When Léon Tsang, 23, was growing up in French Guiana, his friends would ask him about his Chinese identity.
“‘Hey can you read Chinese? Come on? You cannot read? Can you write? Can you speak?’” Tsang’s friends asked him.
His Hakka parents left Shenzhen 30 years ago, and Tsang identifies as French. French Guiana is in South America, bordering Brazil. It is part of the European Union and uses the euro as the official currency. “France is not only in Europe,” said Tsang.
Speaking French and English, Tsang enrolled in Shenzhen University to learn Chinese, believing it would bring him closer to his “roots.”
After three years he gave up.
“Will speaking Chinese and having a Chinese girlfriend make you feel more Chinese when you think like a foreigner?” said Tsang.
Instead, Tsang combined his love of technology with his knowledge of France, getting a job at Leyi Network, a game developer founded by former employees from Tencent.
Tsang is now doing the English-to-French translation for their game “War of Thrones,” catering to a French audience through Apple’s app store.
“The game is not for the Chinese market,” Tsang said.
Tencent is a tech company that also develops mobile games, yet provides services for other game developers.
“[Tencent] started from a chat program and added functions to it,” Tsang said. “Everybody tasted it and liked it, because it was something new for users to interact and play with.”