread poster: Luigi Borriello
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!
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,
| | Luigi Borriello
Local time: 12:44
English to Italian
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?
| | Andriy Bublikov
Local time: 13:44
French to Russian
Moderator of this forum
| 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.
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Subtitles: per minute rate
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