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Schoolgirl is youngest Parliament interpreter

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A schoolgirl, blind since she was 2, has become the youngest interpreter for the EU Parliament at 10 years old, albeit only for a day.

Alexia Sloane is fluent in four languages - English, French, Spanish and Mandarin - though she is currently learning German at a Cambridge school in England.

Her mother is half-French and half-Spanish, while her father is English, leading Alexia towards being trilingual at an early stage. At the age of 6 she chose to take up Mandarin as her fourth language.

MEP Robert Sturdy invited Alexia to the European Parliament in Brussels after she was named 'Young Achiever of the Year' at the Cambridge News Community Awards. Afterwards, he praised her on his official website, saying: "It was a real pleasure to host a visit for such a talented and charming young lady, and I have no doubt that one day she will be back in Brussels interpreting for the European Parliament."

Alexia already has A* grades for GCSE French and Spanish, and is hoping to take her oral A-Level exams for the two languages later this year. She continues to harbour ambitions of becoming a full-time interpreter, revealing: "The trip was more than a dream come true. Unfortunately, I have to wake up to reality now.

"I am now more determined than ever to become an interpreter in the future and to return to Brussels in the not too distant future - to see all the wonderful people I met."

See Alexia interpreting at her home below:

Alexia Sloane - the youngest European Parliament interpreter

© Rex Features / Geoffrey Robinson



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