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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 15 - Enjoying a Delicious Vietnamese Meal.
Huyen: Xin chào! I’m Huyen.
Becky: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to ask about food in Vietnamese. The conversation takes place at a Vietnamese party and is between An and Mary.
Huyen: They’re friends, so they’ll be using informal Vietnamese.
Becky: Let’s listen to the conversation.
An: Xin mời.
Mary: Đây là món gì vậy?
An: Đây là món nem.
Mary: Món này ăn thế nào?
An: Chấm vào nước mắm này rồi ăn.
Mary: Ồ, rất ngon!
An: Please enjoy.
Mary: What food is this?
An: This is a spring roll.
Mary: How can I eat this?
An: Dip it in this sauce and eat it.
Mary: Oh, very delicious.
Becky: Huyen, can you tell our listeners more about Vietnamese spring rolls?
Huyen: Sure. Spring rolls are a very popular Vietnamese food. A lot of foreigners like them too.
Becky: Yeah, very delicious. I have eaten them so many times!
Huyen: I’m glad you like it. But do you know there are actually two kinds of spring rolls?
Becky: Really? I have only tried the fresh spring rolls.
Huyen: Yeah, I think they are more popular among foreigners. They’re called nem cuốn or gỏi cuốn.
Becky: All right, what about the other kind?
Huyen: We also have fried spring rolls, which are called nem rán.
Becky: Oh right! They are a traditional food of Vietnam, and are often served at traditional feasts or parties.
Huyen: Both kinds are eaten with sweet and sour sauce made from fish sauce, sugar, lemon juice or vinegar, garlic and chilli.
Becky: I’ll definitely try the fried one next time. It sounds so good. But before I get too hungry, let’s move on to the vocab.
Becky: Let’s take a closer look at some of the words and phrases from this lesson. The first phrase is...
Huyen: Xin mời.
Becky: It’s a special verb phrase, often added before another verb to express a polite invitation. It can be understood as “I would like to invite you to do” something.
Huyen: For example, xin mời ngồi.
Becky: “Please sit down.”
Huyen: Xin mời uống nước.
Becky: “Please drink.”
Huyen: Xin mời
Becky: This can also be used as an independent phrase as in this dialogue. When the speaker says it before a meal it is to express “Everyone, please eat” or “enjoy the food”.
Huyen: Next we have Thế nào.
Becky: “How”. This is a very common question word. When you want to ask how to do something, you can add this question word after a verb.
Huyen: For example làm thế nào?
Becky: “How to do?”
Huyen: đọc thế nào?
Becky: “how to read?”
Huyen: ăn thế nào?
Becky: “how to eat?”
Huyen: And the last word you should remember is ngon.
Becky: “Delicious”. There are several common adverbs that can be used with...
Huyen: ...ngon...
Becky: ...to express different levels of your interest in food.
Huyen: Rất ngon.
Becky: “Very delicious.”
Huyen: Cực ngon.
Becky: “Extremely delicious.”
Huyen: Ngon quá!
Becky: “Too delicious” or “How delicious it is!”
Huyen: Ngon tuyệt.
Becky: “Excellently delicious.”
Huyen: And finally ngon thật.
Becky: “Really delicious.” Please practice these phrases when you have a chance to eat delicious Vietnamese food. Okay, now onto the grammar.
Becky: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to ask about food in Vietnamese.
Huyen: Đây là món gì?
Becky: “What is this food?” The question starts with...
Huyen: ...đây…
Becky: ...which means “this”, then it’s followed by…
Huyen: ...là…
Becky: ...meaning “to be”. The next word is…
Huyen: ...món…
Becky: ...meaning “food” or “dish”, and the final word is…
Huyen: ...gì…
Becky: ...which means “what”. This question can come in handy when you start trying Vietnamese food and you want to know its name.
Huyen: The key phrase of this question is món gì.
Becky: “what food”. You can also ask...
Huyen: ...Kia là món gì?
Becky: What food is that? Or...
Huyen: ...Món này là món gì?
Becky: “What is this food?” Let’s hear some examples.
Huyen: Đây là món gì? - Món phở bò.
Becky: “What is this food?” - “Rice noodle soup with beef.”
Huyen: Món này là món gì? - Món nem rán.
Becky: “What is this food?” - “Fried spring rolls.”
Huyen: When you want to compliment a food, use the adjective ngon.
Becky: As we have just mentioned in the vocabulary section, you can use this adjective together with different adverbs to express your level of interest in food. So what will you say when you have just tasted some really good Vietnamese food?
Huyen: Rất ngon.
Becky: “Very delicious.”
Huyen: Ngon quá!
Becky: “How delicious it is!”
Huyen: Now this is a higher level: Ngon tuyêt!
Becky: “Excellently delicious” or “Perfectly delicious.” Well, that’s what we have for this lesson. We hope that you will be able to talk about and comment on the Vietnamese food you eat next time.
Huyen: For a review of what we have just learned, please see the lesson notes.


Becky: Okay, that’s it for this lesson. Thanks for listening and we’ll see you next time.
Huyen: Tạm biệt!