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Lesson Transcript

Giang: "Xin chào"! Hello! Giang here.
Jason: Hi! I’m Jason. This is All About, Lesson 1 - Top 5 Reasons to Learn Vietnamese.
Giang: Together, we'll be your guides to everything Vietnamese.
Jason: That's right. And this first lesson is all about the Vietnamese country and language.

Lesson focus

Giang: We’ll take you on a tour throughout Vietnam in this lesson. Let’s start with where Vietnam is located.
Jason: Sure! Vietnam is located on the East of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia, bordering China to the North, Laos and Cambodia to the West, and the South China Sea to the East. With a long coastline and diversified natural resources, Vietnam has a wide variety of natural attractions such as mountains, seas, forests and so on.
Giang: There’s more variety than people might think!
Jason: Definitely. Speaking of variety, we should mention the weather, too. It’s different between northern and southern Vietnam. People in the south enjoy warm weather all year round with only 2 seasons dry and rainy seasons. In the north, people enjoy 4 seasons like in many other places in the world.
Giang: Right. Now let’s talk a bit about the Vietnamese language. It’s actually heavily influenced by Chinese.
Jason: That’s right! Thousands of years ago, when Vietnam was under Chinese colonization, Chinese was the main language used for administrative, educational, artistic and literary purposes. So, Giang, does that mean that Vietnam didn’t have its own language then?
Giang: That’s right, not until the 10th century was the writing system invented. It was called chữ Nôm, which was created based on the Chinese characters.
Jason: Ah, I remember reading about that - when it was first invented, it was met with a lot of resistance, and it took a few centuries for it to become popular.
Giang: And then, in the 19th century, the French invaded Vietnam.
Jason: Right - It was during the French colonization that the foundation for the current Vietnamese was laid. Some Western priests started to use Latin script, which was mainly the Portuguese alphabet, to express Vietnamese terms. That was when the national alphabet...
Giang: ..chữ quốc ngữ
Jason: ...was invented. After 1945, Vietnam became independent from the French, and the Vietnamese alphabet has been the national and official language of Vietnam since then.
Giang: That’s right!
Jason: So Giang, tell our listeners - how many letters does the Vietnamese alphabet have?
Giang: The Vietnamese alphabet has 29 letters, but only 22 of them are similar to English letters. After that, 7 more letters with diacritics are added.
Jason: We’ll learn more about diacritics later on in this series. For now, Giang, let’s motivate our listeners, and go over the top 5 reasons that Vietnamese is worth learning!
Giang: Sounds great! The top five reasons are...
Number five…
Jason: You don’t need to study complicated characters! Vietnamese is among the few Asian languages that uses the alphabet instead of complicated characters like Chinese and Japanese. So it’s more convenient for English speakers to read and write, and make quick progress while learning.
Giang: Number four...
Jason: If you want a fun and inexpensive vacation, go to Vietnam! Rich in natural and cultural attractions, Vietnam is becoming one of the must-see tourist destinations in the world.
Giang: Number three…
Jason You can get to know more about Vietnamese culture! Learning Vietnamese gives you more opportunities to get a deeper understanding of a beautiful and interesting country and people.
Giang: Number two...
Jason: Vietnam has great economic potential. In recent years, its impressive economic growth has made Vietnam a promising place for overseas investment. Knowing Vietnamese is a further step towards your success in doing business in Vietnam.
Giang: And number one?
Jason: Learning Vietnamese is fun!
Giang: Of course. Vietnamese people are very hospitable and friendly. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to make friends with these lovely people, right?


Jason: Okay everybody, are you ready? Get out your pen and notebook, grab your iPhone, fire up your computer, and whatever else you use to study - and get ready for some Vietnamese lessons from VietnamesePod101.com!
Giang: Until next time!
Jason: Bye everyone!