Hello Fellow IziVieters !
Welcome to our blog !
Learning Vietnamese is a fascinating journey!
As a Westerner, it is a real challenge, a brain game for us as we don’t have tonal languages.
Not in the Americas, not in Europe nor in the Middle East nor in India….
Asia has lots of tonal languages but Vietnamese is unique : it is the only tonal language written
with the Latin alphabet.
A bonus for any Westerner!
However the challenge is double sided.
On the one hand, tones are incredibly hard to hear and to pronounce. Yet the biggest benefit is
that there is hardly any grammar!
No conjugations, no declinations, no feminine /masculine words or agglutinations….
What a dream come true for most people who struggle with grammar.
On the other hand, the Vietnamese are so happy when you try speaking that is pushes you to
Even so they usually don’t understand you!
That is because you usually learn « formal » Vietnamese while people speak « colloquial » Vietnamese with a local twist.
When learning Vietnamese a few years back, it was the old school way:
You buy a book, go to a class, read the lesson.
It usually is a boring topic like « what people do on weekends with their family »
The mother cooks ( oh NO not again), the father reads the paper
( who reads a paper these days) and the kids play piano or are colouring…
no internet… no real life situation…..
hen come the exercises where you repeat formal phrases.
Going home and studying is easy thus you zoom through book 1 & even book 2.
At this point you start speaking to your neighbor… your local coffee place ….or at your local
And NO ONE understands you ….
Depressed and frustrated, you drop the whole thing….and join the club of « Vietnamese is too
UNLESS YOU TRY…
Learning the street way…. Learning by copying exactly what people say in each context,
learning by watching videos and TV shows… learning by repeating what your neighbors
say….what you hear and trying it over and over again.
No books needed…. No grammar exercises needed….
Only by planning your next step, by practicing, by listening and repeating … watching videos
and reading again new words…. By speaking as much as you can… laughing along with your
Vietnamese friends as you make mistake after mistake…
Remember to remain cool when you struggle… like a toddler who gets up again and again
before mastering a few steps…
Learning a language is like being a toddler… it makes you a kid again!
Till one day…. People stop laughing and actually answer you … THE JOY ….
THE JOY OF THAT DAY IS UNBELIEVABLE….
It can be quite quick if you fall in love with the puzzle-like language that Vietnamese is or quite
slow if you want to take it slow…..
It takes 2 to tango…
It takes 2 to learn Vietnamese…
You & a Vietnamese friend
You & IziViet
You & your heart
Follow us, join our IziViet community and be a fellow learner, a fellow IziVieter !