All posts by Chi Tran

A B C…. the alphabet

It’s Chi again!

Me and Pedro had our 2nd meeting at y-campus last Friday 16th of March. We follow the plan we discussed before the meeting which was to talk about our alphabet. Since the majority of Asian languages are written with symbol (Thai, Cambodian, Chinese, Japanese,…) and as Pedro doesn’t know much about Vietnam, he was quite surprise to know that Vietnamese actually has the Latin-based alphabet which mean we have normal letters like A B C … similar to English and Spanish. Vietnamese alphabet has 12 vowels while Spanish alphabet has only 6 vowels like English, therefore Vietnamese pronunciation is more complicated and hard for new learners. In additional, Vietnamese langue has some pair of consonant in which has some similarity with Spanish in pronunciation. For instant: TH = Z; KH = J; NH = ñ; GI = LL.

After the alphabet, we discussed about greeting phased. Peru people or Spanish speaking people have greeting phases for morning, afternoon and night like in English: Buenos dias! – good morning, Buenas tardes – good afternoon, buenas moches – good night. In contrast, Vietnamese people usually only use one greeting word which is Chào or Xin chào which means Hello. We don’t really say good morning or good afternoon but sometime say Chúc ngủ ngon which means have I nice sleep.

Finally, we talked a bit about pronounces as in Vietnanese, it’s something very different from English. We have a lot f pronounce and we use different pair of pronounce as I and You when talking to male or female younger or older than use. We also have different pronounce for each family member like parents, grandparents, uncle and aunt. I found out that in Spanish they have something similar but simpler since they change the pronounce and some of the word when talking to elderly to so respect.

First meeting: Our countries have more similarities than we thought!

Hi, I’m Chi from Vietnam and my partner in this course is Pedro from Peru. This is my first blog post, it’s pretty late since we were quite busy with our own study and finally managed to arrange our first meeting on Friday 9th of March. We already knew each other because we are both from International Business program and I am his tutor so there was no need for self-introduction anymore. However, to give it an easy start, we decided to use this meeting to introduce about our country. We both admitted that we knew very little about each other’s country and then were surprised to see quite a lot of similarity between Vietnam and Peru. Talk about geographical location, our countries were located in two separate continents, one is in South East Asia and one is in South America. However, they are both near the Equator so the two countries share a similar tropical climate. In Vietnam, we have cool winter in the North of the country and in the mountainous area and in Peru they also have winter in the central mountainous area also. We discovered another similarity while looking at ethnic minority communities in both country, they look almost identical considering their costumes. They are both colorful and made of brocade with similar pattern style.

Hmong people in Northen Vietnam
Andean people

And of course, we did talk about food and found some similarity between Peru’s cuisine and Vietnamese food as well as Asian food in general. As a common perception, we eat a lot of rice in Vietnam and it’s true. Rice is the main starch source in daily meals and we also eat rice noodle but as it’s more complicated to make, we usually have it in restaurants. Pedro didn’t notice at first but then when we talked more about food, he realized they eat rice quite a lot also. There is one dish Pedro showed me and it looks almost the same as a type of fried rice in Vietnam, the dish calls “arroz chaufa” in which arroz means rice while the Vietnamese version is “cơm rang” which just literally means fried rice.

Vietnamese “cơm rang”
Peruvian “arroz chaufa”

Overall, we had a very interesting start, realizing that our countries have more similarities than we thought. We agreed to meet the same time this week on Friday and will exchange some simple Vietnamese and Spanish vocabulary.