Languages | South China Morning Post
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  • Mar 31, 2015
  • Updated: 2:36pm


China must make its mark on global language map on its own terms

Some Chinese words are untranslatable. Photo: Reuters

Most people believe that the secret to promoting Chinese culture is to have as many foreigners as possible studying the Chinese language. But there is a better way.

Monday, 3 June, 2013, 2:32am 4 comments

How machines' speech recognition capability has been evolving

How machines' speech recognition capability has been evolving

In the rapidly developing technology of Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), machines are "hearing" and understanding spoken language, and performing actions on verbal commands.

14 Apr 2013 - 2:16am

Letters to the Editor, March 21, 2013

Huskies suffer during Hong Kong's summer. Photo: AFP

I was naturally dismayed to read your reports about an attack on a child in Lantau by a Siberian husky, and I have the utmost sympathy for the child's family.

21 Mar 2013 - 2:50am 2 comments

Linguist discovers new papal pickle

John Whelpton teaches one of his Latin students, Ashley Chan. Photo: Dickson Lee

When scholar John Whelpton and his small band of Latin linguists sit down at their next meeting on Friday in Kowloon Tong, it won't exactly be a papal conclave, but it will examine a very thorny question: did the first pope to stand down in 600 years get his resignation speech grammatically correct?

10 Mar 2013 - 5:52am 2 comments

Bilingual students more China-ready

Chinese International School students Cameron Zeluck, Saskia Leung, Aaron Zweig, Phoebe Wilson and Riley Tseng chat during break time. The school is planning to transfer its Year 10 students to its new campus in Hangzhou. Photo: Edward Wong

Wilson Chan, who worked in Shanghai for several years, had always wanted to send his three children to a bilingual school

17 Feb 2013 - 4:23pm

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

The talk of the global village is ... in English

The second president of the United States, John Adams, predicted in 1780 that English would be the 'most respectable language' in the world and the most read and spoken. It is destined 'to be, in the next and succeeding centuries, more generally the language of the world than Latin was in the last or French is in the present age'.

22 May 2012 - 12:00am

Lessons to be learned from a return to English

Even with big changes under way in the structure of school education, the language of instruction remains a primary concern for many parents. This week, they have voted with their feet after a significant relaxation of the mother-tongue policy that has divided the community.

6 Jan 2010 - 12:00am

Nearly half of high schools to teach in English

The number of secondary schools teaching in English in Hong Kong will almost double in September when the changes to language instruction policy take effect, according to school profiles released by the government yesterday.

15 Dec 2009 - 12:00am

Classroom reforms 'will raise English skills'

Allowing more schools to use English in the classroom will increase by half the number of junior secondary school students capable of learning in the language, education minister Michael Suen Ming-yeung said yesterday.

30 May 2009 - 12:00am

Education chief defends changes in school language policy

The education minister has defended much-criticised revisions to the medium-of-instruction policy, saying critics should not over-exaggerate the difficulties.

12 Jan 2009 - 12:00am

Back to basics

At a recent symposium on the policy on the medium of instruction for secondary schools, Secretary for Education Michael Suen Ming-yeung announced that there would be a 'fine-tuning' of the government's mother-tongue policy.

31 Mar 2008 - 12:00am

Schools may get to choose which language to use

Education chief points to easing of mother-tongue policy

Secondary schools could be given freedom to choose whether to teach in English or Chinese, the education secretary said yesterday.

23 Feb 2008 - 12:00am

Call for evidence in language debate

Unions warn against rumours, speculation

The leaders of the two main teaching unions this week called for a more systematic and evidence-based approach to improving the teaching of English in Chinese-medium secondary schools.

2 Feb 2008 - 12:00am

English needs to improve at all levels

Secondary schools will be banned from admitting more than 40 students per class under proposals to be introduced in September to address the effect of a shrinking school-age population. There is good reason to stop popular schools from over-enrolling, as they are doing it at the expense of others that may have to close because of under-enrolment.

10 Jun 2006 - 12:00am