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Old 08-11-2014, 10:49 PM
 
165 posts, read 220,065 times
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Hello,

Just wondering:

1. How does business/corporate life in Hong Kong compare with business/corporate life in America?''

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?

Thanks
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Old 08-13-2014, 04:55 AM
 
Location: Land of the Free*
139 posts, read 225,606 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelOrear View Post
Hello,

Just wondering:

1. How does business/corporate life in Hong Kong compare with business/corporate life in America?''

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?

Thanks
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?
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Old 08-18-2014, 06:54 PM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
12,739 posts, read 15,170,403 times
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Here is my take, as Hong Kong was one of the markets I supported and traveled to:

1/ I'd say that some folks in HK are used to the "5.5 day" work week. Some businesses are still open 1/2 day on Saturday.
In general, corporate life in the US is much easier than in HK. I've known colleagues who have worked in both places and comment on how "easy" life is in the US, compared to HK.

2/ I don't surf, so cannot help you here.

3/ I'd say more on the level of 35%, or more. Most educated native Hong Kong'ers can speak and write English. It is the immigrants from Mainland China (who have moved into HK in large numbers) that cannot.
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Old 08-20-2014, 09:31 PM
 
174 posts, read 267,157 times
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1. Expect more office drama and your colleagues will be very in your face about prying for your personal information. Then again, this depends on your seniority, race, and age. But in general this is true. Be wary and don't let too much out.

2. No knowledge here but perhaps get a local to bring you. Sometimes there are certain places in HK which are kind of inaccessible - meaning the mini bus may come around every half hour or quit operating at early times in the day.

3. English is widely spoken in international firms. There will be plenty of HK'ers proclaiming they have "fluent" english and will even go as far to correct your English....but the truth is the level of written English in Hong Kong today is no better than mainland china. But you should have no problems communicating - if it's a local firm then life might not be as great..haha.
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Old 08-20-2014, 10:47 PM
 
502 posts, read 464,080 times
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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.
I also really like Big Wave Bay, and it usually is not very crowded (despite EVERYWHERE else in Hong Kong always being crowded :-P)

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomadwood86 View Post
3. Almost none. Maybe 5% if I had to put a number on it?
I think this number is waaaay low. I know many people who live and get by just fine in HK using only English. In the central business area and most of Kowloon, you will be able to use in English in nearly every shop or restaurant just fine. Everyone who goes to school has to study English, so most people in HK speak English, they just don't use it very much outside of school lessons, so they might not speak it very well.
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Old 08-22-2014, 01:24 AM
 
6 posts, read 4,971 times
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The english situation is too as good as mentioned, many signs, posters and menus are in Chinese only. Many restaurants do not need to be English-friendly as majority of customers are locals or Mainlanders. Many students are bad at english.
Quote:
Originally Posted by strad View Post
In the central business area and most of Kowloon, you will be able to use in English in nearly every shop or restaurant just fine. Everyone who goes to school has to study English, so most people in HK speak English, they just don't use it very much outside of school lessons, so they might not speak it very well.
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Old 08-22-2014, 01:43 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,956 posts, read 36,289,639 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strad View Post
I know many people who live and get by just fine in HK using only English. In the central business area and most of Kowloon, you will be able to use in English in nearly every shop or restaurant just fine. Everyone who goes to school has to study English, so most people in HK speak English, they just don't use it very much outside of school lessons, so they might not speak it very well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kigillia View Post
The english situation is too as good as mentioned, many signs, posters and menus are in Chinese only. Many restaurants do not need to be English-friendly as majority of customers are locals or Mainlanders. Many students are bad at english.
Such varying opinions. I guess it depends on each individual's backgrounds. If someone is coming from a western country, and their first time in a non-English speaking country, than perhaps everything looks like its in Chinese.

I can almost guarantee that a person who is Chinese, coming from the Mainland, will probably be overwhelmed with how much English they see.

For me, I compare Hong Kong to all the other countries I see throughout Asia, and to me, HK looks like it has a lot of English everywhere. I can easily function there, without even a second thought to the fact that I don't know the local language at all.

In short, it's all relative. I will say that there is way more English seen throughout HK than almost any other country in Asia, except Singapore, and the Philippines.

But, for someone else, who has never been to any country in Asia, than perhaps also seeing Chinese absolutely everywhere, might be overwhelming to them. It's all based on what a person has already known or experienced.
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Old 08-22-2014, 08:08 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,061 times
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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.
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Old 08-28-2014, 08:16 AM
 
32,237 posts, read 33,147,433 times
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Compared to Mainland China, English is widely enough spoken in Hong Kong that one can manage easily speaking English if one doesn't know Chinese (which isn't always the case on Mainland China).
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Old 08-31-2014, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in the lower 48.
289 posts, read 241,800 times
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I spent two glorious years in HK and don't speak a bit of Cantonese. And I lived way out in the New Territories between Sha Tin and Tai Po. I never had any problems at all. In the few instances when I was in a store where an employee didn't speak English, we just used a lot of hand gestures and calculators to haggle on prices. In restaurants I just pointed to the pictures on the menu or to what other people were eating. It really was no big deal. All public transport is in both languages so it was very easy to get around town without being able to read Chinese. I took business cards of the places where I'd visit by taxi because the business cards always had the addresses listed in Chinese; while most taxi drivers understand enough English to get you where you need to go, there's no guarantee.

In Kowloon (esp TST) and most of HK Island (esp Central) English was everywhere. In fact, head over to the IFC Mall in Central and you probably won't even see any signs in Chinese. (It's actually one of the reasons I didn't go to the IFC Mall very often. I mean, if I wanted to go to a mall where everything was in English I would've stayed in the US.)
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