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The Vietnamese Announcement December 17, 2006

Posted by Edwin in Vietnamese.
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A few days ago, after a long meeting at work, I and some colleagues started chit-chatting. A Vietnamese-Chinese colleague ended up teaching us Vietnamese.

He showed us the 6 tones in Vietnamese. 3 of them were easy to pronounce, but the other 3 were difficult.

Then I began to speak some Vietnamese that I knew. I didn’t actually know any Vietnamese except the first few lines in the famous Vietnamese radio announcement that the whole city of Hong Kong should know. Other colleagues in the room was amazed and found my Vietnamese sounded quite authentic. But in reality, my Vietnamese colleague failed to understand what I said after the first sentence.

This Vietnamese announcement became well-known in Hong Kong back in the late 80’s, when it used to be played in the radio every night, to inform the Vietnamese refugees coming from sea the colony’s new refugee policy. Later, it was quoted everywhere in the colony by people who pretended to speak the language. The first sentence “bắt đầu từ nay” means “effective from now on”.

I am surpised to find that Wikipedia has a whole entry about this announcement.

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