Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

  • Why you should look around

    Since 2003, Chinese-forums.com has been helping people learn Chinese faster and get to China sooner. Our members can recommend beginner textbooks, help you out with obscure classical vocabulary, and tell you where to get the best street food in Xi'an. And we're friendly about it too. 

    Have a look at what's going on, or search for something specific. We hope you'll join us. 
opper567

Vietnamese Relationship with Chinese Languages

Recommended Posts

opper567

I know that Northern Vietnam was ruled by China for a long time period. I also know that Vietnamese is not in the same language family as Chinese (Chinese is Sino-Burmese and Vietnamese is Mon-Khmer), but I was wondering if anyone knows any cognates or if Vietnamese was in anyway influenced by Chinese languages.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

盤古

As far as I know, Chinese is categorized as Sino-Tibetan, not "Sino-Burmese".

Vietnamese, like Korean and Japanese, imported TONS of Chinese vocabulary, philosophy and concepts into their own languages and cultures. Even today, many Vietnamese words are nearly identical to Chinese words. However, Vietnamese grammar is quite different from that of Chinese.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yuchi

A lot of vocabulary was borrowed from chinese, and the vietnamese at one point wrote in "chu nom", vietnamese written in chinese characters. Ofcourse they made up their own characters too.

These are ones I know:

cám ơn 感恩 (gǎn ēn)

niên 年 (nián)

Hán tự 漢字 (hàn zì)

Some sites:

http://www.glossika.com/en/dict/viet.php

http://www.omniglot.com/writing/chunom.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chu_nom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
atitarev

"China" in Vietnamese is Trung Quốc (used to be written as 中國), TR is pronounced as CH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
qrasy
A lot of vocabulary was borrowed from chinese' date=' and the vietnamese at one point wrote in "chu nom", vietnamese written in chinese characters. Ofcourse they made up their own characters too.

These are ones I know:

cám ơn 感恩 (gǎn ēn)

niên 年 (nián)

Hán tự 漢字 (hàn zì)

Some sites:

[url']http://www.glossika.com/en/dict/viet.php[/url]

http://www.omniglot.com/writing/chunom.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chu_nom

Vietnamese do not use niên as 'year'. They use 'năm'.

Hán tự ->very uncommon. They usually call Chinese characters Chữ Hán or Chữ Nho.

I know that Northern Vietnam was ruled by China for a long time period. I also know that Vietnamese is not in the same language family as Chinese (Chinese is Sino-Burmese and Vietnamese is Mon-Khmer), but I was wondering if anyone knows any cognates or if Vietnamese was in anyway influenced by Chinese languages.

Grammatically I find about the passive voice action, which may be Chinese influence. In Vocabulary, tons of loanwords are observed, like Korean and Japanese.

But there are some words Mon-Khmer seems to be cognate to Sino-Tibetan. By the way I don't know how the word originated.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yuchi
Vietnamese do not use niên as 'year'. They use 'năm'.

Hán tự ->very uncommon. They usually call Chinese characters Chữ Hán or Chữ Nho.

Oh, the dictionary I looked at in shanghai had it as "Hán tự" on its spine.

As for năm, its chu nom is 年 as well, my friend told me it was niên, maybe dialect difference?

Some more I guess, please feel free to correct me:

Hồ Chí Minh 胡志明

Nguyễn 阮

ngữ 語

bạn 伴

quốc ngữ 國語

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
盤古
As for năm, its chu nom is 年 as well, my friend told me it was niên, maybe dialect difference?

While niên certainly means 年 but most Vietnamese today use năm. There are many "modern" Vietnamese words that evolved from Chinese but became a little different.

Another example would be the Vietnamese word "tet", which usually refers to the Lunar New Year but literally means "holiday" came from the Chinese word 節 jie. I believe the original spelling of "tet" was something like "tiet".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
atitarev

They say the closest Chinese dialect to Vietnamese is Cantonese in pronunciation and grammar - it's not the same but it's the closest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
geraldc

Ho Chi Minh attended the Whampoa military academy. I wonder what language they instructed him in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
opper567

My teacher said he was educated as a child in a Private Vietnamese-speaking school. The public schools taught in French. She said his father was rich, but later diched his family... I forgot the rest... :-?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quest
They say the closest Chinese dialect to Vietnamese is Cantonese in pronunciation and grammar - it's not the same but it's the closest.

In pronunciation maybe, since Cantonese retained a lot of old features in ancient Chinese, many of the surrounding unrelated languages like Korean Japanese and Vietnamese sound closer to Cantonese than to Mandarin. Not sure about the grammar, but from what Pazu posted a while back, I don't think Cantonese and Vietnamese grammars have that much in common. Cantonese grammar is basically Mandarin grammar, Vietnamese grammar seemed a whole lot different.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ncao

I'm a Cantonese speaking ethnic Chinese from Vietnam and I don't think Cantonese is similar to Vietnamese. The only words in Vietnamese that are similar to Cantonese are Han-Viet words (words borrow from Chinese). The grammar is also different, an example

Vietnamese in Cantonese is 越南人 (Vietnam person) 越南話 or 越南語 (Vietnam language), but in Vietnamese is nguoi Viet (person Viet) and tieng Viet (language Viet).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
atitarev

Thanks, Quest.

I read an opinion that if Vietnam was part of China and still used Chinese characters, Vietnamese would be considered another Chinese dialect - it's also compared typologically to Chinese Min dialects. As dialects they have a core of Chinese vocabulary but also their own - 70% of vocab is Chinese root syllables adjusted to Vietnamese pronunciation. (Same as Korean and about the same as Japanese but their grammar is much more different). Vietnamese grammar might be different from Chinese dialects but what is common in grammar - it is analytic, there is no inflexion. It also relies mainly on word order and sentence structure. Subject + Verb + Object is also true for Vietnamese. Plural suffixes are optional as in Chinese and it also has classifiers (measure words) and reduplications (to intensify the meaning). Tenses are expressed with particles, not morphologically.

Of course, Vietnamese has more differences from Mandarin than Cantonese but classical Vietnamese texts were also written in Chinese characters (hán tự - 漢子) and Vietnamese scholars could understand them, although they pronounced the words in Vietnamese.

Modern Vietnamese pronouns are much more advanced than modern Chinese - in the number of them used, it reflects the relationships in the Vietnamese society.

P.S. I am not learning Vietnamese but curious from the linguistic point of view.

EDIT:

To Ncao,

No, Vietnamese doesn't sound like Cantonese. I've got a Vietnamese colleague who speaks both. He finds it easy to pick up Cantonese though. You just map the words and sounds. Despite the difference in how new words are made, Chinese and Vietnamese grammars are similar from the Western reader's point of view.

They must have borrowed Noun + Adjective word order from French. :) No, only joking. It's definitely big difference from Chinese.

http://www.geocities.com/CollegePark/Campus/6336/grammar.html

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quest
I read an opinion that if Vietnam was part of China and still used Chinese characters, Vietnamese would be considered another Chinese dialect - it's also compared typologically to Chinese Min dialects.

I think Cantonese is closer to Mandarin in terms of grammar than Min dialects. Also, Minnan for example, seems to have a few words/pronunciations for 人, is that true?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ncao

EDIT:

To Ncao,

No, Vietnamese doesn't sound like Cantonese. I've got a Vietnamese colleague who speaks both. He finds it easy to pick up Cantonese though. You just map the words and sounds. Despite the difference in how new words are made, Chinese and Vietnamese grammars are similar from the Western reader's point of view.

They must have borrowed Noun + Adjective word order from French. :) No, only joking. It's definitely big difference from Chinese.

I shouldn't of said "sound like" when I meant close to or similar. I just don't understand why some people (not only Westerners) think Vietnamese is similar to Cantonese, when there is actually many differences between the two. I think it's easy for a Vietnamese to learn Cantonese is because Vietnamese is also a tonal language, the Han-Viet factor and Cantonese is the most common Chinese dialect heard in Vietnam.

Also, there are many ethnic Chinese from Vietnam that can't speak Vietnamese very well.Some Vietnamese even make of it, just like how some native Mandarin speakers make fun of the way some Cantonese speak Mandarin.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shibo77

There are Vietnamese living within the territory of China, and they are considered a minority group 京族(越族) Kinh "Vietnamese(ethnicity)" who speaks 京语(越南语) tiếng Việt "Vietnamese(language)".

Not another dialect of Chinese.

-Shìbó :mrgreen:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
studentyoung
Ho Chi Minh attended the Whampoa military academy. I wonder what language they instructed him in.

They instructed him in Chinese, for Ho Chi Minh's father was a sinologist, so I think Ho Chi Minh must have learned Chinese from his father. What' more, Ho Chi Minh could even make friends with so many top leaders in Chinese Communist Party, such as Chairman Mao (毛泽东), Zhou, Enlai (周恩来) and Liu, shaoqi (刘少奇) etc., without any help of interpreters, so I am sure that Ho Chi Minh learned Chinese very well.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rmontelatici

Have a look a this previous thread : http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/1872-%e7%82%ba%e7%94%9a%e9%ba%bc%e5%90%b3%e8%aa%9e%e5%92%8c%e7%b2%b5%e8%aa%9e%e6%98%af%e4%b8%ad%e5%9c%8b%e8%a9%b1-%e8%80%8c%e8%b6%8a%e5%8d%97%e8%aa%9e%e4%b8%8d%e6%98%af%e5%91%a2

Vietnamese loaned a lot from chinese, but many linguists believe it has different roots.

Many words of contemporary vietnamese cannot be tracked back to any historical chinese.

Some words show similarities with malay and khmer while for other ones no relationship has been found so far. This part of lexicon is called "proto-vietnamese" as opposed to "sino-vietnamese" that has developped during the ruling of China over Vietnam.

Mapping chinese words to vietnamese equivalents (the ones borrowed from chinese) only results in awkward vietnamese. This only works for isolated parts of speech, not for complete sentences. Please note that most vietnamese people are actually aware of which words (be they nouns, verbs or whatever) are of chinese origin and which are not.

Having studied vietnamese, I can often guess which words "sound chinese" and which ones don't (generally speaking of course, this can be tricky sometimes).

To make a comparison: in english there are many words of "latin" origin, and you can often tell which ones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
qrasy
Have a look a this previous thread : http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/1872-%e7%82%ba%e7%94%9a%e9%ba%bc%e5%90%b3%e8%aa%9e%e5%92%8c%e7%b2%b5%e8%aa%9e%e6%98%af%e4%b8%ad%e5%9c%8b%e8%a9%b1-%e8%80%8c%e8%b6%8a%e5%8d%97%e8%aa%9e%e4%b8%8d%e6%98%af%e5%91%a2

Vietnamese loaned a lot from chinese' date=' but many linguists believe it has different roots.

Many words of contemporary vietnamese cannot be tracked back to any historical chinese.

Some words show similarities with malay and khmer while for other ones no relationship has been found so far. This part of lexicon is called "proto-vietnamese" as opposed to "sino-vietnamese" that has developped during the ruling of China over Vietnam.

Mapping chinese words to vietnamese equivalents (the ones borrowed from chinese) only results in awkward vietnamese. This only works for isolated parts of speech, not for complete sentences. Please note that most vietnamese people are actually aware of which words (be they nouns, verbs or whatever) are of chinese origin and which are not.

Having studied vietnamese, I can often guess which words "sound chinese" and which ones don't (generally speaking of course, this can be tricky sometimes).

To make a comparison: in english there are many words of "latin" origin, and you can often tell which ones.[/quote']

Yes, Sino-Vietnamese can be separated very well from normal Vietnamese. But look at something called the 'quasi-Sino-Vietnamese' or 'Vietnamized Chinese' it's harder since it's ancient Chinese far older, with more complete phonemes than Middle Chinese.

As for the sharing with Khmer, I believe linguists are not stupid, so there should be many words similar, but Malay has very different words so that most linguists considered them different family.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...