Translating Patents weblog

I just discovered (via Martin Cross’s weblog Translating Patents.

The context in which it was cited was to do with his latest entry, on producing translations that are as bad as the original text (GIGO). The following remarks were being disputed:

When translating patents for information or litigation support, our job of is like that of a court interpreter — we reproduce what was said without omission or embellishment and strive to make ourselves invisible. Our clients would not be well served if we added matter to fill in the gaps in an incomplete disclosure, or if we took on the role of editor so that the translated claims seemed better supported by the specification than they were in the original. And though it might be tempting to unify disparate terminology, by doing so, we could be denying our client a useful argument against the patent or — if our client is on the other side — producing a false sense of security that risks being shattered by a more accurate translation when used in court.

Martin Cross translates patents from the Japanese. He links to previous appearances and publications.

This reminds me that Steve Vitek of the old Flefo also does Japanese translations. Here’s an article by him in the Translation Journal.

7 thoughts on “Translating Patents weblog

  1. My town tends towards the cliche names unfortunately. The two I particularly don’t get are:


    I mean what message do Germans take home in this case?

    • I can’t understand the first one at all!
      The second rings a bell – there is one round the corner (I’ve added a photo to the entry). Seems to be a large company, with branches in Austria and Luxembourg too, and the motto ‘Lizenz zum Stylen’.

    • Thanks for the link.

      I have been thinking of getting dual citizenship, actually, just haven’t got round to it. I’m obviously not up to date with the law relating to children with parents of two nationalities.

      • But did you know that the application costs EUR255? Is that not tantamount to paying for the right to vote? I would be pleased if the right to vote were linked to the obligation to pay income tax.

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