Beginner rate question: Transcription from Estonian Audio to Estonian text: rate 0.50 USD/ minute
Аўтар тэмы: Karin Ervin

Karin Ervin
Эстонія
Local time: 09:01
англійская → эстонская
+ ...
Mar 28

Hi,

So I came across a transcription project, Estonian audio to Estonian text.

The rate that the company offers is 0.50 USD per audio minute. Is this considered a normal "average" rate or low?

I have some experience in translation (not professional paid gigs) but not in transcription. So I have no clue how much time it will take to transcribe 1 minute of audio file.

I am a beginner and they obviously saw my CV, having no professional transla
... See more
Hi,

So I came across a transcription project, Estonian audio to Estonian text.

The rate that the company offers is 0.50 USD per audio minute. Is this considered a normal "average" rate or low?

I have some experience in translation (not professional paid gigs) but not in transcription. So I have no clue how much time it will take to transcribe 1 minute of audio file.

I am a beginner and they obviously saw my CV, having no professional translation experience.

Do you suggest to accept this? I have a full time job but looking for some extra income currently. I usually negotiate these rates but this time just got an offer.

Also how do companies usually pay in case I don't have a company to give them an invoice? The compnay offering me this transcription is based in US. Is it commmon in this case for them to make a normal working contract for me? Wondering if taxes are deducted from this 0.30 USD. Any experience?

Additional info:

- Transcription of a large volume of audio into text
- files are ready for assignment
- I would be assigned 1hour of audio per day
- rate offer is USD 0.50 per audio minute
- Estonian audio into Estonian text transcription

Thanks in advance,
Karin

[Edited at 2020-03-28 10:26 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-03-28 10:30 GMT]
Collapse


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Нідэрланды
Local time: 08:01
Член (2006)
англійская → афрыкаанс
+ ...
@Karin I, w.r.t. transcription specifically Mar 28

Karin Ervin wrote:
I came across a transcription project, Estonian audio to Estonian text.
The rate that the company offers is 0.50 USD per audio minute. Is this considered a normal "average" rate or low?


Depending on the amount, speed and quality of speech, the number of speakers, and background noise, it takes 6-10 minutes to transcribe 1 minute of audio.

So, if they're offering USD 0.50 per audio minute, it means that they're offering between USD 3.00 and USD 5.00 per actual hour of work. If you were to work 8 hours without taking a break, you'd make USD 24-40 per day. I'm not sure what the cost of living is like in Estonia, but does €22-€36 per day sound like a good wage to you? And you'd have to pay income tax on that, too (20% in Estonia, if I'm not mistaken).

- I would be assigned 1 hour of audio per day


You will not be able to complete a full 1 hour of audio per day if you work part-time. The 1 hour of audio will pay USD 30, but it will take you 6-10 hours to do it. However, it is possible that the "1 hour per day" is merely a guideline, or perhaps it is only a maximum, and it's possible that they would be happy even if you tell them that it may take 5 days instead of 1 day to complete the "1 hour of audio".

I am a beginner and they obviously saw my CV, having no professional translation experience.


It is my understanding that agencies offer such cheap transcription jobs offer the same rates to everyone, so their offer is not related to your years of experience.

I have a full time job but looking for some extra income currently.


Well, since you don't need the money, you can try it for a week or a month to see if this is something that you enjoy doing. Who knows, perhaps their Estonian jobs can really be done much quicker than the industry average.


[Edited at 2020-03-28 11:37 GMT]


Karin Ervin
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Нідэрланды
Local time: 08:01
Член (2006)
англійская → афрыкаанс
+ ...
@Karin II, w.r.t. doing business with US clients Mar 28

Karin Ervin wrote:
How do companies usually pay in case I don't have a company to give them an invoice? The company offering me this transcription is based in US. Is it common in this case for them to make a normal working contract for me? Wondering if taxes are deducted from this?


Different EU countries have different laws, so this is a question specifically for freelance translators who live in Estonia (find such colleagues by searching the directory, and then ask a few of them personally).

In the Netherlands (which is also an EU country), freelance translators are allowed to work independently, i.e. issue invoices in their own name, and pay personal income tax instead of company tax on the income. You have to pay the taxes yourself, manually (the clients don't pay it for you). Estonia is in the EU, so I imagine that your US client would not be liable for VAT (in other words, the invoice that you send them should not contain any VAT).

In other words, you'll invoice for e.g. USD 30 and then 45 to 60 days later they'll send you USD 30 (minus banking fees), and then at the end of the month, quarter or year you'll have to declare all the extra income to your country's tax department and manually pay tax on that income. Your country's tax department may offer special discounts for freelance translators, so that you end up paying slightly less.

The agreement that you'll have with the US company will likely be one where you are not an employee of theirs, but an independent contractor, i.e. you work for them for as long as you want, and you are not required to accept all jobs from them, and they are not required to send you a certain minimum amount of work, and both you and they are free to "renegotiate" the rate of pay at any time.


[Edited at 2020-03-28 11:42 GMT]


Karin Ervin
 

Karin Ervin
Эстонія
Local time: 09:01
англійская → эстонская
+ ...
ПАЧЫНАЛЬНІК ТЭМЫ
Hourly wage for this project is low Mar 28

Samuel Murray wrote:

Karin Ervin wrote:
I came across a transcription project, Estonian audio to Estonian text.
The rate that the company offers is 0.50 USD per audio minute. Is this considered a normal "average" rate or low?


Depending on the amount, speed and quality of speech, the number of speakers, and background noise, it takes 6-10 minutes to transcribe 1 minute of audio.

So, if they're offering USD 0.50 per audio minute, it means that they're offering between USD 3.00 and USD 5.00 per actual hour of work. If you were to work 8 hours without taking a break, you'd make USD 24-40 per day. I'm not sure what the cost of living is like in Estonia, but does €22-€36 per day sound like a good wage to you? And you'd have to pay income tax on that, too (20% in Estonia, if I'm not mistaken).

I am a beginner and they obviously saw my CV, having no professional translation experience.


It is my understanding that agencies offer such cheap transcription jobs offer the same rates to everyone, so their offer is not related to your years of experience.

I have a full time job but looking for some extra income currently.


Well, since you don't need the money, you can try it for a week or a month to see if this is something that you enjoy doing. Who knows, perhaps their Estonian jobs can really be done much quicker than the industry average.


Hi,

You are right, thanks a lot for your advice! I did some research on approximately how fast I might be able to translate 60 minutes of audio, the hourly wage is not good even before income tax 20%.

I will ask them for an example audio file, just to check how good is the quality. Probably, will try to negotiate before accepting this job.

According to my calculations, as they expect me to transcribe 60 min of audio per day, it would be USD 30 per day (gross). If the ratio is 1:4, takes approximately 15 min to transcribe 1 min of audio (let's say that I might be slower than expected, although I believe that your estimation of 6-10 min is more accurate) then I will end up spending 4 hours working per day, hourly gross wage 30/4= USD 7.5, NET would be USD 6, which is approximately 5.37 EUR/h. This wage is a common salary for waitresses (excluding tips) in Estonia...
I would expect to be well paid for this type of job, make spending 4 hours of my free time each day after working hours worth it.

I actually thought that because the population in Estonia is small, demand is higher and the translation jobs for this language would pay higher than on average (compared to more common English audio to English text for example). But guess it is not the case then.

Thanks a lot for your advice!


 

Karin Ervin
Эстонія
Local time: 09:01
англійская → эстонская
+ ...
ПАЧЫНАЛЬНІК ТЭМЫ
Contractor and liable for tax in Estonia Mar 28

Samuel Murray wrote:

Karin Ervin wrote:
How do companies usually pay in case I don't have a company to give them an invoice? The company offering me this transcription is based in US. Is it common in this case for them to make a normal working contract for me? Wondering if taxes are deducted from this?


Different EU countries have different laws, so this is a question specifically for freelance translators who live in Estonia (find such colleagues by searching the directory, and then ask a few of them personally).

In the Netherlands (which is also an EU country), freelance translators are allowed to work independently, i.e. issue invoices in their own name, and pay personal income tax instead of company tax on the income. You have to pay the taxes yourself, manually (the clients don't pay it for you). Estonia is in the EU, so I imagine that your US client would not be liable for VAT (in other words, the invoice that you send them should not contain any VAT).

In other words, you'll invoice for e.g. USD 30 and then 45 to 60 days later they'll send you USD 30 (minus banking fees), and then at the end of the month, quarter or year you'll have to declare all the extra income to your country's tax department and manually pay tax on that income. Your country's tax department may offer special discounts for freelance translators, so that you end up paying slightly less.

The agreement that you'll have with the US company will likely be one where you are not an employee of theirs, but an independent contractor, i.e. you work for them for as long as you want, and you are not required to accept all jobs from them, and they are not required to send you a certain minimum amount of work, and both you and they are free to "renegotiate" the rate of pay at any time.


[Edited at 2020-03-28 11:42 GMT]



Hi,

Yeah, I am not sure exactly how I could pay income tax on this income in Estonia, without registering a company or registering as "FIE" which is a Self-Employed Entrepreneur. FIE is probably the same as you described in the Netherlands. The second option most probably in this case would work, just need to pay 20% income tax only as my full-time job already pays the social tax on me. Information for any Estonian who will come across this post in the future.

And you are right, I got the contract and would be working for them as a contractor and would be liable for VAT in Estonia.

Again, thanks for your time and advice!
Karin


 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Фінляндыя
Local time: 09:01
Член (2003)
фінская → нямецкая
+ ...
You don't pay the VAT Mar 28

Karin Ervin wrote:

Samuel Murray wrote:

Karin Ervin wrote:
How do companies usually pay in case I don't have a company to give them an invoice? The company offering me this transcription is based in US. Is it common in this case for them to make a normal working contract for me? Wondering if taxes are deducted from this?


Different EU countries have different laws, so this is a question specifically for freelance translators who live in Estonia (find such colleagues by searching the directory, and then ask a few of them personally).

In the Netherlands (which is also an EU country), freelance translators are allowed to work independently, i.e. issue invoices in their own name, and pay personal income tax instead of company tax on the income. You have to pay the taxes yourself, manually (the clients don't pay it for you). Estonia is in the EU, so I imagine that your US client would not be liable for VAT (in other words, the invoice that you send them should not contain any VAT).

In other words, you'll invoice for e.g. USD 30 and then 45 to 60 days later they'll send you USD 30 (minus banking fees), and then at the end of the month, quarter or year you'll have to declare all the extra income to your country's tax department and manually pay tax on that income. Your country's tax department may offer special discounts for freelance translators, so that you end up paying slightly less.

The agreement that you'll have with the US company will likely be one where you are not an employee of theirs, but an independent contractor, i.e. you work for them for as long as you want, and you are not required to accept all jobs from them, and they are not required to send you a certain minimum amount of work, and both you and they are free to "renegotiate" the rate of pay at any time.


[Edited at 2020-03-28 11:42 GMT]



Hi,

Yeah, I am not sure exactly how I could pay income tax on this income in Estonia, without registering a company or registering as "FIE" which is a Self-Employed Entrepreneur. FIE is probably the same as you described in the Netherlands. The second option most probably in this case would work, just need to pay 20% income tax only as my full-time job already pays the social tax on me. Information for any Estonian who will come across this post in the future.

And you are right, I got the contract and would be working for them as a contractor and would be liable for VAT in Estonia.

Again, thanks for your time and advice!
Karin




If the customer is outside Estonia, no VAT applies to you.
If you get from your main job let's say yearly 10000 Euro and from freelancing 5000 Euro you pay income tax for 15000 total, your employer for the 10000 and you for the rest. For a flat tax rate of 20 % this means 1000 Euro you pay yourself and keep the rest.


Karin Ervin
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Нідэрланды
Local time: 08:01
Член (2006)
англійская → афрыкаанс
+ ...
@Karin III Mar 28

Karin Ervin wrote:
I am not sure exactly how I could pay income tax on this income in Estonia, without registering a company or registering as "FIE" which is a Self-Employed Entrepreneur. FIE is probably the same as you described in the Netherlands.


You make a good point: in some countries, self-employed people have to formally register. In the Netherlands, the threshold is very low: you just need to register at the local chamber of commerce, which involves paying a very small fee and filling in a form. I understand, however, that in some countries it is not simple and not cheap, and may have repercussions for your financial situation.

...just need to pay 20% income tax only as my full-time job already pays the social tax on me.


Whether the social tax paid by your main employer is sufficient, is a matter than you should discuss with a bookkeeper.

And you are right, I got the contract and would be working for them as a contractor and would be liable for VAT in Estonia.


As Heinrich said, if they're outside of Estonia, then you will probably not be liable for VAT yourself. In other words, neither they nor you pay VAT.


Karin Ervin
 


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Beginner rate question: Transcription from Estonian Audio to Estonian text: rate 0.50 USD/ minute

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