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Interesting Vietnamese materials

10.15.08 | admin | In vocabulary, Vietnamese

The Vietnamese word for leather is the same as the Vietnamese word for skin, da.  However, the tropical climate in Saigon means that there is little chance for people to actually wear clothes made out of “skin”.  More likely they would be wearing bông, which means cotton but can also mean flower. Nhựa is the word for plastic but it can also mean tar, resin, and even opium.  The word for stone is đá which also means ice or to kick as in đá bóng, football. The word for cement, xi măng, is based pronunciation of the French word ciment.

Vàng is gold but it also means the color yellow and in the case of hair it means blonde. Silver is bạc which also means money, as well as meager and ungrateful.  I guess that means that gold would make the better gift.  The hán-việt words for gold and silver are kim and ngân which together mean jewelry.  Kim loại means metals while kim cương means diamond (really hard metal).  Ngân hàng is another word you’re likely to see which means bank.

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