Will people In Hong Kong speak Mandarin instead of Cantonese in the Near Future
Hong Kong was once a British Colony, then it was invaded by Japan for about three years. After this British took back the control until in 1997 they handed over it to China. The ethnic group of most Hong Kong people is Chinese. Hong Kong is close to Guangdong Province of China where the Cantonese language is more common than Chinese. It is like a regional language of Guangdong province. Most people of Hong Kong are of the same region and they also like to speak Cantonese instead of Mandarin.
The official languages of Hong Kong are English and Mandarin. That means that Mandarin has been a part of daily life in filling the forms buying a ticket. You hear this language in trains stations, airports and billboards and lot more places. The official language cannot be ignored out of any culture either you like it or not.
In Hong Kong, you can spend a good time with even the English language. However, there might be a conflict between Mandarin and Cantonese. Most people in Hong Kong like to speak Cantonese about 89%, but it is not an official language. The official language is Mandarin or Chinese, not Cantonese. There may be few people who wanted Cantonese as an official language of Hong Kong but it may not be possible for the time being, many foreigners are learning Cantonese though. Currently, Mandarin is an important part of Hong Kong
We check out the following points to see that will people in Hong Kong speak Mandarin instead of Cantonese shortly
- Is Mandarin an official Language
Is Mandarin an official language and the answer is yes. Until and unless it is an official language, Mandarin cannot be overcome by other languages. You have to use it, you have to write it you have to fill the forms in Mandarin and many more. Is Cantonese an official language and the answer is no. It means at many places if you want to use Cantonese you cannot because it is not the official language. You can speak it you can learn it but in many places, you cannot use it.
- Do Hong Kong People Dislike Mandarin
The answer is no, many people in Hong Kong want Cantonese language to be a part of the official language but based on different surveys they do not dislike the Mandarin language. It is the language of China and Chinese is the basic ethnicity of Hong Kong people. China took control of Hong Kong and in 1997 after that English become the second official language from first and Mandarin become the first official language. The people of Hong Kong have respect for the Mandarin language. They may love Cantonese more but couldn’t hate Mandarin.
- Political Situation
Recent relations between China and Hong Kong are not very ideal. There have been many people police fights and a lot of gatherings by Hong Kong people against the Chinese government. Yet China took over control according to a British China agreement. In this situation, it is not possible to replace Mandarin with Cantonese. Or change the official status of the Mandarin language to Cantonese. Mandarin has a strong influence although more than 89% of people prefer to speak Cantonese.
- Rise of Mandarin Language in Hong Kong
The proficiency of Chinese is increasing in Hong Kong day by the many officials in Hong Kong are now from China mainland and they only speak Mandarin. In 1997, when China took over Hong Kong only 3.5% of people could speak and understand Mandarin. Now it is more than 50%. This shows how strongly Mandarin has become part of Hong Kong. It reveals both the strategic and political influence of Mandarin over Cantonese.
The rise number of people learning Mandarin should not be associated with the fall of Cantonese. These are two independent languages. However, Mandarin has increasingly become part of daily life as being the official language and because many officials now can only speak Mandarin. Try to imagine that people of Hong Kong will start using more and more Mandarin than Cantonese is very much possible.
- Is Mandarin Difficult to learn for Hong Kong People
The answer is no, about 50% of people can already speak it remaining can learn quickly. The thing is many sentences are quite similar in both languages. They are different but not different in Mandarin and English or Spanish etc. People who can speak, and write Cantonese already have some proficiency in Mandarin. The current political situation may even force more mandarin by moving more and more Chinese people into the official seats in Hong Kong. In this way, people will be bound to use more and more Mandarin as compared to Cantonese.
Another step can be to remove English as the official language of Hong Kong. It doesn’t seem valid right now but has a very likely occurrence in near future. This is another way to make Mandarin penetrate the Hong Kong culture
Mandarin as an official language, many more Chinese officials and easy proficiency for the Cantonese people this is highly likely that in near future the Mandarin will dig into the Hong Kong culture. Sooner or later it will be every like now a Cantonese.
However, Cantonese cannot be removed from the heart of people. The only possibility is people may stop learning Cantonese from their home. But it is of course not possible. There are many states with official language English and other language is the national language. But the people never forget their native language because their native language is not the official language.
We can agree on the statement that more and more Mandarin will enter into the Hong Kong culture but saying that people will start speaking over Cantonese doesn’t seem fair. It is because Cantonese is the native language of the people of Hong Kong, even after hundreds of years there will be people speaking it in the streets of Hong Kong.