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Lesson Transcript

Jason: Hi everyone, Jason here, and welcome to Basic Bootcamp Lesson 1 - Self Introductions - Basic Greetings in Vietnamese. This is the first in a five-part series that will help you ease your way into Vietnamese.
Giang: Xin chào, tôi tên là Giang. I’m Giang! We’ll go over all the basics that will really help you understand Vietnamese.
Jason: And we’ll have fun doing it! In this lesson, you will learn how to introduce yourself and ask someone their name! This conversation is between strangers.
Giang: The language they are using is polite, because they don’t know each other. But it is not overly formal.
Jason: Let’s listen to the conversation.
Jason: So Giang, what do people in Vietnam do when they first meet? Like, is there any sort of custom?
Giang: The first time, it’s enough for men to shake hands, and for women to smile while introducing themselves.
Jason: Is shaking hands a must in Vietnam?
Giang: Actually, no. It’s a must among men in business situations, but it is optional in daily life.
Jason: What about kissing or hugging? Is it common in Vietnam?
Giang: I must say that kissing or hugging is not recommended. Vietnamese people are not comfortable with this, even when they are very close.
Jason: So handshakes and smiles are the safest for the first meeting, right?
Giang: Yes, that’s right.
Jason: Sounds easy to me! Okay, let’s take a closer look at these self-introductions.
Jason: Let’s take a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases of this lesson. The first word is "Hello".
Giang: Xin chào. It can be used in both formal and informal situations,and at any time of day.
Jason: Do you use it among friends?
Giang: You can use it then. But in informal situations, you can remove the first word and just say “Chào”. And for very close friends, you can also say “Hi”, like in English.
Jason: I see. Can you say the phrase again?
Giang: Xin chào (pause). Xin chào
Jason: Great. Now the next phrase “Nice to meet you”
Giang: In Vietnamese you say “Rất vui được gặp bạn”, “I’m very happy to meet you”.
Jason: In this situation, the speaker is happy to meet the other person, so here it has the sense of the English expression “Nice to meet you.” But let’s break down this phrase a bit.
Giang: “Rất vui” means "very happy"
Jason: And the next part...
Giang: “được gặp”
Jason: Means “to be able to meet.” And...
Giang: Bạn
Jason: means “you”. This pronoun is generally used to address a man or woman around your age. So altogether we have...
Giang: Rất vui được gặp bạn.
Jason: Listeners, listen and repeat
Giang: Rất vui được gặp bạn (3 seconds pause after)
Jason: Now, how can we reply?
Giang: Tôi cũng vậy.
Jason: This means “Me too.” Let’s break it down.
Giang: The first word “Tôi” means “I” or “me”
Giang: The next words “cũng vậy” means “the same”
Jason: Altogether, it is...
Giang: Tôi cũng vậy
Jason: Listeners, listen and repeat
Giang: Tôi cũng vậy (3 seconds) Tôi cũng vậy.
Jason: Alright, that’s not too bad, right? Now let’s move on to the grammar section.

Lesson focus

Jason: In this lesson, we’re going to learn how to introduce yourself and ask someone their name. Giang, how do you ask someone their name in Vietnamese?
Giang: Bạn tên là gì?
Jason: Literally, it means "What are you named?" Let’s break it down.
Giang: "Bạn"
Jason: Means "you," Again slowly please.
Giang: "Bạn"
Jason: Next
Giang: "Tên"
Jason: Means "name." Let’s hear it slowly please.
Giang: "Tên"
Jason: Next,
Giang: là
Jason: This is the verb” to be”. Again slowly please
Giang: là
Jason: And the last one
Giang: gì
Jason: WHich means “what”. One more time slowly
Giang: gì
Jason: So all together the question is
Giang: Ban tên là gì?
Jason: Listeners, listen and repeat.
Giang: Bạn tên là gì? {pause}
Jason: And as Giang said before, you can change the personal pronoun addressing the other person in formal situations. But as Vietnamese has a complicated system of personal pronouns, we’ll talk about them later.
Giang: For the first lesson, stick to the most general pronoun “Bạn”
Jason: Okay, so now, how do you answer this question?
Giang: You say “Tôi tên là” then add your name. For example, “tôi tên là Mary”. My name is Mary.
Jason: Could you say it one more time?
Giang: Tôi tên là Mary.
Jason: Great. So that wasn’t too difficult for the first lesson, right? To recap, let’s try a short dialogue. Imagine your name is Mary. Try to answer the question out loud with the phrase we learned in this lesson.
Giang: Bạn tên là gì? {pause} Tôi tên là Mary.
Jason: Great! Now what if someone says to you
Giang: Rất vui được gặp bạn.
Jason: What do you say?
Giang: {pause} Tôi cũng vậy.
Jason: Great! Now what do you say if you want to learn someone’s name?
Giang: {pause} Bạn tên là gì?


Jason: Okay. That’s it for this lesson.
Giang: T hanks for listening. Tạm biệt!
Jason: See you next time!