“It is sometimes said that there is no task more complex than translation.”—The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language.
Conveying the ideas contained in the text written in one language using the wording and structures applied in the other language is an extremely demanding task. Therefore, the work of a translator involves a great deal of responsibility in many areas. Let us take a look at a few of them.
Responsibility towards the client and the employer—providing translation of the highest quality
We understand that both the client and the employer have the right to expect the best possible end product of our work, namely translation. This is particularly relevant when it comes to the translation of patent specifications, since such translation is part of a legal procedure aimed at obtaining intellectual property protection. Any translation errors can give rise to litigation and, as a result, may be very costly for the patent owner. That is why at JWP we do our best to avoid them. To this end, a multi-stage translation procedure has been developed which enables us to duly discharge our responsibilities. The procedure includes:
- good understanding of the text, becoming familiar with the terminology in a given field;
- often an in-depth search for information that could help translate new terms and concepts not yet translated into Polish;
- preparing the translation of the text using available translation support tools and translation memories;
- checking the translation for factual errors and ensuring that the entire content of the original text is included in the translation, making appropriate corrections;
- checking the translation for linguistic mistakes, making appropriate corrections;
- after verification by a specialist in the field, making corrections and then ensuring that the text is consistent.
Translated technical texts relate to expensive and complex equipment, the failure of which, due to a mistranslation, could cause not only material damage, but sometimes even a dangerous accident. In the case of the translation of medical and pharmaceutical texts, this is of particularly high importance. These texts often describe technological processes in which the smallest error can have huge consequences. In such situations, consultation with a specialist in the field is a must. It is not an indication of the translator's lack of competence, but rather of his or her professional responsibility. At JWP we have access to specialists from various fields and we often take the opportunity to consult them. These are people who have a degree in the field and know their industry very well. All these measures enable us to provide translations of the highest quality.
Responsibility towards the client and the employer—maintaining confidentiality
The content of patent specifications is the intellectual property of their authors, therefore it cannot be disclosed prior to publication. The inventor discloses their invention to our law firm, trusting that it will be kept secret. We are aware of our professional and legal responsibilities in this regard, which is why during our work we make sure that all confidential information is safe with us.
Responsibility towards the employer and team members—meeting deadlines and ensuring good cooperation
The deadline for the translation is set by taking into account an appropriate amount of time for all stages of the translation process. If a deadline is missed, the person at the next stage of the translation process will have less time to complete his or her task. To avoid such situations, we make every effort to meet our schedules. However, life is life and sometimes there are assignments that require more time than was originally planned. In such cases, mindful of our responsibility towards team members, we inform the project coordinator and other people involved in the assignment well in advance that we are unable to prepare the translation in the allotted time. An efficient flow of information allows us to minimise delays and related problems, and proves that we take our obligations seriously.
Translating technical texts is demanding and involves responsibility at many stages and in many areas. At JWP, we provide clients with translations of the highest quality in the shortest possible time. We spare no effort and repeatedly discuss as a team the best way to translate given expressions. Moreover, we readily and often use consultations with intellectual property specialists and patent attorneys, establish coherent procedures and apply them consistently. We have the utmost respect for our client's and colleagues' time and meet our obligations in a timely manner. We realize that the quality of our work is our flagship and the best recommendation.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.