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Old 06-09-2018, 05:22 AM
 
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Do most immigrants tend to go to special schools aimed at foreigners? I always come across cliques of Caucasians/Asians/South-Asians in HK speaking English and I have no idea why...
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Old 06-09-2018, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Boston, MA
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Originally Posted by jowonder201812345 View Post
Do most immigrants tend to go to special schools aimed at foreigners? I always come across cliques of Caucasians/Asians/South-Asians in HK speaking English and I have no idea why...
Yes for the reasons already stated in this thread:
  • that Hong Kong is not a typical immigrant destination and has no good plans to integrate immigrants into mainstream society (a byproduct of the old British colonial days when foreigners were either well to do businessmen or their foreign ethnic servants, usually from South Asia, both of whom pretty much kept to themselves)
  • that English was the forefront language in trade and always held superior economic status over lowly Chinese (again a byproduct of the old British colonial days)
  • that Cantonese is not an easy language to teach or learn to foreigners

There are scarcely any local schools that cater to immigrants. Many expats and foreigners send their children to international schools if they can afford it, to the few highly competitive English schools, or as the article I posted said, to local schools where their children will likely have a very hard time.

I might go so far to add that English has been so well adopted in HK that many foreigners simply think "hey, I could just get around with English, why bother learning the local language?". This is especially true if they hang around neighborhoods such as Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon or Central on the Island side, not so much in the New Territories but the trend is increasing.
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Old 08-23-2018, 07:09 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
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This article just in recently in the New York Times:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/22/w...-schools-.html

I still think it is hard for Westerners to master Cantonese (or even Mandarin) without some romanization help. It must be hard for these youngsters as well.
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Old 08-23-2018, 07:19 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
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While we're on the subject of Cantonese, has anyone ever noticed when looking at a map of the world or of the region that Hong Kong is likely the only place in China nowadays whose name is not Romanized according to Mandarin pronunciation but according to its own Cantonese pronunciation?

"Hong Kong" = Heunggohng, not Xianggang

"Kowloon" = Gouhlohng, not Jiulong

Tuen Mun, Yuen Long, Tai Po, Sha Tau Kok, Tsuen Wan, Yau Ma Tei, Tsim Sha Tsui, Shek O, and the names of practically all other communities in Hong Kong are written with Cantonese pronunciation in mind. That is not the case with communities in Mainland China, even directly across the border in Canton (Guangdong) Province.
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Old 08-24-2018, 11:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Urban Peasant View Post
While we're on the subject of Cantonese, has anyone ever noticed when looking at a map of the world or of the region that Hong Kong is likely the only place in China nowadays whose name is not Romanized according to Mandarin pronunciation but according to its own Cantonese pronunciation?

"Hong Kong" = Heunggohng, not Xianggang

"Kowloon" = Gouhlohng, not Jiulong

Tuen Mun, Yuen Long, Tai Po, Sha Tau Kok, Tsuen Wan, Yau Ma Tei, Tsim Sha Tsui, Shek O, and the names of practically all other communities in Hong Kong are written with Cantonese pronunciation in mind. That is not the case with communities in Mainland China, even directly across the border in Canton (Guangdong) Province.
Macau is still not Aomen...

Many places in China do not use pinyin, if they derive from minority languages: Urumqi, Lhasa, Hohhot... Even Harbin is not strictly pinyin (pinyin should be Haerbin).

Peking University and Tsinghua University never changed either.
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Old 08-25-2018, 06:18 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
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Shanghai didn't change either.
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Old 08-25-2018, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Boston, MA
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Originally Posted by Bettafish View Post
Macau is still not Aomen...

Many places in China do not use pinyin, if they derive from minority languages: Urumqi, Lhasa, Hohhot... Even Harbin is not strictly pinyin (pinyin should be Haerbin).

Peking University and Tsinghua University never changed either.
I have seen Aomen before on maps. It is not unheard of. I have never seen "Ohmuhn" however. "Macau" is either a Portuguese corruption of Ma Zu, the goddess of fishermen whom the Cantonese often refer to as Tin Hou, or a Portuguese corruption of Ma Ge, the name of her temple in Macau.

Well yes to your second point but you ought to have known I was referring to Han Chinese names .

"Peking" is an old postal spelling first used by English speaking Westerners in the 19th century that could still be seen in old maps and old publications of historical interest. Other than institutions like the university that retain it for nostalgic purposes, is no longer the official spelling of the city's name nowadays which is now of course Beijing. This is similar with less often seen names like "Chekiang" for Zhejiang, "Hopeh" for Hebei, etc. From which language the Westerners derived these names from is up for question but to me, Peking more clearly sounds like a corruption of the Cantonese "Bak Ging" than "Bei Jing" or even "P'ei Ching" in the Wade-Giles Mandarin Romanization system. This is similar to how they spelled out Sun Yat Sen instead of Sun Yi Xian and Chiang Kai Shek instead of Jiang Je Shi, even though the latter Chinese leader was clearly not Cantonese. Notice the end letters "t" and "k" which are no longer found in Mandarin. Why do you think they did this? Well it's probably because Guangzhou and the Pearl River Delta Region was the first region the Westerners were permitted to settle and trade. They got used to transliterating names based on the regional language. Still, these spellings are increasingly being phased out for new spellings based on pinyin.

Other words found in English derived from Cantonese:

"wok" - a deep bowl shaped frying pan
"kumquat" - small tropical olive shaped fruit cultivated in Southeast Asia
"longan" - a lychee like fruit but smaller in diameter and with yellow shell instead of red

Last edited by Urban Peasant; 08-25-2018 at 09:40 AM..
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Old 08-25-2018, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Boston, MA
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Originally Posted by antinimby View Post
Shanghai didn't change either.
"Shanghai" is most definitely Mandarin. "Shang"= upon and "hai" = sea.
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Old 08-30-2018, 08:23 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Urban Peasant View Post
"Shanghai" is most definitely Mandarin. "Shang"= upon and "hai" = sea.
It becomes Zanhe in Shanghaiese..
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Old 08-30-2018, 10:45 AM
 
Location: DC metropolitan area
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Originally Posted by Urban Peasant View Post
Other words found in English derived from Cantonese:

"wok" - a deep bowl shaped frying pan
"kumquat" - small tropical olive shaped fruit cultivated in Southeast Asia
"longan" - a lychee like fruit but smaller in diameter and with yellow shell instead of red
I read that the word ketchup came to English from Malay, but that Malay likely got it from Cantonese (k'ē chap 'tomato juice'). I know a bit of Mandarin, but no Cantonese -- so, I cannot verify. I do know that kecap manis ('sweet ketchup') is a very popular addition to Indonesian food dishes. It's brown and tastes good poured over noodles and fried cabbage and tofu.
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