Foreigner asks for help to translate news clipping about father who lived in 80s’ Taiwan

This photo collage shows Dal Swain who was featured in the 1980s in a Taiwanese newspaper. (Photos courtesy of Xander Swain)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Social media can bring people closer and even help those who try to reconnect the dots in the lives of their friends and relatives.

This is the lesson Xander Swain from California has recently learned after receiving an article about his deceased father from his aunt.

The man was featured in a Taiwanese newspaper in the 1980s. 

Dal Swain featured in the 1980s Taiwanese newspaper. (Photo courtesy of Xander Swain/Reddit)

As he doesn’t understand Chinese, Xander shared the news clipping on Reddit where social media users rallied to help translate the article.

According to the article, Dal Swain (史文達) is an American who graduated with a Bachelor’s in Marketing at Pennsylvania State University. He was 27 years old when he came to Taiwan. 

After mastering Mandarin, Dal Swain stayed in Taiwan for 3 years to teach English. (Photo courtesy of Xander Swain)

As the post attracted much attention from the online community, The China Post reached out to Xander, who explained that his father came to Taiwan soon after graduating from college.

During his three years in Taiwan, Swain mastered Mandarin and taught English at National Taiwan University.  

Dal Swain, center right, is featured in this undated photo. (Photos courtesy of Xander Swain)

In the article, Dal Swain explained that he traveled for 3 years and visited 30 countries. On his travels, Swain, who slept in train stations, was cheated and robbed, but according to him, the travels helped him learn more in 2 months than 6 years in college. 

The newspaper clipping also included a section where Swain encouraged others to travel abroad alone to broaden their horizons.

Swain encouraged readers not to be afraid of language barriers. He assured others that the most difficult thing about backpacking is always taking the first step; once that’s out of the way, the next step is never as hard.