Learn Vietnamese

Hi,

My wife and I am are keen on learning Vietnamese to talk and write and read as we shall be moving to Hanoi for work in a few months.

Do you have any recommendations for us and anyone that could do this with us over Skype?

Thanks & Regards

Daniel

Hi there - what do you think your skill level is? I am also interested in learning the language and would like to potentially move to vietnam.

I learned to speak a very little before I came and was glad of it. But my ability to say new words, based on their spelling, was a fail. Such as the address of my apartment for the poor taxi driver. Here are some tips that I have posted here before:

Youtube learn vietnamese with donna
Pronunciation is the most difficult thing to learn, and listening is my biggest problem, usually it just sounds like noise. Donna taught me greetings, numbers, city names, you need those right away. If you are smart you can begin to infer pronunciation from example words. Vietnamese pronunciation rules are extremely consistent (within each geographic area).
Compared to English, example '-ough' in enough, cough, dough, slough (long u), though.
But to learn Vietnamese, you must unlearn English pronunciation rules for many letter and letter combinations. Donna's city name video will surprise you. How do you think you say Can Tho? Nha Trang?

Tones are also tough. To learn sounds, you really need to learn from a teacher one-on-one. I took lessons on Skype from a teacher on italki.com. I didn't make much progress because (1) I couldn't hear well enough, or see her subtle mouth movements, and subsequently (2) fighting with her, me all the time saying "I said it just like you did!"

I took lessons in Saigon (Vietnamese Language Garden) for 6 weeks, and I finally got a lot of the pronunciation and tone rules, by physical proximity to my good teachers. But then I was overwhelmed with the vocabulary that I was forgetting as fast as I learned. There are only two carryover words from English: OK and (h)ello.

You won't learn much in Vietnam by osmosis, like you can learn Spanish words living in California. Plan on going to a school, but in the meantime see how well you can pick it up on youtube and skype.

Ok now's a good time to get out my books. My wuhan resolution in April (thanks China) is spending an hour a day this month relearning my tiếng việt.

dscherwitzel :

Hi,

My wife and I am are keen on learning Vietnamese to talk and write and read as we shall be moving to Hanoi for work in a few months.

Do you have any recommendations for us and anyone that could do this with us over Skype?

Thanks & Regards

Daniel

You might start with the Duolingo app:

play. google. com/store/apps/details?id=com.duolingo

OceanBeach92107 :

You might start with the Duolingo app:

play. google. com/store/apps/details?id=com.duolingo

Unfortunately Duolingo doesn’t have a lot of listening exercises, it’s 90-95% written. If you want to test an app with a little more listening content, try L-Lingo Vietnamese (iOS, don’t know if it’s available on Android). It doesn’t have a lot of listening files, but a little bit more. Only the first 5 lessons are free.

gobot :

Youtube learn vietnamese with donna

Pronunciation is the most difficult thing to learn, and listening is my biggest problem, usually it just sounds like noise. Donna taught me greetings, numbers, city names, you need those right away. If you are smart you can begin to infer pronunciation from example words. Vietnamese pronunciation rules are extremely consistent (within each geographic area).
Compared to English, example '-ough' in enough, cough, dough, slough (long u), though.
But to learn Vietnamese, you must unlearn English pronunciation rules for many letter and letter combinations. Donna's city name video will surprise you. How do you think you say Can Tho? Nha Trang?

Here's the link to that YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/user/learnvietnamese

Age and environmental experience is a critical determinant in whether you can learn Vietnamese.  This is because of subtle hearing loss.  For those over 65 that loss is inevitable.  If you have been exposed to industrial noise, such as factory work or work with construction or farm machinery, that loss can begin much earlier.  I once asked one of my aides how a Vietnamese who is partially deaf learns to speak properly.  His reply was that "they don't."  If you are young and have good hearing, you probably can learn.

Biggest problem I have found with the Viet language is the regional variations.
At my wife's family farm it is fairly conventional and pretty much works here in Saigon, but most other of the family's neighbours and the local market is an odd mix of Khmer/Viet which if spoken at speed I find impossible to understand what the hell they are saying.

Removed.

To test your Vietnamese pronunciation you can use a voice analyzer. Tons are variation in pich, a voice analyzer show them to you allowing for direct feedback

kianegon :

To test your Vietnamese pronunciation you can use a voice analyzer. Tons are variation in pich, a voice analyzer show them to you allowing for direct feedback

They dont work very well with Vietnamese.

kianegon :

To test your Vietnamese pronunciation you can use a voice analyzer. Tons are variation in pich, a voice analyzer show them to you allowing for direct feedback

It would not work with Vietnamese language.  There are so many different pronunciations in the country a voice analyser will not be able to tell which is correct and which is not.  Just this morning alone in a small group of people, I listened to 7 different pronunciations and intonations of the same words, and these people represented only the area between Binh Dinh and Saigon, 1/5 of the country's length.

colinoscapee :
kianegon :

To test your Vietnamese pronunciation you can use a voice analyzer. Tons are variation in pich, a voice analyzer show them to you allowing for direct feedback

They dont work very well with Vietnamese.

Google Translate can be used for that too (the voice input feature). However, the only real (or relevant) test is to see if the locals understand what I’m trying to say ;)

Kurterino :
colinoscapee :
kianegon :

To test your Vietnamese pronunciation you can use a voice analyzer. Tons are variation in pich, a voice analyzer show them to you allowing for direct feedback

They dont work very well with Vietnamese.

Google Translate can be used for that too (the voice input feature). However, the only real (or relevant) test is to see if the locals understand what I’m trying to say ;)

Google translate for voice translation is very poor.

Kurterino :

Google Translate can be used for that too (the voice input feature). However, the only real (or relevant) test is to see if the locals understand what I’m trying to say ;)

I speak the language fluently and everybody understands me 100% of the time, but I cannot understand all the different pronunciations and intonations even from people with whom I converse almost daily.

Google Translate would not recognise half of the vocabulary being used in Hue and the Quang cities, let alone translating them.

Tone are variations in pich/ frequency.
A voice analyzer shows you those variations.
Each tone has a pattern, so it is pretty useful for checking your pronunciation in real-time.

Like at the beginning of my training, I was thinking I was doing three low tones when the last one was a high one. 
Now I can do the tone correctly, the voice analyzer is a great help because you can really "see" if your tone is good or not.  The teacher can tell you no that wrong, but seeing it is believing.

It turned out also that Vietnamese speakers are not always clear on what tone they are using :-)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqI3BCMIhJc

This video is about Chinese tone but the drawing shows what a tone should look like when using an analyzer.

Quite funny to try to say a sentence then have a native do it after you. The tones are always very well define.

kianegon :

Tone are variations in pich/ frequency.
A voice analyzer shows you those variations.
Each tone has a pattern, so it is pretty useful for checking your pronunciation in real-time.

Like at the beginning of my training, I was thinking I was doing three low tones when the last one was a high one. 
Now I can do the tone correctly, the voice analyzer is a great help because you can really "see" if your tone is good or not.  The teacher can tell you no that wrong, but seeing it is believing.

It turned out also that Vietnamese speakers are not always clear on what tone they are using :-)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqI3BCMIhJc

This video is about Chinese tone but the drawing shows what a tone should look like when using an analyzer.

Quite funny to try to say a sentence then have a native do it after you. The tones are always very well define.

Why dont you add a link to an analyzer that works for VN.

The difference in tone between the different region will translate to different patterns with the voice analyzer.

https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Vietnamese_ … e_analysis

On PC Praat is a good tool and free

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Praat

It is used by the therapist/researcher mostly.

On the phone ( easier to use than the PC) I am using "voice analyst " a 5$ app.

My Vietnamese teacher was skeptical at first but now has all her students download and use it.

Ciambella :
kianegon :

To test your Vietnamese pronunciation you can use a voice analyzer. Tons are variation in pich, a voice analyzer show them to you allowing for direct feedback

It would not work with Vietnamese language.  There are so many different pronunciations in the country a voice analyser will not be able to tell which is correct and which is not.  Just this morning alone in a small group of people, I listened to 7 different pronunciations and intonations of the same words, and these people represented only the area between Binh Dinh and Saigon, 1/5 of the country's length.

In theory the voice analyser would work, but it would take weeks or months of training... Eventually they do learn,  but in this case the time scale and effort are not productive

Yes learning take several weeks, the way I did it is :

- read texts in English doing only one tone.  Like read but doing a low tone on each syllable.  Doing tone is muscular control. None tonal language has, in fact, tone but they are not fixed on one syllable but use to convey emotion.
Your brain just have to learn that tone is not free.

If you read a text for 10 minutes doing only one tone, you will "know" it. After doing this I could do each tone on command. The thing which takes time is to be able to do them without thinking about it.

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