Hong Kong English

Hong Kong English
Native toHong Kong
RegionEast Asia
Language codes
ISO 639-3eng
China Hong Kong 4 levels localisation.svg
Location of Hong Kong
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Hong Kong English

Hong Kong English is the English language as it is used in Hong Kong. The variant is either a learner interlanguage or emergent variant, primarily a result of Hong Kong's British overseas territory history and the influence of native Cantonese speakers.


English is one of the official languages in Hong Kong, and is used widely in the Government, academic circles, business and the courts. All road and government signs are bilingual. English is what distinguished[when?] most and those who spoke English or were taught English were considered the elite, meaning those able to be taught English were considered upperclassmen.[1]

Since the Handover, English in Hong Kong remains primarily a second language, in contrast to Singapore where English has been shifting toward being a first language. The falling English proficiency of local English language teachers has come under criticism.[2] The proportion of the Hong Kong population who report using English (that is, all forms) as their "usual spoken language" increased from 2.8% in 2006 to 4.3% in 2016, with a further 41.9% and 48.9%, respectively, reported being able to speak a form of the language.[3]

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