Different Languages, Different Learning Struggles

Vietnam has already proven its place in the world of tourism. The country boasts plenty of tourist spot destinations which remain preserved and serene. Vietnam is also one of the four remaining countries that adapt the communist rule. It also shows great economic performance and potential among South East Asian Nations.

Traveling to this magnificent country sounds interesting but one usual concern that travelers might have will be the language. The main language in Vietnam is Vietnamese or “Tiếng Việt”.

Learning Vietnamese can be handy if you want to travel and experience Vietnam. There are Vietnamese language schools in different countries with strong Vietnamese ties like USA, France, Canada, Laos, Cambodia, etc. You might find learning Tiếng Việt or Vietnamese quite enjoyable because of the following:

Vietnamese is part of the Mon-Khmer branch from the Austroasiatic language family. Its language is part of the South East Asian language groups used by Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos. Majority of its lexicon used in Science and Politics came from China mainly because of the 1000 years Chinese rule upon Vietnam.

Phonology

Like other South East Asian languages, Vietnamese consists large number of vowels. It has varying sounds and varying spelling for each vowel. Front and Central vowels are unrounded while back vowels are rounded. There are also diphthongs which are combination of monophthongs or single vowels.

The phonological features of Vietnamese is quite opposite with the German language. To learn German, in terms of vowels, just consists of short and long vowels. Depending on the word, their vowels can be stressed or unstressed. While Arabic only has 6 phonemes which are pairs of short and long vowels.

Though Vietnamese language has numerous accents (diacritics) and varying pronunciations for each letter, this could be the only crucial part in learning Vietnamese. Other aspects of language are quite easy to comprehend.

Alphabet

Vietnamese uses the Romanized alphabet. They do not use special characters like that of Japan, Cambodia, or South Korea. You can easily read words or signage if ever you are in Vietnam. Just remember to know the diacritics to properly pronounce them when talking to locals.

German language also uses Romanized alphabet with different accents or diacritics. While attempting to learn Arabic, you need to study its characters since they do not follow the Romanized alphabet.

Grammar

Vietnamese language has a simple system of words and Grammar. First, they do not have articles like “a” and “the”. They also do not have determiners for the gender of nouns.

German has specific articles for each gender of nouns. Der is for masculine nouns, Die  is for feminine nouns, and Das  for neuter nouns. Each article also follows several rules and guidelines depending on the context.

Arabic also uses articles which are joint at the end of the word, depicted by the sound ”-al”

Vietnamese Verbs and Tenses could also be learned in no time. Unlike other languages, its verbs has no plural plus the verbs do not change form or in other words, they are not inflected. They also have simple indicators regarding the tenses of language. They use đã to indicate the past, đang to signify the present, and sắp or sẽ to indicate the future.

While in both German and Arabic language, verbs change form depending on the tense expressed. There are several verb endings that correspond to the number and tense of each verb.

The Bottom Line

Learning Vietnamese language is not as hard as you think. Like any other languages, it might be overwhelming at the beginning. But soon, you will find your way to learning and mastering your second, third, or fourth language!