travel tales

speaking vietnamese

12 October, 2015

I am starting to speak Vietnamese. 

Before you get too impressed, let me clarify. I am starting to speak the Vietnamese version of English. 

Not good. 

As it happens, I have picked up the unfortunate habit of dropping all superfluous words from my sentences since I arrived in Vietnam. Not only that, but I have adopted an accent whilst speaking in said broken English sentences. 

I have taken to saying “Too expensive. I no buy thank you.”, “You give best price?”, “I please order 1 Banana Blossom salad and 1 grilled eggplant” and “I go bathroom please” on a daily basis. At least I am using my manors. 

Quite frankly, I am not doing myself or anyone else any favours. 

In an attempt to help the locals to understand my English, I am teaching them exactly how not to speak it. 

Admittedly, I am trying to speak in proper sentences. For their learning and my sanity. But even with my best intentions, I find that I am continuously slipping into this weird grammatical flow that I would not even say to a two year old. 

Impressively most people here speak English, or some variation of language. They also speak Australian and, quite remarkably, sarcasm quite well. I have had a fair few “G’day mates” and “Bonzas” after telling a few salespeople I am from Australia. The Vietnamese have a very good sense of humour and love to make you laugh. It is perhaps because of the heavy Australian tourist presence that many of the more fluent English speakers have picked up on our dry sense of humour, which is also very entertaining. 

Hopefully as the trip goes on I will revert back into proper sentences with speaking with the local people, albeit simplified sentences. I may even start to pick up on a bit of proper Vietnamese whilst I am here, other than just “Cheers”. 

I go speak good now.  

xx TTT 

Vietnam Vietnam Vietnam

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