Martijn en Milan in Kioto (2011).

About Iki Translations

Iki Translations was established in 2014 by Japanologists Milan van Berlo and Martijn Heule. Both have experience translating and interpreting during and after their studies at the University of Leiden. The work of a translator is easily underestimated in the Western world where English is accepted as the de facto language of business, but the use of a professional translator is not to be underestimated. Iki Translations aims to convey the message of its clients effectively, with integrity. Noted below are our personal motivations and goals for this company.

Milan van Berlo

Milan van Berlo

The main reason for me to enroll in Japanstudies in 2006, was the Japanese language itself. Japanese differs in almost all possible ways from English and Dutch, which is exactly what makes it such an intriguing subject to study. During my third year, I spent one year at Kyushu University in Fukuoka and obtained the highest level JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) certificate.

After graduation, I spent just over a year at Kyoto University. In 2014, I obtained my M.A. in Asian Studies from Leiden University. I wrote my thesis on the grammar of 8th-century Japanese.

During my studies, I have worked as interpreter and as translator on multiple occasions. For example, I worked as an on-board interpreter for Dutch airline Arke to facilitate communication between the Japanese passengers and the Dutch crew. Other work I have done includes interpretation for production company Electric ZOO during preparations and shooting of a commercial for Lexus.

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Martijn Heule

Throughout my secondary education I was primarily interested in language. After graduating in 2006, I decided to switch from Latin and Greek to Japanese – a similarly odd choice according to my peers. The start of my third year at university marked my first visit to Japan. Studying at Nagasaki University, I developed an interest in university clubs. These clubs host communities of students practicing a wide variety of activities and hobbies: from sports to traditional Japanese dance, from film to music. At the time, I joined two clubs (football and music).

Upon graduating University in 2010, I decided to further study university clubs. At the same as Milan, I studied and lived in Kyoto from 2011 to 2012. By interviewing students belonging to different universities and participating in club activities – boxing and music this time – I conducted research for my MA thesis.

Since 2006, my interest in Japan and Japanese has only increased. After graduating in August 2012, I decided to work as an independent translator, and founded Daimaru Translations. I now translate on a daily basis and interpret regularly for my most stable client, Kobe Bussan. Like Milan, I obtained JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) certification at the highest level.

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Freelancers

In order to guarantee and improve our level of service, we have a core team of freelancers that help us deliver quality translations. Here we briefly introduce the team.

Natsumi Kawano

Natsumi Kawano

As a bachelor student, Natsumi spent one year studying at Leiden University writing her thesis on the translation of poems by Dutch author Annie M.G. Schmidt. After graduating, she took a course on Dutch language studies at the Kyoto University of Foreign Languages. Natsumi has been living in the Netherlands for three years now. As a native speaker, Natsumi makes sure all of the Japanese translations offered by Iki Translations are of the highest quality.

Thom van Dam

Thom van Dam

Thom had a hard choice to make upon graduating high school: should he study Japanese or Chinese? He ended up studying both. His studies brought him to the island of Taiwan for an intensive Chinese language program, and to Osaka, Japan to improve his knowledge of the Japanese language, history and literature. At Iki Translations, Thom is mainly responsible for Chinese translations.

Yautina Zhang

Yautina was born and raised in China. She graduated from Beijing Language and Culture University with a bachelor’s degree in English language and culture, specializing in English – Chinese translation. After moving to the Netherlands, Yautina enrolled in the Dutch Studies program at Leiden University in 2011. Here, she specialized in linguistics and second language acquisition. After graduating in 2014, she decided to study further, enrolling in the Language and Communication master’s course. During the same period, she joined the Criminal Court Interpreting program. Yautina is experienced in English – Chinese and Dutch – Chinese translation and interpreting.