Do you have sneakers?

At the beginning of February I had the honor to translate for our delegation of the best football coaches, crème de la crème of Croatian football, at a UEFA study group in the French football centre in Clairefontaine. For me, the journey began earlier than for the rest, because I had spent a few days in careful and intensive French-Croatian preparations, which began with the words “Football is a team sport played by…“

Despite coming from a family of passionate fans and experts in the most popular sport, this knowledge unfortunately has not passed down genetically. After the whole team gathered at the airport, their first question for me was: "Do you have sneakers?" The answer was negative because the interpreter brought only suits and other business accessories, and they failed to inform her that there will also be a theoretical part of the meeting, taking place at a football field.

Several days later I was bravely stepping through that field in sneakers size 43, fully dressed in Adidas equipment, and despite the wind that has been my most original consecutive interpretation yet. The remaining time I interpreted various notable French football personae, seeing as the topic of the meeting was the UEFA license system. If you are reading this and are interested in simultaneous interpretation and interpretation in general, know that this truly is an exciting job. I don't just mean meeting different people, such as a whole team of football experts reading Sports News even when experiencing airplane turbulence.

I am also talking about the ever so challenging environment, such as the new equipment for simultaneous interpretation in a two-language booth where only a glass fence separates you from your Greek colleagues, but hardly blocks their laud and temperamental Mediterranean voice. All in all, as you can see, it was a dynamic and very beautiful experience involving lovely people. On a more professional note, the point of the text is that preparation is key for a job well done and that simultaneous and consecutive interpretation is an activity that will never bore you. Written by Marta Vlaić, university specialist in conference interpretation