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    Mandarin Overtakes English as Secondary Language in Hong Kong


    by NTDTelevision

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    It's been 15 years since Hong Kong was returned to China. Now, the latest official census says Mandarin has replaced English as the territory's second most spoken language after Cantonese. Here's more on the story.

    In Hong Kong, Mandarin has overtaken English as the city's second most spoken language. With tensions between Hong Kong and the Mainland escalating, some are skeptical about the new statistics.

    In the latest official census, 48% of Hong Kong's population said they also spoke Mandarin. That's higher than the 46% who reported they spoke English—the longtime secondary language of Hong Kong.

    In 2001, roughly a third of Hong Kong could also speak Mandarin. The growth of the language might come as a result of Chinese authorities promoting Mandarin in schools.

    Despite the high number of people who can speak Mandarin, only 34% of Hong Kong citizens answered they were "proud" of the fact.

    There are also doubts about Mandarin actually being used more widely than English. Local residents have expressed skepticism, saying, "With lots of Mainlanders coming, Putonghua is more useful. Maybe more people just like to say they can speak it."

    Recently there have been a series of conflicts and protests, as the population of Mainlanders increases in Hong Kong. A recent viral video of a Mainlander mocking a Hong Konger's Mandarin also created argument between the two populations.

    In 2010, pro-Cantonese demonstrators rallied in southern China against what they called government efforts to eliminate the language. Cantonese is the dialect of Chinese spoken by 96% of Hong Kong's population.