Vietnamese is the mother tongue spoken by approximately 3 million people living in and outside the Republic of Vietnam. Vietnam earned its independence from France in 1954 and Vietnamese became its official language.
Since the Vietnamese use a modified version of the Chinese alphabet that they called “Chữ nôm” in the past, they borrowed a rather high number of words from Chinese. The current alphabet of Vietnamese is based on the Latin alphabet; however, it has additional accents and intonations. Furthermore, its alphabet has 29 letters in total with the exception of F, J, W and Z.
Vietnamese is the 6th most widely-spoken language in the USA, where it is most intensely used outside of Vietnam and it is spoken there by more than 1.5 million people.
The countries where Vietnamese is spoken the most are the following:
- United States of America
- Czech Republic
As in many Asian languages, Vietnamese also has several vowels. Differently from Turkish, the vowels used in Vietnamese have "a" and "o" each in 3 different phonetic forms as well as "e" and "u" each in 2 different phonetic forms. It has the following vowels: ê, e, ư, â, ơ, ă, a, u, ô, and o.
Furthermore, there are letter combinations used in the Vietnamese alphabet to form phonemes differently from other languages. In addition to its alphabet of 29 letters, it has 11 of these components, as well. 10 of these are binary components and one is a triple component: CH, GH, GI, KH, NG, NH, PH, QU, TH, TR, NGH. To be able to speak Vietnamese effectively, it is highly important to learn the phonemes included in these components.