18 January 2009

Selling dog meat as mutton

The Hong Kong government has just announced a new policy on the language of instruction in schools that I am not going to talk about here, except to say that in the past some schools have claimed to teach in English when the teachers have actually been using quite a lot of Cantonese. According to yesterday's South China Morning Post, in Cantonese this is called 'selling dog meat as mutton'. Not everybody thinks this is a bad thing - I mean mixing Cantonese with English. But if the SCMP report is accurate, Leung Yiu-chung, a legislator and a maths teacher, wants to go even further. "Teachers are in the frontline," he said, "They should be allowed to decide for themselves. What's wrong with selling dog meat as mutton?" Well, quite a lot really, if you read this report from the Russia Info-Centre about a Chinese restaurant in Moscow.


ulaca said...

My 12-year-old goes to a DSS local school, Creative Secondary School, so-called EMI. She says that there's a lot of Canto used in the so-called EMI classes, maths, science, etc., as well as in English lessons. Happens everywhere, except, possibly, the most competitive schools, e.g. DGS. Her English is held back, but this is just the sort of trade-off you need to come to expect.

gweipo said...

I thought that some people prefer dog meat to mutton ... especially this part of the world!

No point in badgering about in English if you've lost 80% of the class.