In Hong Kong, aversion to Mandarin is continuing to grow, while pride in and affection for that language continue to fall, according to the results of a regular survey. The scores for all three have largely converged. I expect those trends to continue, so that the results from the next survey will show aversion to Mandarin surpassing affection for and pride in that language.
Attitudes toward Cantonese were not covered by this survey until 2012. Attitudes toward English are still not surveyed in this study.
Feelings toward other “icons” of Hong Kong and China as a whole were also surveyed, so while the scores on Mandarin may to some extent reflect how people in Hong Kong feel about the People’s Republic of China, it’s important to note that even objects such as the PRC flag manage significantly better than Mandarin in public opinion.
I’m using the translations offered by the survey itself:
- averse to: 抗拒
- proud of: 自豪
- affectionate toward: 親切
Pride in Mandarin (16.7 percent) is lower than pride in everything else in the survey except for the Hong Kong Central Government Offices, which came in at just 14.5 percent.
Pride in Cantonese (58.7 percent) is higher than pride in everything else in the survey except for the Night View of Victoria Harbour (65.2 percent).
Affection toward Mandarin (17.7 percent) was third lowest, ahead of only the People’s Liberation Army (14.1 percent) and the Hong Kong Central Government Offices (14.3 percent).
Affection toward Cantonese (81.0 percent) was the by far the highest of all, followed by affection toward the Night View of Victoria Harbour (69.7 percent). Nothing else made it past the low 30s.
People in Hong Kong had the highest aversion to the People’s Liberation Army (26.7 percent). Mandarin tied for second with the Hong Kong Central Government Offices (both 16.2 percent).
Aversion to Cantonese (1.7 percent) was the lowest of any surveyed category.
The information in this post was derived from:
- Xiānggǎngrén de shēnfen yǔ guójiā rèntóng diàochá jiéguǒ (香港人的身份與國家認同調查結果), Centre for Communication and Public Opinion Survey, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, November 2014
- The Identity and National Identification of Hong Kong People: Survey Results, Centre for Communication and Public Opinion Survey, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, November 2014
- Attitudes in Hong Kong toward Mandarin: survey, Pinyin News, December 5, 2011
- Hong Kong’s pride in Putonghua, Pinyin News, December 2, 2006
- Status of Cantonese: a survey-based study, Pinyin News, March 1, 2008
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