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The University of Hong Kong,
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French has been taught at the University of Hong Kong since the 30s. In 1937 was published the first issue of "Chanteclerc", journal of the then HKU Cercle Français. Several issues of the journal came about subsequently, in which contributors related their experience, expressed their opinions, wrote literary pieces or simply reflected on the life in Hong Kong and in the region prior to the war. In one of these articles, the French Consul General J. Lerquin shared his concerns over the all dominant talking movies which posed, in his view, a direct menace to cultural diversity. The Consul portrayed the cinema as a vector of stereotyped and global attitudes bound to lead us straight into an uniformized world. At the time the Consul wrote these remarks, the cinema had not even reached the technicolor stage.

After the war, the French studies had various fortunes but the subject was always present on the campus, hosted either by the department of English or that of Comparative Literature. French was also widely taught in local schools and generally understood as forming part of a well-rounded education.

Today, the French studies, located in the School of Modern Language and Cultures, Faculty of Arts, are vigorous and ever-developing. Every year, hundreds of students enrol in its various courses and programmes and many travel to France for summer stays or longer exchanges. As such, the French studies, together with the other programmes in foreign languages taught in this University, help promoting HKU as an international institution open to the outside world. | DCM

 


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