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"This is a superbly constructed textbook written by an experienced teacher for the benefits of beginning learners of Vietnamese…Professor Ngo is to be congratulated on his outstanding achievement; he has indeed produced a powerful tool in the area of learning resources for Southeast Asian languages."—Nguyen Dinh–Hoa, Professor Emeritus of Linguistics and Foreign Languages, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
This is a complete language course designed for college or high school–level classroom use or self–study.
This Vietnamese textbook was developed for the author's classes at Harvard University. Using examples from contemporary popular media, it serves also as a general introduction to modern Vietnamese society and culture and is invaluable for anyone planning to travel, study or work in Vietnam. The best–selling book has now been newly revised and expanded to include Lesson Fifteen, a grammar and usage index, and Vietnamese traditional cartoons in each of the fifteen lessons.
The text consists of two parts. The first part called Pronunciation Guide introduces the phonetic system of the Vietnamese language based on the Hanoi dialect and the spelling rules. The Guide includes the descriptions of the Vietnamese sounds, the comparisons of the phonological similarities, and differences between some Vietnamese and English sounds. Several basic differences between the Hanoi and Saigon dialects are also explained. The second part is comprised of fourteen lessons:
- Each lesson is opened by several short dialogues, presenting real situations related to the lesson's cultural theme. The new vocabulary used in the dialogues is given with translations into English.
- The dialogues and the vocabulary are followed by grammar and usage explanations, which are accompanied by numerous and varied drills. These drills are designed to reinforce all the grammatical constructions and the usage of the vocabulary introduced in the dialogues.
- The exercises following the drills focus on the lesson's topic and encourage students to interact with each other, sharing thoughts, concerns, and opinions as they learn about today's Vietnam.
- The advertisements taken from Vietnamese newspapers and magazines provide up–to–date information on Vietnam, the lesson's theme, and give students practice in reading Vietnamese while using dictionaries.
- Lesson Eight through Fourteen contain narratives on the lesson's topic, which introduce students to written Vietnamese. The narrative is followed by English translations of the vocabulary, grammar and usage notes, plus drills and exercises. All share the same purpose as these sections for the dialogues.
- Lessons Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, and Fourteen introduce students to four of the most important word–formation processes (compounding, affixation, reduplication and borrowing) in the Vietnamese language.
- Each lesson has a proverb at the end that is related to the lesson's topic. It is accompanied by the English translation.
- The text is provided with a Vietnamese–English glossary and an English–Vietnamese glossary that include all the words and most frequent combinations introduced in the text.
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