CHINESE LANGUAGE AND THE LAW – Most of the articles in this publication appear in both English and Chinese. In our daily work as solicitors, those of us who are bilingual will likely use Cantonese as the office vernacular, and write in English.
There may be some who increasingly do written work in Chinese, particularly in correspondence. Some others are tending to produce commercial documents in Chinese as well. Their supply of precedents in commercial work is building up steadily. I cannot say the same for conveyancing where English remains predominant in documentation exchanged among solicitors. Litigators are also using more Chinese in their work, particularly where there are selfrepresented litigants who cannot work in English. And as legal work picks up between Hong Kong lawyers and our counterparts in China there is a definite need to use more and more Chinese.
With the increasing use of Chinese in our work will we witness less and less English being spoken and used in documents?
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Language Testing for Law Students
Indeed the emphasis on English has been rightly maintained in our legal education system. Today all students seeking a place on the PCLL must first attain the requisite standard of 7 in an English test, the IELTS. This was introduced some years ago in response to concerns that students were being admitted to the legal profession with too low a standard of English. I have no evidence that the test is working, but anecdotal soundings suggest that this has pulled up standards overall. Yet, given the increasing use of Chinese in our work, do we not need to introduce a competency test for Chinese?
I do not have an answer for this, but I do know that practically the whole of the law curriculum is taught in English and there are indeed many students who do not have the necessary grasp of Chinese to work in it. Some may have the ability to speak Cantonese proficiently, but cannot work in the written language for one reason or another. Perhaps they were away from Hong Kong for studies for too long a time. There are some PCLL providers who now offer some courses in drafting in Chinese. This is a welcome change to the curriculum.
Source: Hong Kong Lawyer Journal, the Law Society of Hong Kong
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想感受真正中國生活及文化，就學習漢語 (Mandarin Chinese)吧。
現在就跟IFC MANDARIN CONNECTION專業漢語培訓師學習漢語吧! 西漢語言中心是總部位於香港的頂級中文培訓公司之一。在過去的 25 年裡，我們一直專注於提供最優質的商務語言培訓服務、跨文化培訓以及外派人員入職培訓計劃和以及定制的語言培訓計劃。除了一流的企業語言培訓外，我們還提供從初學者到完全熟練的學生的各種商務漢語課程，每週的不同時間在我們的地點或您的辦公室或虛擬課室提供。無論您是在中國尋求發展機會，還是與公司的中國同事一起工作，我們都能為您提供解決方案。今天就聯繫我們安排您的課程。課程專門為國際企業員工及專業人士設計。