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Lesson Transcript

Jason: Hi everyone, Jason here, and welcome back to VietnamesePod101.com. This is Basic Bootcamp Lesson 3 - Useful Phrases for Learning Vietnamese. This is the third in a five-part series that will help you ease your way into Vietnamese.
Giang: Xin chào, tôi là Giang. Hi, I’m Giang.
Jason: In this lesson, you will learn several essential phrases to help you learn Vietnamese -- In Vietnamese.
Giang: Yep, you can use these phrases when you are at a loss for words or caught in a confusing situation.
Jason: These phrases will help you avoid or resolve misunderstandings whenever and wherever you are in Vietnam. Okay, Let’s listen to the conversation!
Jason: Now you’ll never be at a loss for words again. Even if you find yourself in one of the major tourist spots, where people are used to non-Vietnamese speakers, there is no excuse for not trying out these phrases.
Giang: That's right. I guarantee you it will improve your Vietnamese!
Jason: With these expressions, you can make everyone you meet into a walking, talking dictionary.
Giang: Of course, but that shouldn’t be your main reason to learn these phrases.
Jason: The Vietnamese you meet will love the fact that you are making an effort by trying to communicate in Vietnamese.
Giang: They might even give you a tip on how to find your way to some of the other cultural treats that Vietnam has to offer.
Jason: Yes, a guidebook can only help you to some extent, so it is definitely a good idea to ask the locals where to go for that authentic Vietnamese experience. So, what exactly do all these words mean? Let's break them down.
Jason: Let’s take a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson. Let’s start with the equivalent for “Excuse me”
Giang: In Vietnamese, you say “Xin hỏi” to start asking a question. But when you want to request something, to order food or drink or to squeeze by someone, you say “Xin lỗi”. “Xin lỗi” also means “I’m sorry”.
Jason: Could you say these one more time slowly?
Giang: Xin hỏi and Xin lỗi
Jason: Very useful expressions. Please use them to catch someone’s attention in Vietnamese.
Giang: Another important expression is “Làm ơn”, which means “please”.
Jason: How can it be used?
Giang: Say “làm ơn” then add your request after that. For example “Làm ơn chỉ đường giúp tôi”, which means “Please show me the direction”.
Jason: Any notes on the level of formality?
Giang: This is a very formal expression.
Jason: I see. Could you say it one more time slowly?
Giang: Làm ơn
Jason: Great. Now let’s move on to the grammar.

Lesson focus

Jason: In this lesson, we’re going to learn the essential phrases to help you learn Vietnamese.
Giang: The first phrase we had was, Xin hỏi, ----- tiếng Việt nói thế nào?
Jason: "Excuse me, how do we say something in Vietnamese?"
Giang: The first word is Xin hỏi, which means "Excuse me" if it’s at the beginning of the question.
Jason: What’s next?
Giang: The next word is... thế nào. Which means "how."
Jason: Okay, and next is…
Giang: Nói
Jason: Which means "To say” or “to speak”. And next comes the equivalent of “Vietnamese language”
Giang: Tiếng Việt. Simply say “tiếng” which means “language” then the country name, and you’ll have the language of that country. Here you can say tiếng Việt Nam as well, but Vietnamese people often say “tiếng Việt” for short.
Jason: So the whole question, “How do you say____ in Vietnamese” is....
Giang: ___tiếng Việt nói thế nào? Add the word you want to learn at the beginning of the sentence.
Jason: Let’s hear the sentence - How do you say “computer” in Vietnamese?
Giang: “Computer” tiếng Việt nói thế nào?
Jason: Listeners, please listen and repeat.
Giang: “Computer” tiếng Việt nói thế nào?
Jason: Alright. Let’s move to the next phrase.
Giang: It is Xin lỗi. It means “I’m sorry”. As I explained in the vocabulary section, it also means “excuse me”. Again “xin lỗi”
Jason: Ok, now let’s learn how to say “I didn’t catch that”
Giang: Tôi chưa kịp nghe. “Chưa kịp” followed by a verb means you haven’t had enough time to finish something, or you can’t keep up with something because it’s fast. Again, “Tôi chưa kịp nghe”
Jason: Listeners, please listen and repeat.
Giang: Tôi chưa kịp nghe.
Jason: Ok, now that you couldn’t catch the word, you want to ask the other person to say it again.
Giang: Làm ơn nói lại lần nữa.
Jason: Which is, “Please say it again one more time.”
Giang: “Làm ơn” literally means “do me a favor” and is used like “please” in English in formal situations.
Jason: What about “one more time”?
Giang: “lại lần nữa” means “again one more time”.
Jason: So the entire sentence again is...
Giang: Làm ơn nói lại lần nữa. (slowly).
Làm ơn nói lại lần nữa (natural speed)
Jason: Now let’s say you want the person to repeat what they said more slowly. What would we say?
Giang: Làm ơn nói chậm hơn một chút.
Jason: Which is, Please say it a little more slowly.
Giang: It’s a polite request, so you say “làm ơn” at the beginning. “nói”, as we have already learned means “to say”. The phrase “chậm hơn” means “slower” and “một chút” means “a little”. “Chậm hơn một chút” means “a little slower”
Jason: Again, we have
Giang: Làm ơn nói chậm hơn một chút.
Jason: Please listen and repeat.
Giang: Làm ơn nói chậm hơn một chút. [pause]
Jason: Okay, and the last request. “Write that down in Vietnamese for me, please”
Giang: Làm ơn viết từ đó giúp tôi.
Jason: Could you explain the structure of this sentence?
Giang: Sure. Again, this is a polite request, so we have “làm ơn” at the beginning, Then the verb here is “viết” which means “to write”. The noun after this verb “từ đó” means “that word”. Then “bằng tiếng Việt” which means “in Vietnamese”. The last phrase “giúp tôi” means “to help me” or “for me” or “to me”.
Jason: Great. So the entire request is....
Giang: Làm ơn viết từ đó bằng tiếng Việt giúp tôi.
Jason: One more time.
Giang: Làm ơn viết từ đó bằng tiếng Việt giúp tôi.


Jason: Okay, great! I think we’ve covered them all, so that’s it for this lesson.
Giang: Thanks for listening. Tạm biệt.
Jason: See you next time!