I learned Japanese by immersing myself in the country and its culture from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s. As my interest in Japan developed, I polished my language skills by taking structured classes, working with private tutors, and through self-study. I passed Level 1 of the Certificate of Japanese Language Proficiency in 1992.
In 1991, I had the opportunity to start to work with one of the foremost professional translators in Japan. Learning on the job while observing how one of the best in the field approaches the translation task was an invaluable experience, and one that has shaped my professional approach.
After a decade in Japan, I left to pursue other interests and to go back to university for formal academic training. I completed the MA in Advanced Japanese Studies (with distinction) at The University of Sheffield in 2003. The same year I enrolled in the MSc in Information Analysis at The Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland, graduating with distinction in 2005.
From 1998 to 2001, I worked as administrative and project assistant at the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre in Florence, Italy. In 2005, I took up a position as information manager at the Department for International Development in East Kilbride, Scotland.
In 2006, I returned to Japan where I started freelancing as a translator.
I now live in Rotterdam where I continue to work with clients in Japan and elsewhere.