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Title: So what is the appeal? The phenomenon of Japanese as a foreign language in Hong Kong
Authors: Humphreys, G
Miyazoe-Wong, Y
Keywords: Hong Kong
Japanese language
Language attitudes
Issue Date: 2007
Source: Journal of multilingual and multicultural development, 2007, v. 28, no. 6, p. 468-483 How to cite?
Journal: Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 
Abstract: In spite of long-standing political tensions between Japan and the People's Republic of China, Japanese remains a highly popular language to learn in Hong Kong. This is evidenced by the growth in number of Japanese-related courses and programmes offered at schools and universities in the Special Administrative Region. Although Japan is a dominant economic force in the region, the trend is not entirely explained by demand for Japanese in the workplace. A questionnaire survey of samples of students at three Hong Kong tertiary institutions explored respondents' motivation to learn both compulsory languages (English and Putonghua) and elective ones (Japanese, French and German). Results confirmed the popularity of Japanese as a language of choice, and found the motivation to learn it both affective and pragmatic, but more affective. Follow-up interviews identified three major issues involved in students' choice of Japanese: the appeal of Japanese popular culture; the perceived usefulness (or otherwise) of the language; and geographical proximity. A sense of shared traditions and high culture between China and Japan did not appear to be an issue for these respondents. Current political issues between China and Japan also seemed to be irrelevant.
ISSN: 0143-4632
DOI: 10.2167/jmmd512.0
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