|The growing appeal of Mandarin|
|Written by Nick Westra|
|Tuesday, 05 June 2007|
Page 1 of 2
Some Hong Kongers tab Mandarin as the language of the future.
Warming up to Mandarin
Even though Hong Kong has continued to retain its Cantonese heritage, there have been increasing calls throughout the city to learn Mandarin.
In the immediate aftermath of "the handover" these calls were most explicit. The International Herald Tribune published a series of articles about, but not limited to, the increasing popularity of Mandarin language schools , the expanding influence of Mandarin in public education , and the shifting sense of identity in Hong Kong .
While these articles focused on different subjects, they all touched on a general warming among Hong Kongers toward the Mandarin language.
Of course, the articles were likely influenced a bit too much by the attention surrounding "the handover," but today, ten years later, this general warming toward Mandarin has continued. As a later article in this project, "Blurring of the language divide," will discuss, more and more celebrities, for example, have taken to Mandarin.
Motivated by the increased attention to Mandarin, Karen, 20, has decided to study Mandarin at a prominent Mandarin language school in Wan Chai.
A native Cantonese speaker, she said, "I want to be able to live and work in China some day, and I think that it is impossible without understanding some Mandarin."
Many of her classmates are foreigners, but she said that there are a few other native Hong Kongers in the courses. "There were more people from Hong Kong than I expected," she said. "We all are coming from different backgrounds, but we all have the same goal - to be able to live and function in the Mainland as well as Hong Kong."
She said that she has found the language more difficult to learn than she expected, but is being pushed to continue her studies by her family. "Not many people in my family can speak Mandarin, just my uncle actually. But they know how important it will be in the future."
|Last Updated ( Thursday, 21 June 2007 )|
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