There is an article about the patent translator Hidejiro Tanigawa in Daily Yomiuri Online.
It’s a description of his career and his opinions about patent translation. It’s a good summary for those who are ignorant of technical translation.
bq. “Translation of patent applications–whether it’s from English to Japanese or the other way around–requires three basic skills: language, knowledge of technology, and knowledge of the patent system,” he said.
Of the three, he thinks the most important is the language. However, the remaining two are also essential, as one can hardly expect to do a good job without them.
“Suppose you are translating a patent application for a product related to bioscience. If you don’t understand anything about bioscience, you can’t even consult a dictionary, as you wouldn’t understand what the dictionary told you. A basic knowledge of the field is necessary just to be able to look up things in a dictionary,” he said.
And here’s the former Flefoid Steve Vitek on the same topic in Translation Journal.