SOAS University of London

Alumni Engagement

Hungary, Budapest

Adrienn, MA African Studies 2009

Adrienn Gesce

Adrienn graduated in Philology, with a focus on Tibetan and Mongolian studies, with a minor in African Studies, from Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE, Budapest) in Hungary. These courses provided her not only with an exceptionally good practical training in the translation of non-European languages, but she learnt to appreciate the differences that lay within seemingly curious cultures, traditions and customs of the world.

To further expand her horizons, she accepted an offer of admission from SOAS, to do a master’s course in African Studies. She majored in West African Culture and Society, and because she believes that we will never truly understand a culture without making at least an attempt to speak their languages, she started learning one of the major languages of the region, that was Yoruba. She considers her time at SOAS  decisive, and can still rely on the transferable skills, knowledge and experiences she gained during her studies, professionally and personally alike. The SOAS Library is still one of her favourite places in the world!

Arriving in the UK, Adrienn started supporting herself through translation work. She never thought she would end up as a full time translator, but over the years this work provided the flexibility to be able to do her research and the occasional field trip. After four years of immersing herself in London life, Adrienn moved on temporarily to Mongolia for work and research. She was employed by the Zanabazar Museum of Fine Arts in Ulaanbaatar, and thoroughly enjoyed being among those artworks on a daily basis.

Adrienn gained her PhD from the Doctoral School of Linguistics (ELTE, Budapest) in 2016. Her research focused on traditional statue making in Tibet and Mongolia, touching upon various aspects of it. Being a qualified goldsmith herself, she is most interested in the maker, their role in modern-day societies, the blending of their practical skills with the supernatural that lies in their use of fire that is capable of both creation and destruction.

Although nowadays she spends most of her time on various translation projects, working for clients worldwide, she is passionate about raising awareness of issues related to education, environmental protection and human rights. She has worked and volunteered for international organizations in various roles, in Mongolia, the UK and Hungary, and she hopes to be able to do more within this sector in the future, wherever the opportunity arises.

Adrienn is pleased to get in touch with you when you visit Hungary, and is looking forward to welcoming you there.