Mandarin needs to be the most important language in Hong Kong going forward

Mandarin needs to be the most important language in Hong Kong going forward

The language of the future

In the past, Hong Kong was ruled by the British and it was a well-developed city. In the 70s, Hong Kong’s economy took off and the city became an international finance hub.

Meanwhile, China had suffered from civil war, the Great Leap Forward, and the Cultural Revolution. Its economy was badly affected. That’s why Hong Kong’s financial services were the best among all Chinese cities in 2012.

Hong Kong plays an important role in China’s economic development.

However, China is developing rapidly nowadays. It has launched many projects, such as the Belt and Road Initiative, to boost the country’s economy.

Now, the most competitive city in China is Shanghai. Hong Kong comes second. Even Shenzhen may surpass Hong Kong in the future, because it has great potential for further development.

Unlike Shenzhen, Hong Kong is already developed, so there are fewer opportunities for economic expansion. 

I fear Hong Kong is losing its competitive edge. Most of us may have to rely on the mainland for business opportunities in the future.

Maybe we all should study Mandarin because it may come in handy after 2047. 

Jacky Li, SKH Tsang Shiu Tim Secondary School

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From the editor

Thank you for your email, Jacky. We agree that studying Mandarin in Hong Kong is a no-brainer. It is the national language and it is what allows all the different ethnic groups of China to communicate with each other. It would be really silly to think of Hong Kong as being part of the Chinese nation and not being able to speak and use Mandarin.

English is still the most widely recognised language in the world, but Mandarin is catching up fast as China expands its global influence. Just recently we accompanied some Hong Kong students on a trip to Kenya to see the business opportunities that China’s investments in the country is bringing to its people.

We see stories of China’s investments all over Asia and even in South America. So there is no doubt that apart from being the world’s most populous nation, China’s main language is rapidly gaining importance outside its borders.

Instead of shying away from Mandarin, students should embrace it as yet another string to their bow and become as proficient in it as possible.

Susan, Editor

Edited by Charlotte Ames-Ettridge

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
The language of the future


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1 comment

Ching Yat Chan


Um... I do agree that we all need to learn Mandarin since China's economy is sparking in the world, however, it might be too exaggerated to say that the Chinese language will take over English as the lingua franca. A lot of the thesis or masterpieces are written in English and thus it might be difficult to translate them into Chinese without losing its meaning.

I think the government should encourage our students to study Mandarin but not forcing us to do so as the latter would only rock the boat -- more and more Hong Kong students are unwilling to study it. In order to solve the root problem, the government should take the soft measures rather than the hard ones.