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Based on data obtained from a questionnaire survey and in-depth interviews with four Caucasians and four dark-skinned Asians, this study shows that while some ‘foreigners’ do make an effort to learn Cantonese, many find the teaching methods not so useful and the language difficult to master, especially its tone system. The data are analyzed following the interactive multicultural model of acculturation. The findings point toward a huge chasm between non-local groups and the Cantonese-speaking community. The receptivity of Hong Kong Chinese towards attempts by members of non-local groups to speak Cantonese varies, depending on their racial identity and socioeconomic status.


Originally published in:

Tinker Sachs, G., & Li, D. (2007) Cantonese as an additional language in Hong Kong. Multilingua, 26. DOI 10.1515/MULTI.2007.004

(c) deGruyter. Posted with the permission of the publisher.