Language in Vietnam

The Vietnamese language is related to Mon-Khmer languages and is heavily influenced by Chinese and the Tai languages. It's also impossible to learn. I struggled to pick up more than the most basic niceties. Like Chinese it is tonal (six tones) though the tones are much more complicated. By the time you are getting your tongue around the tones you are confronted with the writing system which although using the Roman alphabet introduces a daunting array of diacritics (squiggles) and altered letters. Historically Vietnamese was represented using Chinese characters but this practice stopped around 100 years ago. You can still hear French spoken on occasion, usually on public broadcasts.

Right: Phuong Bac whom I met on the train to Ninh Binh casts a critical eye on the LP guide to Vietnam.

Phuong Bac

Anyone who has spent any time living or travelling around Asia is bound to have come across some often amusingly mangled English language (oft referred to as "Engrish"). Hotels are good hunting grounds for such delightful doggerel. Below is an example from a hotel in Danang.

Hotel Regulations:

Inoder to grant safety. Politeness, civilization granted healthy for working of guestes. Thuan An Hotel would like to suggest for excuition things as follow.

1. Guestes have to present their documents for resident registration. Gold and precious things should be sent to reception bar with receipts. If not when lossing, our hotel has not responsibility.

2. Do not take weapons, animals, explosives, plammable', toxoc and bad smelling. Matrerial into room

Do not put waste/ master freely. Make dirty wall excuite civilized. Safe like without influence to other.

3. Do not move and put out equipments in room if damazing and lossing. Guests will be asked for compensation. Following present price.

Do not wash and dry in room. Do not use electric power for cooking. Telephone fee in a long distance will be born by guests if any. When having event that cause fire. Please notice to any Hotel's employee and obey firemem's intruction.

4. Meet your guests and friendy at the lobby do not take your relatives in room unless having agreement of Hotel.

5. Switch of electric, water, and lock the door befoire leaving. Sent the key at the reception bar.

Time of check out is before 12 a.m. After this time guests must pay for all of next day.

You are kindly suggested for excution all things above mentioned.