Muli-lingualism in Hong kong...pros and cons

Essay by rena_636Junior High, 9th grade May 2002

download word file, 4 pages 4.1

Downloaded 50 times

When I look around me, I see so many people whom are so similar. We're the bulk coming from the International Schools. We speak English in front of our friends and teachers. We talk in Cantonese to our parents. We take Mandarin, French or even both as an additional language at school. Many of us have Filipino domestic helpers, hence, our bit of exposure to Tagalog. This is such a typical scenario that I have come to see it as my common interpretation of normality. Then, I think again. I think for those whom are less worldly, I think for those that have been less privileged. Ranging from Kansas to Kenya, and back to Kuala Lumpur, smack in the middle of South East Asia, I extend my scope to a more global perspective. Then, I realize that true normality is very different. Over time, I have taken for granted, the impact, and more so, the scarcity of multilingualism.

There is no doubt that multilingualism is an aid to a successful future career. We can be assured that Hong Kong will fail to prosper, and embark on a steep economic decline. That is, if the next generations of Hong Kongers are to eradicate the colorful array of languages we have today. We are to maintain the continuation of these languages, with a strong, fluent command. But have we ever thought about the negative aspects to Multilingualism?

We may pride ourselves on being able to recite tongue twisters in three or four different languages. But when we think, our minds succumb to one chief language. The mind rarely achieves a balance, say between Chinese and English. One eventually takes over. When we switch ourselves to "thinking" mode, our brain automatically selects the verbal expressions that we are most comfortable with. We subconsciously...