Female entrepreneur bridges cultural gap between India and Taiwan

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Indian YouTuber Dharamjeet (DJ) recently interviewed Priya Lee, a veteran Indian interpreter who has been in Taiwan for over 30 years.

Now, she has a different title, she is not only a veteran interpreter but the first Indian woman entrepreneur in Taiwan! With over 20 years of interpretation experience, she decided to start her own company.

In the interview, she shared how she came to Taiwan 30 years ago to study and work, the role Taiwan has played in her life, and how she facilitated cultural exchanges between Taiwan and India. 

“Hi my name is Priya and my Chinese name Lee may-jen and I came to Taiwan a long time,” Priya said while smiling at the camera. “I came here as a student and I’m working as an interpreter and I have my own company.”  

Back in 1987, she moved to Taiwan with her parents because of her family’s work. She knew nothing about Taiwan, and her first impression of Taiwan was that “Taiwanese people are very friendly,” she said.   

Afterward, as her schooling in Taiwan was all in Chinese,  Chinese was no longer difficult for her.  “I feel that learning Chinese help me broaden my capabilities and helped me understand Taiwanese culture.” 

Talking about her first job in Taiwan, she shared that it was to become an English teacher. However, she found that Taiwanese were mostly taught American English so she had listened to CNN news and ICRT for three months to master the American accent.  

Later, she finished graduate school, worked at Tatung company. She was also invited to work at the India Taipei Association (ITA, 印度台北協會). She was introduced to an interpreter job by a friend, and as her workload grew, she decided to start her own interpretation company.   

The mayors of Taipei and New Taipei are her regular clients. As the company becomes more stable, she is also working to promote cultural exchanges between Taiwan and India. 

“I feel the reason for staying in Taiwan is because this is my home,” she said. “It’s so convenient to live in Taipei and I can’t think of any disadvantage of living in Taiwan.” 

Taiwan is very convenient and is one of the safest countries in the world. Compared to other developed countries, the cost of living is not very high and people are really friendly, Priya added.  

Asked about the cons of living in Taiwan, she said that would be natural disasters, such as earthquakes and typhoons. 

Speaking of the differences to grow the children between Taiwan and India, she pointed out that Taiwan is safe enough for children to go to and from school on their own, but it is very expensive for children to have an English education.  

“Learning language is guaranteed to have a lot of benefits, including increasing your brainpower,” Priya said and encouraged everyone to learn as many languages as possible.   

Priya ended up encouraging people to travel to Taiwan in Hindi, English and find travel information about both Taiwan and  India on the Facebook page  “IiT-Indians in Taiwan.”