Yoko, PhD, Founding Partner & Counselor (non-executive)

yokoYoko is a publicly certified translator (Germany), a sworn interpreter (Canton of Zurich Public Prosecution Dpt.) for German and Japanese, and is lecturer of Japanese at the University of St. Gallen and Bern. Yoko has previously worked with top Japanese media companies in Vienna/Austria for more than 10 years (Kyodo News Agency, TBS Television, Asahi Newspaper). As an experienced interpreter for German she has worked in a wide variety of settings. Yoko has been living in German-speaking countries since the age of 10. She is a truly bilingual language professional.

 George, Expert International Business & Executive Director

georgGeorge holds a PhD degree in in Economics (Hohenheim), an MSc in International Management (CEMS St. Gallen&HEC Paris) and a Masters degree in Japanese studies (Heidelberg). He currently teaches business and economics of Japan at the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland) and the University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany). Through his experience as a management consultant with McKinsey&Company (2004-2007), he combines business knowhow with excellent communication skills. This makes him a highly versatile interpreter also in demanding situations such as multiple source or target languages, conflict mediation, and competitive pitches. His working languages include Japanese, English, German, and French.

 Chizuko, Partner

ChizukoChizuko is an experienced journalist and a published author. As a fully trained English and Japanese simultaneous and consecutive interpreter, she has contracted for a wide range of political, business, and media fields. Chizuko also provides document translation of business and legal documents. Chizuko holds a BA from International Christian University in Tokyo/Japan. Based in Lausanne/Switzerland, Chizuko works in Europe and the United States and travels as the need requires.   

 Urs, Expert Banking & Finance


Urs has a track record of more than 10 years as Relationship Manager and Team Head at the Private Banking Japan Desk of one of Switzerland's big banks. With a Master’s Degree in Japanese Studies and several years of experience on the ground in Japan, Urs disposes of a unique blend of language skills and financial expertise. Since his 2014 election to the city council of Zurich, he continues to work as an advisor to his former employer. As an accredited  interpreter for Japanese at the Canton of Zurich , Urs is a sought-after expert for legal affairs in banking and finance.

 Keiko, Expert Medical Care & Devices

keikoKeiko has been living in Switzerland since the age of 13. After graduating from a Zurich-based High School, she studied medicine in Fribourg, Lausanne, and in Zurich. Having accumulated professional experience as a pediatrician both in a Zurich hospital and in a private practice, Keiko is one of the very few expert that provide specialized interpretation in the field of medical care, medical devices, and pharmaceuticals. Her working languages include Japanese, German, English and French.

 Yoko Orihara, Senior Associate

yokoBYoko graduated from Tokyo's prestigious Chuo University with a BA in French Literature. During the 1980’s she worked for Swiss and Japanese financial institutions in Geneva. Since relocating to the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland (Lugano) in the late 1990s, Yoko works as a translator and interpreter for Italian, French, English, and Japanese for a wide variety of clients including the cantonal government of Ticino. She is currently president of the Ticino chapter of the Swiss Japanese Society.

  Jun, Senior Associate 

JunJun grew up in a Japanese-French family in Paris and its region. After graduating from Paris XII University with a Masters degree in philosophy and obtaining a drama diploma from Conservatoire National de Région Saint Maur, Jun specializes as a professional audiovisual production manager since the late 1990ies. With an impressive track record of more than 50 projects for Japanese public television provider NHK and other major media outlets, Jun is a highly experienced production manager. Jun also provides interpretation services specializing in the areas of fashion and communications. She is also a sought-after translator with rights to all Japanese works published by Editions Milan and P’tit Glénat. Jun’s working languages include Japanese, French, German and English.

 Christoph, Associate

christophChristoph is a Japanese language professional with BA and MA degrees in Japanese language and literature and has spent several years in Japan at Nara University of Education, Osaka City University, and Tôkai University. Since graduating, Christoph has gained first-rate interpretation experience while assisting Japanese multinational businesses such as Kowa Pharmaceuticals, Mayekawa Engineering, and VS Technologies as an inhouse interpreter. Currently pursuing an advanced degree at the University of Zurich, he works on assignments for industrial clients involving all his working languages: Japanese, English, and German.

 Chihaya, Associate

ChihayaChihaya has been working for many years as a journalist with Swissinfo, a government-run news agency. She has gained great experience as a translator contributing to the translation of five books published in Japanese. Chihaya currently works as a translator and interpreter in a variety of industries and situations including commercial negotiations, factory visits and technical documentations. Chihaya graduated from the junior college of Nihon University.

 Felix, Associate

FelixFelix has gathered strong academic experience in Swiss, German and Japanese universities with the Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies at the University of Zurich from 2012 to 2017 being his most recent experience. Felix provides translation, interpretation, research and coaching in the fields of language and culture, media, journalism and travel. He is fluent in German, Japanese and English.

 Emiko, Junior Associate

emikoAfter language studies in Australia and Germany Emiko relocated to Switzerland in 2011. She has since become active as an escort interpreter with a particular strong track record in energy related fields working with the Swiss Federal Office for the environment as well as with local utilities and research institutes. Her activities include technical translations into Japanese, as well organizational tasks for the planning of multinational events and trade fairs. Her working languages include English, German, and Japanese.

 Yumi, Junior Associate

yumiYumi grew up in the Greater Tokyo Area and went to college at Gakushuin University. After obtaining a bachelors degree she moved on to German where she enroled in a masters program for Museum Studies at HTW Berlin. Already during her studies she started to gather substantial experience as an interpreter for Japanese exhibitors at trade fairs all over Germany. Since 2017 she has been a member of an IT project team with a German global player in Berlin. At Optolingua Yumi conducts research and survey activities and continues to broaden her experience with interpretation at trade fairs. Her working languages include English, German, and Japanese.

 Ayana, Junior Associate

AyanaWhile attending Kyoritsu Women’s University in Tokyo, Ayana choose to further her study abroad and ventured into Germany, where she enrolled in a four year BA program in nutritional science at Stuttgart’s Hohenheim University. After graduating in 2016, Ayana gained first hand working experience in the marketing department of a German logistics company. Since 2017 she employs her language skills to assist Japanese exhibitors at various trade fairs all around Germany, particularly in the Food (e.g., “Eat&Style”) and Cosmetics industry. Her working languages include German, English, and Japanese.

Diana, Junior Associate


Diana grew up in a Japanese-Swiss family in the Italian-speaking Ticino region of Switzerland. While studying at Zurich University, she has additionally acquired  an excellent command of German. After her graduation, Diana has transferred to Japan and currently works on translations from Japanese, German and French into Italian and provides interpreting services for a variety of industries.

 Ayuko, German Office Manager

ayukoGrowing up in a Japanese-German family, Ayuko naturally developed bilingual language skills in both languages. Additional to these, she obtained a graduate degree in Translation Studies from the University of Bonn. To date, Ayuko has over 10 years of experience working as a translator and interpreter for German, Japanese and English on various assignments including challenging situations and highly specific contexts such as negotiations in the automotive and related industries. Ayuko has also been assigned as a project interpreter and translator at major industrial companies.

 Rina, London Office Manager

RinaRina is a graduate of Japan’s prestigious Gakushu’in University where she studied English language and American culture. She continued her education with a four year degree in inter­pre­tation and translation studies at Perth University in Australia. Since graduating in 2010 she has gained first hand working experience in the PR department of Orix Cor­poration’s and as a translator with Nature Publishing in London and Tokyo. After another five years as an interpreter with Beacon Communications in Tokyo, Rina has recently relocated to Europe. She works for a large variety of clients with a special focus on topics from the financial and pharmaceutical industries.

Yumiko, Yokohama Office Manager


Yumiko runs optolingua's Yokohama satellite office, works on German-language translation and research tasks. Yumiko has lived in Germany for several years and is a professional researcher.