English Speakers in HK

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    11

    English Speakers in HK

    I am wondering what the % of people living in HK speak english and to what degree? I will be most likely working in Kwai Chung Hospital which is in New Territories. Since it is a specialized psychiatric hospital, I am assuming the patients will be from a wide demographic from all over HK and surrounding areas. Will I be able to talk to these patients and the staff in english regarding medications and conditions and in regards to everyday things?


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Very very variable.

    Some folks in HK speak perfect english with barely an accent - but they are usually professional folks, well educated etc. A huge number speak none (although may understand a little). For example, I have difficulty with taxi drivers in the NT - even when pointing to destinations on a map - which gives you an idea of some of the level of difficulty. Most shop assistants, for example, are capable of basis "shop function" english - numbers, showing good etc. But if you try and chat with them about anything else, you draw a blank.

    I think you might need to learn some Chinese .... or get somebody to write down your most common questions etc on cards!

    PS - others might comment better here - but I have read a few threads on here about doctors/hospitals etc and I get the impression that not much "discussion" about medication takes place! Doctors are gods, they hand out medication and patients are expected to dutifully take it.....


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    you will probably be referred patients who speak English, and those that don't will go to another doctor. Kwai Chung is in the middle of a very local area, with relatively few expats (compared to other areas of HK).

    you should be able to communicate easily with your colleagues, but possibly not ALL staff (cleaners, etc.) who have no need of English in their daily lives.

    Moving...have you been to a local hospital for consultation? We use them exclusively for serious as well as minor matters and have encountered only caring, thoughtful doctors who are interested in discussion. I've never met a God complex doctor here...now I can't say the same for docs in Canada...

    Last edited by timklip; 12-02-2009 at 08:16 AM.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by timklip:

    Moving...have you been to a local hospital for consultation? We use them exclusively for serious as well as minor matters and have encountered only caring, thoughtful doctors who are interested in discussion. I've never met a God complex doctor here...now I can't say the same for docs in Canada...
    No - as I noted in my post I was reporting views on other threads which I'm happy to be corrected on. The other threads might have been more about local doctors than hospitals and were folks who were really wanting to know what medication they had been given but the doctors would not tell them!

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    I was at the Canossa a couple of years ago and whilst I could talk with my surgeon I could not with the nurse who gave me my medication. she could say 'take this', but when I asked her if it was OK to eat she couldn't answer me...... I know this could have been a one off but I am english and was in a private room so you would have thought they would send someone who could communicate with me... however I was not too upset or scared to really care that much as I was only there 2 nights.

    no chance to speak with the person who brought food and drinks at all.....


  6. #6

    Canossa.

    If the nurse could not answer your question you should go down to the pharmacy in Canossa. They have pharmacist who speak and understand english. I am sure they can help you next time.


    Quote Originally Posted by Janetw:
    I was at the Canossa a couple of years ago and whilst I could talk with my surgeon I could not with the nurse who gave me my medication. she could say 'take this', but when I asked her if it was OK to eat she couldn't answer me...... I know this could have been a one off but I am english and was in a private room so you would have thought they would send someone who could communicate with me... however I was not too upset or scared to really care that much as I was only there 2 nights.

    no chance to speak with the person who brought food and drinks at all.....