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Old 05-31-2013, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Derby, Western Australia
3,091 posts, read 3,535,820 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
English ability in HK has dropped, too, but Cantonese was the lingua franca for the majority of Hong Kongers. I have no idea how many can speak it legibly as a second language, let alone fluently though. Anyone hazard a guess? From my visit in 2006, it seemed actually the majority couldn't hold a conversation.
I only visited HK for the first time last year, never really assumed English proficiency was ever that good there even in colonial times. HK has always been 95%+ Chinese so theres no real need for a lingua franca like English. In any case most people I came across could converse in at least basic English or there was someone in the shop that wasn't a mainlander who could.
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:50 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,352,353 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sulkiercupid View Post
I only visited HK for the first time last year, never really assumed English proficiency was ever that good there even in colonial times. HK has always been 95%+ Chinese so theres no real need for a lingua franca like English. In any case most people I came across could converse in at least basic English or there was someone in the shop that wasn't a mainlander who could.
Yeah I mean even Jackie Chan's English is pretty poor, and he's a Hollywood star now.
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Texas
843 posts, read 1,377,163 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
Yeah I mean even Jackie Chan's English is pretty poor, and he's a Hollywood star now.
He learned English after he decided to go to Hollywood. Jackie Chan was born in a family and he wasn't well educated. I swear to God that he doesn't even know that the derivative of a constant is always zero.
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:14 AM
 
131 posts, read 8,694 times
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This is a very good explanation.

A point to add, many Chinese in HK had less education in both Chinese and English in the past. It was possible in families, the younger siblings learnt more English and other subjects than their older siblings in the past.

A bad point about the British HK government except the 1980s and 90s , apart from being corrupted, it spent very few resources on education, including on the English language education of school children. The education system charged school and book fees before the late 1970s, which was a burden to many parents.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ag77845 View Post
Not many Chinese in Hong Kong spoke fluent English between 1883 and 1974, only British people and well educated local people were proficient in English. English was for ruling elites only.

If most Hong Kong residents spoke good English like Americans before 1974, their offsprings wouldn't "lose" English proficiency within a few decades. By the way, Americans speak perfect English but the U.S has no official language.
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