|Associate Professor, Dr. Nguyen Lan Trung, head of the Vietnam Association of Linguistics, vice president-general secretary of the Association for Liaison with Overseas Vietnamese.|
Associate Professor, Dr. Nguyen Lan Trung, head of the Vietnam Association of Linguistics, vice president-general secretary of the Association for Liaison with Overseas Vietnamese shared about Vietnamese language learning of our compatriots abroad.
Parents ask questions in Vietnamese, children answer in foreign languages
What is the current situation of Vietnamese and foreign languages in Vietnamese families far from the Fatherland?
Having lived in Europe for nearly 10 years, alongside overseas Vietnamese, I understand the pain and suffering of grandparents and parents when their children and grandchildren cannot speak Vietnamese. A situation that often occurs in a Vietnamese family is that parents ask their children in Vietnamese and the children answer in foreign languages.
They understand, but because they haven’t learned Vietnamese properly, their pronunciation is somewhat slurred. Therefore, they feel embarrassed when they have to speak Vietnamese. When children refuse to speak, we cannot create a sustainable community using Vietnamese.
What do you think about preserving the Vietnamese language in the Vietnamese community abroad?
When we go abroad, wherever we go and see the Vietnamese community only speaking foreign languages, we feel cold and strange. Wherever our community speaks Vietnamese, it is as if we see our homeland, our Fatherland, clearly visible here. In a family with generations of Vietnamese-speaking, we feel warm and emotional.
It’s not that our people don’t want their children to learn Vietnamese. However, the specific objective and subjective conditions pose difficulties for parents.
What do you think about activities of the Vietnamese language after one year of implementing the project on honoring Vietnamese language day in the overseas Vietnamese community?
Over the past years, the persistent efforts of the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs-Ministry of Foreign Affairs in supporting the community abroad in teaching and learning Vietnamese brought practical results, appreciated by overseas Vietnamese.
What are the activities to honor Vietnamese?
The Ministry of Education and Training also has specific directions, coordinating closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
One of the solutions proposed and effectively implemented by the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs is to promote, encourage, and support the Vietnamese community abroad to organize festivals and Vietnamese language competitions, artistic activities including singing, reciting poems, composing songs, and writing scripts in Vietnamese.
These activities created a new emotion, new wave, and beauty in the overseas Vietnamese community, towards the roots, raising the awareness of preserving and honoring the Vietnamese language.
|Associate Professor, Dr. Nguyen Lan Trung is the head of the jury of the Vietnamese language contest in Taiwan in August 2023.|
Learn Vietnamese online
What needs to be done in the near future to further promote the preservation and development of the Vietnamese language?
I met overseas Vietnamese in Japan, and they said, “Our children have little time. They have to learn Japanese first, and then improve their English. They don’t have time to go to Vietnamese classes.”
Therefore, we want to have more suitable and effective tools to teach and learn Vietnamese, not just hard copies of books.
In Thailand, overseas Vietnamese took me to a Vietnamese language teaching facility. It was true that the warehouse contained stacks of Vietnamese learning books that no one was using.
Our overseas Vietnamese hope that, in addition to traditional books and classrooms, there will be online learning materials so that children can study on their own.
Parents can help their children practice Vietnamese anywhere, anytime, in their spare time at home, during meals, on vacations, and outings.
The Vietnam Association of Linguistics and the Association for Liaison with Overseas Vietnamese made certain contributions in recent years. They cooperated with domestic and foreign agencies, promoting and creating the most favorable conditions for the stronger development of Vietnamese language teaching and learning in the community.
We are committed to continue accompanying the departments and organizations at home and abroad, to further promote the conservation, preservation, and development of the Vietnamese language.