Patent Translation Process

Translation can be considered an art on the basis it requires mental gymnastics similar to any form of written composition. That said, it is greatly reduced in effectiveness if it does not have the intellectual rigour and processes of a science.

Therefore procedures in translation are key.

Step 1 – Quote provision

Translation costs vary according to:

  • Number of words required for translation (the biggest factor)
  • Language Combination
  • Subject area
  • Lead times
  • And formatting

Note: The old saying in the tertiary sector that out of price, quality and speed you can have 2 but never 3 is very true. Also, like any professional service too low a budget will nearly always end in an inferior end product. 3 quotes from reputable companies will give you a good idea of the ‘going’ rate if you do not know it already.

Step 2 – A project manager is appointed

A Project Manager is assigned who will set the project up. At Patent Translation International our project managers will oversee a project from start to finish (we do not break jobs up).

Step 3 – Choice of patent translator

The translator can only be translating patents into their mother tongue.

They must hold an officially recognised translation qualification, such as a Masters Degree in Translation and, furthermore, they must have sound practical expertise in the given field. This is required particularly for technical translation where a translator has to be very sure of the technical ground before translating or proofing a text.

Step 4 – Translation is sent to translator

Translation is sent to the patent translator, usually by electronic transfer or encrypted if security is an issue.

The translator will be briefed about deadlines, budgets, technical and stylistic issues. They will be asked to confirm all this in writing before the project goes ahead.

Step 5 – Terminology

Not only does the terminology have to be correct but it also must be consistent. Tools such as Trados™ ensure consistency throughout large documents or a series of documents produced and translated at different times.

Trados™ will also recognise repeated text between documents and saves the client money by avoiding the need to re-translate repetitions each time they occur in documents.

Step 6 – Proofreader comments

Once the first draft of the translation is completed, it will be sent to the proof reader who will come back with linguistic comments and corrections.

The proofreader’s remit is to work closely with the original translator and check the final, translated document against the original material to ensure:

  1. Accuracy is 100% verified against the original document
  2. Consistency of style
  3. There are no grammatical or spelling errors

Step 7 – Translation amendments

The original translator will amend the text accordingly and speak with the proof reader and project manager. The translator will also confirm, in writing, that their own checks have been carried out against a 32 point checklist, including grammar, style and consistency.

Step 8 – 3rd translation proofing

The Project Manager will now perform final checks against a checklist including, but not limited too, language issues, numbers, missing text, names, spellings and consistency. The project manager will also be your point of contact throughout the job and is there to monitor deadlines and budgets on behalf of the client.

Step 9 – Delivery of translation

The completed translation will be sent (again, usually via email or secure link) to the client in the required format and on time.

Step 10 – Project completion

The translation project will be signed off after and few days and passed to finance for invoicing.

Still unclear? Feel free to get in touch with us and we can discuss any queries you may have regarding your patent translation requirements or our process.

We're Here To Help!


Patent Translations International
The Old Smithy
19b Hart Street
Oxon RG9 2AR

Call us

+44 (0) 1491 411 667