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Old 27th May 2014, 06:15 AM
Travelforum On The Brain
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Melbourne, Oz
Posts: 515
Default The decline of the English language in Hong Kong

During the past 10 days whilst we have been in Hong Kong I could not help but notice that the once widely-spoken English language is in decline.

When I worked here in the 1970s about 75% of the population could speak English from fluently to haltingly.

On this particular trip I have encountered difficulties all the way from HK International Airport, to hotel staff, taxi drivers, restaurant staff, shop assistants, market stall holders and even bank staff.

English is arguably the most important language in the world. It is the international language of commerce, diplomacy, aviation, maritime, logistics, finance and other spheres too numerous to mention.

I think the young ones in particular are doing themselves a grave disserve by eschewing the benefits of fluency in the English language.

Even some of the hotel staff who speak some English are barely understandable. However, as the tourist numbers from mainland China continue to escalate with 20 million forecast for 2020, probably English will be even further diminished as the over riding language of the ex- British colony will be Mandarin.

And how the hotel industry in particular copes with such mind-numbing statistics will be worthy of keeping a close watch on. One thing is for certain, Hong Kong will continue to become increasingly expensive to the extent that many Westerners might very well choose another more exotic Asian destination that will be a lot more affordable than an ever increasingly unaffordable Honkers..
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