de / d' Hong Kong


Chinese, Hong Kong
Is Hong Kong a masculine or feminine noun? Does it really matter?

Also, is it "Je viens de Hong Kong" or "Je viens d'Hong Kong" ?

Thanks! Merci!
  • niko

    Senior Member
    French (France)

    I don't think it really matters. You must use "à", with "aller" when speaking of Hong Kong. Je vais à Hong Kong cet été.


    Senior Member
    It doesn't matter.
    We say : je viens de Hong-Kong because of the "H".

    Je viens de New-York.
    Je viens de Hong-Kong.
    Je viens d'Islamabad.


    New Member
    There are rules, usually based on the origin of the words, but usually one should check in a dictionary to see whether the vowel placed before the "h" should be kept or not.
    When "h" works as a consonnant, the preceding vowel should be kept. It is called "h aspiré" in French "aspirated h" ex: le hérisson.
    There are lists of exceptions, verbs in the Bescherelle, also, in the Larousse and Robert Franch dictionaries, all words that start with a "mute h" are mentioned with an asterix.

    Hong-Kong has an aspirated h so in French we should keep "je viens de Hong-Kong". It has nothing to do with its genre.
    h aspiré — Wikipédia

    "En général, en français moderne, le « h » initial est aspiré pour les mots d'origine germanique et muet pour les mots d'origine latine." de Wikipedia : Peter A. Machonis, Histoire de la langue : Du latin à l’ancien français, University Press of America, 1990, 261 p. (ISBN 978-0-8191-7874-9, lire en ligne [archive]), p. 92-93


    Senior Member
    In fact I think you can say both as HK is both a town (feminine) and a country (masculine).
    I don't know why, but I would say, for example, 'nous avons visité le vieux Hong-Kong' for the city, not 'la vieille Hong-Kong'. But that's maybe because it would imply 'le vieux quartier'.


    Senior Member
    US English
    I (a French learner, not a native French speaker) thought that if an /h/ was "aspirated" it wasn't pronounced, just that there wasn't an elision with the preceding word if that word ended in a vowel sound. Either way, the context tells us which of the meanings of the French sentence is "I've come from Hong Kong." (it's the place I was before I came here) or "I am from Hong Kong." (= "Je suis Hong-Kongais(e).") is intended. (Hong Kong is not a country.)