Chinese and English are the official languages of Hong Kong. It is the
Government's policy to develop and maintain a Civil Service that is proficient
in both written Chinese and English and conversant in Cantonese, Putonghua
and spoken English. While reports and publications of public interest
issued by the Government are available in both languages, correspondence
with the public is in the language appropriate to the recipients. The
Official Languages Division of the Civil Service Bureau implements the
Government's language policy in the Civil Service. It provides language-related
services to all government bureaux and departments. In addition to providing
translation and interpretation services, its Official Languages Officers
also draft speeches and edit important documents in Chinese for senior
officers. Simultaneous interpretation services are provided by its Simultaneous
Interpreters at official meetings when necessary.
The division also provides research and support services.
It has been promoting the wider use of Chinese in the Civil Service through
a wide range of activities including seminars and lectures on Chinese
language and culture. It runs a Helpdesk which answers telephone enquiries
from civil servants on the use of official languages. The division develops
writing aids and reference materials, such as guidebooks on official Chinese
writing and English-Chinese glossaries of terms commonly used in government
departments. In order to arouse the interest of civil servants in Chinese
and English, it publishes a quarterly newsletter entitled Word Power.
These publications and reference materials can be accessed at the Civil
Service Bureau's home page.