Free Vietnamese Lessons for Fun!

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Free Vietnamese Lessons for Fun!

Postby imbecilica » Mon 06 Jul 2009 11:58 pm

Page 1

I've decided to post up some free lessons on Vietnamese just for fun and see how much I really know. For the time being, these lessons will be teaching written Vietnamese.

CONTENTS

...Page 1
x - Overview
xi - Writing Systems

...Page 2

____________________________________________________________________________________
Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt)
____________________________________________________________________________________
x. Overview

The Vietnamese language is the most spoken Austro-Asiatic language (which includes Khmer) with around 90 million speakers. For an entire millennium Vietnam was part of the Chinese empire and as such received a great deal of cultural influence reflected in the Vietnamese customs and beliefs, mentality and yes…gastronomy! It was also during this time that the Vietnamese language was changing dramatically. As much as 60-70% of the vocabulary is derived from Chinese and the Vietnamese even adopted and adapted the Chinese script for their own usage <see Writing Systems>. It is believed that prior to Chinese domination in around the 2nd century BC; the Vietnamese language had not yet undergone tonogenesis, had a richer set of consonant clusters (mk, pl, kr, bl…) and had inflectional morphology.

Despite its relatively long history (at least 4-5000 years old), in Vietnam, it has only been the official language of administration and education since 1954 after the end of French colonialism. With the Fall of Saigon on April 30th 1975, millions of boat people resettled overseas where their fight for political democratisation in the mother country is still raging on. The official writing system is known as Chữ Quốc Ngữ.

xi. Writing systems

Chữ Khoa Đẩu (蝌蚪字) - The “tadpole” script is believed to be the ancient Vietnamese script prior to Chinese influence. Frog-like etchings have been discovered in caves, boulders and on Đông Sơn drums and various other artefacts.

Chữ Hán (汉字) – Chữ Hán (Chinese characters) or Chữ Nho (儒字 – Characters of Confucianism) refer to the Chinese characters themselves. The official writing from around the year 0 up until as recently as the late 19th century were mostly done in Classical Chinese or Hán Văn (汉文).

Chữ Nôm (喃字) – The “Southern script” or “vernacular script” was used to write the native Vietnamese language, often side by side with the Chinese characters themselves. This was a set of modified or newly coined characters.

Chữ Quốc Ngữ (国语字) – The “National language script” ironically was developed by European missionaries during the 16th and 17th centuries who attempted to convert the Vietnamese people into Catholics. The man accredited with this modified Latin based script was a Frenchman named Alexandre de Rhodes.
Last edited by imbecilica on Tue 07 Jul 2009 12:09 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Free Vietnamese Lessons for Fun!

Postby imbecilica » Mon 06 Jul 2009 11:59 pm

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Re: Free Vietnamese Lessons for Fun!

Postby imbecilica » Mon 06 Jul 2009 11:59 pm

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Okay, you can post your replies now!
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Re: Free Vietnamese Lessons for Fun!

Postby imbecilica » Tue 07 Jul 2009 1:20 am

Hm, It seems I am unable to edit my previous posts :(

1.1. The Alphabet

Numerically speaking, the standard modern Vietnamese alphabet consists of 12 vowels (y is considered a vowel) and all English consonants except for f, j, w and z with the addition of đ and the digraphs ch, gi, kh, ng, nh, ph, qu, th and tr for a total of 25 consonants – 37 letters in total.

a ă â e ê i o ô ơ u ư y
b c(*1) ch d đ g(*2) gi h (k) kh l m n ng(*3) nh p ph qu r s t th tr v x


NB: For orthographic reasons, (*1) is replaced by k preceding e, ê, i and y. Similarly, (*2) and (*3) are replaced by gh and ngh respectively for the same situation.

1.2. Initials

Each of the 37 letters can act as an initial.

1.3. Finals

The letters which cannot be finals are: ă, â and every consonant except for ch, m, n, ng, nh, p and t.

1.4. Diphthongs and Triphthongs

A > ai, ao, au, ay
 > âu, ây
E > eo
Ê > êu
I > ia (*1), iê, iêu (*2), iu
O > oa, oai, oe, oeo, oi
Ô > ôi
Ơ > ơi
U > ua(*3), uâ, uê, ui, uôi, uơ, uy, uya(*4), uyê, uyu
Ư > ưa (*5), ưi, ươ, ươi, ươu, ưu,
Y > yêu

NB: Again for orthographic reasons, (*1, 3, 4 and 5) are replaced respectively with iê, uô, uyê and ươ when they are not finals. (*2) is replaced by yêu when the triphthong is by itself.

Example 1/

So now that we know the alphabet, let’s have a look at how they build up! (Of course, not all combinations are used). Let’s take kh as the initial and see how many possible combinations with vowels or diph-/triphthongs we can make.

A > kha, khai, khao, khau, khay
 > khâu, khây
E > kheo
Ê > khêu
I > khia, khiê-, khiêu, khiu
O > khoa, khoai, khoe, khoeo, khoi
Ô > khôi
Ơ > khơi
U > khua, khuâ-, khuê, khui, khuôi, khuơ, khuy, khuya, khuyê-, khuyu
Ư > khưa, khưi, khươ-, khươi, khươu, khưu

Example 2/

Examples of where c, g and ng assume their alternate forms.

Ca, co, cư > kê, ki
Ga, go, gư > ghê, ghi
Nga, ngo, ngư > nghê, nghi

Example 3/

Some examples of those vowels and diph-/triphthongs which have alternate spellings.

Kia > kiên
Cua > cuôn
Cưa > cươn
Kiêu - yêu
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Re: Free Vietnamese Lessons for Fun!

Postby Sobekhotep » Tue 07 Jul 2009 2:21 am

imbecilica wrote:Chữ Hán (字)

imbecilica wrote:Hán Văn (文).

imbecilica wrote:Chữ Quốc Ngữ (国语字)

Please, no more communist simplified! :mrgreen:


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Re: Free Vietnamese Lessons for Fun!

Postby imbecilica » Tue 07 Jul 2009 3:32 am

Haha, I was lazy so I used the simplified pinyin method.
感恩伴!

I'm currently teaching a few foreigners Vietnamese vis msn hehe. Hopefully soon they will able to write things like: Tui chưa từng gặp ai mà điên khùng như mày! (I've never met anyone as crazy as you before!)
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Re: Free Vietnamese Lessons for Fun!

Postby Sobekhotep » Thu 09 Jul 2009 4:57 am

imbecilica wrote:Haha, I was lazy so I used the simplified pinyin method.

You don't have a pinyin IME for traditional?
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Re: Free Vietnamese Lessons for Fun!

Postby imbecilica » Sun 12 Jul 2009 2:40 am

@^ Apparently not! It's either Zhuyin (I'm not used to the keyboard layout just yet) or a HK based method which I don't know how to use.

2. Greetings

There is a saying in Vietnamese - "Tiếng chào cao hơn măm cổ" (A greeting is more valued than a royal banquet) which emphasises the importance of showing respect in Vietnamese culture. There's also a saying which goes - "Bé nhỏ như khoai, cứ vai mà gọi" (Child is as small as a potato, so by my title you shall call me), but that will be touched on later as you'll soon realise the craziness of addressing each other appropriately.

2.1. Simple Greetings

Now we can start learning some basic phrases. In this section we'll replace the word I/me with the generic tôi and you with bạn.

I/me - Tôi
You - Bạn
Hello - Xin chào/Chào bạn
How are you? - Bạn khoẻ không?
Fine thanks - Khoẻ lắm cám ơn
Not bad - Không tệ
Not well - Không khoẻ
And you? - Còn bạn?
Thank you - Cám ơn/Cảm ơn
Nice to meet you - Rất hân hạnh được gặp bạn
I have to go - Tôi phải đi
Goodbye - Xin chào
See you again - Hẹn gặp lại
Also - Cũng
Very - Rất
Truly - Thật
Sorry - Xin lỗi
Take care - Bảo trọng

Example conversation/

A: Hello! / Xin chào!
B: Hello! / Chào bạn!
A: How are you? / Bạn khoẻ không?
B: I'm fine thanks, and you? / Tôi khoẻ lắm cám ơn, còn bạn?
A: I'm also fine, sorry, I have to go see you again! / Tôi cũng khoẻ, xin lỗi, tôi phải đi hẹn gặp lại!
B: Take care! / Bảo trọng!
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Re: Free Vietnamese Lessons for Fun!

Postby Neqitan » Sun 12 Jul 2009 2:53 am

Then just don't use the the Pinyin IME provided by Microsoft, it only supports jian characters. :)

I've been told that Google's Chinese IME is pretty good and widely used:
http://www.mydigitallife.info/2007/04/1 ... om-google/
http://www.liewcf.com/blog/archives/200 ... ut-method/
(For traditional characters press Ctrl + Shift + T, or go to Tools/Properties and select the option for traditional characters.)
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Re: Free Vietnamese Lessons for Fun!

Postby Sobekhotep » Sun 12 Jul 2009 7:02 am

Neqitan wrote:Then just don't use the the Pinyin IME provided by Microsoft, it only supports jian characters. :)

I've been told that Google's Chinese IME is pretty good and widely used:
http://www.mydigitallife.info/2007/04/1 ... om-google/
http://www.liewcf.com/blog/archives/200 ... ut-method/
(For traditional characters press Ctrl + Shift + T, or go to Tools/Properties and select the option for traditional characters.)

Since when does Google make IMEs? Do they have any for other languages?

@imbecilica, how do you pronounce your vowels? I've read conflicting analyses for some of Vietnamese vowels. For you, is <ư> [ɨ] or [ɯ]? I would think it would have to be the latter because of it's prominence in diphthongs and since there is no approximant which corresponds to [ɨ].
How about your <ơ>? Is it [əː] or [ɤː]?
And <â> is just a short version of <ơ>, right?
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