Death of English

The dwindling position of English in Hong Kong society after the changeover of sovereignty is evident in the difficulty in the vastly reduced number of cinemas showing animation films in English.

Ever since I was a child, I have avoided films with Cantonese voiceover, treating the poor quality and lack of creativity with contempt. Cartoons and animation films are especially bad as the twisted voices of adults impersonating children are simply hair-raising.

It didn't use to be a problem as there were many cinemas showing the films in English version. But that is not the case anymore. Like the movie Gnomeo and Juliet that I am interested in seeing, in one chain of cinemas, only one out of seven cinemas show the English version, and that is the one which is on Lantau Island, the one which is furthest away from the city centre.

It is understandable that businesses provide commodities and services that are the most popular so that they may maximise their profit. Obviously, in today's Hong Kong, there is a much larger market in Cantonese films. Truth to speak, English has never had a role to play in the average Hong Kong people's daily life. Now it is as marginalised as ever.

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