TV stations should have English subtitles
China has entered the World Trade Organisation and will host the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008.
Because of these developments an increasing number of overseas companies will invest in the mainland and more foreign tourists will spend holidays there. It will, therefore, be more important than ever before for people to have a good command of English.
Hong Kong can benefit from what is happening on the mainland. However, it is vital that the standard of English is improved in the SAR. Many university graduates are accused of having trouble with the language. Their writing, speaking and comprehension skills are criticised. Some native English-speaking tourists say they cannot make themselves understood in department stores and cannot ask passers-by for directions when they are lost. These experiences may put off travellers and this would be detrimental to Hong Kong's economy.
I think the television stations could help in this respect, by providing Chinese and English subtitles with English-language films and drama series. Many Chinese people watch these kinds of programmes on TVB Pearl, ATV World and on cable channels such as HBO, Cinemax and Discovery. If there were both English and Chinese subtitles, people could improve their language skills while watching television.
I hope the relevant government department can liaise with the TV stations and see if this arrangement would be possible.
This would help promote Hong Kong as an international city.