Due to a steady increase in patent filings from Japan and South Korea, both languages have steadily become two of the most in-demand languages for patent translation services. Both Japan and Korea have remained among the top innovation hot-spots. In fact, Japan lead with a significant cluster of inventors in Tokyo, with approximately 94,079 patent filings. One of the principal reasons Japan leads in patent filing is because they remain among the most technologically diverse. Along with Silicon Valley, they have patent translations in a variety of clusters, including medical technology, pharmaceuticals, computer technology and digital telecommunications.
Challenges: Grammar and Writing System
Generally, it is difficult to find qualified translators for patent law translation into any Asian language as compared to German, French or Spanish. Naturally, for a native speaker of a European language to learn Japanese or Chinese, it is significantly more challenging to master the writing system. In Japanese, the student must learn two alphabets, katakana and hiragana, along with several thousand Japanese characters called kanji. Another problem with Japanese patent translation is that the old copies of Japanese patents have poor legibility of characters, making it difficult to translate documents. With every character, there is a significant number of strokes that affect the meaning, so when the characters are too small, the professional translator must rely on their expertise and make an educated guess.
How Technology helps patent translation
New developments in technology can help overcome the challenges for Japanese patent translation. Even from the learning stage, universities have changed the way they teach Japanese by integrating computers into the classroom. This simple addition means that each student is now equipped with specialized character-teaching software. Perhaps more importantly, Internet resources help provide translations for technical terms with more agility than a dictionary. These Internet resources help translators overcome linguistic obstacles because they allow professional translators to use additional references other than dictionaries and their own personal experiences, thus transforming their otherwise isolated resources into a dynamic search.
About Language Connections:
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