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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 23 - Getting a Haircut in Vietnam.
Huyen: Xin chào! I’m Huyen.
Becky: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to say what you want to do. The conversation takes place at the hairdresser’s and is between Linh and the hairdresser. The speakers are strangers, so they’ll be using formal Vietnamese.
Linh: Tôi muốn cắt tóc ạ.
Hairdresser: Vâng, mời chị ngồi đây ạ.
Linh: Cảm ơn.
Hairdresser: Chị muốn cắt kiểu gì ạ?
Linh: Cắt ngắn hơn ạ.
Hairdresser: Ngắn tới đâu thì được ạ?
Linh: Tới ngang vai.
Hairdresser: Vâng, mời chị vào gội đầu trước ạ.
Linh: I want to have my hair cut.
Hairdresser: Okay, please sit down here.
Linh: Thank you.
Hairdresser: Which style do you want?
Linh: Please make it shorter.
Hairdresser: How short is fine?
Linh: To the shoulder.
B: Okay, please come have your hair washed first.
Becky: Getting a haircut in Vietnam is really interesting and easy. You can find hair salons everywhere, ranging from a man working alone on the street, to stylish hair and beauty salons located in the city center. But finding a good one is the tricky part. Huyen, do you have any tips for our listeners?
Huyen: Sure. Don’t randomly drop in on a salon. You probably won’t be satisfied with the hairstyle.
Becky: Great advice! So please make sure you do some research or ask a Vietnamese friend to recommend a good hair salon. It’d also be useful if you bring a picture of the hairstyle you want to the hair salon.
Huyen: Right, that’s a good idea. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a great haircut for a very reasonable price.
Becky: So listeners, if you want a haircut in Vietnam, asking a local is the best and make sure to do some research by yourself in advance, too.
Becky: Let’s take a closer look at some of the words and phrases from this lesson. The first word is an adverb...
Huyen: ...hơn.
Becky: This word generally means “more”. It’s added after an adjective or adverb to make its comparative form.
Huyen: For example, dài hơn.
Becky: “Longer”.
Huyen: Dài…
Becky: ...means “long” and when you add…
Huyen: ...hơn…
Becky: ...after it, you get…
Huyen: ... dài hơn, which means “longer”.
Becky: Another example is...
Huyen: Nhanh hơn
Becky: “Faster”
Huyen: As you can guess, nhanh means “fast” and nhanh hơn means “faster”.:
Becky: We can also say…
Huyen: ...ít hơn…
Becky: ...which is “less” or “fewer”. Here…
Huyen: ...ít…
Becky: ...means “a little” or “a few” and when it’s followed by…
Huyen: ...hơn…
Becky: ...to make…
Huyen: ...ít hơn…
Becky: ...it becomes “less” or “fewer”. Let’s put those phrases into complete sentences.
Huyen: Lâu lắm không gặp, tóc cô ấy đã dài hơn trước.
Becky: “Long time no see, her hair is longer than before.”
Huyen: Anh ấy chạy nhanh hơn tôi.
Becky: “He runs faster than me”
Huyen: Cô ấy ăn ít hơn tôi.
Becky: “She eats less than me”.
Huyen: The next word we have is: được
Becky: This is a very useful adjective. It can complement almost all nouns to express that something is quite okay, quite nice, or good enough.
Huyen: It’s often used with the particle đấy.
Becky: Let’s hear some examples.
Huyen: Vị trí ngôi nhà này được đấy.
Becky: “The location of this house is so nice”.
Huyen: Món ăn này được đấy.
Becky: “This food is quite good”.
Huyen: The last word we have is gội in gội đầu…
Becky: ...which means “to wash” but this translation is used with “hair” only. In other cases, “to wash” is translated as…
Huyen: ...rửa. For example, gội đầu...
Becky: ...means “to wash hair”.
Huyen: Rửa bát…
Becky: ...means “to wash the dishes”...
Huyen: ...rửa mặt...
Becky: ...means “to wash the face” and you can also say…
Huyen: ...rửa xe…
Becky: ...which means “to wash the car”. Okay, now onto the grammar.
Becky: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to say what you want to do.
Huyen: Tôi muốn cắt tóc ạ.
Becky: Let’s break the sentence down. It starts with...
Huyen: ...tôi…
Becky: ...meaning “I”, followed by the verb…
Huyen: ...muốn…
Becky: ...meaning “to want”. Then add the main verb stating the action which is…
Huyen: ...cắt tóc…
Becky: ...meaning “to have a haircut” in this sentence. The last word…
Huyen: ...ạ…
Becky: ...is a particle used to make the sentence more formal, which is optional. The whole structure then is...
Huyen: ...subject, the verb muốn, and then the main verb plus the object, if any.
Becky: Could you give our listeners some examples?
Huyen: Okay. The first one is, Tôi muốn ăn sô cô la.
Becky: “I want to eat chocolate”.
Huyen: The second example is Tôi muốn học tiếng Nhật.
Becky: “I want to learn Japanese.” Now, if you want to say that another person wants something, simply change the subject of the sentence. The rest remains unchanged regardless of whether the new subject is singular or plural. This is much simpler than in English. So Huyen, what’s the translation of “She wants to eat chocolate”?
Huyen: Simply change the subject from tôi, meaning “I”, to cô ấy, which means “she”. The whole sentence is Cô ấy muốn ăn sô cô la.
Becky: And how about “They want to learn Japanese”?
Huyen: Họ muốn học tiếng Nhật. Họ means “they”.
Becky: Now you should be able to say what you want and what others want to do in Vietnamese.
Huyen: Practice saying “I want to learn Vietnamese”!
Becky: [pause] It’s easy, isn’t it!
Huyen: If you want to review what we have just learned, please read the lesson notes.
Becky: And if you have some questions about this lesson, please leave us a comment.


Becky: Okay, that’s all for this lesson. Thank you for listening everyone, and we’ll see you next time.
Huyen: Tạm biệt.