HONG KONG -- In an effort to improve Hong Kong's image, taxi
drivers are being offered free English and Mandarin lessons on
tapes, CDs and the Internet.
The government is offering taxi drivers language-study kits and
promoting a Web site where they can go to learn English and
Mandarin, the dialect spoken on the mainland and Taiwan.
Surveys show that only 70% of Hong Kong residents were satisfied
with taxi service, and the government said the initiative also is
aimed at improving Hong Kong's image among visitors.
Most of Hong Kong's 6.8 million residents speak the Cantonese
dialect of Chinese that dominates in the Guangdong province across
Although many taxi drivers can speak and understand some English
and Mandarin, finding certain streets can be a challenge, as many
names are pronounced differently in Cantonese.