Russian patents in English – cheaper than usual?

In this post I’d like to share couple of thoughs on how it’d be possible to considerably lower down cost of translation of Russian patents into English (or whatever else language pair).

This week we received following inquiry from Spanish company:

We are looking for two RU Patents. In case these two documents are available IN ENGLISH, please, let us know the price & conditions of delivery.

As usually, I responded in this manner:

Full texts of Russian patents are never available in English. Available (and not with 100% certainty) are only English abstracts of 1994 – current RU patents.

We can translate these patents for you. We charge $0.12/word
(English), estimated cost of translation is $405 for RU2141655 and $249 for RU2326320.

You’ll pay after receiving the translation.

Client replied:

Unfortunately, I’m afraid that is too much money for us to spend in these documents, asked by a technitian of us.

I believe that my following answer might be of help to somebody, so I’m quoting it here in full.

I thought about your inquiry today, and it appeared to me that there might be a solution for such a case like yours. I take it that your technician just wants to familiarize with the content of the documents. While regular translation cost appears not feasible in this case, he might find use of machine translation – i.g. by Google Translate.

I’ve been using it all the time to get a fast translation of documents in languages I do not understand, and I can tell you what quality of translation got considerably improved over time – I even use it to make a draft translation of short texts from Russian to English (further on I just edit the draft – it indeed saves me a lot of time, it’s faster than to make a text in English from scratch).

As an extra option, you may want to proof edit this machine translated text either by hiring a freelance translator (i.g. via ProZ – consider $0.03/word rate) or via One Hour Translation (they charge $0.15 for Expert translation of legal, medical, technical etc. texts – that’s there patents generally fall – but proof-editing service costs $0.05/word).

Main advantage of One Hour Translation over ProZ is speed of translation – the name of the service shows it, they make it a point to provide translation in a matter of hours.

Another advantage of OHT type service over ProZ service is what freelancers found at ProZ might complain that proofediting of machine translated text actually means translating the given text anew (I know it for sure – I’ve been into translation services for ages) – on the contrary, regular freelancers from One Hour Translation won’t complain.

Of course, the drawback is lesser quality at OHT – but in this case I believe it’d be sufficient, your technician will be able to understand the text, and being a professional in this field he will understand what exactly translator (editor) got wrong or missed – and your technician will guess upon vague moments.

At least such a cost effective solution might pass as a temporary solution – if he sees what the document is worth further – professional – translation, you could always proceed with more thorough translation.

That said, I can provide text copies of those Russian patents which will be suitable for feeding them into Google Translate.

[Source: Russian Patents blog]

Related posts:

2 Responses to “Russian patents in English – cheaper than usual?”

  1. Thanks, this is really helpful for translations. Clients often believe translation costs are too expensive. This provides an alternative. Especially when they just want an idea of what is in the document.

  2. Patent translations are surely one of the hardest kinds of translations that exist, so anyway one should ask a high price for these.
    Under 0.10euro/word, that’s just not worth it, really.

Leave a Reply