Vietnam-Brazil Friendship and Cooperation Celebrated with the Release of Portuguese-Vietnamese Dictionary

Dr. Nguyen Van Lang, chairman of the Vietnam-Brazil Friendship and Cooperation Association, stated in an interview with the Vietnam Times that they are committed to further developing the mutual understanding between Vietnam and Brazil, and with the Portuguese-speaking community worldwide, through the creation of the Portuguese-Vietnamese dictionary. He explained that this dictionary is an ongoing contribution to the growth of knowledge in various fields, such as history, politics, science, technology, culture and sports.

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Portuguese Vietnamese Dictionary: Achievement of Vietnam-Brazil Friendship And Cooperation

Why did the Vietnam-Brazil Friendship and Cooperation Association decide to preside over the development of a Portuguese-Vietnamese dictionary?

In the 1990s, when I was Vice Chairman, then Chairman of Dak Lak People’s Committee, I had the honor of attending many conferences of the International Coffee Organization, some of which were held in Brazil.

After a long process of work and exchange, when the Vietnam-Brazil Friendship and Cooperation Association was established in May 2010, I was invited to be the Chairman of the Association.

Portuguese Vietnamese Dictionary: Achievement of Vietnam-Brazil Friendship And Cooperation

In June 2011, during our visit to Brazil, we received a dictionary from overseas Vietnamese Thai Quang Nghia (owner of Gooc backpack and footwear manufacturer). The idea of creating a Portuguese-Vietnamese dictionary originated from there. This received support from the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences.

Currently, Portuguese is used by 8 countries and territories with over 280 million people. It is one of the ten most popular languages in the world. Brazil, a South American country with over 210 million people, uses Portuguese as the national language.

Portuguese Vietnamese Dictionary: Achievement of Vietnam-Brazil Friendship And Cooperation
Chairman of the Vietnam-Brazil Friendship and Cooperation Association (far right) presented the Portuguese-Vietnamese dictionary to Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga, President of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations, and guests. Photo: Thu Ha

Vietnam and Brazil established diplomatic relations in 1989. The friendly relationship between the two countries is increasingly strengthened and developed in many fields, especially in terms of two-way trade.

The Association mobilized and gathered Portuguese teaching and research staff at universities, diplomatic agencies, and various organizations to form a group to compile this dictionary.

After 12 years of effort, and overcoming many difficulties and challenges, the Portuguese-Vietnamese dictionary was finally completed.

Portuguese Vietnamese Dictionary: Achievement of Vietnam-Brazil Friendship And Cooperation
The dictionary is of particular interest to young people who love Portuguese. Photo: Thu Ha

What is the mission of the Portuguese-Vietnamese dictionary?

Different from other dictionaries, the Portuguese-Vietnamese dictionary is compiled using new language and methods, in terms of content, layout, and presentation.

This dictionary covers 17 communication topics related to essential issues of political institutions, economics, society, and cultural life.

Topics are selected based on their practical application to various groups in society, such as individuals, organizations, businesses, researchers, diplomats, and tourists.

The number of vocabulary entries in the Portuguese-Vietnamese dictionary may not be high, but they consist of common words and phrases with necessary examples appropriate to their context of use.

The Portuguese-Vietnamese dictionary serves as a pocket textbook, allowing users to easily look up vocabulary like a regular dictionary. It also provides conversations on each topic that can be applied to real situations.

Portuguese Vietnamese Dictionary: Achievement of Vietnam-Brazil Friendship And Cooperation

How do you evaluate the role of this dictionary in diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Brazil, as well as with Portuguese-speaking countries?

The Portuguese-Vietnamese dictionary is the result of friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and Brazil, as well as with Portuguese-speaking countries in general.

The Association mobilized funds to build this dictionary, with contributions not only from the Association itself, but also from Vietnamese and Brazilian businesses and the Brazilian Cotton Growers Association.

Counselors and staff of the Brazilian Embassy in Vietnam collaborated to review vocabulary, dialogue, and grammar.

We would like to present this dictionary to our Brazilian friends and friends in other Portuguese-speaking countries. Brazilian football players playing in Vietnam, citizens of Brazil, and Portuguese-speaking countries working in Vietnam can use this dictionary to learn more about Vietnamese.

Through the dictionary, the Association aims to contribute to the goal of strengthening mutual understanding between Vietnam and Brazil, as well as between Vietnam and the community of Portuguese-speaking countries worldwide.

Le Thi Thu Hien (third, from left)
Le Thi Thu Hien (third, from left)

Le Thi Thu Hien, a student of the Portuguese department at Hanoi University:

Portuguese-Vietnamese and Vietnamese-Portuguese dictionaries in Vietnam are still limited. Therefore, during my learning process, I often use the online Infopédia dictionary to look up vocabulary meanings, pronunciation, and stress.

This dictionary also provides exercises and games for students to practice Portuguese. At the end of 2022, when participating in a student exchange program in Mozambique, I had the opportunity to use a paper Portuguese dictionary.

I find the Portuguese-Vietnamese dictionary interesting because it is divided into many different topics, including common vocabulary and phrases related to each topic, making it easy to look up. I am interested in the topic of travel, so the conversations about restaurants, hotels, and festivals in the dictionary can be immediately applied to real situations.

Do Thi Thanh (third, from left).
Do Thi Thanh (third, from left).

Do Thi Thanh, former head of the Training Department at the University of Foreign Languages (now Hanoi University), co-head of the Portuguese-Vietnamese dictionary Drafting Committee:

The Portuguese-Vietnamese dictionary is applicable and practical for Vietnamese people who want to work, trade, visit, and travel in Portuguese-speaking countries.

In addition to conversations, vocabulary related to the topic, and common phrases for lookup and use, the dictionary also serves as a guide. At the end of each topic, there is often information about each area in Brazil, Portugal, and the world.

Rosie Nguyen

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