INTERVIEW WITH REMI GROMELLE
All eyes on Tokyo 2020. After a huge wobble, the Tokyo Olympics finally took place, cheering up and re-connecting a divided globe.
The athletic festival, regarded as the world’s foremost sports competition, again engaged all of us on many different levels …including our sports specialized linguists.
Read the interview with Remi Gremolle and his way to “ participate” in the Olympics.
When did you realise you had what it takes to be a translator?
Firstly, I got a 3-year degree in languages; I chose English as the main language, and Spanish as the secondary language.
Then I went on to work in international logistics. Every day I would talk with agents overseas either by phone or e-mail, which helped me practice my English (not to mention music, films, etc.).
Also, over the course of those 5 years as a logistics agent, I was in touch with a friend of mine, who is also a translator, and he asked for my help from time to time to translate documents into English.
He introduced me to his main client to springboard my career. I don’t think he would have done that if he didn’t believe I was fit for the job.
Why did you decide to specialise in sports?
The main client I just mentioned is specialised in sports. Also, a section of the company decided to part ways and create their own business in sports too.
As my first two clients were specialised in sports, it was only natural that I would do the same as well. Not to mention that I’m a big sports fan, especially football. My city, Marseille, is quite known for its football culture.
What do you think is the most important skill for a sports translator?
First off, I think you need to be passionate about sports. When it comes to clubs, some background knowledge is fundamental too, like their main achievements, historic rivalries, recent transfers, etc.
How important is translation for the fans? Why?
Sport is a universal language, and it’s only natural that every single fan should be able to get the latest news on their favourite club or athlete, especially at a time when clubs are looking to have a global reach.
What experience as a translator has given you the most joy so far?
Probably the day I interpreted remotely for both Pep Guardiola and Riyad Mahrez in a UCL pre-game presser, followed by the day I interpreted for Pep Guardiola for the post-match presser.
The funny thing is that I also felt sadness that night, as my beloved club was crushed by Pep’s Manchester City…
The Olympic Games have just ended, what do you think about France’s results? Did you translate anything related to the Olympics?
We didn’t reach the tally of medals we were aiming for, but our results in collective sports (silver for men’s basketball and bronze for women’s, gold for both men’s and women’s handball, and gold for men’s volleyball) is certainly something to be proud of!
Yes, I did a few translation jobs for Eurosport:
· The last episode of the Trailblazers series, about Yusra Mardini, who represented the Refugee Olympic Team in Tokyo.
· A couple of episodes of the “My Olympic Journey” series, which featured Bhavani Devi and Malika Khakimova.
· The two “Tokyo Expectations” videos.
All that was from English into French.