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KTSW Translates: Vietnamese

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By Tiger Shi
Web Content Contributor

South of China is the country of Vietnam.

Close up photo of a globe on Vietnam.
Vietnam on the globe by Tiger Shi.

I have not been to Vietnam. My parents planned to go last year but didn’t because of the pandemic. Vietnamese culture has always felt familiar to me because of its historical roots that resemble Chinese culture.

For one, they do have a New Year celebration called Tet which is celebrated much like Chinese New Year. From lion dances to receiving red packets, the Vietnamese and Chinese culture are somewhat close.

The Vietnamese language is also similar to Cantonese but there are some distinctions. Vietnamese is a pretty unique language as some words’ pronunciation sound similar to Chinese when spoken while looking like French in print. 

The Vietnamese writing system has changed over the years. It uses a Latin-based script, but before that, Vietnamese actually incorporated Chinese characters just like how Korean and Japanese did before developing their own alphabets.

It is fascinating how China inspired and influenced its neighbors linguistically and culturally. As for Vietnamese writing, it would be very cool to learn it. You can find Vietnamese widely spoken right here in Houston, Texas.

Nhi Le from the Vietnamese Student Association at Texas State will be teaching some basic phrases!   

“Hello.”

“Goodbye.”

“Yes.”

“No.”

“Good morning!”

“Goodnight!”

“Good afternoon!”

“Good evening!”

“How are you?”

“Nice to meet you.”

“My name is…”

“See you again!”

“Please.”

“Thank you.”

“You are welcome.”

“Sorry”

“It’s ok/No problem.”

“What is this?”

“So delicious!”

I am happy this the last language that KTSW will be translating since I will be graduating, and therefore leaving the Web Content department and KTSW as a whole.

To learn more about the languages discussed in KTSW Translates, check out the Texas State Chinese Students Scholars Association, German Program, Spanish Program and Vietnamese Student Association.

Featured image by Tiger Shi via Canva.

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