English in Macau

Werner Botha, Andrew Moody

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


As early as the mid‐1980s the English language was already considered a significant language in Macau, since the territory was then experiencing rapid modernization. In an early overview of the status and functions of English in Macau, Harrison (1984) provides a brief account of the development of English in the society, the relationship between Hong Kong and Macau, and the use of English in the media, as well as a theoretical speculation on the future of English in the city. Harrison (1984, p. 487) noted specifically that English in Macau “looks more like a lever on the future,” and today, some 30 years later, Macau has transformed itself into an emblematically modern (or arguably post‐modern) enclave in China, and has become one of the largest gambling destinations in the world, where English has been influenced by a range of somewhat unique sociolinguistic dynamics.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Asian Englishes
EditorsKingsley Bolton, Werner Botha, Andy Kirkpatrick
Place of PublicationNew Jersey
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781118791790, 9781118791653
ISBN (Print)9781118791806
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020


  • English
  • Macau


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