There are a number of tools that can help you with that. For example, the EPO's Patent Translate service offers high-quality machine translations in 32 languages, including Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Russian. Another trick is to run a search within a patent family to find the same information in another language.
But even without tools and tricks, there's a way to identify the key information (title, applicant name, publication number) that appears on the first pages of patent documents and in patent gazettes worldwide. That's with INID codes, and most patent offices use them.
INID is an acronym for Internationally agreed Numbers for the Identification
of Data. These codes are used to identify bibliographic data found in
patents and on supplementary protection certificates (SPCs), and are standardised
in WIPO Standard ST.9.
The WIPO standards form a common framework for industrial property information
and documentation. ST.9 includes codes for about 60 distinct bibliographic data
elements, with those codes considered to be the minimum elements that should
appear on the first page of a patent document (as distinct from an SPC) marked
by an asterisk.
In a further WIPO standard (ST.18), it is recommended that
national offices publish information on their use of INID codes at regular
intervals in their patent gazettes. The EPO, for instance, publishes
information about INID codes in section C of the European
INID codes are categorised as follows:
(10) Identification of the patent, SPC or patent document
(20) Data concerning the application for a patent or SPC
(30) Data relating to priority under the Paris Convention or the agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS Agreement)
(40) Date(s) of making available to the public
(50) Technical information
(60) References to other legally or procedurally related domestic or previously domestic patent documents including unpublished applications therefor
(70) Identification of parties concerned with the patent or SPC
(80) (90) Identification of data related to international conventions other than the Paris Convention, and to legislation with respect to SPCs
These categories are divided into subcategories, each with their own INID code.
You can see these subcategories in the example from the European Patent Bulletin: (11) denotes the "Number of the patent document" and (12) denotes the "Plain language designation of the kind of document". Both of these are subcategories of INID code (10).
So we've seen that INID codes provide a powerful way to decipher the most important elements on the first page of patent documents in almost any language. Even without understanding a word of Chinese, for example, they can help you to identify the following: