Sunday, July 25, 2010

I'm moving to Hong Kong!

No, this is not a lesson to teach you how to say that in Mandarin.  This is an announcement: I'm moving to Hong Kong.

This probably won't come as a surprise to most of you that I'm interested enough in Asia to want to go spend some time there. For the last five years, I've been travelling to Asia up to half a dozen times a year, and it was through these business trips that I (by mistake :-) ended up learning Mandarin. And my interest in the language, the people, the culture, has continued to grow.

I work for a large international company, and I put it out there that I'm available for an Asian opportunity. I had done this before, over 10 years ago, when I was working for their South African operation, and got transferred to the UK. And now it's time to do it again. My bags will already by unpacked by mid-September.

There's a lot I'm going to miss about London - it's an amazing city.  And I'll obviously miss my family and friends too (you know who you are - because I know you're reading this). But there is also so much that I'm looking forward to.

Of course I'll try pick up some Cantonese too, but HK gives plenty of opportunity to improve my Mandarin. One of the big changes is having to re-learn my reading skills, because I've been focusing on Simplified Chinese, yet HK uses Traditional Characters. But that's another story for another blog post.

For the readers of Mandarin Segments who are based in HK, please leave me a comment, or send me an email to say hi. And for those passing through the city, let me know when you're coming.

Anyway, I better go pack another box ...


  1. Wow, congratulations! I don't comment much, but I'm a long time reader of your blog and wish you all the best with this move :)

  2. Great. Great News! I've been living in HK for over 7 years. I was going to wait until I got to 500 characters in the Heisig book but I couldn't resist writing now.

    I was going to write you an email but I didn't see it.

  3. Good luck with the move! It must be a pretty exciting time for you. Like Luke, I'm a long-time reader of your blog so I'll be following your adventures in Hong Kong. :)

  4. Luke: Pleased to have had you all along, and thanks for the kind words.

    James: Thanks for "cheating" and writing early - I look forward to meeting in HK. And if we get to celebrate those first 500 characters at the time, all the better.

    Kelly: Thanks for your message. I've actually been a keen reader of your blog for a while too - it's amazing that you can get through so much material - thanks for your efforts!

  5. Thanks Greg,
    I think you are going to love HK. I surely have. I'm right on the verge of hitting #500. Good luck on the move. I'm not sure if I made it clear before, but I study Cantonese quite intensively and I'm only a beginnger at Mandarin but I do study it a bit everyday.


  6. OMG! Greg you're going to become fluent before I do!! :OOO

    I don't think I have the guts to move to China, I don't want to leave anyone behind or force a special someone to come with me when they'll just be lost ^^;;; imagine Lost in Translation, except I'm not Scarlet Johannsen. I'd feel bad making someone put up with me like that :D

    Good luck and keep us all updated! I can't to hear how life is like in China! :)


  7. James, if you have any recommendations for me on the optimimal way to learn some Cantonese, given I'm learning Mandarin, please drop some suggestions below.

    Kara, I hope you're right about my fluency, although I'm not sure my new boss is going to let me out the office very much!

  8. HK is such a fast moving and exciting place, and definitely will offer you a better opportunity to learn Mandarin! And being so close to China, you can always explore more of the fascinating Chinese culture. Hope you can pick up some Cantonese too, so next time we can chat in Cantonese instead, haha..

    Look forward to updates of your HK life!

    I will definitely be missing you! =)

  9. Greg,
    Have a look at this link for a lot of resources for Cantonese -

    Also, cantoneseclass101 has started. Not much there yet but you might want to check it out.


  10. Hey Liu - I've figured I will learn how to say 50 phrases in Cantonese. If you're nice, you can negotiate to decide what some of those 50 are!

    James, thanks for those links. The ChinesePod selection is quite extensive, will take some time to work through that!