What languages are spoken in Hong Kong?

The linguistic domain of the city of Hong Kong is relatively more complex, as there are three important competing languages: English, Cantonese Chinese and Mandarin Chinese. The official languages are Cantonese in spoken form, Mandarin and English in written form. English is officially a language of traditional use in the political and commercial sectors, while written Chinese dominates internal trade and industry.

Languages used in Hong Kong: what you need to know

According to percentages taken from Hong Kong authorities’ statistics, just 95 per cent of Hong Kong people are of Shia origin, with the remainder consisting of Filipinos, Indonesians, British, Indians, Thais, Japanese, Nepalese, Pakistanis and various other nationalities. Some Hong Kongers of Chinese origin are natives of the Chinese city or area in the Guangdong region, Taiwan, Shanghai, Fujian, Jiangsu and Zhejiang. You may also find military personnel and some immigrants from Vietnam. According to a certain study done on an area of Hong Kong, 89% of Hong Kongers speak Cantonese Chinese as a common language and a Chinese language that belongs to the Sino-Tibetan category. At present, there is a small percentage of speakers of other languages, including Hakka, Filipino, Malay, Thai, Urdu, etc., who speak Cantonese Chinese as a common language. Furthermore, English is not defined as a small minority language like the others, it is one of the two official languages accompanying Cantonese Chinese. Indeed, 89% of the population of Hong Kong speak Cantonese Chinese. Mandarin Chinese is officially the language spoken in Hong Kong just during the official visit to Beijing. To be able to learn one of these languages, visit https://global-exam.com for example; an e-learning platform 100% dedicated to English language test preparation.

English: a language with a strong position in Hong Kong

During the period of colonization, English was officially the language spoken in Hong Kong and also the language of business in the city. Currently, about 3% of the population speak and write English fluently, while about 38% have some basic knowledge of the language. Hong Kong is an international city and is a hub. It is preferred by tourists. The field of higher education and governance is also referred to there. The city government has lobbied to ensure that English can always be used in the primary and secondary sectors. Today, the use of the language greatly dominates the urban centres, and the Chinese language, which also occupies an important place, is gradually diminishing. The young population is increasingly adopting the techniques of change in English and the various Chinese dialects.

Chinese: very well mastered in households

There are many dialects of Chinese in Hong Kong, but Cantonese and Mandarin are frequently the most widely used in urban areas, while the others are used at home. These two dialects are defined as mutually unintelligible tonal languages. A majority of households in Hong Kong, 89%, speak Cantonese. The language has nine tonal voices which are more complicated and also a large number of more complex expressions. In the city, Cantonese still retains its traditional Chinese characteristics, while the mainland uses simpler characteristics. Visitors who wish to interact with the Hong Kong people should learn the language to navigate around the city easily. While Mandarin is a widely spoken Chinese language, British settlers isolated some Cantonese speakers from the influence it has had on the mainland. As a result, some English words were easily adapted into the Cantonese vocabulary. Some primary and also secondary schools in the region use the language in teaching. Most households use Mandarin as the language spoken in Hong Kong, and it has become increasingly widespread. There has been more interaction with the mainland China region. Currently, Mandarin has become more widely used as children from mainland China are growing up speaking the language, especially children near the border districts.

Other Hong Kong dialects and languages

There are currently several minority speakers of Chinese dialects, such as the Yue dialects of Weiteou (preferred by the elderly in the new territories) and Tanka living mainly in the Fishing Islands. There are also Hakka, Minnan, Taishanese and Shanghainese, which are dialects used in the minority. Hong Kong is a culturally tolerant city and is home to people of different ethnic backgrounds and religions. Among the different languages spoken internationally, Japanese and French are widely studied. This is reflected in various properties and restaurants with Japanese and French names. There are also German speakers in Hong Kong and a large number of Filipino, Korean, Hindi, Thai, Indonesian, Arabic and Vietnamese speakers.

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