Translations for the chemical industry
a case study

The challenge: patent translations of impeccable quality

In 2008, an American multinational company, a world leader in the field of industrial chemistry, contacted us: they were looking for native translators for the target languages, specializing in patent translations and intellectual property documents, and collaborators with the necessary background of legal skills to handle legal translations. They urgently need to change providers because of the poor quality of the translations, which each time forces them to re-read and correct the translated texts internally, before filing the patent application

What we translated

Our linguists were tasked with translations into German, French, Italian from English source language-50,000 words for each combination, totaling 150,000 words-for patent documentation pertaining to three types of chemicals: with polyethylene, polypropylene, and polymer composition.

Our primary goal to satisfy our client

Absolute adherence to the source text – to respect the integrity of the arguments expressed by the client – and the use of terminology and linguistic codes specific to the normative field of reference, are two indispensable requirements of translations, especially in a legal context such as this. The accuracy of our translators’ work was also particularly appreciated on this occasion because of the very tight deadline, set by the client at only two weeks and adhered to.

The project in a nutshell

Two weeks for delivery is a very short time, especially for such a multifaceted service not limited to text translations: we typeset and delivered the patent documentation, going through pre-pagination work of the texts, then translation by graduates for the source language and specialized in the relevant field, then revision by the scientific advisor for purely chemical terms, and finally to the quality control phase by a native linguist expert in the field, for each target language.

Our extra gear

Everything is based on a good deal of experience and organization: our project leader very effectively managed the work phases and coordinated all team members, in constant contact to agree on a common vocabulary. Our desktop publishing department immediately took care of the basic pre-pagination in Word format, while for translation into the three direct language combinations we involved 6 translators and 3 reviewers (all qualified according to ISO 9001 and 17100 procedures) and proofreaders specialized in the field. To meet the tight deadline, the translators’ deliveries were organized in batches so that the proofreaders could work simultaneously.

A critical issue: how we solved it

Since this was our first order with this client, we did not yet have the translation memory (TM) and terminolgy glossary ready from which to start before entrusting the task to the translators. These two tools ensure the stylistic consistency of all papers and are very useful when, for example, the same or similar phrases appear in the document.

To overcome this problem, 3 reviewers (one for each language combination) were employed with the task of detecting the presence of similar parts and sharing them in real time on our server, with other team members.

The added value for our client

The client was finally able to eliminate the step of proofreading and correcting patent documents to which he was previously forced, thanks to the quality and uniformity of Mercury Translations’ translation work, which was particularly reliable and accurate despite the particularly tight timelines


Confidentiality and data security in the management of confidential data is of fundamental importance in the Intellectual Property area.

Find out how Mercury protects your data in order to avoid any unauthorized tampering.

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10 reasons to choose Mercury

For 25 years we have been providing professional translation services from law firms to large multinationals

Our team of translators and proofreaders are professionals specialised in different expertise areas

We provide professional translations in around 50 language combinations

Depending on the type of document to be translated, we have the pricing plan that best suits your needs

We are a high-tech company, from computer-aided translation to the latest generation of machine translation systems

In 25 years, we have gained considerable experience in different industries

Depending on the type of document, specific quality checks are performed to ensure the accuracy of the translation

All our procedures comply with the ISO 17100:2015 Standard

In the handling of received documents, a number of procedures are applied to protect the security and privacy of your data

Thanks to a team of around 1,500 translators and proofreaders, we are able to meet all kinds of needs in terms of delivery time

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