Language in post-colonial Hong Kong
The roles of English and Chinese in the public and private sectors
This article reports the findings of an investigation into the roles of English and Chinese in the workplace in post-1997 Hong Kong. The findings are derived from a questionnaire survey of 1 475 professionals, focus-group interviews and case studies. The study found that English continues to function as the unmarked language of internal and external written communication in both the public and private sectors. Chinese professionals who work for foreign-owned organisations in Hong Kong apparently make greater use of English in written communication than their counterparts in Hong Kong-owned companies, while professionals who work for large Hong Kong concerns read or write in English slightly more than those who work for small local companies. Cantonese is the unmarked language of intra-ethnic spoken communication, particularly in informal situations, while English is generally restricted to situations where expatriates are present.
Published online: 25 March 2002
Cited by 16 other publications
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