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View Poll Results: Foreigners in Hong Kong: Should they study Cantonese or Mandarin? Why?
Cantonese 17 58.62%
Mandarin 12 41.38%
Voters: 29. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-12-2017, 01:44 AM
 
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Mandarin is taught in HK school from Primary schools.


But HK is not an ideal place to learn Mandarin. Standard of Mandarin is not high enough among the general population.


I can see many foreigners going to Taiwan to learn Mandarin instead. Especially the Japanese who think China is very anti Japan and prefer to study in Taiwan instead.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
Foreigners in Hong Kong: Should they study Cantonese or Mandarin? Why?

First of all, Hong Kong is a Cantonese-speaking city. However, Beijing is highly encouraging Mandarin to be the language of instruction, and many Mandarin-speakers are moving to Hong Kong in high numbers.

For a foreigner who relocates to Hong Kong, what language do you recommend him/her to study, and why?
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Old 12-02-2017, 02:45 AM
 
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Most foreigners in HK don't study Cantonese or Mandarin. Maybe lazy, not smart enough or can get by with only English.

Most foreigners in HK hang around with foreigners, chinese educated in english speaking countries or hong kong people with fluent english skills only. They seldom hang with typical HK chinese due to language barrier.

Nowadays all government postions require the applicants to have both Chinese and English skills. There are still some western judges and police officers from English speaking countries in HK, hired before 1997 and they still never learn Cantonese or Mandarin. They only use English to communicate with colleagues or speak in courts. Most Filipino maids working in HK also don't learn Chinese. They communicate with their employers mainly in English. However, many Indoneisan maids in HK can speak some or quite good Cantonese or Mandarin.

Foreigners in HK learning Chinese is not as popular as in Taiwan and Mainland China.
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Old 12-02-2017, 09:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HSrights View Post
Most foreigners in HK don't study Cantonese or Mandarin. Maybe lazy, not smart enough or can get by with only English.

Most foreigners in HK hang around with foreigners, chinese educated in english speaking countries or hong kong people with fluent english skills only. They seldom hang with typical HK chinese due to language barrier.
Yep, that's what I always say: westerners hardly learn the foreign languages in countries they live and always tend to hang out with other foreigners, yet they complain that immigrants in their countries don't assimilate and integrate and do not speak English. Such double standards.

I am still yet to meet a single westerners in China who can read and write Chinese somewhat fluently.
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Old 12-02-2017, 09:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
Yep, that's what I always say: westerners hardly learn the foreign languages in countries they live and always tend to hang out with other foreigners, yet they complain that immigrants in their countries don't assimilate and integrate and do not speak English. Such double standards.

I am still yet to meet a single westerners in China who can read and write Chinese somewhat fluently.
To a certain extent, though there is a big difference between the two groups. Westerners (and many other foreigners as well) do not migrate to these countries. They tend to go work there for a defined period of time and then leave, not to mention the fact that they do not have the right to obtain a citizenship. Immigrants to Western countries, on the other hand, seek full citizenship or a PR, meaning that they wish to become part of the new country. Itís only fair that they learn the language.
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Old 12-03-2017, 04:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Milky Way Resident View Post
To a certain extent, though there is a big difference between the two groups. Westerners (and many other foreigners as well) do not migrate to these countries. They tend to go work there for a defined period of time and then leave, not to mention the fact that they do not have the right to obtain a citizenship. Immigrants to Western countries, on the other hand, seek full citizenship or a PR, meaning that they wish to become part of the new country. It’s only fair that they learn the language.
I don't think it makes a huge difference when a lot of the expats stay in Asia for years, sometimes more than a decade. And they still don't learn the local language, can hardly use a pair of chopsticks at the end the day. A lot of Americans retire in Thailand (I personally know one) and they won't speak Thai.
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Old 12-03-2017, 04:15 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toby2016 View Post
When learning the Chinese writing system, it is best to learn in Mandarin first before learning it in Cantonese, because they sound very much like spoken Mandarin and will be easier to understand the writing system.

I would not recommend learning the Chinese writing system in Cantonese first, because when you read the standard written Chinese in Cantonese pronunciation, it does not sound like normal spoken Cantonese. If you are learning spoken Cantonese and learning the writing system in Cantonese pronunciations, you will realize they sound nothing alike and rather sound like different versions of Cantonese. It will get too confusing.
There is a lot of misunderstanding here -- there is no writing system in Cantonese. Maybe you are talking about traditional Chinese characters, but they do not reflect Cantonese. Traditional Chinese characters and cantonese don't come hand in hand. In Taiwan, they speak mandarin, not Cantonese, but they write in traditional Chinese characters. In Guangzhou, they speak Cantonese, but they write in simplified Chinese.

If that's not what you meant, I honestly do not know how to "learn the writing system in Cantonese pronunciations" but it doesn't exist. Yes, they invent some colloquial words, but like someone mentioned, it only exists in tabloids. You can't write something serious in Cantonese, because it is just an oral language.

China has many local dialects (or languages) among Han people, and none of them has a separate written system. You can't write an academic paper or novel in Cantonese, Wu, Min, etc., just like you can't write in American English, Australian English etc. There is only one Chinese written system (simplified or traditional is a different matter, as they are just two ways to write exactly the same thing).
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Old 12-03-2017, 06:21 AM
 
Location: Macao
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
Yep, that's what I always say: westerners hardly learn the foreign languages in countries they live and always tend to hang out with other foreigners, yet they complain that immigrants in their countries don't assimilate and integrate and do not speak English. Such double standards.
Ah, China isn't an immigration nation. White people can NOT emigrate to China and become Chinese. If they could, China would have a system to integrate them. As it is, nothing like that exists. There is no system, because China doesn't allow that.

The U.S. expects them to learn English (and most do), because they become Americans, vote, own property, have rights, on and on. They become Americans, and so do all of their descendants, forever, with all the rights of that.
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Old 12-03-2017, 06:28 AM
 
Location: Macao
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
I don't think it makes a huge difference when a lot of the expats stay in Asia for years, sometimes more than a decade. And they still don't learn the local language, can hardly use a pair of chopsticks at the end the day.
Oh, God. The Chopsticks. Every foreigner I know uses chopsticks well.

I find the other annoying, having people ASSUME because a person is white, they can't use them. I used to experience that in South Korea quite a bit. Never experienced it in Macau, but recently I had some Mainland tourists staring at me, telling me I use chopsticks very well. I wanted to poke them in the eye.

It's the equivalent of pointing to Chinese as they use their fork-and-knife, and say 'very good'. You just shouldn't do it, and you shouldn't assume because they aren't white, they can't use them.
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Old 12-03-2017, 02:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
Oh, God. The Chopsticks. Every foreigner I know uses chopsticks well.

I find the other annoying, having people ASSUME because a person is white, they can't use them. I used to experience that in South Korea quite a bit. Never experienced it in Macau, but recently I had some Mainland tourists staring at me, telling me I use chopsticks very well. I wanted to poke them in the eye.

It's the equivalent of pointing to Chinese as they use their fork-and-knife, and say 'very good'. You just shouldn't do it, and you shouldn't assume because they aren't white, they can't use them.
Properly.

Most westerners hold the middle of the chopsticks (way too low) very clumsily and they probably canít pick up a peanut with them, lol.

Thatís just an example. They usually stick to western style food, donít hang out with locals.
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Old 12-03-2017, 08:09 PM
 
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And how about you Botticelli? How many white friends do you have as you have lived in Canada and now Europe? I bet most of your friends you truly communicate and spend time with are other overseas Chinese. And don't count people from your office....lol.


Look at Chinese living in the U.S. or Canada. They all prefer to be in circles with other Chinese living in North America.


Besides the language thing, which I agree with you, White expats, many of them are too lazy and they don't learn the local language while Chinese at least can communicate in English while living in North America, your chop sticks or friends with locals comment is not accurate.


I'm friendly with hundreds of Chinese living in the U.S., and outside of work people, almost all of their close friends are other Chinese.
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