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The three sacred treasures of a transeuro translator No. 3

How have you liked this series, where we introduce items our translators use for work so far? Was there anything you wanted to or actually tried out for yourself?  Did you find it interesting to see how our translators work?

In this 3rd issue of the article series, one of our female translators introduces her three treasures. You might be surprised about her drink choice in winter.

Introduction of the translator

I am Y.K. and translate patent documents from German to Japanese in the fields of electrical engineering and mechanical engineering.

After working in the office for 9 years I have now been working from home for 2 years. Although I have 11 years of translation experience in a company full of veterans like transeuro I am still a newbie. In my job as a translator, I usually work behind the scenes, so I want to show you a part of my translator live so you can see that I really exist.

Treasure No. 1 – Iced cafe au lait to stay awake

My first treasure, while it is kind of an exaggeration to say treasure, is iced cafe au lait. I drink iced cafe au lait in summer and winter. When I was working at the office every time I came back shivering from the convenience store with my coat and scarf on and the iced cafe au lait in hand my colleagues would look at me suspiciously.

When you work with a computer all day it is sometimes hard to concentrate because of tiredness or the air conditioning. Here the iced cafe au lait comes in handy as it helps you stay alert. As it contains quite a lot of sugar, I limit myself to one cup per day. But I bought a huge mug in Germany that holds 500 ml. With this mug, one cup might already be too much. When you work from home you don’t move much so you worry more about calorie intake.

Treasure No. 2 – Highlight pens to make figures more understandable

My second treasure is more related to my actual translation work, it is highlight pens.

When I look at the figures of patent applications for reference while translating, I use highlight pens with different colors to make the relations of parts which each other clearer. For example when it says “.. 1 that is equipped with a, b, and c” and “.. 2 that is equipped with d, e, and f” I mark a, b, and c with one color and d, e, and f with a different color. Highlight pens are useful to make groups. Also, in cases of hard to understand machines or circuits I make a different version only marking all the parts that are mentioned in claim 1. When working at home I usually wear comfy clothes, my glasses and have no makeup on. But what is left of my feminine side still makes me prefer the pink colored pen. The pink colored pen always gets empty faster than other colors.

Treasure No. 3 – My personal glossary containing years’ worth of knowledge

My last treasure is my personal glossary that I keep in an Excel file. At transeuro translations are checked for clerical errors and completeness by translation checkers and also cross-checked by other translators.

During the cross-check a fellow colleague will check for correctness of the translation and whether the technical concepts of the invention were translated correctly. Feedback by a professional translator can at times be quite harsh. When I request a crosscheck, I always feel like a primary school kid that was called to the head master`s office.

In my glossary I add everything that was revised by colleagues and also translations that I liked or heard for the first time when I cross-checked another translator’s work.

When transeuro was still part of a patent and law office my translations were also checked by patent attorneys directly, so the glossary also contains wisdom from patent attorneys. It is an unreplaceable asset for me.  But as I use colloquial descriptions a lot it is something that I do not really want to show to others.


There are also other important items like warm socks in winter or the TV (I am alone when I work at home so the lights and sounds of the TV help me relax) but I chose these three items for my sacred treasures so I could also add in some PR for transeuro. I hope that this article helped you get a better understanding of how the translators behind the translations that you get do their work.

This was the last installment of this series. If there is anything else you would like to know about our translators do not hesitate to leave a comment or contact us.

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