Frequently Asked Questions about Hong Kong
What language do people speak in Hong Kong?
The official languages of Hong Kong are Chinese and English. While Mandarin is becoming popular for business purposes, Cantonese is what the majority of people in Hong Kong speak. Almost all signs and public announcements will have all three languages.
Is it worth learning Cantonese?
Learning a few key phrases might be helpful, but unless someone wants to learn it on a more fluent level for personal reasons, expats can get by easily without it as English is widely spoken here.
Can I find work in Hong Kong once I arrive?
Due to the visa system in Hong Kong, expatriates will technically need a job secured before they arrive. Unless an applicant can speak Cantonese or Mandarin, jobs in Hong Kong are limited. Most expats are relocated from their position back home to middle or upper management positions in large, international companies. Otherwise, English-speaking expats will be limited to teaching or low-paying hospitality positions.
Can I hire domestic help?
Domestic services are very common in Hong Kong, and many households hire a live-in maid. Given that many of them come from outside of English-speaking Hong Kong, misunderstandings between domestic workers and their employers do occur from time to time. Drawing up a clear contract that both parties can understand will go some way to preventing this. For help and advice, call the Labour Department Hotline +(852) 2717 1771.