With distinction!

There was a pleasant surprise waiting for me in the post when I got back from Cardiff - the results of my WSET Level 3 Award in Sake!

As I mentioned in the write-up of the course, I was very worried about the tasting component of the exam as I didn't have a lot of experience in tasting (sake or otherwise) and wasn't sure how much I would be required to do for a blind tasting in order to even pass... but thanks to the wonderful Natsuki Kikuya I not only passed but got a distinction!

Absolutely delighted and will be using the official logo with pride on my next set of business cards. ^___^

What is the Taste Translation logo?

The concentric circles that make up the Taste Translation logo are based on those found inside official sake tasting cups, kiki-choko (ききちょこ). The pattern is called ja-no-me (蛇の目), "snake eyes".

Professional sake tasters look through the sake at the alternating white and blue background to judge clarity - any cloudiness will show up clearly against the blue background.

So why is the Taste Translation logo red? The colour is called hi-iro (緋色), a shade of crimson that suggests good fortune in Japanese culture. 

As they say, kanpai (乾杯)!

Taste Translation logo


Kiki-choko, official tasting cup, with the ja-no-me (snake eye) pattern in cobalt blue.

Arline Lyons

Who’s preparing these tasty translations?

Taste Translation offers specialised Japanese to English translation for fine food and drink, in particular for sake, coffee and chocolate.

My name is Arline Lyons, and I'm a translator and localisation project manager with 20 years' experience of Japanese language and culture. I worked as a project manager with large translation companies before setting up my own business to concentrate on using my language skills.

I decided to find out more about sake after translating promotional material for breweries, and took the WSET Level 3 course in sake in March 2017. I also enjoy exploring other forms of tasting, such as coffee cupping, and plan to add more types of food and drink to my portfolio in the near future.

I have a BSc in biology, which lets me follow manufacturing and brewing processes right down to the molecular and microbiological levels. I also translate manufacturing and safety documentation such as material safety data sheets, manufacturing audits and food safety inspections.

I'm based in Zürich, Switzerland, but can frequently be found in London, Dublin, and other European cities.

Arline Lyons