Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Brandon: Hey there! I’m Brandon and welcome back to VietnamesePod101.com. This is lower beginner Season 1, Lesson 16 - How Would You Describe Your Personality in Vietnamese?
Huyen: Xin chào! I’m Huyen.
Brandon: In this lesson, you'll learn how to talk about personality. The conversation takes place at the speakers’ home and is between Nam and An, his older sister.
Huyen: The speakers are family members, so they'll be using informal Vietnamese, but Nam will keep a respectful tone with his sister.
Brandon: Let’s listen to the conversation.

Lesson conversation

Nam: Chị ơi, lớp em có một bạn học sinh mới người Mỹ.
An: Bạn nam hay nữ?
Nam: Bạn nam, tên là Harry.
An: Cậu ấy thế nào?
Nam: Cậu ấy thân thiện và hài hước.
An: Cậu ấy có biết nói tiếng Việt không?
Nam: Cậu ấy rất giỏi tiếng Việt ạ.
An: Ồ thú vị thật.
Brandon: Let’s hear the conversation one time slowly.
Nam: Chị ơi, lớp em có một bạn học sinh mới người Mỹ.
An: Bạn nam hay nữ?
Nam: Bạn nam, tên là Harry.
An: Cậu ấy thế nào?
Nam: Cậu ấy thân thiện và hài hước.
An: Cậu ấy có biết nói tiếng Việt không?
Nam: Cậu ấy rất giỏi tiếng Việt ạ.
An: Ồ thú vị thật.
Brandon: Now let’s hear it with the English translation.
Nam: Chị ơi, lớp em có một bạn học sinh mới người Mỹ.
Brandon: Sister, my class has a new student from America.
An: Bạn nam hay nữ?
Brandon: A boy or a girl?
Nam: Bạn nam, tên là Harry.
Brandon: A boy, his name is Harry.
An: Cậu ấy thế nào?
Brandon: How is he?
Nam: Cậu ấy thân thiện và hài hước.
Brandon: He's friendly and humorous.
An: Cậu ấy có biết nói tiếng Việt không?
Brandon: Can he speak Vietnamese?
Nam: Cậu ấy rất giỏi tiếng Việt ạ.
Brandon: He speaks Vietnamese very well.
An: Ồ thú vị thật.
Brandon: Oh, so interesting.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Brandon: Huyen, is it common for a foreign student to study in the same class with Vietnamese students?
Huyen: It’s getting more common nowadays. Foreign students often studied in international schools in the past. But in recent years, more foreigners want to learn Vietnamese, so they enroll in a Vietnamese school or university, and study with other Vietnamese students.
Brandon: Are there any statistics about foreigners in Vietnam?
Huyen: Yes. According to the employment bureau of the Ministry that looks after labor, there are currently about 78,000 foreigners from 60 countries living and working in Vietnam. 58 percent of them are from Asia, and this is expected to increase in the coming years.
Brandon: It makes sense, because Vietnam has a lot to offer to foreigners—low living expenses, a comfortable environment, good food, nice people, and an interesting culture. I’ve travelled to Vietnam and I really liked it there.
Huyen: I’m glad to hear that! You’re right, Vietnam is among the top ten most attractive countries to foreigners in Asia, according to a survey by HSBC bank.
Brandon: The people are great, too. They're very hospitable and helpful to foreigners.
Huyen: It’s true. Vietnamese people are interested in helping and making friends with foreigners. If you stay in Vietnam and can speak some Vietnamese, you’ll become very popular!
Brandon: Hey listeners, why not master your Vietnamese and go to Vietnam? You might be invited on to a popular TV show and become famous.
Huyen: Exactly. And you might even get a chance to play a role in a movie or drama. Sounds fun, right?
Brandon: Definitely! Okay, now let’s move on to the vocab.
VOCAB LIST
Brandon: The first word we shall see is:
Huyen: chị [natural native speed]
Brandon: elder sister, you
Huyen: chị [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Huyen: chị [natural native speed]
Next:
Huyen: học sinh [natural native speed]
Brandon: student
Huyen: học sinh [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Huyen: học sinh [natural native speed]
Next:
Huyen: mới [natural native speed]
Brandon: new
Huyen: mới [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Huyen: mới [natural native speed]
Next:
Huyen: người Mỹ [natural native speed]
Brandon: American (people)
Huyen: người Mỹ [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Huyen: người Mỹ [natural native speed]
Next:
Huyen: nam/nữ [natural native speed]
Brandon: male, female
Huyen: nam/nữ [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Huyen: nam/nữ [natural native speed]
Next:
Huyen: cậu ấy [natural native speed]
Brandon: he, him (a man around your age)
Huyen: cậu ấy [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Huyen: cậu ấy [natural native speed]
Next:
Huyen: thân thiện [natural native speed]
Brandon: friendly
Huyen: thân thiện [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Huyen: thân thiện [natural native speed]
Next:
Huyen: hài hước [natural native speed]
Brandon: humorous
Huyen: hài hước [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Huyen: hài hước [natural native speed]
Next:
Huyen: nói [natural native speed]
Brandon: to say
Huyen: nói [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Huyen: nói [natural native speed]
And Last:
Huyen: giỏi [natural native speed]
Brandon: good, well
Huyen: giỏi [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Huyen: giỏi [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 up we have…
Huyen: Học sinh.
Brandon: "Student." It refers to young people who study at a primary, secondary, or high school, but not at a university or college.
Huyen: University or college students are called “sinh viên”
Brandon: And if you're studying at a special short-term class or course but aren't a student, you're called
Huyen: học viên
Brandon Which means: "learner." Let’s hear some examples.
Huyen: Trường cấp ba này có nhiều học sinh giỏi.
Brandon: "There are a lot of good students in this high school."
Huyen: Sinh viên trường đại học ngoại thương rất năng động.
Brandon: "Students from Foreign Trade University are very active."
Huyen: Khóa học này có 20 học viên.
Brandon: "This course has 20 learners."
Huyen: Now we have a pair of words, nam and nữ
Brandon: "male” and “female"
Huyen: “nam” means “male” and “nữ” means “female”.
Brandon: They can function as both a noun and an adjective, just like “male” and “female” in English. They're used to mention gender. There’s a pair of synonyms for these two words, which is...
Huyen: con trai, con gái
Brandon: "boys and girls"
Huyen: “con trai”, or you can say “trai”, means “boys,” while “con gái”, or “gái”, means “girls”. This pair of synonyms has a narrower meaning, as it only refers to young people who are usually around 20 and unmarried.
Brandon: Here are some examples.
Huyen: Công ty này có nhiều nhân viên nam hơn nữ.
Brandon: "This company has more male employees than female ones."
Huyen: Con trai thích nhất kiểu con gái như thế nào?
Brandon: "What type of girls do boys like the most?"
Huyen: Finally, we have, “giỏi”
Brandon: Which means "good” or “well". It can be used as both an adjective or adverb to express that someone is good at doing something.
Huyen: It's often used with adverbs of degrees such as “rất” meaning “very,” or “lắm” meaning “very much or a lot”. “Rất” comes before “giỏi,” while “lắm” comes after.
Brandon: Let’s hear some examples.
Huyen: Lan rất giỏi toán.
Brandon: "Lan is very good at math."
Huyen: Lan học toán rất giỏi.
Brandon: "Lan learns math very well."
Huyen: Cô ấy giỏi thêu thùa đan lát lắm.
Brandon: "She's very good at knitting and sewing."
Huyen: Cô ấy thêu thùa đan lát giỏi lắm.
Brandon: Literally “she knits and sews very well.” Okay, now let's move on to the grammar.

Lesson focus

Brandon: In this lesson, you’ll learn about the question word “how” to ask about personality. In the dialogue you heard...
Huyen: Cậu ấy thế nào?
Brandon: "How is he?"
Huyen: To ask about how someone is, simply add “thế nào” or “như thế nào” which means “how” right after the subject indicating that person.
Brandon: You can also use this structure to ask about the quality or features of something. In this case, replace the subject with a noun indicating that thing. The other parts stay the same. Let’s hear some examples.
Huyen: Bạn gái Nam như thế nào?
Brandon: "How is Nam’s girlfriend?"
Huyen: Kỳ thi hôm nay thế nào?
Brandon: "How was the exam today?"
Huyen: Công việc mới của cậu thế nào?
Brandon: "How is your new job?"
Huyen: So listeners, you might be wondering how you can answer this question. Usually you can answer with adjectives and adverbs, but adverbs are optional.
Brandon: So the structure of the answer is the subject, followed by an adjective describing personality or features. You can use more than one adjective, just like the sample sentence in the dialogue.
Huyen: In this case, connect those adjectives with the conjunction “và”. “Cậu ấy thân thiện và hài hước.”
Brandon: "He's friendly and humorous."
Huyen: Adverbs of degree are often used in this structure. Commonly, you can add “rất,” meaning “very,” or “khá” meaning “quite or rather,” before the adverb. You can also use “lắm,” which means “very much" or "a lot” after the adjective.
Brandon: Remember that you can only use one adverb to supplement the adjective. Let’s give our listeners some sample answers to those questions we've just asked.
Huyen: Bạn gái Nam thế nào?
Brandon: How is Nam’s girlfriend?
Huyen: Cô ấy rất dịu dàng.
Brandon: She is very gentle.
Huyen: Kỳ thi hôm nay thế nào?
Brandon: How was the exam today?
Huyen: Khó lắm.
Brandon: Very difficult.”
Huyen: Công việc mới của cậu thế nào?
Brandon: “How's your new job?"
Huyen: Nó khá thú vị .
Brandon: "It’s quite interesting."By the way, as we focus on describing personality, let’s go over some vocabulary about personality.
Huyen: chăm chỉ x2 (second version slower)
Brandon: "hardworking"
Huyen: tốt bụng/tử tế x2
Brandon: "kind" or "nice"
Huyen: cẩn thận x2
Brandon: "careful"
Huyen: nhiệt tình x2
Brandon: "enthusiastic"
Huyen: lạnh lùng x2
Brandon: "cold"
Huyen: nóng tính x2
Brandon: "hot-tempered"
Huyen: xấu tính x2
Brandon: "mean"
Brandon: Let’s put those adjectives into complete sentences.
Huyen: Nam chăm chỉ lắm.
Brandon: "Nam is very hardworking"
Huyen: Anh ấy rất cẩn thận.
Brandon: “He’s very careful”.
Huyen: Thầy giáo mới của chúng tôi rất nóng tính.
Brandon: “Our new teacher is very hot-tempered.”
Huyen: There’s another common way to ask how someone is. Start with the subject followed by “là,” meaning “to be,” then “người,” which means “person”. Finally add “thế nào?”
Huyen: For example, you can ask.. “Bạn gái Nam là người thế nào?”
Brandon: "What kind of person is Nam’s girlfriend?"
Huyen: To answer this, replace “thế nào” with an adjective or adjective phrase indicating the personality.
Brandon: Can you give us an example?
Huyen: Cô ấy là người dịu dàng.
Brandon: "She's a gentle person." / Okay. Can you give us one more?
Huyen: Sure. Anh ấy là người cẩn thận.
Brandon: "He's a careful person."
Huyen: Please be aware that to ask “what kind of person are you?” you cannot say “Bạn thế nào?”, because it can be misunderstood with “how are you?”. Instead, you should say “Bạn là người như thế nào?”
Brandon: Listeners, can you answer this question?
Huyen: “Bạn là người như thế nào?”
Brandon: "What kind of person are you?"
Huyen: Please write your answers in the comment box of this lesson at VietnamesePod101.com!

Outro

Brandon: Well, that’s all for this lesson. Don’t forget to check the lesson notes for a review of what we've just learned. Thank you for listening and we’ll see you next time. Bye!
Huyen: Tạm biệt!

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Hello Listeners, write the Vietnamese adjective that describes you the best!