Newsletter No. 365

2 No. 365, 19.10.2010 企 」、「紧要」、「倾偈」、「几时」……好些现代的 广东口语,原来源远流长,早见于古代汉语。广 东话是汉语的分支,在词汇、语音及语法方面,均保存了大 部分古汉语的特色,并且千变万化,有着独特的内涵和活 泼的生命力。 语言皆平等 方言尽当珍惜 中国语言及文学系荣休讲座教授张洪年认为,从语言学的 角度,语言并没有高低之分,每种语言也有保留的价值,保 存母语更属理所当然。将语言分等级,只是政治、经济或 霸权问题。 他又指出,香港是全球最能够保存广东话这方言的地方, 很多地方也有方言,如广州是广东话、上海是上海话、台湾 是闽南话,但他们在教学上全用普通话(台湾称为国语), 方言只是家庭或社交语言,当地人渐渐认为正式语言是普 通话/国语,唯有香港在教室内沿用广东话,大家惯用了 广东话思考。 张教授说:「香港是中国唯一可用自己方言思考及讨论严 肃议题的地方,这是香港很特别、很了不起之处,若放弃 了广东话便很可惜。」 中大校友、撰写有关语言书籍的岭南大学中文系助理教授 陈云根博士认为:「香港可谓广东话于社会应用最全面之 地,香港人如不珍惜,掺入北方言谈及官方辞令,不久广 东话亦会变质。」而学校教学语言代以普通话后,久之学子 就不懂以广东话讨论严肃话题、以广东话读出书本文辞, 香港广东话的地位,终将式微。 普通话教中文 无助提升语文水平 香港回归后,普通话地位渐渐提高,政府的长远政策方向 是学校以普通话教中文。虽有说这有助提升语文水平,但 课程与教学学系副教授何万贯就指这是普遍的误解。 他举例说:「语文基础差的,即使会讲普通话,也只会不自 觉地采用广东话的词汇和句法来说普通话。」他续称,教学 语言和教学内容是两个不同的概念:「若期望透过普通话教 学来提高学生的中文水平,收效不会显著。因为语言是一种 能力,能力是要通过锻炼和应用来训练的。要提高学生语文 水平,应从『内容』、『教法』及『运用』方面入手。」 何教授说如过分重视普通话的重要,广东话将被视为弱 势语言,有碍保留广东话、广东文化和香港风俗和古汉 语。 广东话获联合国教科文组织定义为语言,并且被认定为 华人日常生活中主要运用的五种语言之一,仅次于普通 话。不少非本地人士也渴仰香港文化, 中大的雅礼中国语文研习所开办广东话 课程歴史悠久,对象是来自外地的学 生及校外人士。所长吴伟平博士称,每 年约有五六百人修读广东话课程,过 往学员多是商人、外交或政府人员,但 现在多了来港生活的海外年轻人,专 诚学习广东话以与本地人交流。 事实上,多元语言和多元文化政策是当今世界潮流,在推 广普通话时,也重视广东话的发展,将有利于教育和文化 事业的发展。 A member of the Chinese language family, Cantonese is very ancient in terms of vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar. All Languages are Created Equal Prof. Cheung Hung-nin Samuel, Emeritus Professor in the Department of Chinese Language and Literature, says that from the perspective of linguistics, all languages are created equal and are equally worthy of preservation. And it is only natural to preserve one’s mother tongue. Ranking languages is motivated by political and economic interest and power play. He points out that dialects are used in many places, e.g., Cantonese in Guangzhou, Shanghainese in Shanghai, Minnanyu in Taiwan. But in these places, the language used in the classroom is Putonghua (or Mandarin in Taiwan) and dialects are only spoken at home or among friends. Hence, people consider Putonghua/Mandarin the only formal language. This is not the case in Hong Kong as Cantonese is spoken in schools. Professor Cheung says, ‘Hong Kong is the only place in 粤语 — 广东文化承传的桥梁 Cantonese: Vessel for Guangdong Culture 语言文字是具意义的符号系统、是协助推行政策的工具、更是思想文化的盛器。大部分香港人 的母语—广东话(粤语),同样肩负着这些角色。早前广州人担心当局「推普废粤」,刮起一阵 「保卫粤语」风,大学作为承传文化的重镇,无论是语言专家或是教育学者,俱认同本土应重视 广东话的发展。 Language is a semiotic system, a means of promoting policy and a vessel for ideology and culture. Cantonese, the mother tongue of most Hong Kong people, plays these roles. Recently, pro-Cantonese rallies took place in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province, as some people felt that Putonghua had eclipsed Cantonese as the dominant language of the province. Language scholars and education experts of CUHK share the view that Cantonese should be preserved and promoted in Hong Kong. 「 China where people think in their own dialect and use it officially to discuss serious issues. It’s unique in this country. It’s a pity to give up this language environment.’ Dr. Chin Wan-kan, CUHK alumnus, author of many best- selling books on the Chinese language, and assistant professor in the Department of Chinese, Lingnan University, also says, ‘Hong Kong is a linguistic enclave where Cantonese is most extensively used. If Hong Kong people disrespect their language by mixing it with northern dialects and officialese, the dialect will lose its lustre in the near future.’ If Putonghua is used in the classroom as the medium of instruction (MOI), the result will be students’ inability to discuss serious issues and read texts in Cantonese. The development of the dialect in the city will be doomed. Putonghua no Magic Bullet for Language Improvement After the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997, Putonghua has risen in status in the city. It is the government’s long-term policy to use Putonghua as MOI for the subject of Chinese. Some people believe that this can improve student s’ Chinese language standards. But Prof. Ho Man- koon, associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, dismisses this as a misconception. He explains, ‘When a Cantonese speaker with poor proficiency in language speaks Putonghua, he is merely speaking with Cantonese vocabulary and sentence structure.’ He adds that MOI and teaching content are two different concepts, ‘If you expect students’ Chinese language proficiency to significantly improve by simply teaching the subject in Putonghua, you will be disappointed. Language proficiency can only be enhanced through consistent practice. To raise students’ language level, it’s more important to focus on “content”, “teaching method” and “application”.’ 张洪年教授 Prof. Cheung Hung-nin Samuel 吴伟平博士 Dr. Wu Weiping 何万贯教授 Prof. Ho Man-koon

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