Next month I will finish a B.A. here at an American university. My degree is Chinese and International Studies (double major). My Chinese level is not fluent or truly professional, more like advanced, but I’m constantly improving and expanding my knowledge. 5 years out or less, my goal is to hopefully get steady work as a translator (or related) and live in Taiwan for possibly 5-10 years or more.
In the short term I would like to work in Taiwan, get acclimated, and improve my Chinese through immersion (not immediately get back school, brain needs a rest from academia). After a year or so I would like to attend graduate school to further my Chinese study.
The main questions I have are: Should I just focus on English teaching jobs or would my Chinese level possibly allow me to get some other work that is worth looking for? Secondly, any suggestions about which graduate schools/programs have a good reputation? Lastly, post-grad, is working as a translator in Taiwan feasible and a decent living?
I made two trips to Taiwan back in 2010 and I spent 9 months in China in 2012. I prefer Taiwan, or how I remember it in 2010 anyway.
Thank you for taking the time to read / comment.
I’ve sent you a PM. Please read.
PM replied. Thank you Hokwongwei.
What do you mean by “worth looking for”? I have experience in Taiwan with what are considered low-level jobs like waiter, kitchen worker, gas station attendant, tea store, etc. If you want to know info about that let me know on PM
Long-term advice: I do not believe that translation will be a viable career choice for more than another 10 years or so. Prices are being forced downward and more and more “translation work” is actually post-editing either of machine translation or of poorly written English done by native Chinese speakers. The Taiwan market is probably a bit different due to its somewhat isolated nature, but as translation goes more and more international via the Internet, I don’t have great optimism for the future. After 25 years in the field I’m hoping to just be able to eke out an end to my career over the next 10-15 years without going hungry.
Learn a real skill is my advice (spoken as someone who loves Chinese and doesn’t want to do anything else). Trying to compete only on the strength of your Chinese, no matter how awesome it may become, isn’t going to work out for 99% of people, and it’s harder to do now than it was in the past, I think.