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Language learners gain valuable experience in Champions League festivities

7 Gorffennaf 2017

Cardiff Castle during the Champions League festivities
Cardiff Castle during the Champions League festivities

The Champions League Final came to Cardiff this June and brought with it many exciting opportunities for our language learners!

Due to the thousands of multilingual visitors in the city, French, Spanish and Italian speakers were required to act as interpreters, guides and interviewers across the three days that the event took place.

Robert Lodge, a postgraduate student on our MA in Translation Studies programme, was one such learner who took advantage of the experience:

Robert Lodge
Translations Studies student, Robert Lodge

“For linguists, a major event like the Champions League Final pitching up where you’re based is like the passage of Halley’s Comet; it doesn’t happen often and while it’s around you should probably get out of the house and have a look!

As an MA Translation student gaining a foothold in employment, I’m always on the lookout for opportunities like this, and the School of Modern Languages does a grand job of supporting its students.

The Champions League Final was no exception, with many of us finding work related to the event.

For the Women’s Final, I, together with two fellow students, acted as interpreters/guides for VIP guests, sponsors and families of the Olympique Lyonnais Women's team. This meant introducing our guests to Cardiff, getting them from the airport to the city, accompanying them to a reception at the National Museum and then onto the Cardiff City Stadium for the match. We were lucky enough to be able to watch the match which Lyon won in a nerve-wracking penalty shootout, much to our clients’ delight!

For the Men's final, I and a few classmates were contracted to talk to fans visiting the Cardiff Bay fanzone on behalf of UEFA to get their opinions on their experiences.

This was an incredibly valuable experience for me and my fellow language learners. We were operating in a high-pressure events environment while communicating in foreign languages and being responsible for the welfare of large groups of VIP guests.

These opportunities are especially valuable for younger linguists like myself helping us secure much-needed experience in an uncertain market. As the UK’s relationship with the rest of the world enters a new era, let’s hope these major events visit us more regularly.”

An edited version of Robert’s article also appeared in the Institute of Translation and Interpreting Summer Newsletter.

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