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Chào mừng quí vị đến với
Chương trình tiếng Việt

About Vietnamese Language

amese language is considered part of the Austroasiatic language family.  It is the official language of Vietnam, spoken by approximately ninety million Vietnamese people in Vietnam and about three million expatriate Vietnamese in Europe, North America, Australia, Japan, Thailand, and other parts of the world.  There are three main dialects: Hà Nội (Northern Vietnamese), Huế (Central Vietnamese), and Sài Gòn (Southern Vietnamese) which correspond to the three main regions of Vietnam. The Hà Nội dialect is the widely accepted and mostly used in mass media in Vietnam.  The three dialects differ in terms of pronunciation and to a certain extent in vocabulary.  Speakers of different dialects can understand one another.

Vietnamese is a tonal language and has six tones  mid-level, low -falling, high-rising, low-fall rising, high-rising broken, and low-falling broken.  These changes of the tones or the pitch levels cause the change in the meaning of a word. The tones are denoted by diacritic marks placed above or under a word.

The current writing system of Vietnamese language developed by Catholic missionaries in the mid-seventeenth century was influenced by Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, and French. This Roman writing system, called chữ Quốc ngữ, was not officially used until the beginning of twentieth century.

Sentence structures in Vietnamese language have the same "subject-verb-object word order as in English.  Since there is no inflection and words are invariable in Vietnamese, the language depends on strictly word order to convey meaning.

Example:        Tôi  học ở Arizona State Univeristy.
                       I  study at Arizona State University.

      Vietnamese Language Courses offered at Arizona State University

Lê Phạm Thúy-Kim
School of International Letters and Cultures
P.O. Box 870202
Tempe, Arizona 85287-0202 
Email: kim dot le at asu dot edu
Office:  413C  Durham Language & Literature Building
TL:   480 965-3794
Fax:  480 965-0135

Last update:  June 2017