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Old 01-27-2018, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
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Has anyone caught hold of the most recent language protests in Hong Kong SAR? The language conflict in Hong Kong has been going on for a while now but boy does it seem like it has blown up these past few years! I'm curious to know how much Cantonese is being used in daily life in HK these days (I was last there seven years ago). I'm also curious about the status of traditional character writing there as well.
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Old 01-27-2018, 03:45 PM
 
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People in Hong Kong still speak Cantonese and use traditional characters.

Some universities in Hong Kong require their students to pass a Mandarin test, or take a Mandarin class if they fail the test. Some students are not happy with it, especially because only 1/3 passed the test.
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Old 01-27-2018, 08:01 PM
 
Location: Earth
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just speak english. problem solved
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Old 01-28-2018, 07:45 AM
 
Location: Macao
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dangerous-Boy View Post
just speak english. problem solved
Ahm. The problem is that Beijing wants to replace Cantonese with Mandarin in Hong Kong.

Speaking English doesn't help Beijing turn HK into a Mandarin-speaking city, nor does it help Hong Kongers keep their Cantonese language.
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Old 01-28-2018, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Boston, MA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dangerous-Boy View Post
just speak english. problem solved
Er no, I've been to Hong Kong enough times to know that is not advisable. You can get away with that in certain districts like Central and Tsim Sha Tsui but head out to the New Towns in the New Territories like Tuen Mun or Tai Po, some locals will speak to you in Cantonese anyway even if you are a Westerner.

That's not the point of this thread anyways. What I'm trying to find out is whether the use of Cantonese and traditional characters has diminished in Hong Kong during the past few years or not. Cantonese was still the dominant language the last time I visited in 2011 but over the border in Shenzhen and Guangzhou at the same time, I did notice an uptick of non-Cantonese speakers. Now with constant articles in SCMP and HK Free Press about new language laws and government programs and the recently released film Ten Years, it seems that there really is a language conflict going on in HK. Or is there? That's what I want to know.
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Old 01-28-2018, 11:08 AM
 
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban Peasant View Post
That's not the point of this thread anyways. What I'm trying to find out is whether the use of Cantonese and traditional characters has diminished in Hong Kong during the past few years or not. Cantonese was still the dominant language the last time I visited in 2011 but over the border in Shenzhen and Guangzhou at the same time, I did notice an uptick of non-Cantonese speakers. Now with constant articles in SCMP and HK Free Press about new language laws and government programs and the recently released film Ten Years, it seems that there really is a language conflict going on in HK. Or is there? That's what I want to know.
Cantonese is still the everyday language in Hong Kong.

Traditional characters are still officially in use in the SAR.

That said, Mandarin is more and more widespread in use - and it's now pretty much a standard job qualification for locals - they will be at a disadvantage in the employment market if they can't speak it or use it.

Also, for official contracts/documents in the PRC proper (the mainland), it is a requirement to use simplified characters in print. So many HK people will have familiarity with its use.
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Old 01-28-2018, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Earth
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Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
Ahm. The problem is that Beijing wants to replace Cantonese with Mandarin in Hong Kong.

Speaking English doesn't help Beijing turn HK into a Mandarin-speaking city, nor does it help Hong Kongers keep their Cantonese language.
speaking english causes everyone to sacrifice equally.
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Old 01-28-2018, 01:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dangerous-Boy View Post
speaking english causes everyone to sacrifice equally.
Not really. Mandarin and Cantonese share the same written language.
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Old 01-28-2018, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
Ahm. The problem is that Beijing wants to replace Cantonese with Mandarin in Hong Kong.

Speaking English doesn't help Beijing turn HK into a Mandarin-speaking city, nor does it help Hong Kongers keep their Cantonese language.
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.
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Old 01-28-2018, 11:23 PM
 
Location: Macao
15,945 posts, read 36,164,246 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dangerous-Boy View Post
speaking english causes everyone to sacrifice equally.
I think you are missing the point. The debate isn't because the languages are different.

The debate is that Beijing wants Hong Kong to be a Mandarin-speaking city, so it can keep in-line and in-control.
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