Hong Kong English, but not as we know it : Kongish and language in late modernity

Andrew SEWELL*, Jason CHAN

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


In 2015 a new term appeared in public discourse regarding English in Hong Kong: Kongish, which refers to a hybrid form of English and Cantonese used in online communication. This article outlines some of the features of Kongish and assesses its status in Hong Kong, comparing and contrasting it with previous conceptualisations of ‘Hong Kong English’ as a local variety. We argue that the Kongish phenomenon is interesting for two main reasons: first it reveals certain aspects of language use under conditions of late modernity, including computer mediation, the relationship between language and identity, and the presence of a dynamic multilingual language ecology. Second, comparing Kongish and Hong Kong English reveals some of the uses and limitations of the variety concept in studies of language. <chi>2015,坊間流傳一個新嘅詞彙,關乎喺香港使用嘅英語──港語。港語係一種混合咗英語同粵語嘅網上語言。呢篇文章概述咗一啲有關港語嘅特色,考究佢喺香港嘅地位,另外,以往喺世界英語模型入面嘅「港式英語」係本土語種嘅概念,呢篇文章亦將佢同港語對比,以辨別兩者嘅異同。我哋認為港語現象值得研究嘅主因有兩個 : 第一,佢揭示咗喺後現代嘅情況下,語言某啲方面嘅運用,包括電子通訊嘅作用,語言同身份認同之間嘅關係,以及出現一個動態而多語嘅語言生態嘅可能性。第二,透過同港式英語嘅比較,港語揭示咗喺語言研究入面一啲有關語種概念嘅使用同限制。
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)596-607
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Applied Linguistics
Issue number3
Early online date16 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


  • Hong Kong English
  • bilingualism
  • language ideology
  • sociolinguistics
  • world Englishes
  • 世界英語
  • 港式英語
  • 社會語言學
  • 語言嘅意識形態
  • 雙語學


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