Kiyoko Naish

Kiyoko Naish is a Japanese language and culture consultant.

Kiyoko Naish was born, studied and worked in Japan. Her degree was in English literature at Aoyama Gakuin Women’s College in Japan. Studying Evelyn Waugh has been occasionally useful when understanding a slice of British culture.

She spent 13 years working as a vice-president for US investment bank Goldman Sachs in Tokyo, New York, London and finally Hong Kong where she met her husband and quit the 24/7 global markets lifestyle and relocated to the UK. She decided to dedicate her experience to helping people overcome cultural barriers in business and in everyday life.

She is regularly invited by UK Trade and Investment to give ‘Introduction to Japanese business language and culture’ workshops for business people who are either about to depart on trade missions to Japan, or who just want build better relationships with their Japanese business partners or customers. She also runs similar workshops in-house for corporate clients, tailored to their needs. She explains how the Japanese approach negotiations, meetings and email communication, as well as teaching some useful Japanese phrases to improve business relationships. She is also often asked to act as what one client described as an ‘Japanese interpreter plus plus’. She interprets not only the Japanese language but also acts as a cultural consultant, interpreting the Japanese partner’s ‘unspoken communication’ and relaying this vital information to her European clients.

“Kiyoko is so much more than a great translator and interpreter. She played a key role in helping us build a great relationship with our Japanese partners. As well as language, cultural interpretation is also very important and Kiyoko made sure we were got both right.” Paul Oakley, Director of Technical and Business Development, LEEC.

She regularly teaches Japanese, on both corporate in-house programmes and on open programmes at colleges in the Midlands area of the UK. For example, for one major Japanese motor manufacturer client, she teaches business Japanese and culture, one-on-one, to executives before their secondments in Japan.

Kiyoko co-authored Teach Yourself Business Japanese, which was published in 2008.

She teaches Japanese evening classes for beginners and intermediates at various places including University of Nottingham and Central College Nottingham.

Outside work, she makes visits to school children to promote Japanese culture and language through Japan 21, supported by the Japanese Embassy. She chairs a local charity called Ganbare Japan to support the children in the 2011 Tohoku Tsunami affected area and organises lots of local event to raise funds. She is an active member of 85 Broad Street, an international network of Goldman Sachs alumnae. She enjoys spending time with her bilingual family and playing water polo at National League. She recently played for an England Masters’ team ‘English Roses’ at European Masters’ Championship.

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