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Old 09-04-2014, 10:26 AM
 
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There are still many British people in HK, including judges, police officers(mostly inspectors and superintendents), professors, english teachers, professionals and businessmen. Most don't speak much Cantonese after a decade or more in HK. The Chinese in HK usually do not consider those who can't understand Cantonese as locals. It is the HK Cantonese, as opposed to Mainland Cantonese or other Cantonese, and not race, that people in HK consider a person being a local or not. Do not get the wrong idea people born in the Mainland China settled in HK are not considered HK people, assmiliated ones with Hong Kong accent are usually considered locals.
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Old 09-19-2014, 05:56 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
9,876 posts, read 6,609,568 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenting_tw View Post
Some westerners and Mainland Chinese thought they can speak English or Mandarin to people in HK, some even dare to swear. Some HK people understand and some do not.

For the mainland Chinese, HK is still very Chinese to them, Chinese signs are everywhere, just not the same simplified characters they are used to, and English is seldom spoken to them in HK.

HK is officially billigual but unofficial Cantonese only. Even many banks' promotion posters are in Cantonese charcters only(other Chinese cannot understand) Ads at bus stops and train stations are almost entirely in Cantonese. There are only a few English newspapers but a dozens Cantonese newspapers.
Clarifications are in order (and I speak from the experience of an ethnic Chinese, non-Cantonese origin, who moved to HK and have HK in laws.

There is a local, idiomatic written form of colloquial Cantonese that non-locals may not be familiar with - it's often in comic books, some local pop magazines and even some newspapers (usually for the entertainment or gossip news stuff). But it is nowhere as popular as you say it is. Most of that stuff is spoken. Next magazine (some of it, not all) or the some of the columns in Apple Daily are written in this format.

For the most part, written notices, formal newspaper articles, signage, are in standard written Chinese. This also includes the subtitles to TV shows and movies. That's actually helped me learn Cantonese (and the colloquial spoken speech) as well, as a Mandarin speaker, when I lived in HK.
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Old 09-20-2014, 10:57 PM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
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I've been to HK plenty of times and you can get by perfectly fine not speaking a lick of Cantonese. Most people speak at least some English and plenty of people are fluent or near-fluent.
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Old 09-23-2014, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
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Originally Posted by 415_s2k View Post
I've been to HK plenty of times and you can get by perfectly fine not speaking a lick of Cantonese. Most people speak at least some English and plenty of people are fluent or near-fluent.
The other factor/trend is that Mandarin has become more and more important as a spoken language in Hong Kong over the last 20 years. It used to be that if you were ethnic Chinese and visiting Hong Kong, the locals would really look down on you if you didn't speak Cantonese.

Nowadays, fluency in Mandarin has become more and more of a professional requirement, to the point that a local person is at a disadvantage in the job market if he/she doesn't have some Mandarin fluency - and this is not just limited to the hospitality, retail or tourism industry as traditionally.
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Old 09-23-2014, 05:08 PM
 
6,722 posts, read 6,597,578 times
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Originally Posted by silverkris View Post
The other factor/trend is that Mandarin has become more and more important as a spoken language in Hong Kong over the last 20 years. It used to be that if you were ethnic Chinese and visiting Hong Kong, the locals would really look down on you if you didn't speak Cantonese.

Nowadays, fluency in Mandarin has become more and more of a professional requirement, to the point that a local person is at a disadvantage in the job market if he/she doesn't have some Mandarin fluency - and this is not just limited to the hospitality, retail or tourism industry as traditionally.
Most young people in Hong Kong speak decent Mandarin anyway, so it won't be a problem for them.
Older people have difficulties.
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Old 09-24-2014, 08:24 AM
 
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Only your 2nd paragraph is correct.

Mainland Chinese visiting or living in HK who don't speak Cantonese or speak Cantonese with a Mainland Chinese accent are usually still looked down, and not considered locals of Hong Kong. Importance of Mandarin rising is one thing, but the negatives associated with Mainland China is still widespread in HK. A mandarin or english speaking person will never be assimiliated into local HK society by not speaking Cantonese. It is like people who don't speak English with American accent are usually not considered as Americans in the US.
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverkris View Post
The other factor/trend is that Mandarin has become more and more important as a spoken language in Hong Kong over the last 20 years. It used to be that if you were ethnic Chinese and visiting Hong Kong, the locals would really look down on you if you didn't speak Cantonese.

Nowadays, fluency in Mandarin has become more and more of a professional requirement, to the point that a local person is at a disadvantage in the job market if he/she doesn't have some Mandarin fluency - and this is not just limited to the hospitality, retail or tourism industry as traditionally.
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Old 09-24-2014, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,943 posts, read 36,144,182 times
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I think I hear way more Tagalog on the streets of Hong Kong/Macau than I hear Mandarin.

Not saying Mandarin isn't in HK as there are a ton of Mainlanders around. But it seems more of the Mainlanders are still native Cantonese speakers from the general greater region.
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Old 09-24-2014, 08:48 AM
 
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Actually if you are a westerner or non east asian and you speak Mandarin(or Cantonese) in HK & Macau, you are considered great guys. But if you are an east asian and speak mandarin in HK & Macau, local people immediately associate you negatively with Mainland China in their minds.
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Old 10-08-2014, 08:39 PM
 
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Although there are no regular surfing beaches, HK is also full of beaches which is unlike other cities in Asia, most coastal cities in Asia don't have beaches. Beaches in HK are also easily accessible by buses from the city centre. The drawback is HK is not hot year-round like SE Asia.

Many local good english speakers in HK do not like conversing in English even they are good at it. In another word, they don't like socialising with outsiders. Cantonese rules in HK, the exception are the western born Chinese.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomadwood86 View Post
Hey Mike,

1. It really entirely depends on what you do.

2. Yes! Tai Long Wan is my favorite and Big Wave Bay is quite well known. However, this isnt Bali or Hawaii. Surfing is decent from maybe October til March. Its quite flat the rest of the year.

3. Almost none. Maybe 5% if I had to put a number on it?


2. Are there any good surfing beaches in Hong Kong? If so, how do you get to them via the city center?

3. How widely is English spoken?
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Old 10-24-2014, 11:28 PM
 
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The Cantonese, and the Shanghainese too, are very materialistic people and they have a culture of looking down or avoiding people who they considered poor. Parents often teach their kids to avoid making friends who are poor. And they want their children to marry rich people. To be rich and educated are 2 most important life goals of most Chinese people anyway.
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