INTERPRETING FOR LILIAN THURAM AS PART OF THE BARÇA FOUNDATION’S FUTBOLNET PROGRAMME

BRIEF PRESENTATION

The FutbolNet programme was set up by the Barça Foundation in 2011 to help vulnerable groups of children and adolescents. It is a method that encourages social integration and inclusion through sport, and football in particular. Since 2017 in collaboration with the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the programme has been offered to refugee communities in Greece and is a platform for making the adverse conditions under which they live better. Based on the values of the Barcelona team, which can be summarised as humility, hard work, ambition, respect and team spirit, children learn to resolve conflicts and collaborate, to develop self-esteem and respect for others, while also exercising and having fun. For more information about the programme, please visit: https://foundation.fcbarcelona.com/futbolnet_en

In June 2019 executives from the Barça Foundation visited the refugee camps at Skaramangas and Elaionas along with the internationally renowned footballer Lilian Thuram, a former player for Barcelona and France, when the latter won the world championship. During the two-day visit I undertook to provide interpreting services to Lilian Thuram.

PREPARATION

The following steps were taken to prepare:

  • Studying the two-day visit schedule and the prospectus provided by organisers
  • Learning as much as possible about the FutbolNet programme, the Barça Foundation and its other activities: information was obtained from the Foundation’s website and social media and from articles and analyses in the Spanish and international press.
  • Collecting detailed information about the Lilian Thuram Foundation and its work: The information was obtained from the rich materials available on the Foundation’s website.
  • Studying interviews with Lilian Thuram (videos or newspaper articles): interviews were a very useful source of information since Lilian Thuram presented his views on issues of equality and racism, talked about the work he is doing via the Foundation, his life and the highlights of his sporting career on the France national team and other leading teams. The interviews I watched and read in advance helped me form a well-rounded picture of his personality, which made it easier for me later during the interpreting process, since discussions in effect covered the same ground.
  • Studying the rules of football and its terminology and preparing specialist glossaries in English, French and Greek.

THE INTERPRETING

Successive interpreting in English, French and Greek was provided during the visits. The interpreting covered:

  • Tours of the refugee camps during which the issue of how the camp was organised, problems which exist, the work of NGOs, etc. were analysed, among other things. The tours were in English and organised by Project Elea in Elaionas and the organization “Gi / Earth” in Skaramangas. Successive interpreting into French was provided.
  • A series of FutbolNet classes attended by Lilian Thuram. At the end of the class there was a discussion with the children. I interpreted Lilian Thuram’s speech from French to English and then the children’s coaches interpreted from English into Arabic and Farsi.
  • Interviews with Lilian Thuram on Greek national television (ERT) and other local and international television and print media. Interpreting was provided for the interviews from French to Greek and vice versa.

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