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Transcription and translation FAQs and rates

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Do you have a question about our audio transcription and translation services? Check out our frequently asked questions to find the answer…

What is audio transcription?

Audio transcription is the process of converting recorded voice content as text.  This is usually done to prepare for foreign language versions and subtitling.

How do you create an audio transcription?

Transcription work is performed by a trained transcriber, and the method used, will depend on the intended use.  Will the transcription be used for reference only, or will the transcription also need to be time-coded, so that it can be used to create a voice-over script or subtitling document?

If the transcription doesn’t require time-codes to be added, the transcriber won’t need any specialist software.  In this case any trained audio typist should be able to produce the transcription. However, if the transcript is being created from a video, for voice-over or subtitles translation, the transcriber will need the right software and training, to time-code the script appropriately. Typically, transcription for subtitling work is much more time intensive, as the time-codes must be logged in hours:minutes:seconds:frames, and the transcriber will need to allow enough time for the viewer to read each “subtitle”.

How long does audio transcription take?

The length of time taken depends on the intended use of the transcription, (for reference, voice-over or subtitling), and on other factors such as the quality of the recording, the clarity of the voices, and the number of voices.

Transcription industry standards dictate that ten to fifteen minutes of speech takes about one hour to type, however if the audio needs to be time-coded it can take up to three times longer. As a guide:

Transcription for reference: 60 minutes of audio can be transcribed per day

Transcription for voice-over: 30 – 40 minutes of audio can be transcribed per day

Transcription for subtitling: 20 – 30 minutes of audio can be transcribed per day

How do you calculate audio transcription costs?

The costs for transcription, and/or time-coding scripts, can vary depending on the language concerned, and the type of transcription required. We offer three levels of transcription service as follows:

English Transcription for Subtitles: £4.50 per minute of video (£60 minimum)

English Transcription for Voice-Over: £3.50 per minute of audio/video (£60 minimum)

English Transcription for Reference (no time codes): £2.50  per minute of audio/video (£30 minimum)

We can also transcribe and time-code foreign audio. Please contact us for pricing as the fees vary by language.


How do you calculate translation costs?

Audio & Video Translation costs
The cost of translation depends on what the translation is to be used for. Are we translating for subtitles where there is a strict character limit? Perhaps for voice-over which will have different time constraints.  Or maybe a document or website translation is what you require. All our translations can be proof-read by a second senior translator, at additional cost, which is particularly important for marketing related copy.

Translation for subtitles
£11 – £19 per minute, (£120 minimum), varies by language and the level of service required.

N.B. This price is for the translation only, and does not include video editing costs to sync and burn-in the translated subtitles to the video (Please see our subtitling FAQ for more information on these costs).

Translation for voice-over
From £0.13 per word (£75 minimum), varies by language and the level of service required.

Translation for documents and websites
From £0.11 per word (£75 minimum), varies by language and the level of service required.


Remember, if you need guidance on prices we’re just a quick phone call or email away!