Once you’ve learned how to pronounce Vietnamese and have a handle on the relatively simple-to-learn grammar, learning Vietnamese is mostly a matter of picking up vocabulary. What you’ll learn in books is the the tip of the iceberg, and may even include a lot of words that aren’t so frequently used.
For English, there is the […]
Before the present day Vietnamese writing system, Quoc Ngu, based on the Latin alphabet with diacritic marks for vowels and tones, there was a writing system based on Chinese characters called Chu Nom. Chu Nom, like Japanese kanji, used Chinese characters with localized pronunciation and original meaning. But this was more or less just a […]
Vietnamese and Khmer are the two well-known languages in the Mon-Khmer language group which is most of the Austro-Asiatic language family, the only national languages in the family. Languages in this family are mostly in Southeast Asia but are also found in India and Bangladesh. The map of the haplogroup O2b-M9 may explain why and […]
Curious how speakers in other countries including non-native speakers pronounce English? Check out the Speech Accent Archive.
Sure, it’s natural to make fun of someone’s accent. But what makes someone’s English sound non-native? From a linguists point of view, this site breaks down various speakers accents and makes generalizations about their phonology, how they mispronounce things.
For example, […]
It’s easy to say “I love you” in Vietnamese. It’s either “anh yêu em” if you’re the man or “em yêu anh” if you’re the woman.
But correctly saying “you” in Vietnamese can take some serious effort to master.
As far as I’m aware, this is the most comprehensive explanation of pronouns in Vietnamese on the Internet.
In Vietnamese, like many Asian languages, nouns require classifier words to be counted. Where in English we say “two boxes” in Vietnamese they say “hai cái hộp”, translated “two thing-classifier box”. For “one cup of coffee” the Vietnamese is “một ly cà phê” or “one glass/classifier coffee”. Classifiers are nearly always required, but many times […]
Recently I came across the question of translating the word “unlock” into another language. In Vietnamese the word would be translated “mo khoa” or “open lock”. This got me thinking why they didn’t just use the word “lock” with another word that means to undo, the same function as “un-” in English.
When I thought about […]
Today I ran across an academic paper of questionable standards on the possible relations or origins of Vietnamese pronouns from a number of languages including Chinese languages, other Southeast Asian languages, and even French, English, and Japanese.
The paper is titled “Đại Danh Từ Tiếng Việt” (Vietnamese pronouns) and the authors are Nguyễn Đức Hiệp and […]
I just heard of a good way to use your new Vietnamese language skills — use Vietnamese phrases as your passwords! Who is going to guess bu1nthi5tnu7o71ng (which comes out to bún thịt nướng using the VNI typing system) yet it’s still easy to remember. [My password on this blog isn’t using this system so […]
In Vietnamese one can decrease the effect of an adjective by doubling it. For example, to say something is “vui” means it’s fun but if you say “vui vui” it’s only a little fun. Vietnamese adjectives can be doubled in this way without any changes it the tone is ngang (no tone, as […]