Subtitling rates in Australia
Thread poster: Pegi

Local time: 02:26
German to English
Jan 6, 2014

Hi all,

I'm wondering if there are many freelance subtitlers working in Australia and what they charge per film minute?

I recently returned from Germany after two years where I had quite regular work as a German to English and Spanish to English subtitler. I'm now home in Australia and wish to gain work here while maintaining my European customers. I'm also NAATI professional accredited for German to English.
I've never translated in Australia before because I went overseas as soon as I finished my studies.

I know the rates we can charge in Europe, but how about in Australia? I've found little information on this and don't really know anyone subtitling in Australia, although I understand it's a small market!

I understand the SBS now mostly contract out to freelancers and there are a few other agencies such as Red Bee Media who use subtitlers.

Also, how about captioning for deaf and hard of hearing? What are the rates paid for this?

Any answers would be a great help!



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Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:26
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Why charge less (or more) Jan 7, 2014

it's not like you gained a sudden understanding of a new language, so I'm guessing you would still like to work on the same things as before.

A change of location does not mean your skills have become less, or more valuable does it?

You can still work remotely from Australia, for the same clients you had in Europe, sometimes (with tight deadlines this may even be preferable because of the time difference... ) but why should you charge more or less - - if the common market price in Australia is lower - - any client in Europe would just contact an agency in Australia and get the same quality they are used to at a lower price....

Or the reverse - any translator in Australia would simply refuse local work if they can get better paid jobs from Europe...


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Local time: 02:26
German to English
Sorry, let me rephrase Jan 7, 2014

Thanks Ed, what you're saying is perfectly right and I agree.

What I was really asking, though, was - How much do Australian customers/clients/agencies pay freelancers for subtitling? (eg. translation and spotting)
I'm wondering what the going rate for subtitling for Australian clients is?

I wouldn't charge my European clients any more or less now that I'm living in Australia but I still need to know what I can charge my future Australian clients.

Text translation pays more in Australia than it does in Europe because living costs are higher here. I expect subtitling to be the same but don't have an exact figure...

Thanks again

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Daria Bontch-Osmolovskaia
Local time: 10:26
+ ...
a little birdie told me Jan 7, 2014

Hi Peggy,

A friend of mine works for SBS as a subtitler (on freelance basis), in a different language combination from yours. She wasn't very forthcoming, but she did say that SBS pays about $2.5 per subtitle.

That said, I don't know whether that's her personal rate, or it's a general SBS thing. Or that other subtitling agencies/companies will pay the same or better or worse.

How much do EU companies pay? (I'm curious.)

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