Why do you learn Vietnamese?

My name is Rosie, Vietnamese pdf creator :star_struck:. What’ motivate you to learn Vietnamese?
Have you ever been Vietnam before you learn Vietnamese? :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


I study Vietnamese because I live in Saigon and love the country.
In Beijing I was so used to being able to speak with everyone, not needing translators nor restrict myself to living in the "Expat Bubble because I could speak Mandarin.
That suddenly all changed when I got to Saigon. It was quite frustrating to suddenly be the “dumb foreigner” again. So, even though I had sworn myself to never study a tonal language again (mastering Chinese tones was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life), I started learning Vietnamese.

It’s really quite fun, though I can get a bit frustrated with locals in some parts of Saigon always wanting to speak English to any foreigner they see. It is understandable because so many foreigners here cannot speak Vietnamese, so I think we really need more foreigners living in Saigon to study Vietnamese.

I am probably A2 level now and it has made my life here a lot richer and more interesting.
I still hate the tones though…


As a foreigner living and working in Saigon, learning Vietnamese seems like an impossible task for me. Every time I speak out what I’ve learned, my Vietnamese colleagues try to correct my pronunciation which sometimes made me frustrated. I believe that it happens to all tonal language learners. Thanks to LTL Vietnamese class, I feel more confident as I can practice with other foreigners and make mistakes together. I am sure I can be at an intermediate level someday. Wish me luck.


Good luck @jiyoung-Vietnamese-VN_Intro - Vietnamese does seem hard but it is certainly not impossible. I’m sure with the LTL teachers you’re going to fly!!

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Welcome to the Forum.
Yes, the pronunciation in Vietnamese is a huge challenge. I think even more so than Mandarin.
And the worst thing is that they dont seem to be able to agree amongst each other what the right pronunciaton should be :smiley:
Hang in there, it gets better - well at least it got (a bit) better for me by now.
And I wont stop studying until it got a lot better.

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I am on the opposite path as you. I lived in Sai Gon from 2000(Yes, there was not a single KFC in town and only one ATM!) to 2011, then a year in Da Nang and then came to China in 2012.

I have probably forgotten a lot of my Vietnamese, though I’m sure it would come back quickly if I was in the country. Somewhere during that time I passed the intermediate proficiency level test at the Natl University. I guess was around an HSK 5 or 6 equivalent when I left.

I agree and I find Chinese are much less likely to do this than the VNs. It’s probably to do with there having been westerners around for a long time: French, American soldiers, and now backpackers. Plus all of Quan 1 is pretty tourist heavy.

Actually, when I came to China I went 6 years without studying because I didn’t want t go through it all again. Then in 2018 my job gave me a free Chinese Pod subscription and I couldn’t resist. Now I regret wasting that 6 years :cry:

Anyway, better late than never. Although the tones are quite different, and the “dau huyen” confused my 4th tone a bit, I found learning VN first helped me learn the Chinese tones a bit easier. If nothing else, I could hear them immediately and knew the importance of them right off the bat. I also feel like grammar is somewhat similar, lack of tenses etc. I think Chinese grammar more complicated.

Chuc may man!

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haha, yes we are on opposite paths, very interesting.
I find it confuses me a lot when there are words that are similar in Vientamese and Mandarin however they have different tones. For example vấn đề is 问题 wèn tí (just used your awesome pinyin converter to put tones on this, thanks Max!) is very similar pronunciation but the tones go exactly the opposite way.

Gives me a headache. Similar for you probably @Ian_Robin-Vietnamese-VN_Intro ?

Ive found that a little. I’ve recently learned 丰富 fēng fù (phong phú in VN)and just the other day I was using it and screwed it up because of that. But I think overall being able to very quickly remember those words, like English/chinese cognates (ie. kafei) make up for that confusion.

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I’m Vietnamese who learn Chinese. I found that it makes a lot of sense when I translate from Chinese to Vietnamese and reverse. They share some similar pronunciation for example ba (father) = 爸爸 (ba ba).

Yes I agree overall it’s an advantage because so many words sound similar, which outweighs the added confusion of having to remember different tones for words that often sounds almost exactly the same otherwise.