Lunar calendar / Learning Vietnamese
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Aug 16, 2012 10:54 PM Last Post By: ralphnhatrang
Aug 9, 2012 7:52 AM
Lunar calendar / Learning VietnameseHello! I have a couple of questions for my upcoming Vietnam trip later this fall.
1. Can anyone refer me to the lunar calendar for 2012? We are considering a tour up to Ha Giang area but due to timing may miss the Sunday markets. I know there are other markets that rotate on the days of the "tiger" and "monkey" so I wanted to see if we would overlap with one of those. But I can't seem to find this information anywhere! Perhaps I am googling the wrong search terms (or just don't understand how each animal coincides with the moon phases).
2. I know Vietnamese is a very difficult language but I'd like to learn some basics- e.g., greetings, please/thank you, how to order food, and numbers so I can bargain. :) Does anyone have a recommendation of a good tutorial program? I'm willing to pay for one if it is helpful. I downloaded some audio clips from LP or Rough Guides (can't remember which) but they were far too complex. I need something for a total beginner.
Thanks so much.
Aug 9, 2012 8:29 PM
Aug 9, 2012 10:00 PM
2You can buy Rosetta Stone Cd at places that flog off the movies and software, all over Vietnam. Costs about a $1. The real one from the net costs about $250.
Aug 10, 2012 3:23 AM
3"You can buy Rosetta Stone Cd at places that flog off the movies and software, all over Vietnam. Costs about a $1. The real one from the net costs about $250."
Well I'd kinda like to learn before I go, but thanks for the tip. Plus I gave a way my portable CD player like 5 years ago, lol. Did you find this program helpful? I've heard mixed things about Rosetta Stone (not for Vietnamese though).
"Go to google.com.vn and type in "2012 Vietnam Lunar Calendar" and the first hit has it in English when you click Translate this page."
Thank you, I had tried that page but it only partially translates for me for some reason. And whenever I try to select another month besides the current one I get an error. Perhaps you could clarify my confusion on a couple of points though- the little blue numbers represent the lunar" day, no? And it starts on the New Moon each month? How do the animals correspond to the lunar days? I was under the impression there were only 12 animals, but there appear to be 30 lunar days? Sorry if this is a really ignorant question- I could calculate from a full moon calendar (which I found no problem) if I just understood this missing link......
Aug 10, 2012 1:37 PM
4Vietnamese is not a difficult language. It's difficult for Westerners to pronounce because of the tonal system, but that can be overcome. It uses Latin letters with diacritical-like markings that are very helpful in pronunciation. The vocabulary is small and the grammar is regular.
EverydayViet has some tutorials that also showcase one of Vietnam's most attractive features and can teach you the basics.
Vietnam uses (in addition to our Gregorian calendar) the Chinese calendar, which you should read about.
Aug 11, 2012 6:24 AM
5OMG. Thank you Malvolio!!! I second the motion that Vietnamese is NOT a difficult language; it is simply different. However, since you "know" this without even trying to learn anything, it will be hard for you. Too bad that it'll be too difficult for you to learn that the grammar/sentence structure is nearly the same.
If you only want the simple, basic tourist phrases, there's a ton of Youtube videos which can help you.
Aug 12, 2012 6:02 AM
6Geez hobo, is it really necessary to be so condescending? I find this forum informative in some ways but there always seems to a collection of folks eager to tear others down. I guess what I should have said was, languages in general are difficult for ME, and Vietnamese is unlike any language I've attempted to learn. As I said I have in fact listened to clips, but they were said so fast it sounded like complete gibberish to me. I was looking for something that started at the fundamentals and teach the different tones, alphabet, etc. perhaps it was"easy" for you to learn on YouTube, but that's not my speed. Even the previous poster acknowledged the tricky pronunciation.
Even if I am only able to master the "tourist" phrases, as you call them, I'd like to be understood. Helpful hint: if you don't have anything helpful to offer, perhaps just resist the urge to hit the reply button. You obviously have experience to share, but instead chose to ridicule me.
Aug 13, 2012 6:10 AM
7Ignore the condexcending people. They have nothing better to do.
I learned vietnamese on my own and had a lot of problems with reading and writing it. It is not a visually impaired friendly language. Neither is Thai.
There are some youtube videos teaching basic Vietnamese. Once you get to Vietnam, you can buy beginners' study material at the Social Studies college in HCM City. Above all, don't give up! Practice, maybe join facebook and find a vietnamese student to chat with on skype. Many students like to learn English so you could do an exchange:)
Aug 13, 2012 11:05 AM
Was that what he was trying to do, condescend? I couldn't make out what he was getting at.
I spent a week or so in the Central Highlands (where English is slightly more commonly spoken than Medieval Latin) with some phrase-books and tutorial material. By the end, I could have simple conversations with people. Vietnamese struck me as a simple, logical language. One of the books I had said you should expect to be able to learn it in six months of study, which makes it about 10 times easier than English.
If you mean, there are a lot of little squiggly things that are meaningful, yup that's true.
Thai is freaking impossible ! 80 characters in the alphabet, all squiggles and loops. It's for people who think that the merciful death caused by trying to learn Chinese characters is too kind and want to draw things out.
That's an understatement. It seems everybody in urban Vietnam wants to learn English and help you learn Vietnamese. I was in an elevator with the cleaning ladies for the hotel and they gave me some language tips.
Aug 16, 2012 10:54 PM
9#4 - "The vocabulary is small and the grammar is regular."
I have a Viet-English dictionary with 250,000 head words and am adding new words to it almost daily. Do you consider 250,000 words as a 'small' vocabulary? The Vietnamese Language Institute in Saigon also has a data base containing over 42,000 new words gathered from newspapers since 1986.
Grammar in Vietnamese means word order, which is NOT regular, is much freer than in English, and can be highly idiomatic. Vietnamese does have rules, but they are all broken at some time or another.
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