Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Notes

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Lesson Transcript

Introduction
Eric: Welcome to 3-Minute Vietnamese Season 1, Lesson 12 - Asking What Someone is Doing. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to ask and answer the question What are you doing? in Vietnamese.
Body
Eric: Here's the informal way to ask "What are you doing?" in Vietnamese.
Hoang Anh: [Normal] Bạn đang làm gì vậy?
Eric: First is a pronoun meaning "you"
Hoang Anh: [Normal] bạn [Slow] bạn
Eric: Next is the helping verb denoting the present continuous tense.
Hoang Anh: [Normal] đang [Slow] đang
Eric: Next is the verb meaning "to do"
Hoang Anh: [Normal] làm [Slow] làm
Eric: Next is the question word meaning "what"
Hoang Anh: [Normal] gì [Slow] gì
Eric: Last is the sentence ending particle.
Hoang Anh: [Normal] vậy [Slow] vậy
Eric: Note the rising intonation. Listen again to the informal question meaning "What are you doing?"
Hoang Anh: [Slow] Bạn đang làm gì vậy? [Normal] Bạn đang làm gì vậy?
Eric: Now, imagine you're speaking to a stranger. Here's the formal way to ask, "What are you doing?"
Hoang Anh: [Normal] Anh đang làm gì vậy?
Eric: First is a word meaning "you" for a man
Hoang Anh: [Normal] anh [Slow] anh
Eric: Next is the helping verb denoting present continuous tense.
Hoang Anh: [Normal] đang [Slow] đang
Eric: Next is the verb meaning "to do"
Hoang Anh: [Normal] làm [Slow] làm
Eric: Next is the question word meaning "what"
Hoang Anh: [Normal] gì [Slow] gì
Eric: Last is the sentence ending particle.
Hoang Anh: [Normal] vậy [Slow] vậy
Eric: Note again the rising intonation. Listen again to the formal question meaning "What are you doing?"
Hoang Anh: [Slow] Anh đang làm gì vậy? [Normal] Anh đang làm gì vậy?
Eric: Here's a response meaning "I am studying."
Hoang Anh: [Normal] Tôi đang học.
Eric: First is a pronoun meaning "I"
Hoang Anh: [Normal] Tôi [Slow] Tôi
Eric: Next is the helping verb denoting present continuous tense.
Hoang Anh: [Normal] đang [Slow] đang
Eric: Last is the verb meaning "to study, to learn"
Hoang Anh: [Normal] học [Slow] học
Eric: Listen again to the response, "I am studying."
Hoang Anh: [Slow] Tôi đang học. [Normal] Tôi đang học.
Eric: Here's a response meaning, "I'm doing nothing special."
Hoang Anh: [Normal] Tôi không làm gì cả.
Eric: First is a pronoun meaning "I"
Hoang Anh: [Normal] Tôi [Slow] Tôi
Eric: Next is the determiner meaning "no, not"
Hoang Anh: [Normal] không [Slow] không
Eric: Next is the verb meaning "to do"
Hoang Anh: [Normal] làm [Slow] làm
Eric: Next is the pronoun meaning "anything"
Hoang Anh: [Normal] gì [Slow] gì
Eric: Last is the adverb meaning "at all"
Hoang Anh: [Normal] cả [Slow] cả
Eric: Listen again to the response meaning "I'm doing nothing special."
Hoang Anh: [Slow] Tôi không làm gì cả. [Normal] Tôi không làm gì cả.
Cultural Insight
Eric: Now it's time for a quick cultural insight.
Hoang Anh: Vậy is a sentence-ending particle which is commonly used to end a question. Vậy makes the question softer, more intimate, and shows that the speaker really cares and wants to know the answer. Questions without particles still make sense but sound emotionless. Vietnamese people like to be informal and intimate in daily conversation, so they use a lot of sentence-ending particles to show feeling in their words.

Outro

Eric: And that’s all for this lesson. Don’t forget to check out the lesson notes, and we’ll see you in the next lesson!
Hoang Anh: Tạm biệt.

3 Comments

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VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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What are you doing while listening to this lesson?

VietnamesePod101.com
Monday at 07:11 PM
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XIn chào David D,


"Nha" (more common in Southern Vietnam) and "nhé" (more common in Northern Vietnam) can be used as particles in both statements and questions- usually at the end of the sentence. "Vậy" could also be used in both statements and questions, however "vậy" can be placed either at the beginning, in the middle (to link 2 phrases of a sentence together) or at the end of a sentence. For examples:


- Vậy hôm nay bạn muốn làm gì?/ So what would you like to do today?

- Bạn không đi xem phim tối nay vậy tôi cũng không đi nữa./ You are not going to the movie so I am not going either.

- Tối qua bạn đi ngủ lúc mấy giờ vậy? So what time did you go to bed last night?


Hope this helps and let us know if you have further questions.


Cheers,


Khanh

Team VietnamesePod101.com


David D
Monday at 05:07 PM
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What about nha and nhé as ending particles? Are they more for statements, and vậy is more for questions?