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Subtitling rates
Thread poster: Natalia Tarquino

Natalia Tarquino
Colombia
Local time: 06:57
Member (2016)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Nov 18, 2016

Hello,

I have read about subtitling rates, but people come with different rates and I cannot find an average. How would you charge the following?

1. Subtitling (only creating the subtitles)

2. Translation and subtitling (translating the content of the video and placing the subtitles)

I am not sure if for the second option I need to charge for the translation and subtitling individually or if I can have a rate that includes subtitling + translation.

Would USD 3.00/m for subtitling be crazy? Would I have to charge more if the client doesn't provide me the time codes?

Thanks for your help,

Natalia T.


[Edited at 2016-11-19 00:33 GMT]


 

Andreas Granzow
Germany
Local time: 13:57
German to English
+ ...
Subtitling rate Nov 18, 2016

Hi Natalia,

I do a lot of subtitling myself and also give some to other freelancers I work with.
A rate of only USD 0.03 per minute of subtitling is absolutely crazy in my opinion.
YOu have to keep in mind, that on most videos, such as training material or the like, it takes more than a minute to do the subtitles for a minute of video. The fastest I have done was a 10 Minute video in 20 minutes. The time needed varies greatly. It depends on the way the person talks, how clearly (s)he speaks. Some are good, others are terrible.
However, even if you are extremely fast and can do one minute video in one minute of real time it wouldn't be worth the effort.

As for myself, I don't touch anything that doesn't even come close to:

1 Subtitling - EUR 1.50/m
2 Translation & subtitling - EUR 2.00/m

Anything else is not worth the effort, as the hourly rate would dip way too low. Remember, that isn't the hourly rate on video time, but on actual worked time.


 

Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 06:57
French to Spanish
+ ...
Subtitling. Nov 18, 2016

Just one question:

Do you know how to do it?

[We often see colleagues willing to do subtitling thinking how fancy it is... with no idea about how to do it.
Your "Would USD 0.03/m for subtitling be crazy?" is crazy, indeed].


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:57
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Really? Nov 18, 2016

Andreas Granzow wrote:

As for myself, I don't touch anything that doesn't even come close to:

1 Subtitling - EUR 1.50/m
2 Translation & subtitling - EUR 2.00/m

Anything else is not worth the effort, as the hourly rate would dip way too low. Remember, that isn't the hourly rate on video time, but on actual worked time.


That is a very low rate, don't you think?


 

Andreas Granzow
Germany
Local time: 13:57
German to English
+ ...
Re: Really? Nov 18, 2016

Thayenga wrote:

Andreas Granzow wrote:

As for myself, I don't touch anything that doesn't even come close to:

1 Subtitling - EUR 1.50/m
2 Translation & subtitling - EUR 2.00/m

Anything else is not worth the effort, as the hourly rate would dip way too low. Remember, that isn't the hourly rate on video time, but on actual worked time.


That is a very low rate, don't you think?


It isn't what I usually charge. But as I said, it is the absolut minimum that I would go for. I only wrote this absolut minimum in reply to the rate that Natalia had asked about.


 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:57
English to German
+ ...
You mean well, do you? Nov 18, 2016

Andreas Granzow wrote:

Hi Natalia,

I do a lot of subtitling myself and also give some to other freelancers I work with.
A rate of only USD 0.03 per minute of subtitling is absolutely crazy in my opinion.
YOu have to keep in mind, that on most videos, such as training material or the like, it takes more than a minute to do the subtitles for a minute of video. The fastest I have done was a 10 Minute video in 20 minutes. The time needed varies greatly. It depends on the way the person talks, how clearly (s)he speaks. Some are good, others are terrible.
However, even if you are extremely fast and can do one minute video in one minute of real time it wouldn't be worth the effort.

As for myself, I don't touch anything that doesn't even come close to:

1 Subtitling - EUR 1.50/m
2 Translation & subtitling - EUR 2.00/m

Anything else is not worth the effort, as the hourly rate would dip way too low. Remember, that isn't the hourly rate on video time, but on actual worked time.



But I am afraid your rate might not be worth it either.

Judging from your rate suggestion (for agencies, not direct clients, right?) above, you would only charge 50 Cents per minute for translating? That would be $30.00 per hour. Not rock bottom, but not a very good deal.


A decent fee/rate for translating from English to German (just translating text) that you should charge agencies (professional agencies) would be 15 cents/source word. Yes, that's very decent for providing excellent work. But if you want, try the example with 12 cents.

So let's say your video is 1/2 hour long, and every minute contains at least 100 words (very low number), that would give you 100 x 30 = 3000 words. If this were a typed text, charged for at a rate of 15 Cents/source word, that would be 450 Euros, again, just for translating a text that you have in writing/typed form, in front of you.

If your video that you translated and subtitled so quickly only contained 50 words per video minute, that would be 500 words for 10 minutes. Translating that at a 15 Cents/source word (a decent per-word rate for translation) would be 75 Euros. Just for translating. But you did it for how much - translating only?

As you can see, it does very much depend on the volume of words in the video, but just as much on understanding the voices, and many other factors.

Just because certain agencies/clients are not willing to pay you a decent rate, doesn't mean you should do it for a pittance. Unless you enjoy getting taken advantage of. And there seem to be a lot of people enjoying that, particularly when it comes to translating and subtitling. Please note:

I am saying that as a general statement, not to you personally.


 

Juan Carlos Pedrouzo  Identity Verified
Panama
Local time: 06:57
English to Spanish
Do a few practice projects first Nov 18, 2016

Hi Natalia,

In my experience, I've found that when you want to offer a service you've never provided, it's best to do a few practice projects first so you can gauge several things:

1. Can I do it?
2. Do I enjoy it?
3. How much time does it take?
4. How much can I charge?

You can download videos from YouTube or somewhere else for the test projects.

You want to do a few so you can get familiar with the workflow, and make sure you time yourself. You will use this data to figure out your max daily output.

I have figured for myself that I can only subtitle 45 minutes per day, so I divide what I charge for a full day's worth of work by 45 and I have my price per video minute. This includes the translation, as you always want to present a clear round number to your client.

As you complete more and more projects, you will find your average and adjust your subtitling rate.


 

Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 06:57
French to Spanish
+ ...
More than that. Nov 19, 2016

jcpedrouzo wrote:

Hi Natalia,

In my experience, I've found that when you want to offer a service you've never provided, it's best to do a few practice projects first so you can gauge several things


A lot of practice in this case.

Subtitling needs special skills and special software(s) you need to handle properly in order to be accurate and fast.

I got to that point... let's say... after 12, 15 motion pictures, translating + time code, that is, from scratch.


 

Natalia Tarquino
Colombia
Local time: 06:57
Member (2016)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
My bad! Nov 19, 2016

Andreas Granzow wrote:

Hi Natalia,

I do a lot of subtitling myself and also give some to other freelancers I work with.
A rate of only USD 0.03 per minute of subtitling is absolutely crazy in my opinion.
YOu have to keep in mind, that on most videos, such as training material or the like, it takes more than a minute to do the subtitles for a minute of video. The fastest I have done was a 10 Minute video in 20 minutes. The time needed varies greatly. It depends on the way the person talks, how clearly (s)he speaks. Some are good, others are terrible.
However, even if you are extremely fast and can do one minute video in one minute of real time it wouldn't be worth the effort.

As for myself, I don't touch anything that doesn't even come close to:

1 Subtitling - EUR 1.50/m
2 Translation & subtitling - EUR 2.00/m

Anything else is not worth the effort, as the hourly rate would dip way too low. Remember, that isn't the hourly rate on video time, but on actual worked time.


Hi Andreas,

My bad!! I don't know why I wrote 3 cents - I meant USD 3.00. Would that be crazy? That would be higher than the one you mentioned.


 

Natalia Tarquino
Colombia
Local time: 06:57
Member (2016)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I meant USD 3.00/m Nov 19, 2016

Juan Jacob wrote:

Just one question:

Do you know how to do it?

[We often see colleagues willing to do subtitling thinking how fancy it is... with no idea about how to do it.
Your "Would USD 0.03/m for subtitling be crazy?" is crazy, indeed].



Hi Juan,

I'm sorry, I just realized I wrote the wrong number. I wanted to say USD 3.00 per minute.

I do know how to do it as I have worked on some projects before. However, this is the first time I will try to charge but I didn't know how to do it.

I normally use Aegisub for subtitling.

So, would USD 3.00 per minute be crazy? too high? too low?

Thanksicon_smile.gif


 

Natalia Tarquino
Colombia
Local time: 06:57
Member (2016)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I meant USD 3.00/m Nov 19, 2016

jcpedrouzo wrote:

Hi Natalia,

In my experience, I've found that when you want to offer a service you've never provided, it's best to do a few practice projects first so you can gauge several things:

1. Can I do it?
2. Do I enjoy it?
3. How much time does it take?
4. How much can I charge?

You can download videos from YouTube or somewhere else for the test projects.

You want to do a few so you can get familiar with the workflow, and make sure you time yourself. You will use this data to figure out your max daily output.

I have figured for myself that I can only subtitle 45 minutes per day, so I divide what I charge for a full day's worth of work by 45 and I have my price per video minute. This includes the translation, as you always want to present a clear round number to your client.

As you complete more and more projects, you will find your average and adjust your subtitling rate.


Hi jcpedrouzo,

It was a mistake, I wanted to say USD 3.00 per minute.

I have practiced before as I have worked on subtitling projects but I have done it for free (for some friends and colleagues).
Now, I am planning to offer this service to agencies and charge for it, but I wasn't sure how to do it. Do you think USD 3.00 is kinda crazy?

Thanksicon_smile.gif


 

Andreas Granzow
Germany
Local time: 13:57
German to English
+ ...
rates Nov 19, 2016

Natalia Tarquino wrote:


Hi Andreas,

My bad!! I don't know why I wrote 3 cents - I meant USD 3.00. Would that be crazy? That would be higher than the one you mentioned.


Hi Natalia,

No, that would not be crazy. It is roughly what I usually charge (not the bare minimum, which I wrote in my first reply). And said bare minimum is something that I would only consider, if I were to get a long term contract with a considerable number of monthly hours for myself and the freelancers I work with.

It all depends on a lot of things. What kind of material are you working on, how many minutes are you getting, is it straight from the source or are you working for a company which gets their material from another company which gets it from another and so on. There are plenty of companies out there who take offers from others who don't want to handle the work themselves.

In my opinion one can't give a plain and simple answer to the question and the actual question is ... what is YOUR price and what do YOU work for. There are people who wouldn't even set their alarm for anything less than 15, some would work for less than what I charge. It all depends on the pricetag you put on your work.

[Edited at 2016-11-19 01:30 GMT]


 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:57
English to German
+ ...
Did you even see ... Nov 19, 2016

Natalia Tarquino wrote:

jcpedrouzo wrote:

Hi Natalia,

In my experience, I've found that when you want to offer a service you've never provided, it's best to do a few practice projects first so you can gauge several things:

1. Can I do it?
2. Do I enjoy it?
3. How much time does it take?
4. How much can I charge?

You can download videos from YouTube or somewhere else for the test projects.

You want to do a few so you can get familiar with the workflow, and make sure you time yourself. You will use this data to figure out your max daily output.

I have figured for myself that I can only subtitle 45 minutes per day, so I divide what I charge for a full day's worth of work by 45 and I have my price per video minute. This includes the translation, as you always want to present a clear round number to your client.

As you complete more and more projects, you will find your average and adjust your subtitling rate.


Hi jcpedrouzo,

It was a mistake, I wanted to say USD 3.00 per minute.

I have practiced before as I have worked on subtitling projects but I have done it for free (for some friends and colleagues).
Now, I am planning to offer this service to agencies and charge for it, but I wasn't sure how to do it. Do you think USD 3.00 is kinda crazy?

Thanksicon_smile.gif



... what I wrote in my previous comment? I have a feeling you even mean $3.00 per video minute. Why else would you suggest to charge per minute????

[Edited at 2016-11-19 01:36 GMT]


 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:57
English to German
+ ...
I guess I'll draw my own conclusions Nov 20, 2016

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:

Natalia Tarquino wrote:

jcpedrouzo wrote:

Hi Natalia,

In my experience, I've found that when you want to offer a service you've never provided, it's best to do a few practice projects first so you can gauge several things:

1. Can I do it?
2. Do I enjoy it?
3. How much time does it take?
4. How much can I charge?

You can download videos from YouTube or somewhere else for the test projects.

You want to do a few so you can get familiar with the workflow, and make sure you time yourself. You will use this data to figure out your max daily output.

I have figured for myself that I can only subtitle 45 minutes per day, so I divide what I charge for a full day's worth of work by 45 and I have my price per video minute. This includes the translation, as you always want to present a clear round number to your client.

As you complete more and more projects, you will find your average and adjust your subtitling rate.


Hi jcpedrouzo,

It was a mistake, I wanted to say USD 3.00 per minute.

I have practiced before as I have worked on subtitling projects but I have done it for free (for some friends and colleagues).
Now, I am planning to offer this service to agencies and charge for it, but I wasn't sure how to do it. Do you think USD 3.00 is kinda crazy?

Thanksicon_smile.gif



... what I wrote in my previous comment? I have a feeling you even mean $3.00 per video minute. Why else would you suggest to charge per minute????

[Edited at 2016-11-19 01:36 GMT]


... because i did not receive and answer to my question above. But I'm not the one who asked the original question.


 

panyingzhao
China
Local time: 19:57
English to Chinese
+ ...
100 RMB per minute for subtitling Nov 21, 2016

The price in most Chinese translation companies in subtitling is around 100 RMB(around 15 USD).

I think it is a reasonable price as it involves three major steps of dictating, translation and production of timeline. A minute of the video usually takes up to 20 minutes to 30 minutes to process all of them.

I also charge this price from some media companies that I have worked with and they are in agreement with me once I explain such efforts needed to produce high-quality subtitles.

Another tip from my personal practices is that, considering the subject, the length and the intensity of words distribution, the price is subject to around 10% discount.


 
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