Do we really have to be tri-lingual in Hongkong?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    new territories hkg

    Talking Do we really have to be tri-lingual in Hongkong?

    First it was only english and I survived lols! Then cantonese becomes necessary. Now comes mandarin. I noticed that job seeking has been difficult now more than ever because it requires a proficiency in three languages.

    Do we really have to be tri-lingual?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Third Sphere of Paradiso


    We are doomed

  3. #3

    Mandarin is easier to learn for non-chinese ppl i think.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Diamond Hill, Hong Kong

    Yeah, you'd think Hong Kong was handed-over from England where they speak to English to China where they speak Mandarin or something.

    You write like as if it's a bad thing for a metropolitan world-city to have more than 1 language. Is it?

    Try this thread:

    Independent of competitive pressures to be a cut above the rest, I think it's great to learn new languages. We have many different cultural influences that colour our world; our food, our movies, our fashion, everything. Why not in the words we speak? A globalised world brings about common conveniences, sure. But languages are in transition, they are dynamic. The language we share with our parents, friends, and workmates has its own aspects we don't expect others to share.

    I hope you don't approach learning languages are a chore, just to get more jobs to apply to. It can be a very rewarding experience, socially, spiritually, philosophically. For example the lessons I learned from a year of Sign language several years ago have helped me immensely to better express myself visually, a skill that is paying off when I try to communicate with people I don't share a language with. Also helps me teach when teaching English too.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    honestly, right now we only need to be bi-lingual instead, mandarin and english! cantonese is simply a dialect and serves no purpose in the China except for shopping convenience and show-off to girls when you meet them in local bars. (especially when they are bad-mouthing you ...) :-)

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2002

    For some of us, English is good enough.

    Depends on what level of your career you're in. At a senior level (15+ years experience) it is not common to have an organisation built around the individual, rather than finding an individual who will fit into an organisation.

    I for one am pretty cynical about the whole Cantonese v/s Mandarin thing in Hong Kong. I tend to focus in on what the individual needs, to be sucessful in the tasks that are assigned to them. If you're dealing with a large number of mainlanders, you need to speak Mandarin (perhaps you're dealing with factories etc). But, if you're a senior analyst at an investment bank, looking after a particular sector, you'll find that people will make the effort to communicate to you in a common language, which is usually English.

    At the end of the day .. it all depends..