Bilingualism in Hong Kong

Hard labour for lawyers who speak only English

The use of Chinese in Hong Kong's courts has taken off. Photo: SCMP

With more court cases being heard in Chinese, lawyers who know only English say the amount of work available for them has dropped, causing some to earn less, go into early retirement or move abroad.

Monday, 1 April, 2013, 9:57am 8 comments

Bilingual council websites feasible

In his policy address last month, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying announced a "one-off grant" of HK$100 million for each district in Hong Kong, or HK$1.8 billion in total for all districts, to be earmarked for district councils this year to "carry out signature projects in the current term".

28 Feb 2013 - 3:37am

Hong Kong trails rival Singapore in students' English skills

King Ling pupils use English in some classes. Photo: David Wong

Many parents spare no efforts in brushing up their children's language skills - and not just in English. Demand for Putonghua teachers is soaring as China's clout in the global economy increases.

4 Feb 2013 - 10:22am 19 comments

Change gets a tongue lashing

I have been teaching French in Hong Kong for three years now and my colleagues and I are worried about an education reform that will come into effect in 2009. In that year, all foreign languages will become secondary subjects in Hong Kong schools.

26 Jan 2007 - 12:00am

Cultural arrogance is not acceptable

I refer to the letter by Nicholas Shearman (South China Morning Post, June 17) regarding the 'poor' language standards of police stationed on Lamma.

Since moving to Hong Kong seven months ago, I have noticed that many native English speakers seem to assume everyone in Hong Kong must speak English.

Among the reasons given are that:

12 Jul 2002 - 12:00am

Arrogant attitude has no place in real world

One could not blame Hong Kong people for turning against English when faced with the letters of some of your readers. I refer, in particular, to the letter by 'Name And Address Supplied', headlined, 'Grave mistake to discard English' (South China Morning Post, February 23).

11 Mar 2000 - 12:00am

English skills irrelevant to most HK people

A number of letters have appeared recently complaining about a lack of English usage in Hong Kong.

The authors seem to be under the mistaken impression that Hong Kong has a bilingual policy.

25 Feb 1999 - 12:00am

Education policy kept communities apart

I refer to the editorial headlined, 'Question of language' (South China Morning Post, March 22), which rightly observed the generally low level of fluency in English speaking in Hong Kong.

The failure of language education in Hong Kong epitomises the failure of the British to win the hearts of the local population.

3 Apr 1997 - 12:00am

Extraneous prejudices bad for business

LOCALISATION is not a new subject in Hong Kong, but is seen by many as taking on a new form which goes beyond what it was originally designed to achieve. It is worth looking at where it is going and asking if it is becoming a means to an end which no one any longer understands, or worse still, an insidious form of racial prejudice?

25 Sep 1995 - 12:00am

HK people - silly attitude towards language

I COULD not agree more with Mr Benjamin Tang of Kowloon, who expressed his frustration at Hong Kong people's attitude toward Chinese persons who prefer to communicate in English (South China Morning Post, July 27).

I am Chinese by descent and my native tongue is the Fukienese dialect, but I grew up in Malaysia where I received a Western-style education.

1 Aug 1994 - 12:00am

Cast aside 'foreign' language prejudices

I WRITE regarding racism in Hong Kong, as it relates to the use of the English language by a Chinese person.

27 Jul 1994 - 12:00am

Our second language

CONSIDERING Hong Kong's long history under British rule, the general level of English language skills is curiously poor. In a number of countries never colonised or ''protected'' by Britain, the United States or any other English-speaking nation, English is spoken with greater fluency and by a far higher proportion of the population than it is here.

28 Apr 1994 - 12:00am

In HK it all comes down to money

I FIND Carol Yeung's letter headlined, ''Think again before emigrating'' (South China Morning Post, November 25) a bit irresponsible when one thinks about those millions of poor people in Hong Kong.

I am one of those people who do not want to live under Communist control and I have no faith in our future.

However, I am unable to leave because I am poor.

20 Dec 1993 - 12:00am

Delay in study of English

A PROJECT to identify the characteristics of spoken and written English used by Hong Kong Chinese has been delayed by a year because of difficulties in data collection.

The study is part of a $14 million international project started in 1991 to obtain a cross-sectional perspective of the forms and uses of English in regional localities.

18 Nov 1993 - 12:00am