Let me introduce myself. I am Rebecca Berkhout and have been working as an independent certified translator since 1999. I translate documents from English into Dutch and vice versa. The majority of the work I do is translation of legal documents.
At an early age, it was clear to me that I wanted to do something involving languages. After secondary school I studied Russian in Amsterdam. In order to fund my studies, I worked part-time as a legal secretary. Three years into a four-year course including two periods behind the Iron Curtain, it became clear to me that the Soviet Union was not my sort of place. So I left university. As an alternative, I had full-time jobs working for many different lawyers and civil-law notaries, each with their own specialist area. Many of them had clients abroad, so I did not have to worry about losing my language skills. Now that I’d got the experience, I needed another challenge, and enrolled in 1994 as a student in the Dutch-English programme at ITV, the Dutch Institute for Translating and Interpreting. After my graduation, I took a specialisation course in legal translation, and registered as a certified translator in 1997. After two years translating in full-time employment, I set up my own business, a daunting prospect at the beginning but something I have not ever regretted.