Learning Different Chinese Dialects in Hong Kong
While planning to live in Hong Kong, the language barrier is something that one cannot avoid relying on just one language i.e. English. A number of reasons that compel you to learn Chinese in Hong Kong include a fact – you can survive a month or two by speaking English, given that you have to forgo few inferior things; however, the locals are much more comfortable speaking Mandarin and Cantonese. If you’re thinking that you’re lucky to have English-speaking friends in Hong Kong, you still cannot ignore the fact that you have to deal with the natives who do not understand English at all. To know more about the language in Hong Kong, please read this article: Language in Hong Kong
Why English is not enough in Hong Kong?
Another fact is that there are a small percentage of the people who are acquainted with English; and they too most of the time speak Chinese. According to the locals of Hong Kong, people are used to speaking Mandarin, Cantonese (local language) or Putonghua. You can rely on Mandarin in developed areas and towns where people use Mandarin as a formal language, while other areas still have a majority of people who speak Cantonese, a dying language. It’s emphatic that you should know Chinese to meet your day-to-day needs but choosing a dialect is also important. If are not sure about the differences between Mandarin and Cantonese, read this article first: http://gohongkong.about.com/od/travelplanner/a/mandarin_or_cantonese.htm
5 Reasons of Learning Mandarin in Hong Kong
If you’ve not been to Hong Kong before, your decision of learning Chinese will take you to an institute where Mandarin is taught. A few reasons of learning Mandarin are:
- Mandarin is a standard language of Hong Kong used widely in schools, hotels, banks, public places and during business transactions.
- Mandarin is spreading quickly throughout China which eventually affects Hong Kong as well. If you want to avail a business opportunity, establish your firm or hire people at work, you should learn this language.
- Mandarin has a standard written script. Almost all Chinese advertisements are published in Mandarin.
- Major areas having high literacy rate have wide majority of people who fluently speak Mandarin. You might come across a few of them who don’t know any other Chinese dialect than Mandarin.
- Tour guides, public speakers, customer care representative and front desk officers at local shops normally use Mandarin as a standard language.
However, if you look at it with a broader perspective, the language still has limitations; and you might want to switch to other dialects. For instance, Cantonese is a dialect used for informal conversation.
Cantonese – the Best Informal Language of Hong Kong
Although, Cantonese is perceived as a dying language, it still has its own importance. If you want to take the best out of your stay in Hong Kong, this language can be a great help. Few reasons are:
- Natives are relatively more comfortable with Cantonese than Mandarin. They often use it in informal discussions.
- Many Chinese channels in Hong Kong are televised in Cantonese, along with few English channels.
- Uneducated people of Hong Kong, farmers, fishermen and other locals use Cantonese as the mode of communication, and prefer it over Mandarin.
- If you happen to reside in a sub-urban locality, you may find it difficult to communicate with locals as the majority of them speak Cantonese.
- You might come across situations in which you need extra help and support. In these unanticipated situations, this language can be a great help. For instance, you can buy a better insurance plan, have a better investment opportunity or can even buy a pair of shoes at much cheaper rates than normal.
Conclusively, apart from English, you can learn Mandarin as a formal language and develop your understanding about Cantonese or other local languages to survive in Hong Kong.