Yann LEYMARIE joined the French translator team at Global Voices in November 2017. He is the manager of the Gironde branch of a European network working in marine ecology. He agreed to answer a few questions from our long-time contributor Abdoulaye Bah.
Global Voices (GV): Yann, tell us about yourself. What does Surfrider mean and why this alias?
Yann Leymarie (YL): My name is Yann, I’m a French citizen based in Bordeaux, and I’ve also lived in Asia and the Middle East in recent years. Surfrider Foundation Europe is the name of the organization I work for. I am the manager of the coordination office for this NGO, which has been working to protect aquatic environments, oceans, and their users since 1990.
GV: Since the NGO Surfrider is involved in the environmental field, are you thinking about writing pieces on that subject? GV would certainly be interested, you know.
YL: I knew that they had articles on the environment since my first translation discussed the impact of a hydro-electric power station at the Valbona National Park in Albania. For now I am more comfortable translating, but I’ll have to make the leap one of these days; I can already feel the editors breathing down my neck ;) .
GV: Tell us how you discovered Global Voices and what attracted you to it.
YL: I was looking for volunteers for a translation project on the United Nations site and by chance I found a candidate who was a volunteer at Global Voices. I’m a curious person so of course I went to have a look. The values and principles of GV immediately attracted me because they reflected my own identity, both in who I am and what I do.
GV: Were your expectations met following this brief experience?
YL: I am still very happy to have made that decision. It’s simple to participate and well organized, the management team always communicates with respect and provides constant support, which is crucial for motivation. There is a high level of professionalism!
GV: Being so young, I imagine you must have many interests in life. Where does GV fit in among your activities? And how do you reconcile that with your life outside work?
YL: I always try to translate one article per week. Though it can be complicated depending on the amount of work I have at a given moment, I enjoy it and it lets me totally disconnect for a few hours.
GV: Is there any connection between what you do at GV and your professional activity?
YL: One of my daily responsibilities is to manage the volunteer network, both in skill-based support and translation projects.
GV: What languages do you work in?
YL: French and English mainly. I am too ashamed of my current level in Spanish to attempt to use it unfortunately…
GV: What would you like to see GV report on?
YL: I can’t believe I’m saying this again in 2018, but thank you to GV for representing the free press and for defending the right of access to information and freedom of expression. These fundamental rights are becoming more and more threatened around the world.