moving to HK -.-¬

Hi i am a swedish student with an asian background. am currently finishing my MA in Marketing Practice in the UK. I am hoping to for the 4th time visit Hong Kong during the summer holidays. Also wanting to find a job in HK and a flat, my biggest concern is being able to find a job, im very hesitant towards the culture accepting me and if the possibility is there for me (a non speaking cantonese person) to land a good job in marketing. if you have any general ideas or tips for me i would be grateful, thanks!

Moving to HK

From what I've read on other sites, the Cantonese society will be much more willing to accept you if you speak some Cantonese, and from my own experience this is true. I've recently gained some HK friends (at a UK University) and one of them, who was in my class for several weeks, didn't attempt to socialise with me at all until she discovered that I spoke some Cantonese. This isn't a prejudice towards white Englishmen; they are just not as confident in their English as in their Chinese, and it would be awkward for anyone to constantly be translating just so a foreigner could join in their social group. Don't be afraid to speak to the Hong Kongers; all the ones I have met so far are the most friendly, hilarious and fun-loving people when you to get to know them. If they are shy, don't be put off.

In short, learn a bit of Cantonese (they'll be very grateful and will probably help you) and socialise. It will be well worth your effort.

P.S. Of course, you can take these comments with a large pinch of salt because I have never been to Hong Kong. My comments are based solely on what I have read and experienced with HK people in England. :D

How fortunate

Dear D,
It is interesting subject that yare not Cantonese but you can speak Cantonese, despite you have never been in HK. On the contrary, I am a Chinese-Indonesian,half Cantonese and have been in HK for 2 years and yet find the most difficulty in understanding and speaking Cantonese. So, it is hard for me to mingle with Hong Kongers. Mandarin is not that difficult. I wonder if you could tipping me to improve my Cantonese and get socialize.Thank you in advance.
best wishes,

thx for replies. although

thx for replies.

although good when it comes to the language, i am personally more concerned with getting a job without knowing the language, bareing in mind that i do not have any difficulties learning most of the language within 1 years + as i love the art of languages and know 7 langages, with only 4 fluent.

in simpler terms will there be entry levels to jobs with a promise to learn the language?

Improving Cantonese

Firstly, my name is Woodpecker, not D. The 'D' was part of a smiley. If you turn it sideways it looks like a big grin :D

Secondly, as far as socialising tips with Chinese is concerned, I have no suggestions. Sorry. I imagine a lot of the tricks are the same the world over, and I've only just got to know a few Chinese people myself so I'm probably lower on the learning curve than you!

All the best,


What makes you different?

Not knowing Chinese will put you at a disadvantage, and I guess it will be almost impossible to get work with a China or Hong Kong focus. I don't think employers will pay much attention to a promise to learn the language either.

So, if you are going to be replying to job advertisements / applying to agencies, what are your strengths? Knowing several languages (all European I guess?) must be a plus, so what opportunities are there where your strengths will make you stand out as the best candidate? eg if you can find local companies that are growing business in say Europe and Latin America, they should be interested in you.

Of course if your personality is your strength, in parallel you should be looking for personal introductions through friends and relations.

Search this site for 'work', 'visa', 'job' too to find similar questions and suggestions.

Good luck, MrB

If you're not fluent (or

If you're not fluent (or don't even speak) Cantonese you can still find work here. Your best bet is at the larger multinationals, particularly investment banks, who are willing to hire people that don't speak the language.

As far as the culture here, if you're willing to learn a little Cantonese, people will readily accept you. If you don't learn some of the native language, you'll always be an outsider. Isn't that true nearly everywhere though?


hi~ welcome to hong kong

l am a hong konger ... don't know whether have you been leave Hong Kong or not ?! l would like to be your friends if you don't mind ? haha~ l'm a student and l can not speak in fluent english...~ l wanna meet some friends speak in native english~ If you are also interested in meeting friends, you may email to me ^^!!THX