VIETNAMESE LEARNING TIPS AND CULTURES
𝐖𝐡𝐲 “𝐩𝐡𝐨̛̉” 𝐢𝐬 𝐜𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐝 “𝐩𝐡𝐨̛̉”?
This question suddenly popped up in my head this morning and my curiosity starts getting awaken. I searched for the historical origin of Vietnamese phở - a very popular Vietnamese cuisine. Based on some sources, I found something very interesting to present with you all.
𝐖𝐚𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐝 “𝐩𝐡𝐨̛̉” 𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐅𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐡?
According to 2 articles I read, some people believed that the word “phở” was a borrowed French word. It is explained that when phở was sold in Nam Dinh, a city in the north of Vietnam, it was often sold on the street and had to be cooked on a firewood stove to keep warm. Therefore, when customers wanted to buy phở, they would call aloud "Eh! Feu!", which means “Eh! Fire” in French. However, this explanation was denied given that almost all warmly served dishes were cooked on a firewood stove during this time.
Another source mentioned that the word “phở” was supposedly a borrowed French word pot - au - feu. This a French soup which is cooked with braised beef and different types of vegetables. However, this presupposition was soon denied given that this French dish did not share any similarities with Vietnamese phở.
Therefore, it can be concluded that the word “phở” was not originated from a French word.
𝐓𝐡𝐞𝐧, 𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐂𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐞? 𝐖𝐚𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐝 “𝐩𝐡𝐨̛̉” 𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐂𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐞?
There is a difference in the explanation in the two sources I have read so far. According to An Chi (2010), the word “phở” was originated from Chinese. Specifically, the word “phở” was emerged from one of the dishes of Chinese Muslim people called (ngầu) yụk phẳn, which means beef rice noodle.
However, according to Trinh (2017), the word “phở” was originated from Chữ Nôm, adapted Chinese characters for native Vietnamese to represent Sino-Vietnamese vocabulary. The word “phở” emerged at the beginning of the 20th century. It was made up of 3 Chữ Nôm letters: a/chữ mễ (rice), b/chữ ngôn (speech), c/chữ phổ (popular). The word “phở” was actually pronounced “phổ” in Chữ Nôm. However, its pronunciation was changed to “phở” when vendors made street cries when they sold on the street.
To conclude, even though there are some differences in the explanation of the origin of the word “phở”, we should be thankful for the invention of this amazing dish. If you haven’t tried phở, I highly recommend that you should try immediately. You will never forget the heavenly taste of phở.
𝗬𝗼𝘂𝘁𝘂𝗯𝗲 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗻𝗲𝗹𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝗹𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗩𝗶𝗲𝘁𝗻𝗮𝗺𝗲𝘀𝗲 𝘂𝗽
If you have already known basic Vietnamese and would like to advance it, youtube channels by Vietnamese vloggers might be a great option. Motivation has been widely known for making positive impacts on our learning progress given that it enables us to maintain our learning retention, and eventually get better academic performances. Additionally, while enjoying vlogs on Youtube, we can have a better sense of the culture and lifestyle of the country which we’re learning the language from. Sounds very appealing, doesn’t it? Then here is the list of my favourite youtube channels in Vietnamese. Feel free to add more channels if you know any!
1. Giang Ơi
Giang is quite a popular vlogger in Vietnam. Her channel produces a lot of content about lifestyle, life hacks, and so on. She was born in Hanoi so she has a Northern accent. I quite enjoy her channel because of her open mindset and sharp opinions about different areas of life. She is quite humorous as well.
Link to her channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-AJnWGWhPt3ReFnvzRZ-Kg
2. Hàng Xóm Tây
This is a channel by many foreigners who live in Vietnam. Their contents are mostly about their living experience in Vietnam. You may find yourselves in their stories if you currently reside in Vietnam. As they are foreigners, they speak not as fast as native speakers and their pronunciation is comprehensible.
Link to their channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW00anGgSWYrfS1F-zyYW4Q
3. anCari Room
Another channel of a foreigner in Vietnam. She is Japanese who has lived and worked in Vietnam for many years. She lives in Ho Chi Minh city so she has a Southern accent.
Link to her channel:
4. Khoai Lang Thang
For those who are fond of travelling and Vietnamese cuisines, this channel is a perfect match for you. He has travelled throughout Vietnam and produced very touching stories about Vietnamese people who live in mountainous areas. His documentary style is really worth watching.
Link to his channel:
5. Khói Lam Chiều
If you are curious about traditional Southern Vietnamese recipes, you may be interested in this channel. They work extensively on Vietnamese cuisines of the South. What I love about this channel is not only their food but also the picturesque scenery of Southern Vietnam.
Link to their channel:
6. Ninh Titô
He lives in Hanoi and is a food review expert. If you plan to travel to some Northern cities in the future, you can visit this channel to have some recommended places to eat local cuisines.
7. VTV 24
This is an official channel of Vietnamese broadcasting television. This channel focuses on both local and international news, and of course in Vietnamese.
Link to their channel:
8. Huỳnh Lập Official
He is a comedian living in Ho Chi Minh city. His short films are very hilarious and contain much-updated slang. If you want to reach an advanced level, I highly recommend this channel.
Link to his channel:
I hope that you can enjoy my suggested Youtube channels list and nail some Vietnamese as well!
𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐕𝐢𝐞𝐭𝐧𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐬𝐞 𝐭𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰?
What to do if you’re invited to a Vietnamese home at the dining time? This blog hopefully can provide you with some useful tips about the rules of Vietnamese dining etiquette.
𝟏. 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐜𝐮𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐦 𝐨𝐟 𝐛𝐨𝐭𝐡 𝐨𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 𝐞𝐚𝐭
Vietnamese people have a custom of inviting other people to have a meal before starting the mealtime. This custom is meant to educate people about being grateful towards what you receive for the meal and showing respect for the elderly. Therefore, it is quite significant that everyone in the family offers the others to eat in Vietnam.
To offer others to eat, please remember to invite the older people namely grandparents and parents of the host to have a good meal first. Then, you can wish other members of the family a good meal. And, this is the sentence you should you when offering the host’s grandparents to eat: “Con mời ông bà ăn cơm!”. Note that you can change the pronouns when addressing other people.
𝟐. 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐦 𝐨𝐟 𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐜𝐡𝐨𝐩𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐤𝐬
As you might know, Vietnamese people use chopsticks to grab foods and eat. Hence, if you could not use chopsticks, you can ask the host for a spoon/ fork instead. However, if you can use chopsticks, here are some rules of usage among Vietnamese people during mealtime:
- You should not stick your chopsticks straight into your rice bowl: according to our custom, sticking chopsticks in the rice bowl resembles incense sticks on the altar.
- You should not dig your chopsticks into a dish to get what you want. It is considered being impolite.
- You should not dig your chopsticks into a shared bowl such as a soup bowl or a big rice bowl. Instead, we use a ladle or a new pair of chopsticks to get the food.
- You should not point your chopsticks at other people. It is considered to be very rude and impolite.
- You should not dip the pointy ends of your chopsticks into the shared dipping sauce.
𝟑. 𝐎𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐫𝐮𝐥𝐞𝐬
- When chewing foods, you should not make a huge noise. And, you should not chew and talk simultaneously.
- You should not dip your bit food into a shared dipping sauce. Instead, let use a spoon to pour the sauce over your food.
- If you do not like the offered foods, you should not make derogatory comments, which can disappoint the person who prepares for the meal.
In a nutshell, although Vietnamese people have some table manners to conduct, it’s much more important than anything else that you show respect to the host family and enjoy your mealtime. Vietnamese people are famous for being generous and hospitable; hence, don’t feel too stressed out if you could not remember those rules.
Mì tôm – Vietnamese instant noodles
Not long ago, we asked what "instant noodles" are called in Vietnamese, and not many of you knew the answer. To be fair, it’s not as straightforward as it should be.
There is in fact more than one correct answer such as mì ăn liền or mì gói. However, the most common and interesting Vietnamese word for it has to be mì tôm (mì = noodles, tôm = shrimp). If you are a big fan of instant noodles like me, you might know that the very first ramen noodles’ flavor in the world is chicken. Then why do Vietnamese people call them to shrimp noodles?
The reason is that Miliket – the first widely popular instant noodles in the Vietnamese market – was introduced to Vietnamese people in 1975 in paper packaging with the image of shrimps printed on it. Soon enough, it became the actual noun for instant noodles, even the ones without shrimps in the flavor nor on the packaging.
Nowadays there are a lot of newer brands that are also very popular in Vietnam, but Miliket always has a special place in our hot pot and our heart.
Bạn có thích mì tôm không?
2024 Lunar New Year
In just a few days, Asian countries like Vietnam and China will welcome the Lunar New Year. In Vietnam, every year people will have a Tet holiday of 7-10 days. This year, the 1st day of the Lunar New Year is the day every family will go to wish their families a Happy New Year, kids will get lucky money from their grandparents, it will fall on February 10 of the Solar Calendar. Before the first day of the new year, people will go shopping for new clothes, peach blossoms, and kumquat trees to decorate their homes. In Hanoi, there are streets like Hang Ma where Tet decorations are sold, and when Tet approaches, these places are filled with people coming to buy things and take pictures very bustlingly. Moreover, schools in the capital also organize annual Tet events such as spring fairs or wrapping banh chung.In the days before Tet, we Vietnamese people have year-end parties with friends, colleagues, and relatives. This makes restaurants and sidewalks more bustling than ever. More specifically, on the night of the 30th when we welcome New Year's Eve to the new year, families have traditions such as burning incense to worship ancestors ,watch fireworks and Tao Quan- an annual program. of Viet Nam to summarize the past year.
Every year, when Tet comes to us Vietnamese people, it is a day for family reunions, so that children and grandchildren far from home can return to their parents. That's why Tet is very important for Vietnamese people, everyone buys themselves the most beautiful clothes to have a perfect Tet day.
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