Studying Vietnamese Again

I decided to make another attempt at studying Vietnamese.  I enlisted the help of my former student.  She never taught Vietnamese before but I told her not to worry, I will create the lesson plans.

Studying Vietnamese can be frustrating for most people.  For me, it gets even more frustrating since I already can communicate in six other languages; Japanese, English, Kazakh, Russian, Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Turkish.  The tricks I used to learn the other languages do not work with Vietnamese.  The tones are a killer for me.  Russian has some tones as well.  My Russian professor from the University of Washington felt that I was tone deaf.  It makes a nice convenient excuse not to learn Vietnamese, doesn’t it?

I really should be ashamed that I have not learned any survival Vietnamese, at least, during my two and a half years here in Vietnam.  I have no excuses except that I am just plain lazy.  Well, my lazy days are about to end.

Vietnamese, here I come.  Toi hoc Tieng Viet…

  • Nam

    You’re very good learner. Dont make yourself crazy with the tone. Just do it with your best and try to talk with your friends, especially, with your girl friend.

  • Hi Nam,

    Now I know this is you 🙂

  • Chris Lytle


    I feel your pain…I’ve been trying since 1998 to learn Vietnamese; I have a mother and sister-in-law that I desperately want to communicate with but can’t get past telling them I’m hungry, tired, or that I love them. Or thank you or please. That’s about it…obviously I don’t know the difficulty level of Vietnamese vs. the various other languages you’ve mastered, but I do know that most efforts I make to elaborate in my adopted language are met with laughter….

    Best Wishes,


  • vous le vous

    Can you use vietnamse languge ?

    • @vous le vous Maybe at the novice-high level, possibly intermediate-low (ACTFL). I just problems with tones. No teacher has been successful with teaching me the tones yet. I may need to learn the northern dialect.

  • patrizio_bui

    “Vietnamese, here I come” <- like this 🙂

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