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2019.01.28

About transeuro

How we hire freelance patent translators


One of our strong points is that we have 40 regularly employed translators and that our translation checkers are in-house as well. However, we also have contracts with a few freelance patent translators.

Our trial translation for freelance patent translators is quite difficult

When an applicant applies for a freelance translator position we ask them to complete a trial translation. The translation department that grades the trial translations has very high expectations. We only accept translators that meet our quality standards. In the end, only about 10% of applicants pass the trial translation. Furthermore, we only send translation work to about 3% of applicants regularly.

When an applicant passes the trial translation we will invite them for an interview in person or by Skype. If the applicant passes we will enter a contract with them. During the application process, we put emphasis not only on whether the applicant is well versed in the special terms of patent translation but also on whether they have a sufficient understanding of the technical background of their special field.

Our in-house patent translators have skills similar to patent engineers

When a new translator joins us a veteran will teach them about patent translation OJT. Additionally, they also learn the basics of technical knowledge and where to find the right reference documents and how to study them. With this basic knowledge, our translators keep on studying on their own to further increase their skills. Most of our regularly employed translators have 10 or more years’ experience in translation.

As the translation department expects the same of freelance translators naturally their grading becomes very strict. Nevertheless, we are very glad that we still found a few translators that we regularly can send work to.

However as for confidential documents, office actions and trial documents we only translate them in-house. Security is a big issue but also even experienced freelance patent translators do not have a lot of experience with such documents. Which is due to that in general office actions and trial documents are often translated within patent firms or by patent attorneys themselves because of their characteristic language.

Most of our translators previously worked as in-house translators of a patent and law firm and supported patent attorneys with translations of office actions and citations on the same level as patent engineers. They have read thousands of reference documents in Japanese, English, and German and translated office actions with sufficient understanding of the cited inventions. Therefore our translators are used to dealing with office actions and trial documents on a daily basis.

Education of the next generation

We also put a lot of energy in the education of young employees. Right now we employ a few translators in training in their 20s that have never done any patent translation before. It is really rewarding to see them improve every day. They are important employees that will inherit the transeuro DNA which makes us excited for the future.

Last year we also started with transeuro academy, a language school where our veteran translators teach German patent translation and work on spreading the charm of this profession. We would like to increase awareness for German patent translation to inspire future translators so that not only our firm but the whole profession will become livelier.

Are you interested in becoming a freelance translator or do you have any questions about our recruiting process? Feel free to contact us.


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