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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 9 - What Time Is It In Vietnam?
Huyen: Xin chào! I’m Huyen.
Becky: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to talk about time in Vietnamese. The conversation takes place at the station and is between Hà and Trang.
Huyen: They are friends, so they will be using informal Vietnamese.
Becky: Let’s listen to the conversation.
Hà: Mấy giờ tàu chạy?
Trang: Ba giờ mười lăm.
Hà: Bây giờ là mấy giờ?
Trang: Ba giờ rồi.
Hà: Chuyến tàu cuối cùng vào lúc mấy giờ ?
Trang: Bốn giờ kém năm
Hà: Vậy à? Nhanh lên thôi!
Trang: Ừ đi thôi.
Hà: What time does the train leave?
Trang: 3.15.
Hà: What time is it now?
Trang: It's three already.
Hà: When is the last train?
Trang: Five to four.
Hà: Oh really? Hurry up!
Trang: Okay, let's go.
Becky: Huyen, do you usually travel by train or subway in Vietnam?
Huyen: Actually in Vietnam, the train is not a daily means of public transportation. People don’t use it to travel within the city.
Becky: Does that mean trains are used only for long distance?
Huyen: Yes. Vietnamese people use the train to travel from one city or province to another.
Becky: I’ve heard it is by far the best way to travel around Vietnam, because it’s comfortable, cheap, and it gives you a great opportunity to view the sights on the way.
Huyen: Yes, that’s true. And there are many different kinds of trains.
Becky: There are the main classes like hard seats, soft seats, hard beds, and soft beds. Beds are more expensive, aren’t they?
Huyen: Right, and seats are better for short distances.
Becky: If I travel on an overnight train, I’d definitely want to try a soft bed because they’re so comfortable and not very expensive. 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: ...Chạy.
Becky: “To run.” In this lesson, this verb is used to describe the movement of trains but it’s also for the movement of any vehicles in general.
Huyen: For example, you can say Xe buýt chạy trên đường.
Becky: “The bus is running on the road.”
Huyen: Then we have rồi.
Becky: “Already.” This is an adverb that can be added after a verb to express an action that has already been completed. It’s usually used with verbs in the past tense.
Huyen: For example, Tôi ăn trưa rồi.
Becky: “I had lunch already.”
Huyen: Tôi làm xong việc rồi.
Becky: “I’ve already finished my work.” Okay, now onto the grammar.
Becky: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to ask about time in Vietnamese.
Huyen: Bây giờ là mấy giờ?
Becky: “What time is it now?” The question starts with the time phrase...
Huyen: ...bây giờ…
Becky: ...which means “now”. The next word…
Huyen: ...là…
Becky: ...is the verb “to be”. Last comes…
Huyen: ...mấy giờ…
Becky: ...which means “what time”. The whole question can be literally translated as “Now is what time?”
Huyen: Bây giờ là mấy giờ.
Becky: To answer this question, say the number of the hour...
Huyen: … and giờ , meaning “hour”...
Becky: ...and the number of minutes…
Huyen: ...and phút, meaning “minute”.
Becky: Can you give our listeners some examples?
Huyen: Ba giờ ba mươi phút.
Becky: “3: 30.”
Huyen: Bốn giờ mười lăm phút.
Becky: “4: 15.” You can also remove the word...
Huyen: ...phút...
Becky: ...at the end, and just say the number of the minutes like this -
Huyen: Bốn giờ mười lăm.
Becky: “4: 15.”
Huyen: In the dialogue, Hà asked, Bây giờ là mấy giờ?
Becky: “What time is it now?”
Huyen: And Trang said, Ba giờ rồi.
Becky: “It’s already three.”
Huyen: In daily conversation, to ask about the time, you can simply say, Mấy giờ rồi?
Becky: Which literally means “What time already?”
Huyen: For example, Mấy giờ rồi? - Chín giờ mười.
Becky: “What time is it?” - “9: 10.” You can use the phrase...
Huyen: ...mấy giờ…
Becky: ...to ask what time something happens. In the dialogue, at the beginning, you hear...
Huyen: ...Mấy giờ tàu chạy?
Becky: “What time does the train leave?”
Huyen: The answer is Ba giờ mười lăm.
Becky: “3: 15.” If you want to say "a quarter to ten", you can say…
Huyen: ...Mười giờ kém mười lăm. The pattern is: hour and then kém and then minutes.
Becky: Well listeners, now you can talk about time more easily in Vietnamese. To review what we’ve learned, don’t forget to read the lesson notes.


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