Rates and order situation of subtitling
Thread poster: Frank Schwarz

Frank Schwarz
Germany
Local time: 21:57
French to German
+ ...
Mar 31, 2016

Dear all,
I'm really interested in the area of subtitling and I wanted to ask
some experienced subtitlers about rates and the general order situation.
I've heard that in the past years there has been considerable price dumping
in this area. Is that true? And what about the order situation?
I guess that there is a rising demand of subtitling work since the amount
of series and movies is still growing ...
Thank you.

Frank

[Edited at 2016-03-31 13:42 GMT]


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:57
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Rates Mar 31, 2016

Hi Frank,

yes, there is an increasing demand in subtitling services.

The rates vary greatly. I've received offers as low as USD 0.88 per audio minute (minus PayPal fees), as well as offers of up to EUR 10.50/p.a.m. The actual rate depends on where your customer is located (yes, it does), and what exactly you are supposed to do. If you're only to translate an existing, time coded transcript, then the price is lower than if you are to transcribe and then translate the subtitles into the video, or if you even listen to the dialogues in one language and immediately translate them into the target language. These rates are higher (or should be).

I'm not sure what you mean by "order situation". If this is referring to customers' demands, then, yes, there is great demand.

Much success!

Thayenga


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jbjb  Identity Verified
Estonia
Local time: 22:57
Member (2005)
Estonian to English
+ ...
German subtitles Mar 31, 2016

There is bigger demand for German subtitles mainly due to new subtitling-oriented services like Netflix and others. However, all of the major contracts are handled by big international companies and there is considerable price dumping.
The highest-paying jobs would still be voice-overs to local TV channels and distributors.
The lowest rates are in big international subtitling copanies where German is just one language out of 50 to handle for distribution and rates are in direct competition with Asia and Central/Eastern Europe. While it is considered normal that ordinary salaries are 2-4 times higher in Germany than in those countries, then subtitling rates are sometimes just 25-30% higher in multinational companies.


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Frank Schwarz
Germany
Local time: 21:57
French to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Just wanted to know ... Apr 1, 2016

... if it makes any sense to start a "new business" and invest in expensive software (e. g. EZTtiles).
Thank you for your answers.
@ Thayenga: Yes, that's what I meant by "order situation". What software do you use?
How much would be "a good pay" for translating and spotting of subtitles per minute (a time coded transcript provided)?

Greetings


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jbjb  Identity Verified
Estonia
Local time: 22:57
Member (2005)
Estonian to English
+ ...
multi Apr 2, 2016

In large multinational companies that pay the lowest rates (from USD 3 per minute - just ignore any offers below that but USD 3 is something that many companies have tried to bring German down to, with varied success) you do not need your own subtitling software, as you will not handle spotting.

I somehow suspect that the market is rather limited for German subtitling that also includes spotting and requires an expensive software.


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Frank Schwarz
Germany
Local time: 21:57
French to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Well ... Apr 3, 2016

... 3 USD is really low. I wouldn't work for such a rate.
I've been told that something between 10 € and 15 €
is a decent rate for 1 minute of video material (translating
and spotting).

Greetings


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jbjb  Identity Verified
Estonia
Local time: 22:57
Member (2005)
Estonian to English
+ ...
rate Apr 3, 2016

Yes, that would be a reasonable rate for that service from subtitling companies based in Germany.

Rates from USD 3 (and not that much higher, up to USD 5-6) would be offered by international subtitling companies based elsewhere in the world. No spotting, just translation into provided templates. These companies handle the majority of new subtitling work into German.
I have seen attempts to pay USD 3 even 10 years ago by major subtitling companies - but I don't know how successful they have been with finding translators for that rate.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:57
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Check! Apr 3, 2016

jbjb wrote:

Yes, that would be a reasonable rate for that service from subtitling companies based in Germany.

Rates from USD 3 (and not that much higher, up to USD 5-6) would be offered by international subtitling companies based elsewhere in the world. No spotting, just translation into provided templates. These companies handle the majority of new subtitling work into German.
I have seen attempts to pay USD 3 even 10 years ago by major subtitling companies - but I don't know how successful they have been with finding translators for that rate.


For EN>PT-BR and PT>EN-US I have been charging USD 15 per minute to translate script-less video directly from the audio track. Time-spotting is USD 5 per minute extra. Yet this is mostly for corporate video (training, institutional, product launch), when video work is far away from the company's core business.

On another front, I found it a fair deal to translate feature films and TV series on pre-timed transcribed templates for USD 5~6 per minute, as long as I could use WordFast Classic on them... not because of TMs, which are almost useless there, but taking advantage of the fact that in some 5-10 minutes I could easily "insulate" as non-translatable everything but the subtitles themselves, so I didn't waste time hopping from one subtitle to another, nor taking care to avoid messing up whatever I shouldn't.

Yet subtitling companies that pay USD 5~6 per minute and still provide reliable templates are very rare. Most offer around USD 3... or less!


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Frank Schwarz
Germany
Local time: 21:57
French to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank ... Apr 4, 2016

... you all for giving me an in-depth look of the rates.
I must say that I'm a bit disappointed. Not very motivating ...


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