Meet Guillaume Cottin, Lingua French translator

Photo courtesy Guillaume Cottin. Used with permission.

Global Voices: Tell us about yourself—who exactly is Guillaume Cottin?

My name is Guillaume, I’m 24, and I’m pretty open-minded (well, at least I think haha). I work in popular education and love sharing human and educational values with a younger audience (by this, I mean younger than me *laughter*). I am currently the director of an activity centre and hold an MA in public communication and media. I often change themes to promote cultural democracy and access to new activities for everyone. I love international themes, as this takes the audience out of themselves without having to spend any money within my organisation. More seriously, access to some activities, some cultures or knowledge for all is a very important aspect to my professional and personal approach.

I love languages and I translate to maintain my high level, but also to bring my contribution to the transfer of knowledge. Indeed, I translate to promote access to information worldwide. I find it fascinating how some knowledge is spread once this “language barrier” is broken. Opening ourselves to new cultures, learning and being lucky enough to compare ourselves with other individuals around the world is a type of wealth we tend to neglect and that could make us feel alive everyday (of course, this is only my point

GV: When did you join Global Voices, and what motivated you to do so?

What motivated me was becoming a better translator and keep on learning and discovering new things. Translating is like a challenge, because every new text is appealing in its own way and has its own difficulties. Every topic is different, GV enables allows us to choose among a wide variety of texts, and the contributions (articles and translations) should never stop. Thanks to GV, I saw the opportunity to contribute to keep translation alive, but also to keep learning and building on my reflexions on society and what happens in the world.

GV: Tell us more about your experience as a translator for GV, has anything marked you?

What marked me the most was the whole atmosphere at GV and the determination other contributors have in maintaining this enthusiasm. Indeed, Laila was the first one to supervise and help me, I was astounded by her commitment. It is extremely reassuring to have proofreaders supervise us (whether it was the former ones or the current ones) and this also shows us how reactive they are. The GV community was extremely united during the pandemic, as we created a newsletter. Every contributor has its own personality and a different background, we all do other things outside of volunteering our time to translating and this is what makes this group so special, a diversity that brings a great harmony, because we all play a part to (cultural, etc.) sharing through languages.

GV: As our translator of the month, what would you say to our contributors to encourage them?

Keep translating even if you aren’t as active as you used to due to life getting in your way. Knowing how to speak or understand several languages is a gift (which involves a lot of work for some, including me) you have to make the most of. Keep up with your languages, this will always be useful, whether it is for you, for the readers or for the writers! No matter what motivated you, at least one person amongst us will find what they are looking for.

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