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Lesson Transcript

Becky: Hi everyone. I’m Becky. Welcome back to VietnamesePod101.com This is the Absolute Beginner series, Season 1, Lesson 10 - Catching Up With An Old Friend in Vietnam.
Huyen: Xin chào! My name is Huyen.
Becky: In this lesson, you’ll learn what to say when running into an old friend or acquaintance. The conversation takes place at the shopping center, and is between An and Lan.
Huyen: They are friends so they’ll be using informal Vietnamese.
Becky: Let’s listen to the conversation.
An: Chào Lan!
Lan: Ơ, An đấy à? Lâu rồi không gặp.
An: Dạo này khỏe không?
Lan: Tớ khỏe. Còn cậu thế nào?
An: Tớ ổn. Cậu rảnh không? Đi cà phê đi.
Lan: Ok.
An: Hey Lan!
Lan: Oh, An. Long time no see.
An: How are you these days?
Lan: I'm good. How are you?
An: I'm ok. Are you free? Let's go for some coffee.
Lan: Ok.
Becky: Listeners, how are you today?... Do you know how to say “how are you” in Vietnamese? In this lesson we’ll learn how to say this, but before that, we need to know when Vietnamese people say “how are you”? Huyen, isn’t it a general greeting as in English?
Huyen: Actually, no. Vietnamese people only ask this if they haven’t seen someone for a while, or when calling someone by phone.
Becky: So it’s more like a question to give an update about the recent situation of the other person, isn’t it?
Huyen: Exactly. When they ask this question, they truly want to know how the other person is doing.
Becky: I see. So listeners, don’t ask this question to someone you’re meeting for the first time, or someone you see everyday. Okay, now let’s move on to the vocab.
Becky: Let’s take a closer look at some of the words and phrases from this lesson. First we have...
Huyen: ...Tớ.
Becky: “I” or “me”
Huyen: cậu
Becky: “You”. These are a couple of pronouns used between friends or people of the same age who are close. Basically, you call yourself...
Huyen: ...tớ, and call the other cậu, or bạn.
Becky: The last one can also be used to address the other person in this case. Let’s hear a short conversation as an example.
Huyen: Cậu đi đâu đấy?
Becky: “Where are you going?”
Huyen: Tớ đi siêu thị.
Becky: “I’m going to the supermarket.”
Huyen: Finally, we have Đi cà phê.
Becky: “Go for some coffee”. This is a phrase that is used very commonly among friends. The phrase is literally translated as “go coffee” but it means “let’s go for some drinks”. For example...
Huyen: Tối đi cà phê không?
Becky: “Shall we go for some coffee tonight?” Okay, now onto the grammar.
Becky: In this lesson, you’ll learn to ask how an old friend or acquaintance is doing.
Huyen: Dạo này khỏe không?
Becky: “How are you these days?” The question starts with the time phrase...
Huyen: ...dạo này…
Becky: ...which means “these days” or “recently”, followed by the adjective…
Huyen: ...khỏe…
Becky: ...which means “fine”. Finally, we have…
Huyen: ...không…
Becky: ...which means “no”, and it comes last to make a yes-no question. This question asks about the other person’s health in general.
Huyen: Dạo này khỏe không?
Becky: To answer this question, say
Huyen: Tôi khỏe, cảm ơn.
Becky: “I’m fine, thanks.” And the sentence...
Huyen: ...Còn cậu thế nào?...
Becky: ...means “and how about you?" or “and you?” In this situation, An asks…
Huyen: ...Dạo này cậu khoẻ không?...
Becky: ...which means “How are you these days?” So, we can translate…
Huyen: ...còn cậu thế nào?...
Becky: ...as “how are you", too. Another common way to ask “how are you” is...
Huyen: ...Dạo này thế nào?
Becky: “How’s everything these days?” The previous question asks more about health, while this question focuses on the general situation of the other person.
Huyen: The word thế nào means “how”.
Becky: To answer this question, you can also say...
Huyen: ...Tôi khỏe, cảm ơn.
Becky: “I’m fine, thanks.” Or...
Huyen: ...Tôi ổn, cảm ơn.
Becky: “I’m ok, thanks.” The pronoun we use in the answer...
Huyen: ...Tôi…
Becky: ...is the most general one, but you can change it depending on who you are talking to. In the dialogue, Lan and An say…
Huyen: ...Tớ khỏe and Tớ ổn…
Becky: ...because they’re friends and they also don’t need to say thanks. The questions we have just learned are commonly used among friends or someone younger. If you ask an older person, you need to add a pronoun to show more respect. For example, to ask a slightly older man or a young man in business situations, you say..
Huyen: ...Dạo này anh khỏe không?
Becky: To ask a slightly older woman or a young woman in business situations, you say...
Huyen: Dạo này chị khỏe không?


Becky: Alright, that’s it for this lesson.
Huyen: For a review of what we have learned, please check the lesson notes.
Becky: And if you have any questions, please feel free to leave us a comment. Thanks for listening, and see you next time.
Huyen: Tạm biệt.


Please to leave a comment.
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VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Hello Listeners, let's practice asking how our old friend is in Vietnamese!

Friday at 05:05 AM
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I have been leaving comments (on 3 lessons previously), but they are not answered. My main query is about pronunciation of various letters such as d, r, and also the accents and diacritics over/below letters and how they alter the pronunciation. Can someone address these questions, or am I in the wrong forum for that?

VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Monday at 12:19 PM
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Hi László Baranyai,

Thank you for your feedback. We will edit the order of the vocabulary list asap. Let us know if you have any questions.



Team VietnamesePod101.com

László Baranyai
Sunday at 05:25 PM
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the PDF vocabulary list does not match in order with lesson audio. Could you please check? It is not a big problem, but disturbing a little bit.



VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Thursday at 09:50 PM
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Chào Kn,

Bạn có khoẻ không ?

So ‘r’ sounds like ‘r in run’, however in the North, people always pronounce letters: "r" , "gi", "d" in the same way as ‘z in zebra’. So in the dialog, ‘rảnh’ is mentioned the ‘r’ sounds like ‘z in zebra’.

Also, in the North, letters "X" and "S" are pronounced the same like "s in sea".



Team VietnamesePod101.com

Wednesday at 11:16 PM
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Have a question about:

Mai cậu rảnh thì đi chơi nhé. = if you are free tomorrow, let's go out.

the word rảnh = how is it pronounced?..

I looked it up at https://www.vietnamesepod101.com/vietnamese-alphabet/

it says 'r' sounds like 'r in run', however in the dialog, when 'rảnh' is mentioned the 'r' sounds like 'z in zebra'.

VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 05:57 PM
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Hi Lawrence,

That's our mistake. I'm terribly sorry about that. There was no "vẫn" in this dialogue.

It means "still" and is used the same as "still" in English.

For example:

1. Tôi vẫn khỏe. I'm still doing well.

2. Cô ấy vẫn đang xem phim. She is still watching movies.

"vẫn chưa" means "not yet"

1. Tôi vẫn chưa làm việc xong. I still haven't finished my work yet.

2. Anh ta vẫn chưa đi. He hasn't gone yet.



Team VietnamesePod101.com

Wednesday at 12:04 AM
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Hi Giang,

Wondering where is the world vẫn from, can't find in this lesson? Can give an example how to use it?

Cảm ơn

Thursday at 07:07 PM
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Cảm ơn.

VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 12:37 PM
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Hi Aidriano,

Yes, you are right. "o" is not silent but you may find it difficult to recognize when it is spoken at normal or fast speed.



Team VietnamesePod101.com

Monday at 11:50 AM
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I’m a bit confused about the pronuncation of “dạo”. In the dialogue it appears as if the “o” is silent, but when you go through the vocabulary slowly, it seems to be pronounced. Can I take it that, at normal speaking speed, it is silent?