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Hong Kong

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I guess it all depends on what accent those Mandarin speakers carry when they are ib HK.

For tourists from Taiwan, I guess their Mandarin can be widely understood in HK since many people in HK have been exposed to Taiwan culture (i.e. sings, movies etc) for a long time. You seldom see any Taiwanese tourists complain on any communication problem while they are in Hong Kong.

For those tourists from Beijing or Shanghai, the problem is not big either since there are many interaction between HK and these two cities.

But for someone from Shandong or Sichuan, that may be a big problem if their Putonghua carries heavy accent.

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Sometimes writing cannot make communication easier in HK.

Three months ago when I checked out at a 4-star hotel lobby in Hong Kong Island, a Shanghaiese youth couple made an inquiry at the info desk about how they could get to the Commerical Press Bookstore which was quite nearby.

The young girl at the desk could not understand their Putonghua. She gave them a pen and paper to write it down.

But even after they wrote it down in simplified script, she still could not understand because it was not in the traditional script that she learnt in school.

Finally I showed them the direction.

Sometimes I felt that Mainlanders (outside Pearl River Delta) may have a feeling that they step on foreign land when they are in HK since everything is so different. The language, the signs, the traffic system, the architectural design,.......etc are all different.

Maybe that is why they like to come -- to experience the exotic feeling.

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