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The Role of Han-Nom (Sinitic Vietnamese & Nom Script) in Teaching Vietnamese Hy Van Do (Vietnam National University) Tram Hoan Thuc Ly (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

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Presentation on theme: "The Role of Han-Nom (Sinitic Vietnamese & Nom Script) in Teaching Vietnamese Hy Van Do (Vietnam National University) Tram Hoan Thuc Ly (University of Wisconsin-Madison)"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Role of Han-Nom (Sinitic Vietnamese & Nom Script) in Teaching Vietnamese Hy Van Do (Vietnam National University) Tram Hoan Thuc Ly (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

2 Outline Introduction: The development of writing language system in Vietnamese history The role of Han Viet in modern Vietnamese The key notions The role of Han Nom (Sinitic Vietnamese and Nom script) in Vietnamese: Grammar Lexicon Culture Conclusion:

3 Introduction (1) The development of writing language system in Vietnamese history: The popularity of Chinese as writing language in East Asian area Today, in China, the only common writing language system is pronounced by many different local phonetics. Because of historical condition and cultural interaction, Chinese influxes into Korea, Japan and Vietnam. The result is that the same Chinese character can be read in Korean pronunciation ( ), Japanese pronunciation ( ) or Vietnamese pronunciation (. The influx of Chinese into Vietnam Language interaction between China and Vietnam began more than two thousand years ago. More than one thousand years, Chinese was official language in Vietnam. Both of the systems of writing and phonetics are the same as the ones in China. When Vietnam separated from China in the year of 938A.D., Chinese was still used in education, examination and administration.

4 Introduction (2) The birth of Sinitic Vietnamese (Han Viet) The language interaction between Vietnam and China was interrupted after Vietnamese separation. The system of Han Viet lexicon and phonetics was formed. The birth of Nom script Nom script is established by Vietnamese to write Non-Han Viet words. Nom script was used to create literature from 939 to The Romanization of Vietnamese Vietnamese was Romanized in the interaction with Western civilization from the 19 th century. Romanized Vietnamese (Quoc ngu) was popular in the 20 th century and became official writing system after 1945.

5 A Vietnamese tombstone in the 15 th century (written in Chinese, downloading in: bia-co-thoi-le-so.htm )

6 The cover of a Vietnamese book edited in 1877 (written in Chinese, downloading in: )

7 Kim Vân Kiu tân truyn (the 18 th century) ( downloading in: )

8 The correspondence between Nom script and Quoc ngu (extract from The Tale of Kieu by Nguyen Du) Bun trông ca b chiu hôm, Thuyn ai thp thoáng cánh bum xa xa. Bun trông ngn nưc mi sa, Hoa trôi man mác bit là v đâu? Bun trông ni c dàu dàu, Chân mây mt đt mt màu xanh xanh. Bun trông gió cun mt dunh, m m ting sóng kêu quanh gh ngi.

9 Introduction (3) The role of Han Viet in modern Vietnamese Han Viet words cover from 60% to 70% modern Vietnamese vocabulary. The misunderstanding and using Vietnamese essentially come from Han Viet words. Han Viet in teaching Vietnamese: It can help the learner overcome the confusion of numerous homophony. Han Viet characters with their images and tales excite the learner. The key notions: Han Viet (Sinitic Vietnamese): Chinese character in Vietnamese pronunciation (now Han Viet was Romanized already, Chinese character is no more exist in Vietnamese writing system) Nom: Vietnamese script Quoc ngu: Romanized Vietnamese

10 The role of Han Nom in Vietnamese (1) Grammar: The unique structure of Han Viet words and their accuracy in expression: The connection between morphemes in Han Viet words is strict and dependable. In general, the minor precedes the major. Because of their strict grammatical relation, Han Viet words are more accurate than their non-Han Viet synonyms. EX: X th Đng Th Đông Ngưi bn Đng Th Đông The popularity of Han Viet functional words in grammatical system: Han Viet covers one-third of Vietnamese functional words, including: Preposition: Preposition of place: ti () (at, in, on) Preposition of time: t (from) Preposition of limit: tr (besides, except) Preposition of cause, purpose: do, v (vì), ti (bi) (because of, due to)

11 The role of Han Nom in Vietnamese (2) Conjunction: Conjunction of unite relation: và (hòa), cùng (and) Conjunction of concession: tuy, tuy vy (though, although) Conjunction of reason: bi vì (because) Conjunction of choice: hoc – hay; hoc gi – hay là... (or, either…or…) Conjunction of cause and effect relation: S dĩ... là vì...(so, therefore, as a result) Conjunction of presupposition: gi s giá như; thng hoc (if, supposing, in case) Conjunction of conditional relation: tr phi, bt lun, vô lun...(unless, no matter what/who/how, whether…or.., in any case) Conjunction of oppositional relation (between two actions, status, characteristics): tuy, tuy nhiên (however) Conjunction of enumeration: thí như thí d (for instance, for example)

12 The role of Han Nom in Vietnamese (3) Adverb: Adverb of time: đang (đương), lp tc, tc khc …(at once, immediately) Adverb of progress: thưng, thưng thưng, tái … (often, usually, again) Adverb of limit: cơ h, đc, duy, bt quá,chuyên, ch (almost, only, nevertheless, especially)

13 The role of Han Nom in Vietnamese (4) Lexicon: the most important field The structure: The formula major + minor is popular in Non-Han Viet words EX: truyn (tale) + Kiu (proper name) phn (ware) + mm (soft) Sometimes, there are parallel existence of major + minor structure in Non-Han Viet words with minor + major structure in Han Viet words EX: Kim Vân Kiu Truyn // Truyn Kiu (The Tale of Kieu) nhu liu // phn mm (software) hàng không mu hm // tàu sân bay (aircraft carrier) In most of the case, Han Viet word only exists in the structure of minor + major EX: Chinh ph ngâm khúc (Song of a General's Lady) vi mô (micro) vĩ mô (macro) tin hc (information science) toán hc (mathematics)

14 The role of Han Nom in Vietnamese (5) The classification of Han Viet words Basing on the origin of the morpheme: Words are imported the whole character and meaning from Chinese and read in Han Viet pronunciation. EX: cng hòa (republic), đc lp (independence), hnh phúc (happiness) Words are imported from Chinese and read in Han Viet pronunciation but have some change in the meaning. EX: phương tin (Chinese: easy, Vietnamese: way, tool) Words are established by Vietnamese by combining two Chinese original morphemes. EX: thành ph (city) Words are established by Vietnamese by combining a Chinese original morpheme with a Vietnamese one. EX: thy giáo (teacher), ăn gian Words are established by Vietnamese by combining a Chinese original morpheme with an European one. EX: trưng ga (the chief of the station) ( Chinese, ga: gare-French) Words are established by Vietnamese by combining Han Viet morpheme pronounced in Han Viet pronunciation with a morpheme pronounced either in ancient Han Viet or Vietnamized Han Viet. EX: câu cú (sentence) câu: Vietnamized Han Viet = cú: Han Viet pronunciation = ), mùi v (flavor) (mùi: ancient Han Viet = v: Han Viet pronunciation = ).

15 The role of Han Nom in Vietnamese (6) Basing on the used context Words in everyday language The mixture of Han Viet words and Non-Han Viet words in some categories. EX: Category of body: Han Viet words: đu (head), thân (body), t chi (four arms), mi (eyelashes), mày (eyebrows), đng t (pupil), gan (liver), tim (heart), thn (kidney), bàng quang (bladder), cơ bp (muscle) Viet-Muong words: bàn chân (foot), đu gi (knee), da (skin), óc (brain), tht (flesh) Viet-Monkhmer words: tóc (hair), mt (face), mt (eye), mũi (nose), răng (tooth), lưi (tongue), c (neck), lưng (back), tay (arm), chân (leg), máu (blood), xương (bone), cm (chin)

16 The role of Han Nom in Vietnamese (7) Category of personal pronoun: Han Viet words: ông (grandfather), bà (grandmother) Non-Han Viet words: cô (aunt), ch (sister), anh (brother), em (younger brother/sister) Tôi, ta, anh, nó (I, you, he/she) are singular personal pronouns in Vietnamese. These words combine with Han Viet plural indicator chúng, các to be chúng tôi, chúng ta, chúng nó … and các anh, các ch, các m … Category of height: cao (tall, high) is Han Viet word but thp (short) is Non-Han Viet word Category of location: Non-Han Viet words: làng (village), xóm (hamlet), bn (mountain village), nưc (country) Han Viet words: thôn (hamlet), xã (hamlet), huyn (district), tnh (province), quc gia (nation)

17 The role of Han Nom in Vietnamese (8) Words in academic language The amount of Han Viet words in academic language, especially in legal document, is much more than in everyday language. Example in literature: H công quyt k tha cơ L tiên binh hu khc c tp công (The Tale of Kieu, Nguyn Du) (Lord Ho conceived a ruse to snatch this chance: behind the screen of gifts hed poise his troops.) (translated by Huynh Sanh Thong) Example in legal document: (the highlight words are not Han Viet words): Chánh Văn phòng, V trưng V Giáo dc Đi hc, th trưng các đơn v có liên quan thuc B Giáo dc và Đào to, Th trưng các cơ s giáo dc đưc giao nhim v đào to trình đ thc sĩ chu trách nhim thi hành Quyt đnh này../(Quyt đnh Ban hành Quy ch đào to trình đ thc sĩ, 05 tháng 8 năm 2008) (The Chief of the Secretariat, the chief of University Education Bureau, the chief of the concerned units belonging to the Ministry of Education and Training, and the chief of educational units providing master program have responsibility to carry out this decision.) (Decision to promulgate the regulation of training master level, 08/05/2008)

18 The role of Han Nom in Vietnamese (9) Example in newspaper: Th trưng ngoi t li có du hiu căng thng, nhiu doanh nghip khó mua đưc ngoi t t các ngân hàng thương mi. Tuy nhiên, Ngân hàng Nhà nưc (NHNN) tip tc khng đnh n đnh chính sách t giá và công b các con s kh quan v cán cân ngoi hi. ( (There is a sign of tension in the market of foreign currency again. It is difficult to exchange foreign currency in commercial banks for many businesses. However, the Governmental Bank still confirms the stability of the rate policy and announces satisfactory numbers of the balance of the exchange rate) The popularity of Han Viet idioms Cung chúc tân xuân (Happy new year) Dĩ hòa vi quí (Concord is good) Vn s khi đu nan (Everything begins difficultly) Bt kh xâm phm (No way to involve)

19 The role of Han Nom in Vietnamese (10) Culture: Former President Bill Clintons speech in his official visit to Vietnam in the year 2000: As the tale of Kieu foretold, "Just as the lotus wilts, the mums bloom forth; time softens grief, and the winter turns to spring." Now the frozen images of the past have begun to thaw. The outlines of a warmer shared future have begun to take shape. Let us make the most of this new spring together. (Như Truyn Kiu đã nói: "Sen tàn cúc li n hoa, su dài ngày ngn đông đà sang xuân". Nay nhng ký c băng giá v quá kh đã bt đu tan. Nhng phác tho ca mt tương lai m áp chung đã bt đu hình thành. Cùng nhau, chúng ta hãy tn hưng mùa xuân mi này.) ( Citation from The Tale of Kieu: (the highlight words are Han Viet wrds) Sen tàn cúc li n hoa Su dài ngày ngn đông đà sang xuân The change in nature is a metaphor for the change in official relation between the US and Vietnam.

20 The role of Han Nom in Vietnamese (11) D c hoài lang (Hearing a drum at night, thinking of the husband): is the most famous traditional song in Southern Vietnam. T là t phu tưng. Bo kim sc phong lên đàng. Vào ra lung trông tin chàng. Năm canh mơ màng. Em lung trông tin chàng. Ôi gan vàng qun đau í… a... Đưng dù xa ong bưm. Xin đó đng ph nghĩa tào khang. Đêm lung trông tin nhn (bn). Ngày mi mòn như đá vng phu. Vng phu vng lung trông tin chàng. Lòng xin ch ph phàng (Sao n ph phàng). Chàng hi (là) chàng có hay. Đêm thip nm lung nhng su tây. Bao thư đó đây sum vy. Duyên st cm đng lt phai í… a…Là nguyn cho chàng. (Đng) Hai ch an bình an. Mau tr li gia đàng. Cho én nhn hip đôi í... a…

21 The role of Han Nom in Vietnamese (12) In term of language, the song includes 116 syllables (with 46 Han Viet syllables), in which there is 31 Han Viet morpheme (forming 22 Han Viet words). The song expresses three of the most important Vietnamese cultural features: marriage love in family relation, the moods of faithfulness and love in war. These cultural features are focused in the Han Viet words. Illustration: The color of Vietnamese culture in some images referred by Han Viet words in the song The performance of the song by an amateur singer in communal house in a Vietnamese village ( The songs content in a clip (

22 Sc phong (imperial order) Vng phu (looking forward to see the husband): The mountain in Lang Son province with the shape of a wife carrying a baby to wait for her husband

23 Gia đàng (household in general)

24 Conclusion of the role of Han Nom in teaching Vietnamese (1) The homophony in Han Viet words is rather popular (even in Chinese pronunciation). So a word need to be put into a specific context, sometimes need to be written in Chinese character, to avoid misunderstanding. "phi" ( ) = "bay" (fly) vs. "phi" ( ) = "không(not), "ngoi tr (except) t ( ) = "con" (son/daughter) vs. "t" ( ) = "cht(die) The Romanized Vietnamese (Quoc ngu) is easy to learn and memorize but it could not separate numerous homophone words which have different meanings. So many words is used in the wrong way. Sometimes, the mistake becomes so popular that it can be officially accepted.

25 Conclusion of the role of Han Nom in teaching Vietnamese (2) Han Nom was not taught and learnt popularly after the birth of Quoc ngu. Therefore, many Vietnamese generations today could not read any documents in the thousands years legacy of the Vietnamese ancestors. They could not clearly understand and accurately use Vietnamese as its real meaning because about 70% Vietnamese is formed by Han Viet morphemes. There are many popular Han Viet words in everyday life, but many Vietnamese do not know. For example, tiu means pee. The Chinese character is a symbol of the penis. Using the penis means going to the bathroom. If the teacher can connect the sound tiu with the action going to the bathroom, the learner will be very excited. And then because tiu is Han Viet words, belonging to Confucianists and mandarin, it has the rhetoric meaning of classic, politeness. The normal people use i t for both man and woman in polite context. (To be different from the following explaining film:

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