About Me

After a hurricane, the sea comes to our house.

When it rains, it pours.

The sun is finally shining again!

Backyard in  winter

These are pictures of my backyard, the top one after a hurricane, the middle one after a long rain, the lower one on a sunny day and the last one in deep winter.

I am a freelance technical translator who specializes mostly in patents and articles from technical and medical journals. I have translated thousands of patents, mostly from Japanese and German, but also from French, Russian, Czech and Slovak, and a few from Polish to English. I am based in Virginia, near the the Atlantic Ocean and the North Carolina border.

I have been writing articles about translation for various publications in US for translators such as the Translorial (Northern California Translators Association), and The Gotham Translator (New York City Translators) in the nineties, as well as for the ATA Chronicle (American Translators Association) more recently. Over the years I also wrote a number of articles for Gabe Bokor’s Translation Journal.

I started writing this blog in February of 2010. The purpose of this blog is to keep people who are interested in translation and related topics entertained by my posts and hopefully have some fun while doing that.

I also have a business website at www.patenttranslators.com.


  1. How on earth did you learn all of these languages?! I am half fluent in German and starting to learn Polish, but it’s really a doozy.

    Kudos to you. Also, I’m a patent attorney at a big firm. Feel free to send along your brochure/sales pitch. We hire translations firms a couple of times a year, and it usually costs a fortune and results are somewhat questionable.


    • Dear Charles Lee,
      I am krishna from India. An experienced EnglishKannada (a south Indian language) translator.

      For any such opportunities please refer me.
      Hv a nice day


  2. I just figured out when I was about 16 that I am pretty good at languages and I went for it.

    Feel free to send me a document for a price quote for translation.

    I don’t have brochures, but I do have a website:



  3. […] About Me […]


  4. That’s “back garden”. A yard, be it back or front, is a large paved, tarmacced or otherwise compacted area. And anyway, it’s your own fault for not moving house.


  5. It’s called a backyard here in Virginia, Anon.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That’s a jungle, not a backyard!


    • That’s a park, not a jungle!


  7. Thanks for having this blog. I hope to be a regular reader.


  8. So do I.


  9. Great blog.. but where do you find the time…


  10. Commenting is easy after delivering a patent…Incidentally, I am going through all of your archives. Your blog on synchronicity was particularly interesting since I have noticed the phenomenon around me.


    • My post about synchronicity has very few views.

      People are not very interested in the subject.

      Translator’s dementia, on the other hand, has more than 7 thousand views now and it is less than a month old. Somehow I gave the online community of bored translators a global laughing fit and I can’t figure out how I did it.


  11. […] About Me […]


  12. luckily enough, you don’t claim to be a patent translator leader …


  13. Hello. I just found your blog recently and am enjoying it. I am a patent translator as well. It’s been almost 9yrs since I got into this industry (9yrs is probably nothing compared to the other pro translators), and recently I get sick of this job. I’m so grateful for what I’m capable of and the fact that I have this job, because it was not easy at all for me to become a patent translator, but recently I feel like I’ve been in my first “slump.” Do you ever get bored with your job? Do you go through ups and downs? If so, what do you do to refresh your mind? I wonder if translating so many languages wouldn’t make you bored much? Any advice would be appreciated.


  14. “Do you ever get bored with your job? Do you go through ups and downs? If so, what do you do to refresh your mind?”

    The answer is 1. yes, 2. yes, all the time.

    What I do to refresh what is left of my mind?

    I take a nap, or take the dog for a walk, write a post for my blog, read a novel …. a number of things.

    I would probably stop translating altogether if I did not need money or if I could figure out how to do something else that would pay more.

    But translating is pretty much the only thing that I can do to get paid for it.

    Or maybe putting a Paypal icon on my blog would help? ….. uh, probably not.


  15. Have you ever considered to become an interpreter?
    By the way, my name is Alice, I am one of your silent readers (your posts are always interesting, but sometimes great fun, too!).


    • I tried interpreting when I was starting out in early eighties, but I don’t have the nerves for it.

      I prefer translating.


  16. Dear Patenttranslator (I’m sorry I didn’t want to call you by your first name, but you don’t seem to appreciate this when you don’t actually know the people, I didn’t want you to get annoyed)

    I’m also a silent reader of your blog, but primarily because english isn’t my mother-tongue and I’d probably need hours before I get to order my thoughts the way I’d do in french. I like my statements being accurate and truly reflecting my thoughts. But I can’t. So I read your posts with delight but I don’t write at all.

    Anyway, as a translator myself, I have to deal with “Google Translation is the future” matters almost everyday. You made it clear that this is also one the themes which can make you very busy thinking about. So I GOD had to think about you today when I discovered this video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nu-nlQqFCKg&feature=player_embedded
    Scoble, presenting the new Microsoft Speech Recognition Breakthrough Whatever…

    For now, I’m perplex and since I’ve also got some experience with software developing (i.e. = I’m a big geek in informatics :)), too many questions are floating in my head. Obviously that thing was received as THE sensation of the century, among non-language professionals at least (I’m much more critical about that but wouldn’t be most of translators that?). For now I’m having too many technical questions about the “backstage” of that tool, so I’d be very interested to hear your opinion on the matter.

    Thank you for reading my awful prose and have a nice day! 🙂


    • Sorry I’m really tired at the end of the week. That is not Scoble presenting of course, but Rick Rashid. I had just read something about Scoble and was obviously sticking to this as I send my first comment. Sorry for that.


      • “sent”, not “send”, of course. So sorry… But now you see why I rather don’t comment at all. 😉


  17. Hi,

    I came across your blog since I’ve started learning Japanese and I think you would be interested in the Japanese language program we’re launching at lexikeet.com. I want to ask what you would think of trying it out with a free account as a reviewer for your blog. We think we’d be a great fit for you and your readers who are learning Japanese with our methodology of short, focused study sessions along with our features for vocabulary and handwriting. If you’re interested let me know and take care!


  18. I think you’ll love this: I couldn’t resist and copied it from the website of an agency that offered me work (probably for peanuts – I didn’t try replying to them after seeing this):
    “How to Cut Your Translation Cost by 60% or More without Sacrificing Quality
    Cutting your translation cost by 60% is cool. If you save $1000, the profit of your company increases $1000 accordingly. It’s definitely possible to cut your translation cost by 60%. Many of our clients have cut their translation cost by 50%, 60% or even more by using our services. This is how you can save the same.

    Important: You can save on translation only if you choose a service level right for your needs.

    Choosing xxxx
    . We charge 10 to 30% less than other translation companies for the same level of service.
    Simply choosing the right service level for your translation can even save you up to 50%.*
    Using our FREE translation memory may save you up to 70% or more.*
    * Depending on the nature of contents
    Pay no rush fees. We will not charge you for a rush fee even for a turnaround within 20 hours.
    Pay no minimum fees. We accept orders starting from $1. This means you don’t have to pay any minimum fees.
    Use discounts. We offer volume discounts and a new client discount for your first order.”

    Especially interesting the bit about translations for $1!!


  19. @Chaya

    So what is the name of these Miracle Workers, I wonder?


  20. http://www.translia.com/user/register – do you want to work for them?


  21. @Chaya

    I don’t want to work for them and I would not want them to work for me either.


  22. Your short post about Trados and so much comments on it have really entertained me. I like the post.


  23. I just read your article about Sign Language Interpreters, and why they are predominately female. As a female Sign Language interpreter that is by far the most uneducated offensive article I have ever read on the topic. You obviously have no real knowledge of our profession, and it is surprising to learn that you are a professional yourself, considering the grammar used in your article. I would highly suggest that you do some research before posting dribble like that online. Sign Language Interpreters, whether male or female, are highly trained, eduacted, and you have no idea how complex our jobs are. If we just wanted to be the center of attention and look pretty we would not be in our profession. 99% of our jobs are not on TV, they are in classrooms, doctors offices, law offices, courtrooms, to name a few. We are relayers of information who provide a very specific service that most would be unable to succeed at.
    I would appreciate you taking down that post considering there is no supporting evidence to your claim, and I do not want other interpreters to feel as offended as I was when I came across your article. You are not only insulting to Interpreters, but to women in general. I have no idea how you have come to the conclusions that you have, but I can tell you you are absolutely wrong in all of the assertions that you made about interpreters, women, and most men who would be offended by your comments as well. I am in shock by what I read, and I, again, ask you to take that post down as it is only damaging to people who read it, there is NO valid information in there whatsoever. I dont know what you are in expert in, or why you felt the need to write about this topic, but you have no right to spread false information that is only to the detriment of whomever reads it. Absolutely Ridiculous.


  24. I only really just discovered your blog two or three days ago. I think I’d probably read one or two entries in the past that had been linked to from other sites but never really explored it in its entirety. This is just to say I’m very much enjoying it and I take my hat off to you for managing to do something I have always meant to do but never got round to. Several colleagues have told me I should write, but just as I formulate an idea and plan to put it to paper, I lose confidence and end up moving on to the next “issue” I want to write about. It becomes a never-ending list of thoughts, none of which ever get committed to paper or cyber-space. You will see from my website that my “blog” consists of one entry only, a platform for venting but mainly to myself — nobody has read it. This is simply to congratulate you for actually getting it done and managing to produce a regular flow of interesting topics, which are clearly being absorbed and disseminated by large numbers in our translation community. Well done 🙂


  25. Dear Lisa:

    I am glad you are enjoying my silly blog. It’s never too late to start writing a blog. Everything is ready for launching new posts and I hope you will do it.

    You say on your blog “As a professional translator, I only translate into my native language”, which prompted me to say “As a professional translator, I only translate into one of my non-native languages, following an old tradition in the footsteps of St. Jerome and other really good and really professional translators.”


  26. Yes, I think I mention that in my FAQs. I commented the other day on translating into non-native languages in an early thread of yours (October 2010 from memory).


  27. Thank you for such inspiring posts! I’ve just read the latest post through Best Russian Translator’s recommendation on the social network. It’s very thought-provoking. Thank you for contributing to us all gathering the strength to reply in a way that shows who needs who in this life.

    I’ve just subscribed to your Diary, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Is there a way to search your blog for certain articles, which i am not finding?
    Your article mentioned on “Translators Dementia” sounds like a must read!


  29. There is a search field on the right side of the blog (SEARCH THIS WEBSITE), but I looked it up for you:


    Liked by 1 person

  30. Thank you! I loved it too! definitely have some of the symptoms…


  31. Hi patenttranslator, sending many greets across the big pond from Austria! I am a young patent translator too, and love your blog and found it to be very insightful, thanks for that!! On another note, do you, or anybody at the site have any experience in working with MultiLing in Utah? I’d really appreciate any thoughts on translating patents for them… Cheers and keep it up!!! 🙂


  32. I used to translate Japanese patents for Multiling years ago. But they stopped sending me work more than 10 years ago as they were switching to cheaper translators. I also saw that they were looking on Honyaku, a discussion group for Japanese translators, for a Japanese patent translator willing to work with their own CAT tool, no doubt so that they could control the word count and the translator in this manner.

    So I would not work for them, as I consider them just another corporate agency that is best to stay away from. But for a beginning translator, it may not be a bad choice, at least for a while, until you find better clients, because they do specialize in patents and thus understand the underlying issues much better than most other agencies.


  33. Dear All,

    I am a linguist researcher and certified translator. My main subjects of research are semantics and stylistics. My concern is to define the speaker’s context, origins, and first language. I work with Arabic, English and French. Only computational techniques on semantics will help us extract the real meaning of a sentence and the context in which is was said. Being multilingual and certified translator is what is making of the better candidate for this position. Moreover, I have experience in the technical field where I used to work with some scripting languages such as Python.

    Kind regards,
    Text Approach


  34. Great blog. Just included it on a resource list: http://wp.me/pyM8s-23


  35. Hi,
    I’m Yona Mwanza from Tanzania, I am a freelance translator in English to Swahili, providing fast and high quality translation services to individuals, businesses and government agencies. The service I provide is confidential and rates are reasonably priced and negotiable. I have been working in this part for 6 years, here I’m looking job translation and proofreading from you
    Thank you.


  36. I’d like to be a translator, I’m already experienced, but I worked for free projects. How to start?


    • (I translate English -> French), literature, computer-related and medical stuff, (I had a few technical files to translate).


  37. Dear Steve,
    thank you for your posts on this patenttranlatorsblog site. I miss them. Will you have some more sometimes?


    • Probably not. But thank you so much for your comment.


      • Thank you for your reply! The more professionals like you in the world the better the world.


  38. “Hi,

    I hope you’re having a good day.

    We’d want to place article adverts on your website patenttranslator.wordpress.com, and our content will be relevant to the theme of your website. We’ll include a link to the sports betting website.

    If you’re interested, could you please tell me how much you’ll charge?

    We may still be interested if you don’t accept the above request; please include a rate for general links as well.

    If you have any additional sites to offer, please give a list of them along with their rates.


  39. Offering ad space on your site

    Good day to you.

    I am very much pleased to explain about the guest post that will be related to your website patenttranslator.wordpress.com. Can you please let me know if you can publish an article with a link to a sports betting/Casino related site or any other form to link our website and how much it will cost?

    If you don’t accept the above request, We might be still interested, please mention a rate for a regular link as well.

    In case you have more sites to offer, please send a sites list along with prices.

    I anticipate a positive assent towards the proposal with a cost for it.

    Much appreciated.


  40. “Greetings,

    I imagine you’re busy so I just wanted to check in again to see if you wanted to work together on a post or link insertion? Please let me know!

    I visited your site and made me excited to share a guest post on your website patenttranslator.wordpress.com. Do you post an article with a Sports Betting/Casino on your website or blog?

    If you are not interested in our request, we might be still interested in it, please mention a rate for regular links as well.

    In case you have extra websites to offer, please send a web sites list together with prices.

    I expect positive consent towards the offer with a price for it.



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