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Alex Gansmeier

Name: Alex Gansmeier
Course: MA Interpreting and Translation

The world of a professional interpreter is an exciting one – plenty of opportunities to travel, a wide variety of assignments and the possibility to work with high profile clients (diplomats, politicians and celebrities). But, Alex Gansmeier, Interpreting and Translation graduate, never dreamed that he would get his first taste of the celebrity life so soon.

Alex, originally from Germany, came to the UK in 2011 to study on UCLan’s highly practical Interpreting and Translation master’s programme. The course places a huge emphasis on honing students’ practical interpreting skills – they spend 11 hours a week in the interpreting booths alongside their academic studies and dissertation. This practical experience gave Alex all the necessary skills to be immediately employable on graduation as a freelance German-English interpreter. And he soon put these skills to the test interpreting live on ITV’s popular daytime programme This Morning.

The segment, one of the 2013 Guinness Book of Records, featured presenters Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby interviewing some of the more unusual record holders. Alex’s assignment was to interpret during the interview for the World’s Oldest Gymnast, 86 year-old Johanna Quaas from Leipzig.

Speaking about his experience, Alex said: “When your morning starts off with saying hi to the World’s Smallest Woman or the man with the World’s Largest Biceps, it’s fair to assume that the day is going to be interesting – and interesting it was! I met all kinds of ‘officially amazing’ people, attended print and radio interviews with Johanna and then finally took part in the live TV interview. This was definitely not just another day at the office and I now am more certain than ever that this and nothing else is the one and only profession for me.”