Learning to speak Vietnamese
Posted 13 June 2012 - 02:21 PM
Posted 14 June 2012 - 04:08 AM
Hi everyone, i am new to this site (i intended to quote my question when signing up here, but...)
Posted 19 June 2012 - 05:28 AM
I'm using additional materials only with Japanese, because I’m already familiar with Japanese through reading (though that’s debatable, when considers kanji!). I think when it comes to Vietnamese using Pimsleur, it’s better to hold off a bit on trying to read. And if you’re in Vietnam already, I can understand why you would be eager to do so. I just think that the reading will come quite easy and naturally if you concentrate on hearing and recognizing what is spoken first; you are thinking more actively this way than you would be with reading, which is generally passive.
Because of the tones, I think trying to read too soon will cause serious pronunciation problems, and getting the sound of the tones right is critical in Vietnamese; yet, they are also not a difficult as one assumes. While I have found some decent textbooks for learning Vietnamese, most of come without audio, or when they do, the audio is shite.
After listening and repeating the language for several weeks (or more), in my belief, you will be more familiar with the sounds of the alphabet as well as tonal differences. Once you have a grasp on it this way, it becomes that much easier to begin reading and working with written material, or to begin studying with a decent textbook. It is also helpful to just spend time listening to the language. Download some radio programs, or television, or some other source of Vietnamese conversation and just listen to it as often as possible, especially when you don’t have time for proper study. While it won’t necessarily help you to understand, it will help you to hear and pronounce words, this way, once you begin working with the written language, you’ll find that you already familiar with many words - at least from the standpoint of pronunciation.
I’m not fluent in Vietnamese, so obviously this is only my opinion; but I do intended to learn the language fluently. My Japanese is a mess just because of the way I’ve picked it up and put it down over the years, and because I’ve generally ignored the spoken language in favor of a functional reading ability, albeit with a kanji dictionary at hand - though I’m working to rectify this.
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