Patent translation
Thread poster: Ewa Szczepaniak

Ewa Szczepaniak
Local time: 17:51
English to Polish
Aug 5, 2007

I would be very grateful if translators who specialize and are experienced in patent translations could give me a hint as to:

1. how to obtain patents for translations; I get one in a few months and would like more
2. how do you charge; per source word or target word, or per page?
3. anything else that you think is relevant and may be helpful in obtaining more projects

Thank you

Ewa Szczepaniak


Suzette Martin-Johnson
French to English
+ ...
Just keep trying and perfecting your skills Aug 5, 2007

Hi Ewa,

This is one of my areas and all I can say is, like any other translation jobs you may be seeking, just keep trying!

Some of my jobs have come unexpectedly through contacts, often at the last minute and with tight deadlines, and the blue board has a lot of jobs. I didn't see a blue ribbon by your name and so I'm suggesting that you at least get the $80 six-month membership on, where jobs will be advertised and you can bid.

I don't know how things are with your language pair (seems a bit more exclusive than mine) but keep trying.

You can also send lots of e-mails and letters to law firms or even get a non-translation position at a firm or something for a while, continuing with your translations on the side until things look brighter. Network, network, network!!

If you keep on doing these things, more jobs should start coming your way in a few months.

While the down side of you translating into Polish may be less jobs (just guessing), the up side may be that you can change more per word. My preference is to charge per source word. However, when there are pdf files to deal with and there is no exact word count, I charge per target word. I don't think any of this is written in stone.

Happy hunting!

[Edited at 2007-08-05 23:29]


Tae Kim  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:51
Member (2007)
English to Korean
+ ...
patent jobs can be charged a little more Aug 6, 2007

I've done a few patent translations so far, and it is one of the most highly sought after trasnlation projects, I think. It is also one of the toughest and most difficult one to translate. Patent documents are full of specialized terminologies only experts in the field can identify. Sometimes you just have to admit and tell the client you do not know the words. I've come across a few of these, and I told the client, and the client didn't ask or question me why I couldn't translate such words. But how could I translate some chemical words I just could not find anywhere either in dictionaries or even Internet search engines whatsoever.

I really get anticipated when I get patent job offers, and it's normal to charge a little more since these are the most difficult ones. There are agencies that do specialize in distributing patent jobs, and once you do a good job on your first offer, most likely they'll keep sending patent documents to you.

Sometimes if you are known in the field, and keep advertising that you do translating, individuals with patent hopes in their minds will contact you and ask to translate their patent submission papers. I've done that a couple of times, and one of the guys who asked me to do so ended up taking off without paying. I naively trusted the guy that he would send me the check after I emailed him my translation file. I only had his phone number and email address. I trusted the guy since he was from my local area. And from now on, whenever I get projects totaling good amounts of money, I always ask for their full addresses. I thought about suing the guy through a small claims court, and found ways to get his address, but I was told that doing so would cost me some money that would not be worth to go after.

I belive patent translations are highest prizes of all in our industry.


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