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Lesson Transcript

Giang: Hello, everyone and welcome back to VietnamesePod101.com! I’m Giang.
Jason: And I’m Jason. This is the All About series, lesson 14 Top 5 Vietnamese Classroom Phrases. In this lesson, you will learn the top 5 phrases you will hear in a classroom.
Giang: Some are phrases that a teacher would use, and some are phrases you can use to speak to a teacher.
Jason: You'll get a head start by already knowing these phrases!

Lesson focus

Giang: Our first phrase iS “nghĩa là gì?"
Jason: This is a phrase that literally translates to "What does [something] mean?" This is a very useful phrase in the classroom because you can ask your teacher what certain words, ideas, or places mean in Vietnamese.
Giang: To use this phrase, say the name of the item, then say “nghĩa là gì”.
Jason: Could you give us some examples?
Giang: Sure! "Ô tô nghĩa là gì?" is “What does ô tô mean?", and “Học nghĩa là gì?” is "What does học mean?"
Jason: And what do they mean, Giang?
Giang: Well, "ô tô" means "cars," and "học" means "to study."
Jason: Ok, our next phrase is "Open your books”"
Giang: In Vietnamese, this is “Mở sách ra.”
Jason: Your teacher might use this phrase to tell the class to open their books to begin reading.
Giang: Yeah, but as you have learned, Vietnamese people usually address other with personal pronouns. In this case the personal pronoun “cả lớp” literally meaning “the whole class” to indicate the students is used at the beginning of the sentence, otherwise it would sound rude. “Cả lớp mở sách ra”, literally, “the whole class, open your books”
Jason: Cool. The next phrase is...
Giang: “Tôi không hiểu". It means “I don’t understand.”
Jason: You would use this phrase if your teacher explains something or says something that you don’t or didn't understand. If your teacher is young or around your age, you can use this phrase.
Giang: If you teacher is older than you, the personal pronoun “tôi” is replaced with “em” The new phrase will be “Em không hiểu”. “Em” also means “I, but indicates that you’re younger, and you’re showing respect to your teacher.
Jason: You can see here how important and complicated Vietnamese pronouns are.
Giang: Yes, but don’t worry, you’ll get used to them soon.
Jason: That’s right. Let’s continue with how to say “One more time” in Vietnamese.
Giang: That’s “Xin nhắc lại lần nữa”. It literally means “Please say it again” or “Please repeat what you’ve said.”
Jason: You can expect your teacher to say this when they want you to repeat something or you can also use this when you want your teacher to explain something again.
Giang: This would be a useful phrase in the classroom as you may hear or use it frequently. Again, “Xin nhắc lại lần nữa”
Jason: All right. And our last phrase is...
Giang: Hiểu chưa? It means "Understood?" or “got it?” Teachers use this question to make sure the students understand what they are explaining.
Jason: But again, Vietnamese teachers would add a personal pronoun before this phrase to address the person they are talking to.
Giang: Right. If this question is for all the students, then the words “cả lớp” are added. “Cả lớp hiểu chưa?” meaning “Whole class, understood?” If this is for an individual student, then it would be “Bạn hiểu chưa” or “em hiểu chưa”. It literally means “you, understood?”
Jason: Let's recap what we learned in this lesson. Can we hear all of those phrases again one more time?
Giang: Sure! Our first phrase was "... nghĩa là gì?"
Jason: "What does (something) mean?"
Giang: And then we had "Cả lớp mở sách ra"
Jason: "Please open your books."
Giang: And then was "Tôi không hiểu" in general or “Em không hiểu” when the teacher is older than you.
Jason: "I don't understand."
Giang: Next we had "Xin nhắc lại lần nữa."
Jason: "One more time."
Giang: And finally was "Cả lớp hiểu chưa?" to ask the whole class or “Em hiểu chưa?” or Bạn hiểu chưa? to ask an individual student.
Jason: "Did you understand?" There you have it, all five phrases for the classroom!


Giang: See you next time!
Jason: Bye everyone!