Three Englishes

Monday 9 February 2009, 6.28pm HKT

“Let’s be frank. There are three kinds of Englishes over here. The first is genuine English, the second Hong Kong/Macau English, the third ‘Mainland China’ English.

“They’ll never teach genuine English to us here or they’ll have no power over us. Hong Kong/Macau English is bad but at least with it we can tell what’s good and what’s bad. China won’t teach anything else besides Mainland China English—they just don’t want people to be able to learn anything foreign. If you have learnt anything foreign, then you have power to challenge the top in China. They don’t care if you want to challenge them or not—they just care that you have the ability to!

“Even the uneducated like me knows this to be true. Anyone who thinks I’m wrong about this, tell him to come and see me.”

(Beef-jerky seller in Macau on why any foreign language is never taught well among the Chinese, 4.40pm, 08 Feb 2009)

2 Responses to “Three Englishes”

  1. Vivien said

    What is “Macau English” ???


  2. The guy was lumping Hong Kong- and Macau-style Englishes together. Macau English is very similar to Hong Kong English but more sinified (more ‘chinese-fied’) and a bit bastardised with Portuguese elements. This is what I’ve been told by the knowledgeable people I know. – R.


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