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Vietnamese Resources

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502 posts - 1093 votes 
Studies: German

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05 May 2020 at 12:14am | IP Logged 
During the period from February 2020 through May 2020, I conducted a complete revision to the twenty-eight (28) lists of resources which I had posted on the LLORG during the previous three-year period. As revising these types of documents directly on the LLORG in the “Edit Mode” is fraught with difficulties, I removed their contents from the LLORG, stored them on my computer, and completed the revisions. During the revision process an event occurred which prevented me from reposting the contents to their original files and, as a contingency measure, I have posted them here on the HTLAL in the anticipation that either the Administrator or the Moderators of the LLORG will copy/paste them to the LLORG. - Speakeasy


Vietnam, officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, is the easternmost country on the Southeast Asian Indochinese Peninsula. With an estimated 95.5 million inhabitants as of 2018, it is the 15th most populous country in the world. Vietnam shares its land borders with China to the north, and Laos and Cambodia to the west. It shares its maritime borders with Thailand through the Gulf of Thailand, and the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia through the South China Sea. Its capital city is Hanoi, while its most populous city is Ho Chi Minh City, also known by its former name of Saigon. – Source: Wikipedia

Languages Spoken in Vietnam
Vietnamese is the both the national and the official language of Vietnam, the vast majority of the country’s estimated 95 million citizens speak this language. A number of minority languages are spoken, most notably Muong, Cham, Khmer, Chinese, Nùng, and H'Mông, each representing approximately 1% of the population. In addition, Vietnam is an official member of the Francophonie with a significant portion of the population possessing French as a second language. Although Russian, Czech, German, and Polish are also spoken by small sections of the Vietnamese population, English is increasingly becoming the favored second language. -- Sources:, The World Fact Book (CIA)

Vietnamese Language
Vietnamese is an Austroasiatic language that originated in Vietnam, where it is the national and official language. It is the native language of the Vietnamese (Kinh) people, as well as a first or second language for the many ethnic minorities of Vietnam. As a result of Vietnamese emigration and cultural influence, Vietnamese speakers are found throughout the world, notably in East and Southeast Asia, North America, Australia and Western Europe. Vietnamese has also been officially recognized as a minority language in the Czech Republic. – Source: Wikipedia


Vietnamese Courses, Supplements. Etc.

Cortina Vietnamese (In a Nutshell, Vest Pocket) (1975, 1994) by Vu'o'ng-Gia-Thuy; Cortina International, Funk & Wagnalls, Institute for Language Study, Others
Familiarization course. Southern dialect. CEFR A1. Four (4) hours of AUDIO recordings. Published under three different titles and in several editions up to 1990, all without revisions to the original. Freely-available via Yojik website.

DLI Vietnamese Basic (1967, 1971, 1982)
Emphasis on Vietnamese Southern Dialect; includes module on Northern Dialect. Audio-lingual method. Course manuals: 3,000-plus pages. Circa 40 hours of AUDIO recordings.
DLI Vietnamese Headstart (1960s – 1980s) - NONE

FSI Vietnamese Basic (1967) – Yojik website
FSI Vietnamese Basic (1967 – Kindle version
Emphasis on Vietnamese Southern Dialect. Audio-lingual method. Course manuals: 700-plus pages. Circa 45 hours of AUDIO recordings.
FSI Vietnamese Familiarization Course (1969); 250 pages; by Nguyen-Hai-Quang and Eleanor Jorden
Elementary spoken Vietnamese. Southern Dialect. For classroom use or for self-instruction. Audio-lingual method. AUDIO recordings exist, but NOT hosted on Yojik website.

Intermediate Spoken Vietnamese (1980), 401 pages, by Franklin Huffman, and Tran Trong Hai; Cornell University
No prequel to this Intermediate textbook. To be used with the assistance of an instructor. No mention of audio recordings. Presumably CEFR B1-B2. Both Amazon customer reviews quite positive.

Linguaphone Vietnamese - NONE
Publishing history of Linguaphone does NOT include a Vietnamese course.

Spoken Vietnamese (1940), 310 pages, by Robert B. Jones Jr., et al.; American Council of Learned Societies
Introduction to Spoken Vietnamese (1960), 310 pages, by Robert B. Jones Jr., et al.; Spoken Language Services, Inc.
Commissioned during WWII by the U.S. Armed Forces. Nascent audio-lingual method. Spoken Language Services acquired copyrights and, in 1960, published either a reprint or a revised edition under the title “Introduction To Spoken Vietnamese.” Two Amazon customers (circa 2002) posted glowing reviews.

U.S. Peace Corps Vietnamese (1960s – 1990s) - NONE


Vietnamese Courses, Supplements. Etc.

Assimil Le vietnamien sans peine (circa 2000) by Dô Thê Dung, Lê Thanh Thúy
Assimil Vietnamesisch ohne Mühe (circa 2002) by Dô Thê Dung, Lê Thanh Thúy
Available in FRENCH and German only. Accompanied by four (4) AUDIO CDs. CEFR A2-B1. Amazon customer reviews, in French and in German, have been very positive.

Chao Ban! : An Introduction to Vietnamese (2007), 308 pages
Chao Ban!: An Introduction to Vietnamese, Student’s Workbook (2007), 320 pages
By Tri C. Tran and Minh-Tam Tran; published by University Press of America. For classroom instruction. No mention of audio recordings. Probably CEFR A1-A2. Only two reviews on Amazon, but both are very positive.

Chung Ta Noi: Conversational Vietnamese --An Intermediate Text (2007), 400 pages
Workbook Manual to Accompany Chung Ta Noi (2007), 115 pages,
By Le Pham Thuy-Kim, Kim-Oanh Nguyen, et al.; published by University of Washington Press. No prequel to this Intermediate textbook. For use with an instructor. Workbook out-of-print. No mention of audio recordings. Possibly CEFR B1. Amazon customer reviews quite positive.

Colloquial Vietnamese, 2nd ed. (2015), 288 pages, by Bac Hoai Tran et al.; Routledge
Colloquial Vietnamese: AUDIO Recordings – Routledge website
Staple CEFR A0-A1 course. Includes 2 hours of audio recordings. Amazon customer reviews are mixed.

Complete Vietnamese (2012), 384 pages, by Dana Healy; Teach Yourself Books
Staple CEFR A1 course. Irrespective of the edition of this course, Amazon customer reviews range from quite positive to rather negative.

DLI GLOSS Vietnamese – NONE

DLI Headstart2 Vietnamese - NONE

Elementary Vietnamese (2013), 288 pages
Continuing Vietnamese (2016), 356 pages
Both by Dr. Binh Nhu Ngo, published by Tuttle Publishing. For use with a teacher or for self-instruction. Accompanied by AUDIO recordings. Perhaps CEFR A2-B1. Amazon customers vary between positive and negative.

Glossika: Learn to Speak Vietnamese Vietnamese (Northern) Fluently and Effectively
Not a regular course of study; set of English-to-Vietnamese translated, spaced-repetition, sentence-pattern drills, for Advanced Beginner students. Potential CEFR B1.
Hành Trang Ngôn Ngu: Language Luggage For Vietnam: First-Year (2013), 252 pages
Hành Trình Van Hoá: A Journey Through Vietnamese Culture: Second-Year (2013), 222 pages
Both by Tri C. Tran; published by University Press of America. Most likely for use with a teacher. Possibly CEFR B1 upon completion. Amazon customer reviews are mostly positive, save for a few dissenting voices.

National Foreign Language Center (NFLC) Vietnamese – University of Maryland
Collection of graded exercise sets for supplemental practice (reading, aural, occasionally videos). Similar to DLI GLOSS. Currently 10 exercise sets for Yoruba. Access: US$ 5.00 monthly subscription.

Parlons vietnamien: langue et culture viet ngu (1998), 320 pages, by Nguyen Ton Nu Hoang Mai; Editions L’Harmattan
Parlons vietnamien: AUDIO CD - indisponible   
Available in FRENCH only. Probably CEFR A2. The two Amazon.FR reviewers were not overwhelmed by this course. Although an AUDIO CD was once available for separate purchase, the publisher seems to have ceased offering audio recordings.   

Pimsleur Vietnamese (Level I); Simon & Schuster
All-audio, initiation to very basic structure and vocabulary. CEFR A0.

Tieng Viet: Introduction to Vietnamese Language and Culture, 3rd ed. (2004), 270 pages, by Do Thi Minh Hong; Do Thi Minh Hong
No audio recordings available. Probably CEFR A1-A2. All five Amazon customer reviews are positive. Nevertheless, one customer, who submitted a positive review, counselled Beginners to consider competing materials first.

Spoken Vietnamese for Beginners (2011), 409 pages; Northern Illinois University Press
Spoken Vietnamese for Beginners (2011), 409 pages; Cornell University Press
By Nguyen Long, Marybeth Clark, Nguyen Thuan. For use either with a teacher or for self-instruction. AUDIO recordings freely available via the Cornell University Press website (see link above). Level upon completion probably CEFR A2-B1. Amazon customer reviews are quite mixed.
Vietnamese for Beginners (2nd ed., 2008), 307 pages, by Jake Catlett et al.; Paiboon Publishing
Teaches the Southern Dialect of Vietnamese. AUDIO available in the form of three (3) CDs which are sold separately. CEFR A1-A2 range. Amazon customer reviews have been quite positive.

Vietnamese Courses, Supplements. Etc. (German Base)
peterbeischmidt wrote:
Here are some more high-quality ones:

    [*] Grundkurs Vietnamesisch, 1990, Hoang Thi Chau, VEB Verlag Enzyklopaedie
    [*] Cours de Vietnamien, 1994, Antoine Dauphin, Asiatheque
    [*] A Vietnamese Reader, 1961, Laurence C. Thompson and Nguyen duc Hiep, University of Washington Press
    [*] Lehrbuch der vietnamesischen Sprache, Buske, comes with recordings and my tutor recorded the solutions to the translation exercises (message me if you're interested)
    [*] Intermediate Vietnamese, 1971, Nguyễn Đăng Liêm, Seton Hall University Press ❤
    [*] Intermediate Vietnamese Reader by Robert Quinn, I think it's in the public domain and a PDF can be found after some googling

There are actually quite a few newer textbooks available in German by Buske such as the "Lehrbuch der vietnamesischen Sprache" by Trang Dai Vu which is entirely different from the book with the same title above, but I haven't looked at them more closely. I enjoy working with monolingual textbooks or readers, but for Vietnamese I've found only one thus far:

    [*] Quốc Văn Giáo Khoa Thư - Lớp Dự Bị (you can easily find a PDF online)
    [*] ... others?

It's a shame the website of the UCLA Language Materials Project is no longer available. Did anyone else here use and appreciate their catalog?

Vietnamese Phrasebooks, Language Guides, etc.
This list is not exhaustive, it is but a small sample of the many phrasebooks and language guides that are available for Vietnamese.
Berlitz Phrase Book & Dictionary Vietnamese (2nd ed., 2019), 224 pages; Berlitz Publishing

DLI Language Survival Kit

Guide de conversation: Le vietnamien de poche (2011), 160 pages, by The Dung Do; Assimil
In FRENCH only.

Kauderwelsch Vietnamesisch, by Monika Heyder; Reise Know-How Verlag
Kauderwelsch-Sprachführer Vietnamesisch Wort für Wort (14th ed., 2019), 160 pages
Kauderwelsch-AusspracheTrainer Vietnamesisch: AUDIO Recordings
Available in German only. Phrasebook and AUDIO recordings (extracts only). Sold separately.

Larousse Vietnamese Phrasebook (2007), 192 pages; Larousse Editions

Lonely Planet Vietnamese Phrasebook & Dictionary (8th ed., 2018), 256 pages, by Ben Handicott; Lonely Planet
U.S. Army 200-Hour Vietnamese Familiarisation Course
Emphasis on basic communication needs. The “200 hours” refers to contact time in the classroom. Materials themselves evoke a language guide. In self-study, CEFR A0 upon completion.
Vietnamese Handbook for Beginners: Southern (2018), 252 pages, by Gary La; Independently published

Vietnamese Grammar, Transcription, Verbs, etc.

======= Grammar: General =======
Basic Vietnamese Grammar in American (2018), 238 pages, by Le, Hoang-Long; LifeRichPublishing

Vietnamese Reference Grammar (reprint 1988), 416 pages, by Laurence C. Thompson and Stephen D. O'Harrow; University of Hawaii Press      

======= Transcriptions =======

Vietnamese Advanced Transcription Course (1999), 1006 pages, by To-Lan Vu, Willian P. Hyde, Vu To-Lan; Dunwoody Press
Evidently destined for use in a classroom. The authors collaborated on other Vietnamese instructional texts and/or dictionaries.

======= Verbs =======

201 Vietnamese Verbs Compounds and Phrases (1979), 215 pages, by Inh Hoa Nguyen and Dinh H. Nguyen; B E S Pub Co

Vietnamese Dictionaries, etc.
This list is not exhaustive, it is but a small sample of the many dictionaries of Vietnamese that are available.

======= General Dictionaries =======

Langenscheidt's Pocket Dictionary Vietnamese/ English, English / Vietnamese (2001), 672 pages; Langenscheidt

Mini Vietnamese Dictionary: Vietnamese-English / English-Vietnamese Dictionary (2020), 352 pages, by Phan Van Giuong; Tuttle Publishing
NTC's Vietnamese-English Dictionary (1995), 728 pages, by Dinh-hoa Nguyen; NTC Publishing Group

Oxford Picture Dictionary English/Vietnamese (2017), 320 pages, by Jayme Adelson-Goldstein and Norma Shapiro; Oxford University Press

Tuttle Vietnamese-English Dictionary (2nd ed., 2016), 320 pages, by Nguyen Dinh Hoa et al.; Tuttle Publishing

Vietnamese Practical Dictionary Vietnamese-English/English-Vietnamese (2010), 256 pages, by Bac Tran & Courtney Norris ; Hippocrene Books

======= Specialist Dictionaries =======     

Vietnamese-English Glossary of Commercial Terms (English and Vietnamese Edition) (1995), 183 pages, by To-Lan Vu, William Satterthwait, Willian P. Hyde et al.; Dunwoody Press

Vietnamese Readers, Literature, etc.

Vietnamese Stories for Language Learners (2017), 224 pages, by Tri C. Tran, Tram Le; Tuttle Publishing
Folktales in Vietnamese accompanied by English translations. Includes an AUDIO CD. Amazon customer reviews have been quite positive.


Vietnamese Media

Vietnamese Miscellany


Please feel at liberty to post your own recommendations and/or comments and I’ll see what I can do about incorporating them into the lists above.

Visitors to this file are encouraged to review the subsequent comments, posted below, as they include members’ suggestions concerning materials and form a running commentary on resources for the study of this language.

Completely revised: April 2020

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