Who’s behind Taste Translation?
Taste Translation offers specialised Japanese to English translation for fine food and drink, in particular for Japanese sake and wine.
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 and concentrating on my specialist areas – biology and food & drink.
I decided to find out more about sake after translating promotional material for breweries, and took the WSET Level 3 Award in Sake in March 2017, passing with distinction, followed by SSI International Kikisake-shi in September 2018 and Certified Sake Professional with the Sake Education Council in January 2019. I’m currently studing for the Japan Sommelier Assocation Sake Diploma, and plan to take the Sake Education Council Advanced Sake Professional Course in February 2020.
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, so I can handle a wide variety of texts associated with sake production, handling, packaging, quality, analysis and shipping.
I’m based in Zürich, Switzerland, but can frequently be found in London, Dublin, Paris and other European cities.
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)!