Vietnamese language

Vietnamese language called” Tiếng Việt” is the language of Viet or Kinh people. It is the official language of Vietnam and the second language of ethnic minorities.

Vietnamese language

Vietnam has 54 ethnic groups. So each ethnic group has its language. But the Viet or King people occupy 86% of the population. So, in this text, we talk about the Viet language or Vietnamese langue, Tiếng Việt, as the national language.

History of Vietnamese language:

Tiếng Việt is one of the most spoken languages ​​of the Austro – Asiatic family.

This language is based on the civilization of irrigated rice since the early years of our era with pictogram writing.

For millennium contacts with China for different reasons: Invasion, economy … Vietnamese language began having influences of the Chinese language: A lot of Chinese words are vietnamized, derived into his way until now.

Since the development of Confucianism in the 11th century – a theory to construct the monarchy regime coming from China, feudal administration of different dynasties of Vietnam have used the Chinese language – Chu Nho or Han Chinese  considered as scholar language and derived Chinese – Chu Nom to train officials for the country. At the same time, the original popular language was widely used by people in everyday life.

From 1553, after coming to Macao, the Portuguese arrived in Vietnam. Firstly, Catholic missionaries as Gaspar do Amaral, Antonia Barbosa De Pina … have heard the local pronunciations to write in Latin the name of visited places.

This work became very popular and developed quickly. In 1640, De Pina wrote the first dictionary: Vietnamese – Portuguese language.

After, Alexandre de Rhode, the Jesuit missionary coming from France has created Vietnamese – Portuguese – Latin dictionary.

At the first time, Vietnamese language has been used to evangelize the Catholic religion.

But this language was difficult to be the national language because of the conservative mandarins of the royal court of Nguyen dynasty who thought that the Chinese – language was sacred.

It must wait for the arrival of the French colonialist and weakness of Nguyen Royal Court in the beginning of 20th century to have a new class of young intellectuals wanting renewal who promulgated the teaching of this language based on Latin, called now ‘’Quoc Ngu” – National Language.

Features of Vietnamese language:

There are 28 alphabets in the language which is mono syllable:

a ă â b c d e đ ê g h i k l m n o ô ơ p q r s t u v x y u

There are seven different accents that change the pronunciation and meaning of each word. This is the main difficulty for all foreigners who are trying to learn Vietnamese.

After its creation and development history, the Vietnamese language becomes a language of poesy, literature, very fine and rich in expressions, proverbs…