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Notice: VẦN ĐIỆU TIÉNG VIỆT Textbook
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It is said, Vietnamese is a subtle language full of implications: Meanings are implied in sounds and rhythms. Vietnamese is a mono-syllabic language with six tones. Like in other languages, a Vietnamese word can have more than one syllable. However, these syllables are uttered and written separately. In addition, a Vietnamese syllable does carry a certain tone. This tonal characteristic makes the language somehow melodious and stylish. In some certain respects this becomes a big challenge for learners whose mother tongue is not Vietnamese.
Vần Điệu Tiếng Việt (VĐTV) is a textbook for beginners who wish to learn Vietnamese as a foreign language. It is especially written for the second generation of the Viet-immigrants all over the world. VĐTV introduces the Vietnamese writing system and its pronunciation based on vần and điệu. "Vần“ means rhyme or the nucleus of a syllable and "điệu“ means tone. Vần điệu means the rhythmic nuances in the language. Spoonerism (nói lái) is extremely popular among Viet-people. It’s a play on words in which vần and điệu in a compound-word or phrase are switched over multiple steps. This clever word play can completely alter the meaning of an entire sentence. No doubt, vần and điệu are two main factors of a Viet-syllable. Without having good knowledge of vần and điệu, learners cannot master the pronunciation and therefore cannot go further in learning Vietnamese.
VĐTV is composed of 3 chapters with 45 lessons. Each lesson requires at least 90 minutes of learning. It is divided into 2 parts: theories and exercises. The theory part is indeed a phonological journey from the very simple rhyme /a/ to the complicated one /ương/. The exercises are systematically organized according to a grammatical progression, so that learners can get acquainted with the Vietnamese language system from sounds to sentences. Daily life vocabulary, idioms and proverbs as well as short writings and popular songs are used as means of transmitting the required knowledge. More than 7500 vocabulary entries in the appendix are presented according to the word structure principles.
Happy Vietnamese learning!