Video translation / transciption (re: work load)
Thread poster: Holger Laux

Holger Laux  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:23
Member (2011)
English to German
+ ...
Aug 25, 2011

Following on from my previous thread about work volumes, here is another one:

One of my specialisms is translation off audio/video material. Before I gathered enough experience, I got badly bitten by getting my quotes and estimates wrong. I either lost clients for over-charging or under-sold myself for working much more than the fee was worth.

So, what do you do if a TV editor walks into your office and tells you he has "just an hour" of interview material and would £100 be enough to translate it? Or an agency who "normally pays" €1.50 per minute of material?

Obviously, you would try to haggle and get more. But how much?

Let's say: A one hour interview delivered to you at 10am, very urgent. How quickly can you do it and how much would you charge (quote per minute or per hour in any currency you like. If you do not want to reveal your fees, just give me a figure of how much text you think the recording will produce)?

This scenario is real and happens to me regularly. Answer to follow later ...


Direct link Reply with quote

LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:23
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
at least 5000-6000 words Aug 25, 2011

in a hour of a speech. Possibly more.

Direct link Reply with quote

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:23
English to German
+ ...
Hi Holger Aug 25, 2011

I just sent you an email. I forgot to mention: I had five days. For rush it would have cost more.



Direct link Reply with quote

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:23
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It depends... Aug 25, 2011

Basically it depends on your speed and how much you earn doing something else. After I had been doing it for 20 years (this was 4 years ago), I decided that once I had been able to select one single general m.o. regarding software, I'd charge the same per minute of playing time, regardless if it were transcription in either EN or PT, translation in either direction between them, for whichever purpose among verbatim, for dubbing, or for subtitling. Any of these take me about the same time to do, it's a matter of changing the approach. Variation between easier and more difficult materials is covered by the average: win on some, lose on others.

Of course, I don't get transcription jobs, and I'm not interested in them. There are much, much cheaper people doing it. I also have a minimum 15 minutes' playing time per order, to cover the hassle of downloading, converting if needed, etc. I avoid committing to do more than 30-60 minutes of video work per day, my ratio is 6:1, as quality tends to drop after that.

Btw, I go all the way to a fully-authored, subtitled DVD. So, to parse with your TV editor, once a client called me on a Friday, at 9:00 AM: "I have a one-hour documentary in English, which I need translated, subtitled, and delivered as a DVD today by 5:00 PM. I am ready to pay whatever you consider reasonable for the rush." I had to tell him that, no matter how fast I could translate and spot the video, even if I covered my computer with gold, it wouldn't render video any faster.

Some video guys still dream of Jeannie, and in their dreams she is a translator.

Direct link Reply with quote

Michael Zapuskalov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 19:23
English to Russian
+ ...
What's the connection? Aug 26, 2011

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote: matter how fast I could translate and spot the video, even if I covered my computer with gold, it wouldn't render video any faster...

How DVD subtitling is connected with rendering video? And what do you mean by rendering? Decoding? Or do you render 3D scenes for some kind of menu?

Direct link Reply with quote

To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Video translation / transciption (re: work load)

Advanced search

memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »
SDL Trados Studio 2017 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2017 helps translators increase translation productivity whilst ensuring quality. Combining translation memory, terminology management and machine translation in one simple and easy-to-use environment.

More info »

  • All of
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search