by Evelyn Yang Garland and Aaron Hebenstreit
Many liberal arts majors shy away from patent translation because it sounds intimidating. But is it really?
Like a drama, a patent tells a story. The two presenters, both science majors, will explain the “storyline” of a patent and discuss what skills are required to retell the story in your target language. Some of these skills are the strong suits of liberal arts majors, while other skills need to be developed. Although a background in the natural sciences or engineering can be helpful in this field of translation, it is certainly not a prerequisite for producing good patent translation work. In fact, many patent translators have no formal scientific or engineering training. The ability to translate a patent is a skill that can be acquired as long as you are willing to dedicate some time and effort, abide by certain rules and techniques, and, of course, do a little research.
The presentation will feature real-life examples from the most common document types: full patent applications, patent abstracts, and patentability reports. The presenters will also share what they have learned from patent litigation, attorneys, and examiners that is relevant to patent translation. Additionally, the presenters will share useful resources with those who would like to learn more about patents and patent translation.
At the end of this presentation, you will be able to:
- identify your own strengths and weaknesses with respect to patent translation;
- understand the perspective of your science-major colleagues;
- view patent translation in the big picture of patent prosecution and litigation;
- know how to improve your patent translation skills; and
- confidently approach a patent document employing liberal arts methods.
Some examples involve source text in Chinese, but even if you do not understand Chinese, you can still expect to walk away with insights into all of the areas listed above.