Amsterdam view from Amsterdam Tower

Amsterdam view from Amsterdam Tower
The view from Amsterdam Tower

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Vietnamese Language & Friendship

I was travelling in Siem Reap, Cambodia, when my friend Thuy asked me to write about my experience living in Vietnam. By the way, she is working for Tuoitrenews and this newspaper has column for expats experiences.  

Sure, I would be happy to do it. First, I read all of the articles in the City Diary column to find out that others have written. Second, I right away got an idea of what I wanted to write. Third, I just did it…

However writing my experience for Thuy was not easy. It absorbed some of my emotional feeling. As she wrote on her first email to me; "It would be a memorable article about Vietnam before you leave the country".

Here's the article:

English version in TuoiTre News Online, click > learning-the-vietnamese-language

The article was translated to Vietnamese language and published in TuoiTre Vietnamese newspaper, click > Duoc-don-nhan-nong-nhiet-khi-noi-tieng-Viet

Classmates at Level 1

Diversity Group

Through a friend’s friend, I attended a language class at the University of Social Sciences & Humanities. Click for info >

Classmates at Level 2

Please believe me, it took me four months to be able to pronounce the name of this school correctly! It’s such a difficult and long name in Vietnamese! Đại học Khoa học Xã hội & Nhân văn.  

Bazaar, International Students Day

When we learned street directions

The value added point of learning Vietnamese language; I make new friends. Leaving friends in Jakarta, Indonesia is hard. But new ones make me smile again…

My classmates is a very mixed group of people; an Indonesian (myself), one British bloke, one French lady, one Japanese lady and six Koreans.

When we passed the first level and went to second level. The mixed group scattered; few friends left and a Swiss guy joined.

We continued learning and enjoyed ‘having headache’ pronouncing difficult words -J until third and fourth levels.

Funny stories:

  • If I skipped classes, I had to borrow notes from either Jake or Kim - as they write in English. Others write in Korean characters -J -L

  • It happened twice, one of my Korean friends was in trouble. He used two words in Vietnamese (I couldn't recall which ones), the teacher gave him dirty look and asked; Where did you learn those words? Those are bad words". -J-J

  • One day we learned about family tree; mother, father, grandma, grandpa, aunt, uncle, son in law, daughter in law, grandchildren, etc, etc... and we came up with this "family formula for happiness"
Family Formula for Happiness - LoL

During my last few weeks living in Ho Chi Minh City, I gathered my ex classmates and teacher and invited them for early lunch at Highlands Coffee in Saigon Trade Center. That’s the nearest location to the class, as my teacher, Cô Hà, had limited time. Unfortunately, Cô Thục could not make it. However, the little reunion went very well! Everyone had a good time! 

Hẹn gặp lại các bạn!

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