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Patents: do you need a special certificate to translate them?
Thread poster: nixie
nixie
English to Russian
+ ...
Oct 20, 2003

I also wonder if the prices should differ from the usual translation rates?

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xxxncfialho  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:50
German to Portuguese
+ ...
Patents... Oct 20, 2003

Hello,
I did it a few times and it was paid 6,17€ per 100 words (if my memory still works) I didnt like it very much...normaly it is done by engineers. My Info is about Portugal
Good luck and hope you ge the patens not as a hardcopy but in a file so you can use a CAT Tool....
Natália


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
You don't need a certificate.. Oct 20, 2003

..but you need a certain kind of brain damage.

It is a mixture of juristic and engineering language replenished with "patentese" specific terms and formalisms. No room for style or common speech. Before translating, you should read some patents in your language to get accustomed to it.
And usually you get it on paper, so you'll have to scan or transcribe it to apply a CAT tool.

All in all you can expect a 20%-30% higher rate and 50% longer working time.

Have fun,
Harry


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SpanTran
Local time: 22:50
Dutch to English
+ ...
Patents Oct 20, 2003

I am working on a patent now, and it is a pure headache! It does indeed take much longer than a usual translation (although I must admit this one is very repetitive) as you end up getting stuck on strange terms and structures, it is so detailed and precise, and you must find the exact word... not only that, I am even more demotivated now that I know it is common practice to pay more for patents... the agency I work for in Madrid doesn't offer a penny extra for patents (and they already pay very badly!) If I can afford to do so, I am staying way clear of patents from now!! ;-P

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Alexandru Pojoga
Romania
Local time: 23:50
Japanese to English
+ ...
To refine it a bit... Oct 21, 2003


..but you need a certain kind of brain damage.


Let's call it "peculiar inclination that just happens to be well-paying."


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nixie
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, everybody :-) Oct 21, 2003

for warning me against it
Good luck


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medea74
Local time: 22:50
English to Spanish
It is not that difficult! Oct 22, 2003

Patents are the only kind of document I translate. At the begining it can be difficult, but when you get used to them, you'll see you'll always use the same phrases. The only thing you need is a deep knowledge of the field you translate. I'm a chemist, and it would be impossible for me to translate legal or financial patents, for example.
They are always interesting as they teach how to build up inventions, lots of them and always new! You could try at least...
Good luck!
M.


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medea74
Local time: 22:50
English to Spanish
Oops! Oct 23, 2003

I wanted to say legal or financial "documents", I was just writing too fast...excuse me!

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TTV  Identity Verified
France
German to French
Another point of view (with experience) Oct 23, 2003

Harry_B wrote:

..but you need a certain kind of brain damage.

It is a mixture of juristic and engineering language replenished with "patentese" specific terms and formalisms. No room for style or common speech. Before translating, you should read some patents in your language to get accustomed to it.
And usually you get it on paper, so you'll have to scan or transcribe it to apply a CAT tool.

All in all you can expect a 20%-30% higher rate and 50% longer working time.

Have fun,
Harry


I've been translating only patents during about 15 years and it has been the "quitest" period of my translator life. Without patents, I would not have been able to run a "normal" life with 3 children. I will tell you why:

1) Patents is the only field where an independant translator, even a beginner, without relations, is not obliged to work with translation agencies. That's indeed the point: you have to prospect directly the patent attorneys. The advantages are:

a) they pay higher

b) they pay quicker (all you do in one month is paid at the beginning of the following month, even in France...).

c) they pay regularly. You dont' need reminders.

c) they give you a regular "load" of work. You're not obliged to work at night or on sundays. They don't give you a work for some hours later, or a work on friday for monday, as agencies. I've here work for february 2004 for example.

d) they have a lot of work. So you don't have to spend time searching customers.

2) There are basically 4 fields of patents: Mechanical / Electronics / Chemical / Medical (that is medicaments). You have to spezialise in one of those fields. Patents ARE difficult, that's true, and you only have them on paper. That's an inconvenient. But on the other way:
a) patents are repetitive, and on the contrary of other documents, you HAVE to use the same words for the same things, so that's a simplification.
b) a patent is "a whole". It is accompagnied with drawings, and references to other patents. So you can understand "what it is about", and when you have understand it (which can be, I admit, difficult), all goes quite easy.

The only problem, and that's why I came initially here to ProZ, in order to find new clients and other fields of activity, is that, as far as european patents are concerned, their translations (for a big part of them) will be sooner or later stopped. I've already explained that situation, without any echoes here. But that's a fact. In France, we are some to fight against that since a few years, with some success.

At the present time, I've partially succed to find clients in other fields, but it is very difficult, and I faced the same problems that make me once choose to translate patents, that is agencies which give you any sort of job, at any rate, at any date, difficulties to be paid, aso. So if I would have had the choice, I would sure have sticked to PATENTS.

And to conclude as Harry, I would say that in patents I was/am paid 20% better than a "normal" job with an average agency, but for 50% LESS working time, on a word basis. And concerning fun, I would'nt say I had fun with patents, certainly not, but I have not more fun working with agencies that make me work the whole sunday and night, for then waiting "their good will" to be paid. Besides, having fun when translating to earn its life is quite difficult, and on can find lot of other "sources" of fun in life, besides job.







[Edited at 2003-10-23 13:34]


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Kerstin Roland  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:50
Member (2003)
German to English
not so bad Oct 23, 2003

I have been translating patents for over 5 years and once you get used to the long sentences and can find your way through I think they are pretty straightforward. You need very good dictionaries though or do a lot of research online because of the terminology.

Try the link below for the European patent office. You can select your languages, e.g. German is de.esapacenet.com. Then just enter any search term such as "transmission" and see what comes up. If you use the link on the English abstracts, it will give you a pretty good idea of how the translations work because the abstract will be in English, but the description and claims are usually in the original language.
http://www.european-patent-office.org/espacenet/info/access.htm


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