Hong Kong interlingual contrast

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John Brewer noted the palpable irony between two quotations in this article from today's NYT:  "7 Hong Kong Police Officers Arrested in Beating of Protester"(11/26/14)

A:  Hundreds of people shouted “I want true universal suffrage” in Cantonese, with their chants echoing off the tall buildings in the area, amplifying their voices.


B:   The protesters, in a nod to the commercial significance of the location, chanted “Shopping! Shopping!” in Mandarin after the police demanded to know why they were there.


  1. Victor Mair said,

    November 26, 2014 @ 10:18 pm

    From Bob Bauer:

    Sounds like some brilliantly mocking HK humor.

  2. Bruce said,

    November 27, 2014 @ 1:39 am

    I don't see the latter quote on the linked NY Times article. as the article been redacted?

    (An Epoch Times article about the incident is the only other English language reference I could find to that Mandarin chant)

  3. Bruce said,

    November 27, 2014 @ 3:34 am

    Oddly, I do find the quoted text in the Google search results preview excerpt


  4. Victor Mair said,

    November 27, 2014 @ 8:24 am


    Good sleuthing!

    Here are a couple of sites preserving the quotation that your search turned up:



    Note that the second instance has the same title and ends the way it did when I initially read and cited the NYT article, whereas the first instance has three additional paragraphs following the quotation that ended the article I quoted; moreover, it has a different title:

    "Hong Kong Protesters Reoccupy Parts of Mong Kok Neighborhood"

    Here are the last four paragraphs from this version of the article:


    The protesters, in a nod to the commercial significance of the location, chanted “Shopping! Shopping!” in Mandarin after the police demanded to know why they were there.

    The animosity of the protesters toward the police grew in mid-October when a television crew filmed officers kicking and beating one demonstrator, Ken Tsang. On Wednesday, the police said they had arrested seven officers suspected of carrying out the assault.
    Video Hong Kong News Cameras Capture Beating

    A local television news crew showed video of police officers in Hong Kong beating a handcuffed protester, who has been identified as Ken Tsang.

  5. Victor Mair said,

    November 27, 2014 @ 9:05 am


    Less than half an hour after I made the preceding comment, the first item seems to have disappeared from the web. However, if we enlarge the Google search thus, we can still find the quote about shopping on a few cited sites.

  6. Mike said,

    November 27, 2014 @ 11:36 am

    Last time I was in HK (3 years ago, after a 7-year absence), I observed anecdotally that a lot of the cops looked more like northeners than southern Chinese.

  7. Maureen Coffey said,

    November 28, 2014 @ 7:55 am

    It can't be aging industry. In English usage that adjective pertains to the noun industry and the industry, if anything, is just young. It can only be translated as "industries for the aging", "services for seniors" etc.

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