Introduction to Vietnamese Ia, Ib

Kumi KANAMURA Designated Lecturer

Department: Institute of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Class Time: 2012 Spring & Fall Monday (Spring) Monday (Fall)
Recommended for: All students

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Course Aims & Objectives

Vietnam is one of the countries which have developed rapidly in recent years. As Vietnam is close to Japan and has similar cultural aspects, it has become increasingly familiar to Japanese people. Perhaps, you may travel, do research on, or work in Vietnam.

In this class, the aim is to get to know Vietnam more deeply through learning Vietnamese and to become more familiar with Vietnamese people. Since the class is introductory, students don't need to have any experience of learning Vietnamese. I want students to enjoy this class so I will not give them a lot of homework (but I will give them minimal homework, of course). If you feel this class sounds interesting, please attend the class freely.

Key Features

Vietnamese I is the only southeastern Asian language taught at Nagoya University. Some may wonder why Vietnamese when only Chinese and Korean are also taught at Nagoya University?

Nagoya University is not simply focusing on strategies within Asia, but also the recipient of many exchange students from emerging nations in Asia other than China and South Korea. In addition, Nagoya University as founded an overseas campus called the "Research and Education Center for Japanese Law", educates students in four Asian countries and has taken the initiative to create a study-abroad program for Japanese students of Nagoya University. Vietnam is one of the countries that are an integral part of the foreign exchange being fostered by Nagoya University. As there are many Vietnamese students learning Japanese and coming to study at Nagoya University, students here at Nagoya University should have the opportunity to learn Vietnamese themselves. It is with these thoughts in mind that I created the Vietnamese language course at Nagoya University.

For Japanese learners, pronunciation is usually the most difficult part of learning Vietnamese. It is phonetically a unique language that not only has 6 tones, but students are also confronted by many sounds not found in the Japanese language. On the other hand, Vietnamese grammar is very simple. Furthermore, because Vietnam belonged to the Chinese cultural sphere and used kanji until the end of the 19th century, and because of the similarities between Chinese character compounds and Japanese vocabulary, students should be able to pick up vocabulary very rapidly.

As Vietnam is a swiftly developing country, Japanese companies have been expanding into the Vietnamese market and Vietnam has become an important business partner to Japan. Students who think "Maybe this language will be useful to me in the future?" or "I want to get to know Vietnamese students" or even "I don't know why, but this language seems interesting" are all welcome in my class. We all start at the beginning and have fun learning together. Class Ia mainly deals with conversation and activities and you will not have much homework. If you think it sounds interesting, please join! Class Ib is for students who have previously studied Vietnamese for at least one semester.

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Course Contents

I. Semester I

  1. According to the textbook, "First level of Vietnamese pronunciation for Japanese people", learn the primary rules of pronunciation and written expression.
  2. Learn basic knowledge of greetings, numbers, using transportation, shopping and so on, and practice conversation.
  3. Introduce Vietnamese history and culture, and the character of each region to know the allure of Vietnam.

II. Semester II

  1. According to the textbook, "Second level of Vietnamese pronunciation for Japanese people", become familiar with the series of counter tones and learn the basics of Vietnamese pronunciation.
  2. Learn required knowledge for speaking with Vietnamese people making friends with them and practice conversation.
  3. Introduce the Vietnamese traditions, events and lifestyle which students should know to speak with Vietnamese people.

Course Plan

  • Aspiring to good pronunciation, take time to learn pronunciation.
  • Along with learning minimal grammar, learn practical listening and conversation skills.
  • Providing face-to-face meetings between students and Vietnamese international students, putting learned knowledge into practice.
  • As I introduce Vietnam, respect students' interests and arrange class plans for the purpose of supporting independent-minded learning.


I'll distribute textbooks on Vietnamese pronunciation. Other textbooks will not be used.

Point to notice

This class requires students' active participation. Please enjoy moving, thinking and speaking together in class. However, if students don't attend or participate in class, they can't receive a passing score. Be careful, please.

Message from lecturer

I am going to ask Vietnamese international students to participate in this class. I welcome participation of students who want to make friends with Vietnamese international students.


I'm going to set an examination. The exam will cover all content taught to students in class. Final grade will consist of 50% participation and 50% of the results of the examination.

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Page last updated November 24, 2014

The class contents were most recently updated on the date indicated. Please be aware that there may be some changes between the most recent year and the current page.

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