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Old 02-20-2013, 12:35 AM
 
Location: Macao
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I don't know how people would quantify it. But, I've regularly heard that residents of Hong Kong/Macau are losing their English abilities since the handover. Don't know if its more a result of more mainlanders moving to Hong Kong/Macau, who don't know English, or other factors.

What are your thoughts, perceptions, direct experiences (if you have them), things you've read, etc.
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:43 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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When I went to HK I was surprised at the level of English ability. I expected it to be more similar to Singapore, but it seemed only a minority could speak it fluently. Most young people could speak very basic English, but few really used it that much (it's not really a lingua franca in practice). What is the main language of education these days, Cantonese, Mandarin? I'm assuming they have separate English/International schools. I wonder if wealthier residents have better speaking abilities.
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:47 AM
kyh
 
Location: Malaysia & Singapore
383 posts, read 1,175,181 times
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Only the well-educated or those who went abroad to study will be able to speak fluent English. And I find Hongkie English pretty wackie, with heavy influences of Cantonese, e.g. tips (tip-see), sales (sale-see), people (pee-po).
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:59 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,682 posts, read 51,387,823 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyh View Post
Only the well-educated or those who went abroad to study will be able to speak fluent English. And I find Hongkie English pretty wackie, with heavy influences of Cantonese, e.g. tips (tip-see), sales (sale-see), people (pee-po).
Yes it's pretty funny sounding!
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Old 02-22-2013, 01:32 AM
 
Location: Macao
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I just looked at a website on English in Hong Kong.

It appears that they study English IN CANTONESE. Sounds typical of the Japan/Korea approach. Rather than study English in English, they prefer to study it and talk about it the native language.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Singapore has much of their education actually in English. The Philippines as well.
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:26 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,682 posts, read 51,387,823 times
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Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
I just looked at a website on English in Hong Kong.

It appears that they study English IN CANTONESE. Sounds typical of the Japan/Korea approach. Rather than study English in English, they prefer to study it and talk about it the native language.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Singapore has much of their education actually in English. The Philippines as well.
Singapore's medium of education is in English, for everyone. I believe, although I'm not sure, that by law even in Chinese, Malay or Tamil schools some classes must be in English. Either way, the vast majority of Singaporeans are primarily schooled in English no matter what their background.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:08 AM
 
9,221 posts, read 8,450,429 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
When I went to HK I was surprised at the level of English ability. I expected it to be more similar to Singapore, but it seemed only a minority could speak it fluently. Most young people could speak very basic English, but few really used it that much (it's not really a lingua franca in practice). What is the main language of education these days, Cantonese, Mandarin? I'm assuming they have separate English/International schools. I wonder if wealthier residents have better speaking abilities.
However all Hong Kong people are fluent in Chinese (Cantonese). A lot of Singaporeans suck at Mandarin or any language other than English.

Especially when you consider writing skill, Hong Kong students have identical or near identical proficiency as mainland Chinese. Chinese Singaporeans are much worse. Very few people can be truly bilingual in any place.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:28 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,682 posts, read 51,387,823 times
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Originally Posted by Bettafish View Post
However all Hong Kong people are fluent in Chinese (Cantonese). A lot of Singaporeans suck at Mandarin or any language other than English.

Especially when you consider writing skill, Hong Kong students have identical or near identical proficiency as mainland Chinese. Chinese Singaporeans are much worse. Very few people can be truly bilingual in any place.
You can get by with just English in Singapore. Not so in HK unless you're an extremely sheltered ex-pat. Many of the Indians there speak Cantonese for instance.
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Old 02-22-2013, 01:28 PM
 
Location: In the heights
32,027 posts, read 30,932,382 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bettafish View Post
However all Hong Kong people are fluent in Chinese (Cantonese). A lot of Singaporeans suck at Mandarin or any language other than English.

Especially when you consider writing skill, Hong Kong students have identical or near identical proficiency as mainland Chinese. Chinese Singaporeans are much worse. Very few people can be truly bilingual in any place.
Makes sense that people in Hong Kong would for the most part have really poor English but good Chinese and people in Singapore would generally have really poor other languages but good English if they have different languages of instruction.
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:25 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,682 posts, read 51,387,823 times
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Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
Makes sense that people in Hong Kong would for the most part have really poor English but good Chinese and people in Singapore would generally have really poor other languages but good English if they have different languages of instruction.
Well almost half of Singaporeans still speak Mandarin as their first language, so the Mandarin ability is actually pretty good. Many can speak both English and Mandarin quite well.
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