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The Need for the Korean-English Patent Translation Education: A Case Study of the Legal Translation Specialist Certificate Program at GSTI, Ewha Womans University

Choi, Hyo-eun 1

1이화여자대학교

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ABSTRACT

This paper aims to introduce patent translation, a hybrid of legal translation and technical translation, and underscores the need for the Korean-English translation education specialized in patent translation, based on the Legal Translation Specialist Certificate Program offered by the Graduate School of Translation and Interpretation (GSTI) of Ewha Womans University. As an introduction to the genre of patent translation, the paper presents the definition and scope of patent translation as well as the importance and the unique characteristic of patent translation. Despite the ever-increasing need for and the enormous significance of patent translation in patent application and litigation, the quality of the translation outputs is not good enough due to a severe lack of qualified translators. The characteristic of patent translation that requires a mix of source/target language proficiency, patent-related legal knowledge, and in-depth technical knowledge is regarded as a key reason for the not-so-good quality and the lack of qualified translators. Against this backdrop, the paper makes an analysis of the results of patent abstract translation by students of the Legal Translation Specialist Certificate Program by GSTI of Ewha Womans University based on the three key factors required for patent translation ― source/target language proficiency, patent-related legal knowledge, and in-depth technical knowledge. After the text analysis, the paper looks into a survey conducted after the class to understand the difficulties students would have experienced during carrying out the assignment as well as their perception on the translation education specialized in patent translation. Overall, most students felt patent translation difficult mainly because patent translation requires all the three factors of language proficiency, legal knowledge, and technical knowledge, agreeing with the need for the specialized education program. Based on the findings, the paper is to emphasize the unique characteristics of patent translation and the need for the specialized translation education program.

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