Sunday, July 16, 2006

Ten toi la Florine, Toi la nguoi Canada.

This is about all of the Vietnamese I have learned so far, with the addition of "vang" (yes), "khong" (no) and "cam on" (thank you). This language is pretty tricky for several reasons. First and foremost, the 6 tones are hard to hear nevermind say, but also the alphabet is similar enough to European languages to give you a false sense of familiarity, when in fact the vowels and some consonants are pronounced quite differently (d is pronounced z for example).

I have been working on my Vietnamese in part by watching quiz shows on TV where they say the question and then it is written on the screen, same thing with the answers. Who said that TV wasn't good for you! The other night I fully realized the extent of the difference between the northern and southern accents, though, when I saw a news program from HCMC that had subtitles so that the Hanoians would understand! The southern accent has a lot of "y" sounds... it kind of sounds like they are playing the audio track backwards!

I hope that all my attempts to pick up a tiny bit of the language here in Hanoi will not be in vain when I am in the South!

Speaking of which, I hope to be in Hanoi for one more week only, but were are waiting for official permission to go to the rural communities. Official permission is of the utmost importance in Vietnam, that much I have learned already.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Florine!! Wow -- you really are a world away. I can't even contemplate having to ask for "permission" to go somewhere. When you learn "Where is your nearest shopping district" let me know -- that might come in handy if I ever find myself in Vietnam ;)Love, Lena.