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Old 01-28-2018, 11:27 PM
 
Location: Macao
15,956 posts, read 36,253,462 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverkris View Post
Nope. Cantonese isn't going away as a commonly used language in Hong Kong. Mandarin will supplement but not replace it. Speaking English won't displace it either.

Too many people think from the standpoint of a monolingual American who can't fathom a person who can speak several tongues.
Of course Cantonese isn't going away, nor it should.

Anyways, the debate isn't about 'Are Hong Kong people capable of speaking several languages'. The debate is about Beijing forcing Hong Kong to speak and know Mandarin. Particularly when it is being required by Cantonese-speaking Hong Kong college students to graduate from their Hong Kong universities.
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Old 01-29-2018, 06:35 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
1,864 posts, read 3,433,921 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
Of course Cantonese isn't going away, nor it should.
Well that is assuring and I hope it is true. I find the current language issue in HK akin to the English/French issue in Quebec, Canada, especially in Montreal. I'm surprised that even a private university in HK would require Mandarin as a graduation requirement as I would have thought such a rule would apply only to public primary and secondary schools. Then again, correct me if I'm wrong but I believe Hong Kong universities get a lot of government funding which may be how they are required to teach and test Mandarin.
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Old 01-29-2018, 06:45 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
9,892 posts, read 6,649,434 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
Of course Cantonese isn't going away, nor it should.

Anyways, the debate isn't about 'Are Hong Kong people capable of speaking several languages'. The debate is about Beijing forcing Hong Kong to speak and know Mandarin. Particularly when it is being required by Cantonese-speaking Hong Kong college students to graduate from their Hong Kong universities.
Oh, I see...

How a compulsory Mandarin course caused chaos at Hong Kong Baptist University | South China Morning Post

I think it is in the interest of Hong Kong students to have proficiency in Mandarin - in terms of career development and skills. Otherwise, you'll lose out in the future. However, this could have been handled better - I'm not sure if the course should have been made mandatory...
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Old 01-29-2018, 08:23 PM
 
6,736 posts, read 6,633,737 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverkris View Post
Oh, I see...

How a compulsory Mandarin course caused chaos at Hong Kong Baptist University | South China Morning Post

I think it is in the interest of Hong Kong students to have proficiency in Mandarin - in terms of career development and skills. Otherwise, you'll lose out in the future. However, this could have been handled better - I'm not sure if the course should have been made mandatory...
In fact all young Hong Kong people I met understand Mandarin very well and speak it decently, at least. The exam is probably a little hard, plus SOME Hong Kong people hate anything from mainland China.
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Old 01-29-2018, 11:16 PM
 
Location: Macao
15,956 posts, read 36,253,462 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban Peasant View Post
Well that is assuring and I hope it is true. I find the current language issue in HK akin to the English/French issue in Quebec, Canada, especially in Montreal. I'm surprised that even a private university in HK would require Mandarin as a graduation requirement as I would have thought such a rule would apply only to public primary and secondary schools. Then again, correct me if I'm wrong but I believe Hong Kong universities get a lot of government funding which may be how they are required to teach and test Mandarin.
Well, Hong Kong is losing autonomy, and Beijing is dictating what it can and can't do. So, yeah, Beijing wants to 'reign in' Cantonese-speakers, and one great way to do it is to require Mandarin to graduate.

Also, more and more HK universities are becoming more 'Mainlanderized', meaning that prominent decision-makers in universities are often of Mainland Chinese origin...supported by Beijing to 'reign in' what the universities teach.

It's a political way for Beijing to take control over HKers without 'going to war' with them.
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Old 01-31-2018, 07:21 AM
 
Location: Cebu, Philippines
4,524 posts, read 1,725,590 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dangerous-Boy View Post
just speak english. problem solved
Very few people will understand you.
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Old 02-01-2018, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Honolulu
1,370 posts, read 555,682 times
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It seems the issue with Baptist University language policy is the local students cannot take the Putonghua course on a Pass/Fail basis and the exam is too tough that most local students get bad grades which affect their GPA.

On the other hand, it is also related to fairness. Students from Mainland and Taiwan attending the University are exempt.

Traditional script is a more sensitive issue. Some years ago a restaurant used a simplified script menu which right away brought protest on its doorstep. The management apologized and switched it back to traditional.

Most retail business in the City, even those catered to Mainland tourists, or even those owned by foreign corporations, are quite sensitive to this issue. They still predominantly use English and/or traditional script.
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Old 02-01-2018, 08:10 PM
 
277 posts, read 206,796 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
Of course Cantonese isn't going away, nor it should.

Anyways, the debate isn't about 'Are Hong Kong people capable of speaking several languages'. The debate is about Beijing forcing Hong Kong to speak and know Mandarin. Particularly when it is being required by Cantonese-speaking Hong Kong college students to graduate from their Hong Kong universities.
You reckon? Historically Cantonese has only held up as a somewhat strong language due to the following factors:

1. Hong Kong independence. The Brits let Cantonese become one of two official languages due to the Cantonese people and language being the biggest population group.

2. Hong Kong entertainment industry - pretty much helped keep it alive and widely used within the Chinese diaspora, especially amongst those in SE Asia. A LOT of people I know, myself included learn Cantonese (both written and oral) via Cantonese pop, Karaoke and their movies.

I draw a parallel in Shanghainese - it's not as vibrant as Cantonese due to not having the above two factors. If the majority of HK was indeed Shanghainese and it made itself an official language and spread across Asia/world Chinese populations via pop it would be much stronger today.

I am of Teochew descent and to be honest, it's really not used at all besides for traditional reasons at home for communicating to the elderly who are slowly going...

Cantonese will slowly erode, Hong Kong is now 20+ reunified for 20 years, if anything I think HK should take a look at how Singapore has evolved but HK probably needs the inverse. HK should probably put Mandarin first and English second, forget Cantonese.
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Old 02-02-2018, 02:19 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,956 posts, read 36,253,462 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willister View Post
Cantonese will slowly erode, Hong Kong is now 20+ reunified for 20 years, if anything I think HK should take a look at how Singapore has evolved but HK probably needs the inverse. HK should probably put Mandarin first and English second, forget Cantonese.
There are 80 million Cantonese speakers.

Your statement is like saying that if Russia invaded the United States, that Americans should just quit using English and transition to Russian, so they can understand the Moscow gov't.
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Old 02-02-2018, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
9,892 posts, read 6,649,434 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willister View Post
Cantonese will slowly erode, Hong Kong is now 20+ reunified for 20 years, if anything I think HK should take a look at how Singapore has evolved but HK probably needs the inverse. HK should probably put Mandarin first and English second, forget Cantonese.
Ain't gonna happen.

Singapore is a totally different case w/r/t its ethnic Chinese community because it's a lot more diverse in terms of its dialect groups - Hokkien might be a plurality, but it is nowhere are dominant as Cantonese is in HK (and Guangzhou).

Actually, the central government a few years ago tried to drastically pare back the quantity of Cantonese broadcasting in radio and TV in Guangdong province, and it was met with vehement opposition. So Beijing backed off.

Historically, the more you suppress a linguistic community with substantial numbers, the more it's going to resist. Look at Catalan in Spain. Or Quebec in Canada.
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