SeproTec Translator of the Month: June 2019

agosto 21st, 2019 | Posted by admin in Blog | Translator of the Month - (Comentarios desactivados)

Let us announce July’s winner of the 2019 edition of our Translator of the Month action!

This initiative is our way to way to say thank you! and recognize the efforts of the industry professionals: translators, the driving force behind every translation company’s success.

We would like to introduce you to Emily Plumtree, one of our most trusted patent translators.

Emily Plumtree, SeproTec Translator of the Month June 2019

 

Good morning Emily,

How do you start your working day?

I work a kind of “split-shift” day. I have three children and working as a freelance translator means I can be there for them in the mornings and after school. As such, the first part of my working day begins at about 9.15 after the school run, when I return home and make a coffee to take into my home office. Once there, I check through my to-do list and make a plan for the day. I then break off at 3.00 to pick my youngest up from school and to run the three of them around to their extra-curricular clubs. The second half of my day begins at 6.00, when my partner comes home from work and takes over. Then I work through to the end of my to-do list.

When did you realize you wanted to pursue a translation career?

I was 12 years old. I had visited my uncle in Paderborn for the first time and I was completely entranced by the country and the language. I also loved reading and so, my 12-year-old self decided that a job as a fiction translator would be perfect. In actual fact, I did not make it into fiction translation, but instead went to work for a translation agency in Bavaria after I graduated. I’ve never doubted that I made the right choice. I find my work as a translator truly rewarding.

What do you think are the greatest challenges of the translation industry nowadays?

Machine translation has changed the industry massively. I prefer translation to post-editing but I understand why it is desirable from an economic point of view. Machine translation along with the rise of translators offering very cheap rates are big challenges to overcome. I have to work hard to convince my clients that a good translation costs money and it’s not just a case of running the text through Google Translate.

Being a freelancer, how do you balance work and personal life?

I’m not sure any freelancer truly manages to balance work and personal life. Certainly, I am not always successful! But it is a job that I thoroughly enjoy and find rewarding and the freedom it gives me to attend my children’s assemblies, school events and medical appointments means I will never grumble about the late nights and weekends I sometimes work.

You are one of our most active patent translator. What do you enjoy most about working with patents and intellectual property?

I didn’t set out to work in patent translation. As I mentioned above, I wanted to work in fiction translation. I answered an advert from Seprotec a few years ago and they provided me with the opportunity to try my hand at patent translation. Now, it is one of my favourite genres to translate as it appeals to the structured and organised part of me.

If you could settle in any country in the world to live the whole of your life, where would it be?

Without a shadow of a doubt, that would be Germany. I fell in love with the country, language and culture back when I was 12 and these feelings have never waivered. I spent a few years over there, living in the Harz Mountains, in Heidelberg and just outside of Munich. I came back to the UK to start and raise my family but I hope my time in Germany is not over yet.

 

Thank you so much Emily for taking the time to answer our questions.   It’s been a pleasure!

 

 

Unqualified labor is rampant in the world of translation. That’s why it is very important to have as much information as possible when hiring a professional translator, and that goes double when requesting patent translation services.

Engineer working at a R&D Lab

While translating the description of a product or related marketing materials is certainty important, the translation of your patent is absolutely crucial, as the content therein described will directly determine the ultimate scope of the invention’s protection.  All of your R&D investment hinges on  the granting and scope of your patent.

As a company specialized in the industrial property translation, we are deeply aware of this fact, and we are extremely careful about selecting the translators for each patent. We apply a rigorous provider selection process that involves passing internal translation tests for every patent area in which the translator works and continuous follow-up on the quality of his or her work.

A patent translator needs many skills besides mere fluency in a language. The position requires the translator to have practically the same level of training and technical experience as the professional who authored the original patent, and:

  • a native level of fluency in the target language.
  • comprehension of the legal regulations for industrial property, patentability requirements, application processes and deadlines in the country of submission.
  • the ability to write out the claims in the target language while fulfilling all legally established requirements, such as for content, format, and so on.
  • advanced knowledge of CAT tools is very important, and a major plus.

 

Technical knowledge

A good intellectual property translator must have extensive technical knowledge of in the field of the patent in question, and must know how to use the language and grammar.

Patents are precise documents.  Improper placement of a word or a punctuation mark could easily change the meaning of a text. A small mistake in language use or a technical description could harm the effectiveness of the entire document. One clear example of this was the European Patent Office’s granting of a patent apparently for the cloning of human cells, when the application only referred to animals.  The patent claims in German and French used specific terms (“tier” and “bête”, respectively), referring to animals, whereas the English translation included the term “animal”, which in English may also refer to humans.

 

Growing as an intellectual property translator

The best advice outlined in this article is the importance of specializing in a translation niche. With language fluency, the result of the translation should be “almost” perfect.

SeproTec diligently searches for qualification and specialization in its team of experts. The qualities that characterize those of us who are devoted to this sector are very special. To start with, we are used to working autonomously, being highly self-motivated and committed to respecting response times. We are also determined to do quality work. Being meticulous and exacting is seen as a virtue. What that “translates” to is passion, availability and flexible hours. Sometimes fulfilling these goals can be an uphill battle when circumstances are against you. Yet the satisfaction of a job well done makes every challenge worth the effort to grow as a professional translator.

 

The translation degree

It is great to have all of these personal qualities, but it is indispensable to strengthen through continuing education. The translation and interpreting degree is just the beginning. Specializing in patents is a big opportunity, as this is one of the profession’s most underserved branches, and demand is booming. Globalization and technology have changed the face of business. A whirlwind of innovation has revolutionized the world in just a few years. This has created a need to protect all the new ideas through the industrial and intellectual property processes.

A professional patent translator must also be well-trained in sworn translation, to ensure a rich and coherent technical vocabulary. There is no margin for error in interpreting the text, and full comprehension is required.

Lastly, doing a good job is not just about knowing the “source and target” languages, but also understanding the cultures attached to both languages. It is about writing as naturally and precisely as possible, without sounding clunky. It’s an art. It is also crucial to have a good working knowledge of information technology, translation applications, specialized dictionaries and  reliable sources.
SeproTec, an excellent IP translation school

For many of us, SeproTec has been and continues to be an excellent “school” for specialized IP translators.  Job requirements include being specialized in a technical field (biotechnology, medicine, chemistry, pharmaceuticals, veterinary medicine, engineering, telecommunications, mechanics, medical devices, etc.) and having successfully completed advanced courses in translation (with a recognized degree), and/or in a relevant technical field (chemistry, pharmaceuticals, mechanics, telecommunications, etc.). Candidates must also have demonstrable professional experience, in both time and translated word volume, within the discipline for which they are applying, and are required to pass a a translation test in one or more specialized fields.

After successfully completing the selection process, SeproTec does continuous quality control and follow-up of our daily work, which helps us to improve and perfect our technique, and to mark out the specialization that best fits our profile.

SeproTec began in 1989 with the promise to become the best intellectual property translation solution on the market. While we have since diversified, now covering over 12 market segments and wide variety of language services, intellectual property was and remains today one of our company’s main pillars.