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世紀初，許多中國學生拿到庚子賠款獎學金到美國留學。第一筆庚子賠款的一 部分被用來修建一所留美預備學校（或稱肄業館），并命名為清華學校或“美國賠款 學校“。每年學校要送一些畢業生和教師去美國留學。林語堂得到了去哈佛大學學習 的機會，也算是庚子賠款的一個受益者。
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.
林語堂出生于一個基督教家庭，父親是基督教牧師。為子承父業，林語堂1912 年進了上海圣約翰大學神學院。林語堂在神學院的時候試圖尋找一些關于人生意義的 問題的答案，為此他瀏覽了圖書館里幾乎所有的書，但仍然沒有找到答案。于是他離 開神學院，放棄了當牧師的打算，改學語言研宄。
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年畢業后，林語堂到清華學校任教。三年后林語堂夠資格獲得了一個到美 國哈佛大學攻讀博士學位的半額獎學金。林語堂在哈佛讀的是比較文學，并獲得了比 較文學碩士學位。但林語堂不得不在1922年就提前離開哈佛，原因是他沒有錢在那里繼續學習了。他轉戰到了法國，最后又到了 德國，這兩個國家的消費水平沒有那么高。最 后林語堂終于于1923年在德國萊比錫大學完 成了博士學業并拿到了博士學位。林語堂很喜 歡在國外學習，但西方過分重視邏輯和科學方 法，他覺得這樣不太妥當。回國后，1923年到 1926年林語堂在北京大學教英國文學。后來因 為寫的文章得罪了軍閥張宗昌，被逐出北京，1926年在廈門大學當系主任。
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.
林語堂是個多產的作家，中英文加起來共寫了超過35本的書。此外，他還在西 方積極地推廣中國古代文學；制定了一種用羅馬字體書寫漢語的方法，叫國語羅馬字； 創造了漢字索引系統；還發明了漢字打字機，并申請了專利。
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.