Whether traveling around Vietnam for 3 weeks with a backpack, or staying here for an extended period of time, it may be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the language. Many Vietnamese speak nothing or very poor English, so many everyday situations become much easier and uncomplicated if one is a bit Vietnamese. If you are a geek, Vietnamese is a pure gift shop.
About the Grammar
It is not the grammar you should fear if you throw yourself into learning Vietnamese, in fact, that part of the language is very simple. For the danh tieng viet you can find the best choice now.
The Vietnamese language has no irregular verbs, the nouns are not divided into genders, and the spelling is very phonetic (resting on pronunciationa bit like Norwegian). Yes and then the Vietnamese alphabet basically coincides with the Latin we know from Europeunlike other countries in the region (e.g. Thailand).
There are, however, a lot of challenges in pronunciation. Vietnamese can have 6 pronunciations of the same word, depending on how the vocals look. Here is the classic example that is often used when the conversation falls on the language.
- Ma = Ghost
- Mã = Horse
- Má = Men
- Mạ = Rice seedling
- May = Mother
- Mả = grave
It is therefore the small accents above or below the are crucial to the meaning and pronunciation of the word. The alphabet consists of 17 consonants and 12 vowels, and the language is thus largely built up in the emphasis on the individual words.
The Vietnamese alphabet
But here the happy madness does not stop, because the same word with the same pronunciation can mean something completely different depending on the context it is put into. A bit like Danish, where “hill” can mean several different things in different contexts, even whether the pronunciation is similar. This gives Vietnamese a new dimension, which we find very sympathetic. It is imperative that the speaker and the listener adapt to each other on many levels before communication makes sense. The language simply requires a high interpersonal understanding.
Another rather strange side of the Vietnamese language is that there is no personal place wordthey do not have a word for example “you”. Instead, one uses terms for kinship (e.g. brother, uncle or friend) which are then used depending on age and gender. If one is called an uncle (bác) then it is a respectful way to address a man who is somewhat older than himself.
But in reality, the biggest barrier to learning Vietnamese is that the task seems almost unprecedented and that most foreigners living in Vietnam work and travel in an international environment where English is the main language.