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Lesson Transcript

Xin chào, tôi là Giang. Hi everybody! I’m Giang.
Welcome to VietnamesePod101.com’s “3 phút học tiếng Việt”. The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn Vietnamese.
In the last lesson, we learned how to talk about your plans. In this lesson, we are going to deal with the verb “to be” in Vietnamese, là.
We will also discuss how to talk about your nationality.
When you meet a new person in Vietnam, they might ask you Bạn là người nước nào? which is the equivalent of "Where do you come from?"
You’re familiar with bạn, the general pronoun meaning "you."
là is the verb “to be”.
người means “people or person"
nước is "country"
nào means “what”
All together it's Bạn là người nước nào?
Literally, this question means “you are the person of what country?”
[slowly] Bạn là người nước nào?
Answering this question is very easy! You just say Tôi là, which means "I am", followed by the noun “người” and finally the name of your country in Vietnamese..
For example - Tôi là người Mỹ.
“I’m American”
[slowly] Tôi là người Mỹ.
Just replace Mỹ with your own country’s name.
"I am German" is Tôi là người Đức.
"I am Italian" is Tôi là người Ý.
"I am Brazilian" is Tôi là người Bra-xin..
Again, the pronoun meaning “you” may change because different people may address you differently. Bạn is the most general one. But when the other person wants to make the sentence gender specific, you may hear:
Anh là người nước nào? If you’re a man.
Chị là người nước nào? If you’re a woman.
Your answer remains the same as what we mentioned earlier, no matter which pronoun is used in the question.
Let’s listen to two sample conversations
A man might hear "Anh là người nước nào?"
and answer: Tôi là người Anh. “I’m British”
A woman would hear "Chị là người nước nào?"
and answer: Tôi là người Anh. “I’m British”
Now it’s time for Giang’s Insights.
You might have noticed that you were actually just saying what country you come from, not your nationality. “What’s your nationality?” in Vietnamese is Quốc tịch của bạn là gì? Quốc tịch means “nationality”, của bạn means “your” and là gì means “is what”. However, the question we learned earlier -- Bạn là người nước nào? -- is what Vietnamese people tend to say, and it sounds more natural. At least please try to remember the word quốc tịch, which means “nationality” in case someone asks you in a different way from what you learned in this lesson.
In this lesson we learned how to use the verb là to talk about nationalities.
Next time, we’ll learn how to talk about locations. By the way, do you know how to ask someone where they are in Vietnamese? I'll be waiting for you with the answer in the next 3 phút học tiếng Việt lesson.
Tạm biệt!