| by Cheng-Hao Yang MATLM ’20


Yang, Cheng-Hao
Cheng-Hao “Jimmy” Yang MATLM ’20

Middlebury Institute graduates discuss where they are working today, how the Institute helped them get there, and what advice they’d give to current and future MIIS students.

My name is Cheng-Hao “Jimmy” Yang and I graduated with an MA in Translation and Localization Management from the Middlebury Institute in 2020. My language of study was English. I interned with LanguageLine Solutions in Monterey, California, and now I am a freelance translation/localization expert and linguist based in Taipei, Taiwan.

Back in summer of 2019, my friend Cody Connell and Career Advisor Winnie Heh referred me to the internship opportunity with LanguageLine. It was a great opportunity where I got to experience a U.S. work environment. Plus, I got to utilize the programming knowledge I learned back in our Python and JavaScript class at the Institute. My supervisor introduced me to some interesting functions such as pandas for Python that can help us process data in Excel sheets. To a linguist like me, it was truly magical to see what programming can do with the right tools and commands.

To a linguist like me, it was truly magical to see what programming can do with the right tools and commands.
— Cheng-Hao “Jimmy” Yang MATLM ’20

After graduation I started off mostly as a localization project manager (LPM) on the vendor side, including at Lilt and Supertext USA. Later on, I secured a client-side LPM role at DoorDash where I get to experience some variety regarding LPM tasks. Responsibilities on vendor and client sides are vastly different. During all these times, I have also been holding onto my original career goal as a translator/linguist, working to establish solid relationships within the industry. Today, I am still working as a freelance localization expert and linguist with clients including Supertext USA, Lockit QA, Smartling, and Terra Translations, helping them to translate all sorts of content.

Search Early, Network, Be Persistent, and Listen to Feedback

My best advice for current students: 1. Start searching as early as possible. 2. Make your presence and interests known to people around you so they will think of you. 3. Expect to have to persist through a lot of ghosting and failures (and be aware that if you are an international student, visa support could be an issue on the employer’s side). 4. Listen to feedback and comments and work to improve accordingly; translation can be a very subjective thing once we pass a certain threshold.