At the beginning of the 20th century, a number of Chinese students were sent to study in the United States on the Boxer Rebellion Indemnity Scholarship Program. Part of the first remission of money was also used to establish a preparatory school，named Tsinghua College and also called the “American Indemnity College“. Every year, the College would send some graduates and faculty to study in the United States. Lin Yutang, who got the chance to study at Harvard, was also a beneficiary of the Boxer Indemnity.
20世纪初，许多中国学生拿到庚子赔款奖学金到美国留学。第一笔庚子赔款的一 部分被用来修建一所留美预备学校（或称肄业馆），并命名为清华学校或“美国赔款 学校“。每年学校要送一些毕业生和教师去美国留学。林语堂得到了去哈佛大学学习 的机会，也算是庚子赔款的一个受益者。
Lin was born into a Christian family. His father was a Christian minister. Therefore, in 1912 Lin entered the Theological School of Saint John’s University in Shanghai to become a minister following in the footsteps of his father. While he was in Theological School, Lin tried to find answers to a number of questions about the meaning of life and went through almost every book at the University library. Still, he failed to find his answers. Then he left the Theological School, giving up his plan of becoming a Christian minister, and changed his major to language studies.
林语堂出生于一个基督教家庭，父亲是基督教牧师。为子承父业，林语堂1912 年进了上海圣约翰大学神学院。林语堂在神学院的时候试图寻找一些关于人生意义的 问题的答案，为此他浏览了图书馆里几乎所有的书，但仍然没有找到答案。于是他离 开神学院，放弃了当牧师的打算，改学语言研宄。
After graduation in 1916，Lin taught school at Tsinghua College. Three years later, Lin was qualified to receive a half-scholarship to study for a doctoral degree at Harvard University in the United States. Lin studied comparative literature at Harvard and received his master’s degree in comparative literature. However, Lin had to leave Harvard early in 1922 because he could not afford to continue to study there. He moved to France and eventually to Germany, where consumption level was not so high. Finally, in 1923 Lin completed the requirements for a doctoral degree at the University of Leipzig in Germany. Lin enjoyed studying abroad, but he had qualms about Westerners’ preoccupation with logic and scientific method. After coming back to China, from 1923 to 1926 Lin taught English literature at Peking University. He served as Dean at Amoy University in 1926，after being chased out of Beijing, as his writings offended the warlord Zhang Zongchang.
1916年毕业后，林语堂到清华学校任教。三年后林语堂够资格获得了一个到美 国哈佛大学攻读博士学位的半额奖学金。林语堂在哈佛读的是比较文学，并获得了比 较文学硕士学位。但林语堂不得不在1922年就提前离开哈佛，原因是他没有钱在那里继续学习了。他转战到了法国，最后又到了 德国，这两个国家的消费水平没有那么高。最 后林语堂终于于1923年在德国莱比锡大学完 成了博士学业并拿到了博士学位。林语堂很喜 欢在国外学习，但西方过分重视逻辑和科学方 法，他觉得这样不太妥当。回国后，1923年到 1926年林语堂在北京大学教英国文学。后来因 为写的文章得罪了军阀张宗昌，被逐出北京，1926年在厦门大学当系主任。
Lin was a prolific writer and wrote over 35 books in English and Chinese. Besides, he was very active in the popularization of classical Chinese literature in the West. He worked to formulate Gwoyeu Romatzyh, a new method of romanizing the Chinese language, and created an indexing system for Chinese characters. He also invented and patented a Chinese typewriter.
林语堂是个多产的作家，中英文加起来共写了超过35本的书。此外，他还在西 方积极地推广中国古代文学；制定了一种用罗马字体书写汉语的方法，叫国语罗马字； 创造了汉字索引系统；还发明了汉字打字机，并申请了专利。
After 1928 Lin lived mainly in the United States. Lin saw himself as a “World citizen“，an ambassador who brought Chinese culture to the West, and who encouraged communication between the East and the West.