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Lesson Transcript

Jason: Hi everyone, Jason here, and welcome back to Basic Bootcamp Lesson 4 - Counting from 1-100 in Vietnamese. This is the fourth in a five-part series that will help you ease your way into VIetnamese.
Giang: Xin chào, tôi là Giang. I’m Giang.
In this lesson, you will learn one of the essentials in Vietnamese…numbers!
Jason: Yes, we'll start with the basics. In this lesson, we will count from one to ten.
Giang: This conversation takes place at a gym.
Jason: It’s between David and his coach, who will be counting his pushups. Now, let’s listen to the conversation.
Jason: Listeners, you may be feeling that all these numbers sound so different from English.
Giang: Well, they are quite different. But once you know how to count from one to ten, the rest is easy.
Jason: Yeah, larger numbers are all formed by matching the first ten numbers, and the matching rule is very similar to English. Okay, Giang, why don’t you play a number counting game with us now?
Giang: Okay! I will say each number from one to ten out loud. Then you just have to repeat.
Jason: No matter where you are - please be sure to practice with us and repeat them out loud.
Giang: Okay, here we go.
Jason: Let’s take a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson. Giang, we’ve got the basic numbers one to ten, but how can we count above 10?
Giang: Well, we form the numbers from eleven to nineteen by adding ten to the numbers one through nine. For example mười một, ten and one, is eleven, “mười hai” - ten and two is “twelve” and “mười chín”- ten and nine- is nineteen. Just that. The only exception is fifteen. Instead of saying “mười năm” - ten and five, we say “mười lăm”. “lăm” is said instead of “năm” - so “l” instead of “n”
Jason: Oh, so this is much simpler than I thought.
Giang: That’s right! Now the multiples of ten. From twenty to ninety, just put together the number from two to nine with ten. Just one note on the tone of words – we learned that “ten” is “mười”, but when it comes to the multiples of ten, it is pronounced “mươi”. So it changes to the mid level tone “mươi”. So twenty is hai mươi - two and ten, thirty is “ba mươi” - three and ten, and eighty is “tám mươi”- eight and ten.
Jason: Okay, these rules are simple enough, but let’s make it simpler by giving our listeners more examples. Let’s say, eleven.
Giang: Mười một - ten and one
Jason: Fifteen
Giang: Mười lăm
Jason: seventeen
Giang: Mười bảy
Jason: forty
Giang: bốn mươi
Jason: ninety
Giang: chín mươi
Jason: For more information on creating higher numbers, be sure to check out the lesson notes. For now, on to the grammar!

Lesson focus

Jason: In this lesson, we’re going to learn the numeral noun phrases and Cardinal and Ordinal numbers.
Giang: Let’s start counting things in Vietnamese.
Jason: Vietnamese numeral phrases are different from English. The number comes first, then a noun classifier, and finally the main noun. So a classifier is needed here.
Giang: Right, most nouns in Vietnamese need a classifier. But the easier part is that nouns in Vietnamese have no plural form.
Jason: It means the noun remains unchanged even if the number is more than one, right?
Giang: Right. Now I’ll tell you the basic classifier in Vietnamese.
Jason: Great, let’s go.
Giang: The general classifier for objects is “cái”. for example cái bánh means “a cake”, cái ô means “an umbrella”, cái bút means “a pen”.
Jason: Try counting objects in Vietnamese now. “Two cakes” is...
Giang: Hai cái bánh
Jason: “Three pens”
Giang: Ba cái bút
Jason: “One ticket”
Giang: Một vé or một cái vé. in this case a classifier is optional.
Jason: Okay, that’s all about numeral noun phrases. Please check the lesson notes to learn about other classifiers in Vietnamese. For now, let’s continue with ordinal numbers.
Giang: It’s very simple. To form ordinal numbers, you first put “thứ” which means “order” followed by the cardinal numbers. Two exceptions are the first and the fourth. “First” is called “thứ nhất” instead of “thứ một” and “fourth” is called “thứ tư” instead of “thứ bốn”. That’s all.
Jason: So “third” is...
Giang: thứ ba
Jason: “seventh”
Giang: thứ bảy
Jason: “tenth”
Giang: thứ mười
Jason: “twentieth”
Giang: thứ hai mươi
Jason: Now let’s recap what we’ve learned by trying some more examples.
Giang: Okay, here we go.
Jason: “First”
Giang: thứ nhất
Jason: “second”
Giang: thứ hai
Jason: “eleventh”
Giang: Thứ mười một.


Jason: That’s it for this lesson.
Giang: Thanks for listening. Tạm biệt
Jason: See you next time!