I moved to Vietnam recently and I decided it would be a good idea to speak Vietnamese. I just want to get by with it.
You should have a strong WHY
As I mentioned in article about learning foreign languages fast, it is crucial to have a strong reason why are you learning the foreign language.
For me, it is mainly because I want to be able to understand Vietnamese culture and how do they think. In fact, I want to live like a local. Which means: speaking like them, using same gestures as them, eating the same way as they do, wearing same clothes and so on…
I was living in Thailand for 9 months and my knowledge of the language hasn’t changed during this time. Don’t wanna do the same mistake again. As Eminem says: “you only have one shot, one opportunity”. Maybe I will not be able to visit this country ever again. So let’s do it. Let’s see how it goes. And where this journey takes me.
Lot of people are saying it is hard
First of all, starting with this mindset is the worst attitude you can have.
I met a bunch of foreigners who were able to learn Thai. Because they have a strong motivation. Passion. And most of all, they were not considering it hard. Not at all.
So why not doing the same here in Vietnam? Obviously, I will not be able to get on a super high level in three months. Honestly, I have never done anything like this before. So I am curious myself about the results.
Even local people are telling me, that their language is hard. I don’t blame them. They could be right. But my passion is very strong. And I know it is not gonna be like this forever. So I will need some structure. Because discipline »> passion. Long-term-wise.
How am I going to do it
- Studying every day. Period.
- At least 30 minutes a day of active learning. Including: watching videos, working with google translate, talking to locals (obviously, making shit ton of mistakes)
- Exposing myself to language and learning it passively. This one is very important, because I have to get my ears to being able to recognize certain sounds. Some of these are totally new to me. As they do not exist in any other language, that I am able to speak. Even when I go out, I will be trying to pick up some words. Even now I realize that some of the words are used very frequently. Although, I can’t say which words are they and what do they mean. It needs time.
- Reading is not very important for me. At least not now. I may be writing some stuff down. In my opinion, it is better to activate as many senses as possible.
Have a one minute conversation with a stranger in Vietnamese. I will definitely make a video of this. So that I have a proof of me either failing or making it work.
Sources I am going to use
Youtube channel called Learn Vietnamese with Annie (click on the picture to open the link)
Creator of this channel is native Vietnamese speaker and her english is good as well. So far, I have just seen few videos and I am surprised that she is sharing so much value for free. Thank you, Annie, for doing this.
And then I found a perfect article at www.fluentin3months.com
Again, just click on the picture, if you want to check it out.
It is full of cool tips how to learn language with similar approach as kids have.
Is Vietnamese really that hard?
Honestly, I don’t know. But let’s ask somebody whose Vietnamese skill is on a pretty high level already.
Article can be found right here: https://www.fluentin3months.com/vietnamese/
Obviously, I believe it is possible. So I was looking for article which were confirming my belief. Yeah, that is how our minds work.
So far, the only hard part, seems to be the tones. But we use tones even in european languages. We are just not aware of it. There was this video on it. I just can’t remember its name. Anyway, when we are creating a question, we use a different tone of voice. Then, when we are surprised. And so on.
Actually, it is pretty cool, that most of the Asian languages are using tones. Because it is very time efficient. Most of the words are made just of one syllable. The longest words in Vietnamese has 7 letters. Can you imagine?