Hong Kong

Hong Kong language

hong kong flag

Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China, belongs to Asia, and does not have a defined capital (as does, for example, the other special administrative region, Macao). It has a population of 7.5 million inhabitants (102º) and an area of ​​1,108 km 2 (168º). Its human development index is very high (7th) and its official currency is the Hong Kong dollar. And what language is spoken in Hong Kong?

What language do they speak in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong has two official languages: Chinese (no dialect specified) and English.

The government’s policy is to have a civil service proficient in Chinese and written English, and proficient in Cantonese, Mandarin and spoken English. Important documents are issued in both languages, and communications with Hong Kong citizens are conducted in the language appropriate for the citizen.

In public schools, the language of instruction is Cantonese Chinese, while written education is in both Cantonese Chinese and English. ” Bi-literacy and tri-lingualism” is emphasized in secondary education, which has reinforced the spread of education in spoken (not written) Mandarin Chinese. Private schools can choose the language of instruction they want.

traffic sign hong kong language english chinese

Hong Kong is a bilingual country, as Cantonese Chinese is spoken by the majority, while Mandarin Chinese and English are spoken by half the population each. It is common for the case, in informal conversations, of code switching (mixing two languages ​​in the same sentence) among the bilingual population. A couple of examples:我唔sure (“I’m not sure”) or去canteen食飯(“Go to the canteen to eat”).

The most widely spoken immigrant languages ​​are Tagalog (28,200 speakers), Indonesian (21,100), and Japanese (7,050).

Chinese language

Chinese has a presence in Hong Kong with 5 dialects:

  • Cantonese Chinese – Spoken by 90.7% of the population (94% of these as their first language).
  • Mandarin Chinese: which is spoken by 46.6% of the inhabitants (3.8% as their first language).
  • Min Nan Chinese: Spoken by 6.7% of citizens (21.5% as a first language).
  • Hakka Chinese – Spoken by 3.9% of Hong Kongers (14.6% as their first language).
  • Wu Chinese – Spoken by 0.2% of the population (all as a first language).

The traditional Chinese characters are the ones used, instead of the simplified characters. The three big Chinese newspapers are Ming Pao, Oriental Daily News and Apple Daily.

The English language

English (English ) is spoken by 51% of the population (only 8% of these as their first language). This language is due to the past of Hong Kong as a British colony. The two big English-language newspapers are the South China Morning Post and The Standard.

Share which languages ​​are spoken in Hong Kong.

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