I have this ambition of being able to speak at least three different languages. I can now speak Bahasa (of course), English, and a little Mandarin Chinese. My goal in the next two years is to be able to speak (at least…) daily and casual Mandarin conversation. I just love learning new languages!
Here, I met this Vietnamese named Oanh Nguyen. She is a very nice and friendly girl! Among our different English accents and misunderstandings, we managed to have some laughs, jokes, and even mock someone else. Muahaha. Nah, kidding on the latter.
I asked her to teach me some tiếng Việt phrases, such as greetings, thank you, and how to introduce ourselves. Trust me, it is hard. Much harder than Mandarin! When I learn Mandarin, I am surprised how mǎi and mài have different tones and opposite meanings (sell and buy, that is). I have learned English before, and read a little French, and although those French passages have lines and notations above the alphabets, it still can be learned quickly. When I studied Mandarin pinyin, I am utterly surprised knowing that those lines mean different tones which mean different meanings. O_O. Mandarin has four different tones. I have had enough difficulties in learning Mandarin with different tones that up to now, I still can’t speak proper Mandarin tones. Imagine how surprised I was, upon knowing that tiếng Việt has six. different. tones.
So…after (finally!) being able to say greetings and thank you and introducing myself in Vietnamese (which, for your info, I have already forgotten), I asked Oanh to teach me a little about the Vietnamese alphabet by reading the words printed in the chopstick packaging below:
Giving up, I changed course to learning Vietnamese numbers. After struggling for 5 minutes or so, I am finally able to count 1-5 in Vietnamese!!!!!!!!! I don’t know how they are written, but they sound to me like “Mod, Hai, Ba, Mon, Nam”. KUDOS TO OANH!
After being able to do so, we had a little conversation:
Cahya: Thank you!
Oanh: Yeay! I will remind you later so that you will not forget them
Cahya: Cool. Now, if I succeed, you will have to teach me how to count from six to ten.
Oanh: Whoa. Ambitious girl.