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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 8 - Losing Track of the Days in Vietnam.
Huyen: Xin chào! My name is Huyen.
Becky: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to ask about days in Vietnamese. The conversation takes place in a classroom and is between An and Mai.
Huyen: They are classmates so they’ll be using informal Vietnamese.
Becky: Let’s listen to the conversation.
An: Hôm nay là thứ mấy?
Mai: Thứ tư.
An: Thứ mấy có bài kiểm tra toán?
Mai: Ngày mai, thứ năm.
An: Ngày kia có tiết văn đúng không?
Mai: Ừ.
An: Thứ mấy được nghỉ ?
Mai: Thứ bảy và chủ nhật.
An: What day is today?
Mai: Wednesday.
An: On what day is there a math test?
Mai: Tomorrow, Thursday.
An: There's a literature class the day after tomorrow, right?
Mai: Yes.
An: When are the days off? (Literally, what days are the days off?)
Mai: Saturday and Sunday.
Becky: In Vietnam, companies and employees have days off on Saturday and Sunday, like many other countries. But what about students? Do they go to school on Saturdays?
Huyen: Primary, junior high, and high school students have to go to school on Saturday. Only university students are free on both Saturday and Sunday.
Becky: I heard that most Vietnamese people like Friday, especially Friday evening because it’s the beginning of their days off after a long week of hard work or study. They must hate Mondays, right?
Huyen: Yeah, Monday seems to be the least favorite day of the week. Vietnamese people often update their status on Mondays and Fridays on sites like facebook to describe their moods.
Becky: Oh, interesting. Do you do that, too?
Huyen: Yep, sometimes. It’s nice to see other people feel the same way as you!
Becky: I agree! 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. The first word is...
Huyen: ...Thứ.
Becky: “Day” or “Order”
Huyen: Thứ normally refers to order or ranking…
Becky: ...as in “first”, “second”, and so on. As Vietnamese people think the days of the week also come in order, this word in this case is understood as “day”. For example...
Huyen: Đây là lần thứ hai tôi đi muộn trong tuần.
Becky: “This is the second time I was late this week.”
Huyen: Thứ hai là ngày đầu tuần.
Becky: “Monday is the first day of the week.” The next word is...
Huyen: ...Mấy.
Becky: “What” or “how many”
Huyen: Mấy originally meant “how many”.
Becky: It’s used to ask about a small number of things or people. When it comes with the word…
Huyen: ...thứ, to make the phrase thứ mấy, it means“”what day” or “which day”. For example, Hôm qua là thứ mấy?
Becky: "What day was it yesterday?" Can you give us another example?
Huyen: Trên bàn có mấy quyển sách?
Becky: “How many books are there on the table?” Finally, we have...
Huyen: ...Nghỉ...
Becky: ...which is “to take a break”, or “to have a day off”. This word was oriBeckylly a verb which meant “to be off work or school”. To refer to a holiday, Vietnamese people say…
Huyen: ...được nghỉ…
Becky: ...which literally means “to be given a day off”. It comes in a passive voice. The exact translation of “holiday” is…
Huyen: ...ngày nghỉ. For example, Mai có được nghỉ không?
Becky: “Will tomorrow be a day off?”
Huyen: Chủ nhật là ngày nghỉ.
Becky: “Sunday is a holiday.” Okay, now onto the grammar.
Becky: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to ask about days in Vietnamese.
Huyen: Hôm nay là thứ mấy?
Becky: “What day is today?”
Huyen: The question starts with hôm nay…
Becky: ...which means “today”. The next word…
Huyen: ...là…
Becky: ...is the verb “to be”. Finally comes…
Huyen: ...thứ mấy…
Becky: ...which means “what day” or “which day”. Literally, the question can be translated as “today is what day?” To answer this question, you can say...
Huyen: Hôm nay là and the day of the week in Vietnamese.
Becky: Or simply answer by saying the day of the week in Vietnamese without any subject. In the dialogue, An asked...
Huyen: ...Hôm nay là thứ mấy?
Becky: And Mai just replied with...
Huyen: Thứ tư, which means “Wednesday.”
Becky: The whole answer should have been...
Huyen: Hôm nay là thứ tư.
Becky: But as they are friends, Mai just replied informally. If you want to change to another day instead of “today”, like “tomorrow” or “the day after tomorrow”, simply change the subject by substituting it with ...
Huyen: ...hôm nay...
Becky: ...and the rest ….
Huyen: ...là thứ mấy...
Becky: ...remains unchanged, like this:
Huyen: Ngày mai là thứ mấy?
Becky: “What day is it tomorrow?”
Huyen: Ngày kia là thứ mấy?
Becky: “What day is the day after tomorrow?” To answer these questions, start with the time phrase such as...
Huyen: ...ngày mai là, or ngày kia là...
Becky: ...then add the day accordingly. Let’s go over the days of the week in Vietnamese.
Huyen: Thứ hai
Becky: “Monday”
Huyen: Thứ ba
Becky: “Tuesday”
Huyen: Thứ tư
Becky: “Wednesday”
Huyen: Thứ năm
Becky: “Thursday”
Huyen: Thứ sáu
Becky: “Friday”
Huyen: Thứ bảy
Becky: “Saturday”
Huyen: Chủ nhật
Becky: “Sunday”. Let’s hear some more examples using these words.
Huyen: Hôm nay là thứ ba.
Becky: “Today is Tuesday.”
Huyen: Ngày mai là chủ nhật.
Becky: “Tomorrow is Sunday.”


Huyen: Well, that’s all we have for this lesson.
Becky: In the lesson notes, there are more examples and detailed explanations, so make sure to check them. Thanks for listening, and see you next time.Bye!
Huyen: Tạm biệt!