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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.