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Hello there!

I have recently interpreted at an ophthalmologists´conference. They recorded the conference, but not the interpretations. Now they have asked us to come and interpret a part of the speeches again, this time to be recorded.

I am having trouble deciding how much to charge for this. It is about 2,5 hours of spoken material. Is it wrong of me to think that this type of interpreting, that is to be recorded and put online, is different from "live" interpreting? I feel as though it will take more time, and take some editing, to get the quality I want for putting online. Any thoughts on this?

asked 14 Oct '14, 06:59

frusaga's gravatar image


edited 14 Oct '14, 08:18

Vincent%20Buck's gravatar image

Vincent Buck

The going rate for that type of job is at least equivalent to what you'd charge for a regular interpreting gig. A 20-30% markup is common practice.

You'll need to go over the original again and take detailed notes not only to take down the speaker's thoughts (as you would do in consecutive) but also how best to render it into your target language. Also, that sort of work involves quite some editing. For instance don't reproduce hesitations or reformulations in the original, but go straight to the point and control your delivery to convey the same information, in a way that is clearer and easier on the listener.

Think of yourself more as a voice over artist than an interpreter, with the major advantage that you are in control of your own text and fully aware of the speaker's intention.

That type of voice over work is quite common for television, where you'd interpret live for the guests and host on the programme, and then do a clean, polished broadcast version.

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answered 14 Oct '14, 08:01

Vincent%20Buck's gravatar image

Vincent Buck

edited 14 Oct '14, 13:05

Angela's gravatar image


Thank you for an excellent reply to my question. It is very helpful. My client doesn't quite understand that this is different from showing up and doing a live interpretation, and therefore takes more time. This helps me to stand firm regarding my rates.

(14 Oct '14, 08:27) frusaga

Also it depends on how interpretation is to be used. Interpreters have copyright on their interpretation and it is one thing when it is for internal consumption by the client and quite another if it is to be published commercially. Also, interpretation should not be transcribed and published as is without having been edited. See also AIIC Memorandum concerning the use of recordings of interpretation at conferences at

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answered 14 Oct '14, 19:48

Cyril%20Flerov's gravatar image

Cyril Flerov


Had you been recorded during your conference, you could have charged from between 50-100% of your daily rate, thus selling your copyright. Of course, as Cyril says, had it been only for "internal use," you would not have charged anything - only if it was to be broadcast.

Also, if you were streamed, or if they had used your interpretation, untouched and unedited, you should have also made sure that the client has posted a disclaimer in the same place as the recording would be available; the ICJ, the ILO and the OPCW all have good examples of those disclaimers.

As you are going in for a second shot at the same speeches, you have the possibility of doing a very good job, as Vincent describes. In this case, a disclaimer would no longer be necessary. However, it is your extra work, extra time, extra effort, and copyright you are selling, so make sure to bring all the arguments to bear to get a fair rate.

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answered 15 Oct '14, 10:40

JuliaP's gravatar image


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question asked: 14 Oct '14, 06:59

question was seen: 5,880 times

last updated: 15 Oct '14, 10:40 is a community-driven website open to anyone with questions and/or answers about interpreting, i.e. spoken language translation

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