Travel post: preparing for Vietnam

Last week, I purchased a Lonely Planet Guide to Vietnam and a phrase book with CD. My husband likes to learn a few facts about wherever we are going and I’m keen to understand the basics of Vietnamese.

The fact finding is going well. The language is more problematic.

I apologise in advance to Vietnam and its people for what we are going to do to your language. Neither if us have spoken anything but English and quite often our skills in that area are arguable. Learning Vietnamese in only four weeks, even if only a smattering, is not going to be easy.

I don’t blame the CD. It is well thought out and easy to follow. The problem is that what I hear is not what comes out of my mouth when I repeat the phrases. I’m hoping practice (I’ve loaded it into my iPod) will help, bit I’m sure I’m going to be obliterating the nuances and tones needed to be understood.

I will have to restrict my conversations somewhat. Possibly to “hello” or “hi” (same word), “goodbye”, “how much?” ) I do plan to go shopping after all), and “glass of wine please”. That just about covers the essentials, don’t you think?

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