PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 October, 2011, 12:00am


The effect of Chinglish on HK

Is the gap in English standards between Hong Kong and the mainland narrowing?

In Hong Kong, some people use 'Chinglish'. It is influenced by the Chinese language, and is ungrammatical.

It is often said the city's English-language standards have fallen. The reason, critics point out, is the use of Chinglish by locals when chatting face to face or on the internet.

Despite learning English from kindergarten, many Hongkongers still mispronounce the letters of the alphabet. Today, the proportion of English-speaking people here is greater than 30 years ago, but the fact is that more people use broken English when communicating with others. Even some senior government officials and lawmakers use phrases such as 'We will try our breast to ... '.

Sadly, the use of Chinglish is becoming a trend in Hong Kong. Young people are easily influenced by this so-called language, since it is popular on the internet.

Many foreigners visit Hong Kong for business or tourism. So the English language plays a vital role in our society.

Although most of us are willing to speak English, our accent is not very good and it is difficult for us to find the correct words. We make mistakes because we overlook the difference between Chinese and English sentence structures.

Poor language standards may threaten Hong Kong's competitiveness. Mainland students are now starting to learn English in primary school instead of secondary school. Their English standards have improved immensely. In addition, their academic performance is really good and they are highly competitive.

It is crucial that we do not use Chinglish in formal communication. If we do not improve our language skills, we may lose our competitive edge to mainlanders. They are a lot more diligent, do not mind lower wages and complain less than we do.

Christie Lam Man-ting, Pooi To Middle School

'Compensated dating' harms girls

'Compensated dating' is spreading, with more girls in Hong Kong thinking it's an easy way to make some money. But it can be very harmful to them.

Police and parents must act to prevent young girls from being exploited by bad people.

Many girls advertise their 'services' on the internet. So police can keep a close eye on chat rooms and discussion forums to ensure users are not doing anything illegal.

As for parents, they should take note of anything suspicious, such as their children suddenly receiving expensive gifts, such as brand-name clothes or hi-tech gadgets.

Man Ching-han, Sun Fong Chung College

Eating at home is a good habit

I agree with what chef Jamie Oliver said: 'We all have to eat. Cooking shouldn't be a mystery.'

Nowadays, many people do not know how to cook. So they go to a restaurant. I think this is not a good habit. It is not always healthy to eat out, because the food may contain a lot of oil, sugar and salt.

At home, we can cook what we want and talk to our family members while eating. Home-made food is fresh, and helps to reduce our carbon footprint.

But to live a healthy life, we should exercise, too.

Vicky Fung

Pay isn't everything, but we do need it

I'm writing in response to the article 'Pay isn't everything: university' (Young Post, September 29). Chinese University president, Joseph Sung Jao-yiu, says that students are studying finance and economics just because of the good salaries. I think it is also because society is very competitive.

Nowadays, there is intense rivalry for jobs since many youngsters from the mainland and abroad come to Hong Kong for their studies. Therefore, more and more students want to study a subject that can help them find a stable job.

There are fewer jobs related to subjects such as philosophy and culture in Hong Kong. And the city lacks top programmes for creative people like artists, actors and writers. So students think they can have a better future by studying finance and economics, especially since Hong Kong plays an important role in international finance.

Pay perhaps isn't everything, but how can we blame our students?

Wendy Fok Po-yu