Advice for Translation Clients

The following is a good over view of the steps to take prior to having a patent translated. It is by no means exhaustive but it will save you time, money and improve the end result.

1. Have a very clear idea why you need the translation. Filing a patent that you own is the most common (and best) reason, but do check whether it needs translation (https://www.epo.org/law-practice/unitary/unitary-patent.html is a good place to start).However, if you only need to know what a patent says for purposes of research or litigation, other options (translation of abstracts, patent extracts or claims) will be cheaper.

2. Choose a provider based on:

  • Patent translation experience, very preferably within the scope of the patent
  • Whether a second professional will be proofing
  • Level of professional indemnity insurance
    Proof of external quality audit (such as ISO 9001)

Sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised.

Do try and supply a fully editable file for translation. This will save the translator time and therefore save you money. Also, with CAT tools such as Trados being so common as to be ubiquitous, translation agencies will be able to give you discounts for repetitions and technical terms that can be added to the translation memory or glossary for future work. Using CAT (translation memory tools) also means that the translations will be 100% consistent. By all means have a PDF version that is the master version, against which we will be able to check the completed translation.

3. Be prepared to answer technical questions. The translator is primarily a linguist and is valued for their ability to translate the text accurately and, above all, clearly without grammatical or linguistic errors.

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