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Technical interpretation: Building the future of Nice

Cultures Connection provided liaison interpreting services during construction negotiations for ‘Iconic’, a futuristic project that looks to revive the city centre.

On the 22nd October, Cultures Connection attended a meeting between directors of the Spanish construction company Steel and the representatives from ‘Iconic’, an important project that has been set up to revitalize Nice’s city centre. Our agency provided French and Spanish liaison interpretation services as the two groups discussed the technical details of the next steps of the project.

Nice authorities came up with ‘Iconic’ as part of their aim to revive the old neighbourhood Thiers which is home to the city’s main train station. The project looks to connect the northern and southern areas that are divided by the SNCF bridge and the Pierre-Mathis motorway as well as making it easier to go by foot between the train and tram stations, which are divided by the renowned comercial stretch of Jean-Médécin which extends up to Place Masséna. Official predictions show that movement of people in the area will increase from eight to eleven million by 2020.

These works are an extension of the restructuring of the the railway centre which is due to be finished in 2019 with a total investment of 80 million euros. The final product will be a 18,300 m2 complex on six floors that will be home to retail stores, a Hilton hotel with 120 rooms, an auditorium with 600 seats, a luxury gym and 3,000 m2 of offices. There will be metal structuring on the inside and a glass exterior, a towering diamond beside the train  station, a symbol of the renovation work of the local government. The architectural plan was designed by Daniel Libeskind, New York, and the real estate element is being handled by the French group Compagnie de Phalsbourg.

Steel is an innovative construction company from the Spanish capital, with more than 30 years of experience in quality control of primary materials and the execution of constructive systems. They are in charge of the planning for the framing of the steel structure of the building, a key part to keep the Iconic design on track.

A very complex discussion between very few people

In their meeting, the two groups had a two hour long discussion that revolved around technical and administrative planning and the structural calculations of the project as well as the construction work itself. Cultures Connection was on the scene with a professional in liaison interpreting, translating from French to Spanish and vice versa.

The professional service took place at a small table where representatives from Steel and Iconic brought each other up to date on the current status of the work and made decisions about what to do next. As is usually the case with these kinds of events, with direct conversation in an informal environment, there was no need for microphones or headphones; the presence of our professional interpreter was enough as he worked memorising short parts of speech, not even taking notes.

These services involved the fundamental element of the interpreter bringing together all previous knowledge of terminology in the architectural, property and industrial sectors. In turn, the experience of a professional career eases the process of accurately adapting content from one language to another in a matter of seconds. The work was so well done that his presence almost went unnoticed during this highly important conversation for the future of Nice.

Translation into English: Madeleine Hancock

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This article has been written by Gonzalo Olaberría

Before starting as a Digital Content Manager at Cultures Connection, he worked in Argentina as a journalist for national newspapers and magazines, and as a consultant in political and corporate communication.