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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 05-10-2016, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Macao
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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 05-10-2016, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Taipei
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Cantonese. HKers hate Mandarin-speaking people.
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:53 AM
 
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It depends on the purpose.
If you only want to be able to have some basic conversations with local people, then definitely Cantonese.
If you want to master Chinese language, including reading and writing, definitely Mandarin. The official written Chinese is based on Mandarin, no matter it is Hong Kong, Taiwan, or Mainland China.
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Old 05-10-2016, 03:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greysholic View Post
Cantonese. HKers hate Mandarin-speaking people.
If you have blond hair and blue eyes, it does not apply.
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Old 05-10-2016, 04:02 PM
 
Location: Taipei
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Originally Posted by yueng-ling View Post
If you have blond hair and blue eyes, it does not apply.
Well most Mandarin-speaking people have dark hair and dark eyes.

It does not apply if you tell them you're Taiwanese though.
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Old 05-10-2016, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greysholic View Post
Well most Mandarin-speaking people have dark hair and dark eyes.

It does not apply if you tell them you're Taiwanese though.
Well, years and years ago, if you were ethnically Chinese, visited HK and didn't speak Cantonese, the locals would give you a hard time.

Nowadays, the tables have turned a bit. If you're a local HK resident (native Cantonese speaking), and don't also speak Mandarin, you are at a disadvantage in the job market, and not just in the travel and hospitality fields.
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Old 05-10-2016, 06:09 PM
 
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Most foreigners go to Hong Kong for business purposes, so for that learn Mandarin and maybe some basic Cantonese phrases for daily life.

My uncle worked in Hong Kong for a US financial company and they required their employees to study Mandarin and not Cantonese. He actually got relocated after 18 months because his Mandarin sucked. He loved working there while it lasted.
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Old 05-10-2016, 06:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greysholic View Post
Well most Mandarin-speaking people have dark hair and dark eyes.

It does not apply if you tell them you're Taiwanese though.
This thread is talking about foreigners. Believe it or not, Hong Kong people do not consider Taiwanese foreigners. So it is totally irrelevant.
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Old 05-10-2016, 08:03 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
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I think it would be fascinating to study both. Mandarin before arriving in HK, then while there, you could study Cantonese, and compare and contrast that with spoken Mandarin.

BTW, these days are the street signs and store signs in traditional characters still, or are they converting to simplified? Which characters to newspapers and other publications use? Someone studying Mandarin abroad for one or two years would only learn simplified characters, so they still wouldn't be able to completely understand the signs in Taiwan or HK, if HK still uses traditional characters.
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Old 05-11-2016, 01:12 AM
 
Location: Taipei
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverkris View Post
Nowadays, the tables have turned a bit. If you're a local HK resident (native Cantonese speaking), and don't also speak Mandarin, you are at a disadvantage in the job market, and not just in the travel and hospitality fields.
Yeah that's true, but if we're talking about interacting with locals in daily life, some knowledge of Cantonese would help more.
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