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 help desk 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 enhance 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.