Our interviews – The 1st Family

Three families were interviewed in total in this study. The father of the first family is Thai while the mother is a Hong Kong-er who lived in Thailand for 7 years before returning to Hong Kong. Their second generation was born in Thailand but the whole family moved to Hong Kong in 1994. The second generation thus received education in Hong Kong, where English and Cantonese were used as the medium of instruction.  All the family members speak Cantonese, Thai, English and Mandarin.

The language use of the family members in different contexts is as follow.

Home Work/School Friends Religious Issues Other remarkable circumstance(s)
Father (Thai) 80%T, 20%C 90% T,

10% CE

85%T, 15%C 85%T, 15%C
Brother

(2nd generation)

50%T, 50%CE 50%E, 50%CE 100%CE 100%CT 100%T in Thai fellowship
Sister

(2nd generation)

50%T, 50%CE 35%CE, 30%T, 25%E, 10%M 75%T, 25%CE 65%T, 35%CE

*T=Thai, C=Cantonese, E=English, CE=Cantonese code-mix with English, CT= Cantonese code-mix with Thai

(percentages are estimations made by interviewees)

Since Thai is the mother-tongue of the father and he works in a Thai church as a pastor, he speaks a lot of Thai in different contexts and the Thai language is dominated in his everyday life. For the second generation, they speak 50% of Thai and 50% of Cantonese code-mixed with English when they are at home. However, the brother once mentioned that sometimes he would use Cantonese to reply his father who is speaking in Thai as Cantonese is the language he is the most confident with and it is the most natural language he speaks. Moreover, as the sister works in a Thai company and has a lot of Thai friends, she often speaks Thai in contexts other than at home.

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