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Expat programmer rewrites career in China

By Tiffany Tan ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-08-22 07:16:39

Expat programmer rewrites career in China

Computer programmer Joshua Dyer has built a career in China helping the country's online and mobile game companies translate their products into English. Feng Yongbin/ China Daily

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Tiffany Tan tells how an American guitar-strumming video game programmer reinvented his career in China.

After losing his job in the dot-com bust, video game programmer Joshua Dyer moved from the United States to Taiwan in 2002. Dyer, 40, a native of San Diego, California, decided to teach English in the city of Hsinchu to pay off college student loans and see the wider world.

Although he had researched teaching markets in Japan and South Korea, China became his main focus.

"I just thought learning Mandarin was going to be way more useful than learning Japanese or Korean," he says.

Little did he know that the decision would jumpstart his career, once Chinese mainland video game companies started to think global in the late-2000s.

Since 2009, a year after moving to Beijing, he has been earning a living from his combined knowledge of video games and the Chinese language. From his apartment, where he lives with a roommate and a cat, Dyer helps Chinese online and mobile game companies translate their products into English.

His work is targeted toward the North American and Western European markets. Most of it involves Massive Multi-Player Online Role-Playing Games, such as Mofa Zhi Men (Runes of Magic), which are free to play though users need to pay for additional game features.

Column: My Chinese Dream

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