Community & Education Hong Kong

Hong Kong students like saying ‘la’, cannot pronounce ‘career’ – exam authority

Hong Kong secondary school students like to add the sentence-final particle “la” at the end of statements when they speak English, exam authorities said in a report.

Other “Honglish” terms popular among students include “I very enjoy it,” “foreign country people” and “use my eyes to see,” the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority (HKEAA) said in its 2015 DSE report.

The report also found Hong Kong students have trouble pronouncing particular words. Mixing “career” with “Korea” and dropping the “r” in “proposal” were given as examples.

DSE (Diploma of Secondary Education) examinations determine university entrance in Hong Kong. Students are tested in five areas: Chinese language, English language, mathematics, liberal studies, and an elective subject.

In the liberal studies exam, some students confused the concepts of “minimum wage” with “standard working hours.”

When queried about press freedom, the DSE report said that some test-takers pointed to last year’s knife attack on former Ming Pao editor-in-chief Kevin Lau, although they mistakenly believed that Lau was employed by Apple Daily.

Hong Kong students like saying 'la', cannot pronounce 'career' - exam authority