After living in Vietnam for almost three years, which I am just a few months shy of I finally enrolled myself into a course/s to learn Vietnamese. I guess for a long time I never really knew if I would be living in Vietnam long term, but now I am married and plan to really settle down in Vietnam. It’s time to apply myself to a language I find difficult to pronounce. I used to say tiếng Việt khó lắm / tiếng Việt không dễ đó (Vietnamese isn’t Easy) and I really when I think about it.
The grammar of Vietnamese is very simple and easy, my main problem is that, I have problems with intonation mostly with low tones, and have difficulty shaping my mouth the make the right tone, and also make a lot of mistakes when I look up new words in the dictionary, or try to read out loud a menu.
I can speak very minimal Vietnamese, mostly Yes/No questions and talk about myself , and to an extent have very basic conversation. I joked once when I could speak fluent Vietnamese I wanted to work on TV as a VJ with Yan Tv (Vietnamese Version of MTV). I wonder if Joe Ruelle had those aspirations when he moved to Vietnam and studied Vietnamese. For those of you who don’t know much about Vietnamese Pop Culture, Joe Ruelle is a Canadian who speaks flawless and fluent Vietnamese and became some what an over night celebrity, for his ability to speak Vietnamese as well as make jokes when he appeared on Wheel of Fortune in Vietnam, as well as writing blogs in Vietnamese.
It’s also important for me to learn Vietnamese now I am married and I need to communicate much better with my Parents as well as my Brother & Sister. It’s always a bit awkward when we’re all together and there is a language barrier, not to say we can;t talk with each other but, it’s very limited, my father joked with me that if I couldn’t speak Vietnamese by next year he’d be mad with me.