Dialogue - Vietnamese

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Vocabulary

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anh older brother, I, me, or you
em younger brother/sister, I/me or you (detailed explanation in the vocabulary section)
giới thiệu to introduce
tham dự to join/to participate/to attend
hội thảo workshop
cậu/tớ you/I (among friends or people of the same age)
đồng nghiệp colleague
du học/đi du học to study abroad
lễ tân receptionist

Lesson Notes

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Grammar

The Focus of this Lesson is on Introducing Another Person to your Friend.
Xin giới thiệu với cậu, đây là anh Nam, đồng nghiệp của tớ"
"Let me introduce to you. This is Mr Nam, my colleague."


Start with Xin giới thiệu which means "let me introduce." The next phrase với cậu means "to you." Please note that the pronoun cậu is being used because the speaker is talking with her friend. Therefore, cậu can be changed according to the person you are talking to. The whole phrase xin giới thiệu với cậu literally means "let me introduce to you."

Then start introducing the other person by saying Đây là + (title) + that person's name, which means "this is + (title) + that person's name." In Vietnamese, unless the person you are introducing is your friend or a person of the same age or younger, a title is often added before the name. The title can be anh (Mr/Brother), chị/cô (Ms/Aunt), chú/bác (Mr/Uncle - someone around your uncle's age), thầy (Teacher - male), (Teacher- female), giáo sư (professor) etc. In this lesson's dialogue, the title being added is anh. Đây là anh Nam ("This is Mr Nam/Brother Nam.")

Finally, add a phrase to explain your relationship with that person. In the dialogue, the phrase is đồng nghiệp của tớ which means "my colleague." Again, like the pronoun cậu, the pronoun tớ here is used because the two speakers are friends. It changes depending on whom you are talking to.

The whole structure is as follows:

Xin giới thiệu với + 2nd person pronoun, đây là + (title) + the person's name, + phrase explaining the relationship.

 

Introductions in Informal Situations



In a very informal situation, the word xin in the phrase xin giới thiệu can be removed.

 

The whole structure is:

Giới thiệu với + 2nd person pronoun, đây là + (title) + the person's name, + apposition (explaining the relationship).

For example:

  1. Xin giới thiệu với anh, đây là Nga, bạn cùng lớp của em.
    "Let me introduce to you, this is Nga, my classmate." (Talking to a slightly older man)
  2. Giới thiệu với cậu, đây là Minh, bạn trai của tớ.
    "Let me introduce to you, this is Minh, my boyfriend." (Talking to a friend)
  3. Xin giới thiệu với chị, đây là thầy Tom, thầy giáo tiếng Anh của em.
    "Let me introduce to you, this is Teacher Tom, my English teacher."(Talking to a slightly older woman)
  4. Xin giới thiệu với anh, đây là chú Bình, giám đốc công ty của tôi.
    "Let me introduce to you, this is Mr/Uncle Binh, my company's director." (Talking to a man in formal situation)

Cultural Insights

Meeting Etiquette in Vietnam


 

 

Vietnamese people are generally open and quite informal even when meeting for the first time. Except for business, political and diplomatic meetings which obviously require a high level of formality, Vietnamese people are very flexible in addressing each other in daily life. The pronoun tôi, meaning "I/me" is not commonly used in daily conversation. When meeting for the first time, people often ask each other about age to choose the most suitable pronoun. In the dialogue, Mary and Nam meet each other for the first time, but they both know An, and An introduces them together, so they use anh/em instead of tôi.

Vietnamese people do not usually use gestures such as bowing or shaking hands (except in business and mostly between men) when they first meet, they just smile or give a little nod. Even when they are close, personal contact is not common. You will hardly ever see Vietnamese people hugging or kissing in public places or in front of other people. This is because Vietnamese people are not used to expressing emotions or feelings in public.

 

Lesson Transcript

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INTRODUCTION
Brandon: Hi there! I’m Brandon, and welcome to VietnamesePod101.com. This is lower beginner Season 1, Lesson 1 - What’s Your Vietnamese Friend’s Name?
Huyen: Xin chào! I’m Huyen.
Brandon: In this lesson you will learn how to introduce someone to your friend. The conversation takes place at a workshop and is between Mary, An and Nam.
Huyen: Mary and An are friends, and Nam is An’s colleague, but is meeting Mary for the first time.
Brandon: Therefore, Mary and An are using informal Vietnamese, while Nam and Mary are using slightly more formal Vietnamese. Let’s listen to the conversation.

Lesson conversation

Mary: An, cậu đến tham dự hội thảo du học à?
An: Ừ, cậu làm gì ở đây thế?
Mary: Tớ làm lễ tân ở hội thảo đấy.
An: Ồ vậy à? Xin giới thiệu với cậu, đây là anh Nam, đồng nghiệp của tớ.
Mary: Chào anh, rất vui được gặp anh.
Nam: Chào em, anh cũng vậy.
Brandon: Let’s hear the conversation one time slowly.
Mary: An, cậu đến tham dự hội thảo du học à?
An: Ừ, cậu làm gì ở đây thế?
Mary: Tớ làm lễ tân ở hội thảo đấy.
An: Ồ vậy à? Xin giới thiệu với cậu, đây là anh Nam, đồng nghiệp của tớ.
Mary: Chào anh, rất vui được gặp anh.
Nam: Chào em, anh cũng vậy.
Brandon: Now let’s hear it with the English translation.
Mary: An, cậu đến tham dự hội thảo du học à?
Brandon: An, are you coming to the study abroad workshop?
An: Ừ, cậu làm gì ở đây thế?
Brandon: Yes, what are you doing here?
Mary: Tớ làm lễ tân ở hội thảo đấy.
Brandon: I’m a receptionist at the workshop.
An: Ồ vậy à? Xin giới thiệu với cậu, đây là anh Nam, đồng nghiệp của tớ.
Brandon: Oh, really? Let me introduce someone to you. This is Mr Nam, my colleague.
Mary: Chào anh, rất vui được gặp anh.
Brandon: Hello, nice to meet you.
Nam: Chào em, anh cũng vậy.
Brandon: Hi, you too.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Brandon: Huyen, when you’re meeting someone for the first time in Vietnam, how formal should you be?
Huyen: Generally, Vietnamese people are quite open and not very formal even at the first meeting.
Brandon: Okay, so how do people address each other?
Huyen: Well, the pronoun “tôi”, as the listeners should know, is the general equivalent of “I” or “me,” and I recommend you use it for formal situations. But actually, in daily life, Vietnamese people don’t often use it.
Brandon: Interesting. Now, I remember that Vietnamese people often ask about your age when they first meet you.
Huyen: That’s right. It’s so they can choose an appropriate word to address you with.
Brandon: In the dialogue we’ve just heard, Mary and Nam are meeting for the first time, but they both know An.
Huyen: So they use the pronouns “anh” and “em” which are similar to “brother” and “sister”.
Brandon: We highly recommend you ask your new Vietnamese friends and acquaintances how old they are, so you know how to address each other.
Huyen: Right. Now, Vietnamese people do not bow or shake hands, they just smile or give a little nod when meeting people. Shaking hands is common in business, but this is mostly a custom among men.
Brandon: One more tip: because Vietnamese people are not used to expressing emotions or feelings in public, personal touches such as hugs or kisses when saying “hi" or “good bye" are not common.
Huyen: That’s good to know! Remember these tips, listeners!
Brandon: Okay, now let’s move on to the vocabulary for this lesson.
VOCAB LIST
The first word we shall see is:
Huyen: cậu/tớ [natural native speed]
Brandon: you/I (among friends or people of the same age)
Huyen: cậu/tớ [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Huyen: cậu/tớ [natural native speed]
Next:
Huyen: tham dự [natural native speed]
Brandon: to join/to participate/to attend
Huyen: tham dự [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Huyen: tham dự [natural native speed]
Next:
Huyen: hội thảo [natural native speed]
Brandon: workshop
Huyen: hội thảo [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Huyen: hội thảo [natural native speed]
Next:
Huyen: du học/đi du học [natural native speed]
Brandon: to study abroad
Huyen: du học/đi du học [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Huyen: du học/đi du học [natural native speed]
Next:
Huyen: lễ tân [natural native speed]
Brandon: receptionist
Huyen: lễ tân [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Huyen: lễ tân [natural native speed]
Next:
Huyen: giới thiệu [natural native speed]
Brandon: to introduce
Huyen: giới thiệu [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Huyen: giới thiệu [natural native speed]
Next:
Huyen: đồng nghiệp [natural native speed]
Brandon: colleague
Huyen: đồng nghiệp [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Huyen: đồng nghiệp [natural native speed]
Next:
Huyen: anh [natural native speed]
Brandon: elder brother, I/me or you (detailed explanation in the vocabulary section)
Huyen: anh [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Huyen: anh [natural native speed]
And Last:
Huyen: em [natural native speed]
Brandon: younger brother/sister, I/me or you (detailed explanation in the vocabulary section)
Huyen: em [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Huyen: em [natural native speed]
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
Brandon: Let’s take a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson. First we have a pair of pronouns.
Huyen: cậu and tớ. Cậu means “you” and “tớ” means “I or me”
Brandon: Use them when you’re talking with a friend or a person of the same age.
Huyen: This pair of pronouns is similar to another pair we learned in the absolute beginner series, which is bạn and tớ
Brandon: Ah yes - I remember! Let’s hear some examples, please!
Huyen: Sure thing. “Tớ sẽ gọi cho cậu tối nay”
Brandon: I will call you tonight.
Huyen: “Cậu có muốn học tiếng Hàn với tớ không?”
Brandon: “Do you want to study Korean with me?” The second word is:
Huyen: giới thiệu
Brandon: meaning “To introduce.” This verb can be followed by a noun indicating a person or a thing. It’s used to introduce this person or thing to another person, or to the public in general.
Huyen: Here are some common phrases using this verb. Giới thiệu bản thân
Brandon: To introduce oneself
Huyen: giới thiệu đối tác làm ăn
Brandon: To introduce a business partner
Huyen: giới thiệu sản phẩm
Brandon: To introduce a product
Brandon: Finally, we have another pair of pronouns.
Huyen: “anh” and “em”, both can play a role as 1st person pronouns
Brandon: That is “I” or “me”
Huyen: ...or 2nd person pronouns
Brandon: “you”.
Brandon: Let’s talk about three situations in which they’re used. First, they can be used when you’re talking with a slightly older man.
Huyen: In this case, you call yourself “em” and call the man “anh”. For example, you might say to him: “Em là An. Anh tên là gì?”
Brandon: Which is “I am An. What’s your name?” The second situation is when a man is speaking with a slightly younger man or woman.
Huyen: In this case, the speaker - who is the older man - calls himself “anh” and calls the other person “em”. For example, the man may say to the other speaker: Anh là Nam. Em tên là gì?
Brandon: “I am Nam. What’s your name?” The last situation is when two speakers are in a romantic relationship.
Huyen: In this case, the man calls himself “anh” and is also called “anh” by the woman. The woman calls herself “em” and is called “em” by the man.
Brandon: In this case, age doesn’t matter. This way of addressing one another remains the same if the man is younger, older or the same age as the woman.
Huyen: Okay, so on that romantic note, let’s learn to say “I love you” in Vietnamese!
Brandon: Okay! A man would say:
Huyen: Anh yêu em.
Brandon: And the woman would say:
Huyen: Em yêu anh.
Brandon: Pretty interesting, isn’t it? Okay, now let’s move on to the grammar.

Lesson focus

Brandon: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to introduce someone to a friend.
Huyen: Xin giới thiệu với cậu, đây là anh Nam, đồng nghiệp của tớ.
Brandon: "Let me introduce someone to you. This is Mr Nam, my colleague."
Huyen: Start with “Xin giới thiệu” which means “let me introduce”. The next phrase “với cậu” means “to you”. This particular pronoun for “you,” “cậu”, is used with friends.
Brandon: It can be changed into another second person pronoun, depending on the person you’re talking to.
Huyen: The whole phrase “xin giới thiệu với cậu” literally means “let me introduce to you.”
Brandon: After that comes the phrase used to actually introduce the other person.
Huyen: The structure is: “Đây là”, meaning “this is”, plus the title, which is optional, then that person’s name.
Brandon: In Vietnamese, unless the person you’re introducing is a friend, a person the same age or younger than you, you should usually add a title before the name. Some common titles are...
Huyen: “anh” which means “Mr” or “Brother”. “Chị” or “cô” meaning “Ms” or “Aunt”. “Chú” or “bác” meaning “Mr” or “Uncle” for someone who might be around your uncle’s age. “Thầy” to address a male teacher and, “cô” to address a female teacher. “giáo sư” meaning “professor” and so on. In this lesson, the title being added is “anh”. For example, “Đây là anh Nam”
Brandon: “This is Mr Nam or Brother Nam.” After introducing the person’s title and name, add a phrase to explain your relationship with that person.
Huyen: In this dialogue, the explanation phrase is “đồng nghiệp của tớ” which means “my colleague”. Again, like the pronoun “cậu”, the pronoun “tớ” here is used because the two speakers are friends.
Brandon: It will be changed depending on whom you’re talking to. Let’s summarize the structure for the whole introduction:
Huyen: First, say “Xin giới thiệu với” plus a second person pronoun, then add “đây là”, an optional title, the person’s name, and finally a phrase explaining your relationship.
Brandon: Let’s hear some examples.
Huyen: Xin giới thiệu với anh, đây là Nga, bạn cùng lớp với em.
Brandon: "Let me introduce someone to you. This is Nga, my classmate." Use this formula when you’re talking with a slightly older man.
Huyen: Xin giới thiệu với chị, đây là thầy Tom, thầy giáo tiếng Anh của em.
Brandon: “Let me introduce someone to you, this is Teacher Tom, my English teacher.” Use this formula when you’re talking to a slightly older woman.
Huyen: Xin giới thiệu với anh, đây là chú Bình, giám đốc công ty của tôi.
Brandon: “Let me introduce someone to you, this is Mr Binh or Uncle Binh, my company’s director.” Use this formula when you’re talking to a man in a formal situation.
Huyen: Please refer to the lesson notes for more information.
Brandon: Listeners, why not try practicing this with your Vietnamese friends the next time you meet them?

Outro

Brandon: Well, that’s all for this lesson. If you have any questions or comments, leave us a post at VietnamesePod101.com.
Huyen: We’re happy to help!
Brandon: In the mean time, thanks for listening, and see you next time.
Huyen: Tạm biệt!