A few weeks ago we interviewed one of our typesetter friends; today, we have the pleasure of interviewing another friend working in the languages industry, Ronan Malt.
Ronan is a Spanish and French-English interpreter specialised in quite an interesting field to many, football. Let’s find out how he became an interpreter and what his job involves.
Ronan, what made you pursue a career in interpreting?
Upon graduating with a BA in Modern Languages from Durham University I worked in the localisation industry in a Project Management role; but after a period of time I realised that I wanted to do something in which my languages were more directly relevant. Following an enjoyable two years spent teaching English in Spain, I decided to return to the UK to enrol on the MA in Interpreting at London Metropolitan University. During my time in Spain on the odd occasion I was asked to stand in and interpret for British ex-pats, and it was these experiences that gave me a taste of what it might be like to interpret and I felt that it was something I wanted to pursue professionally.
In what different contexts have you found yourself interpreting as a football interpreter?
I have interpreted in lots of different environments, from the more standard press conferences to the medicals, which are conducted before a player is signed by a club, and have also offered more liaison style interpreting for a player and his family on house viewings.
What do you enjoy the most when interpreting?
I find interpreting to be very gratifying and enjoy being able to give those I interpret for ‘a voice.’ It is very rewarding to think that my language skills go some way to enabling those who would not otherwise be able to give their opinions or have a say, the opportunity to do so.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to become an interpreter like you?
I would advise any budding interpreters first and foremost to obtain a postgraduate qualification in interpreting, as this is a basic requirement in the industry. In terms of the skills to be nurtured, I would say that whilst excellent foreign language skills are a must, it is vital that the mother tongue is not neglected. I would also recommend keeping abreast of current affairs as you never quite know when a conference delegate might make a reference to a recent news story and from experience, I can safely say that it is much easier to interpret when you had read about the story yourself! Finally, during training (and indeed upon its completion) and although it may be a bit of a cliché, there really is no replacement for practice.
Thank you, Ronan, for your precious time; and we wish you all the best in your exciting career.
You can find out more about Ronan’s career by following him on social media: