Filed under: History, Language, Language Learning, Multiculturalism, Translation Services
Vietnamese is one of the only Asian languages based on a Latin script without use of characters. Originally, however, much of Vietnamese vocabulary has been borrowed from Chinese, and it formerly used modified Chinese characters and pronunciation.
Vietnam is the largest of the three Francophone nations in Asia, the others being Laos and Cambodia, and the language is spoken by over 5% of the population and sometimes used in international relations. French was Vietnam’s official language from the beginning of French colonial rule in the mid-19th century until the dissolution of the South Vietnamese government in 1975.
In 1620, Alexandre de Rhodes (a Jesuit father) was one of the first Frenchman to visit Vietnam. His original visit was to introduce Roman Catholicism to the country. During his stay in Vietnam, he wrote the first Vietnamese Catechism and he published the first Portuguese–Latin–Vietnamese dictionary (first developed by Portuguese missionaries). His dictionary was later widely used by Vietnamese scholars to create the new Vietnamese writing system, based on a Latin script and now called Quốc Ngữ (national language). This new writing system became heavily promoted by the French colonial government, which got rid of Chinese influence on the Vietnamese education system by imposing a French-based system.
Another byproduct of French colonial rule is the strong influence of the French language on Vietnamese. The Vietnamese language contains a significant number of French loanwords and place names. The majority of words having French origin are those relating to objects, food and technology introduced to the Vietnamese during the colonial era.
Vietnamese was reclaimed as the official language of Vietnamese during the 20th century. Modern Vietnamese has retained many of the Chinese and French language influences which have played a role in its development throughout history. Due to Vietnam’s increasing contact with other countries in the 20th century, the Vietnamese language has also picked up a number of English phrases, as well.
Filed under: Language, Language Learning, Multiculturalism, Translation Services, Travel
Bangladesh’s official language is known as Bangla or Bengali. Bangladesh is part of the ethno-linguistic region of Bengal and Bengali is spoken by almost all people across the country. However, there are 38 languages spoken. Bengali is, however, spoken by about 98% of the population and is the lingua franca of the region.
Arabic text is widely used in school and universities and Hindi is also widely used in urban areas. Due to the British colonization of the country, English is also a widely spoken and commonly understood language in Bangladesh.
If you travel throughout Bangladesh you may encounter languages such as Arakanese, Assamese, Bishnupriya, Burmese, Chak and Chakma. Other spoken languages include: Asho Chin, Bawm Chin, Falam Chin, Haka Chin, Khumi Chin, Chittagonian, Darlong, Garo, Hajong, Ho, Khasi, Koch, Kok Borok, Kurux, Megam, Meitei, Mizo, Mru, Mundari, Pankhu, Pnar, Rajbanshi, Riang, Oraon Sadri, Santali, Shendu, Sylheti, Tangchangya, Tippera, Usui and War. In addition to this, there are roughly 14 deaf institutions where Indian Sign Language is taught to the deaf population.
Below are some common Bengali words:
Hello: (Salaam, Muslim) or (NawMoShkar, Hindu)
Goodbye: (aabar dekha hobe)(form of saying goodbye but means we’ll meet again)
Please: (doya kore or onugroho)
Thank you: (dhon-no-baad)
Water: (faani-in Bangladesh) or (jol-in India)
Eat: (khau, informal) (khaan, formal)