By Sarah Bowyer
This summer was a bumper season for sport, with several tournaments rolled over from last year finally taking place. I’m sure I’m not the only one who spent far too much time in front of the TV being an armchair fan! This time, however, I could claim a professional interest since I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to translate for one of the biggest events in men’s football: the UEFA EURO 2020.
The EURO was held across 11 host cities, from Baku to Glasgow, but all of my work could be done from the comfort of my home. The translation work involved was very different from most of my day-to-day work. In particular, most tasks had an audiovisual element. Reporters on the ground would film a player interview or press conference and then send the file on to me and my colleagues to produce a written, time-coded translation. This presented different challenges, especially when it came to deciphering strong accents and colloquial expressions in files with variable sound quality. It was also an opportunity to diversify, with high demand for other skills, such as rapid English-language transcription. Another difference was the timescale involved: the translations required immediate turnaround, so they would be proofread almost instantaneously, with several people working in the same Google document at any one time. In these circumstances, technology came to the fore. I found it particularly helpful to ask questions of colleagues using Skype groups and to use VLC media player to slow down some of the trickier sections of speech.
Of course, I enjoyed seeing England go further in the tournament than they ever have before. French-speaking countries also made sure I kept busy with translation, with both France and Belgium progressing to the knockout stages. As a sports fan, I felt privileged to be close to the action and to work with a team of talented colleagues (including some fellow French Network members!).
I didn’t have long to mourn the end of the EURO before the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games got started. Projects have already started to appear in my inbox for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which will offer another exciting opportunity for us French-speaking sports fans to get involved!
Sarah Bowyer is a French and Spanish to English translator specialising in legal and sports translation. She is also Business Mentoring Coordinator for the Network.