Hong Kong English

Hong Kong English (traditional Chinese: 港式英語) may refer to two different yet interrelated concepts. The first concept refers to the variation or dialect of the English language used in Hong Kong. The second concept refers to the accent and elements as a result of its use by Cantonese speakers.

For the first meaning, Hong Kong predominantly uses British spellings. Pronunciations and words are also predominantly British, although influences from Canadian and Australian English do exist as a result of large numbers of returnees. But there are also words not from the British Isles, such as 'chop', 'shroff', 'nullah' and 'godown'. These vocabularies are usually of Indian or Malay origins, following expansion of the British empire in the 19th century.

The second meaning, which is also called Cantonese English, in theory, refers to the accent and characteristics of English spoken by native Hongkongers and other Cantonese speakers. Overall, it is primarily spoken by those whose first language is Cantonese. Therefore, although it is called as Hong Kong English, it is not only spoken in Hong Kong. People, who come from Cantonese speaking regions or those whose first language is Cantonese, speak it, such as people who come from Canton (now known as Guangzhou). It is often considered, especially by the locals, as the Hong Kong variant of Chinglish.

Since many of the 'characteristics' in Hong Kong English are perceived as erroneous, the term is often used by locals as a disparagement rather than to describe a linguistic identity. The majority of Hongkongers with English proficiency tend to follow British English, American English or a mixture of the two.

Read more about Hong Kong EnglishBackground, Grammar, Numbers, American/ British Spelling and Word Usage, Variations, Compass Directions, Hong Kong Vocabulary

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