Vietnamese Accents

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Re: Vietnamese Accents

Postby mōdgethanc » 2010-12-16, 19:06

Nine. That's six word tones and three entering tones.*

*I hear Vietnamese has two entering tones, is this true?

Anyway I'm also a stickler for pronunciation, except with Russian. I just don't give a flying fortress about that one.

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Re: Vietnamese Accents

Postby ThumbsUp » 2010-12-16, 19:12

Talib wrote:Nine. That's six word tones and three entering tones.*

*I hear Vietnamese has two entering tones, is this true?

Anyway I'm also a stickler for pronunciation, except with Russian. I just don't give a flying fortress about that one.


Yikes.

From what I know there are no indications of extra tones besides some different ways (more like shortening - mostly in the north) of pronouncing ngã and nặng tones which I don't consider as different tones.

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Re: Vietnamese Accents

Postby ILuvEire » 2010-12-17, 2:48

These are all people living in Vietnam, which apparently the Northern dialect is much more prevalent.

Living in the Americas, the Northern dialect is absolutely useless. You'll be lucky if you find a Northern Vietnamese speaker (although if you go to an embassy or something, they'll probably speak the Northern variety). Everyone over on this side of the pond speaks a Southern or sometimes South-Central dialect.

My biggest recommendation for you would be to pick a dialect and stick with it. I went for some time speaking with a Southern accent but using Northern vocab and just confused the hell out of everyone. If you speak straight up Hanoi dialect, most people will be able to guess what you're going for, but if you pronounce it funkily, they'll be absolutely lost in every way.

I'm quite fond of Hue dialect, but everyone I know comes from the Saigon area (or rather, their parents come from that area) and I'm working hard at speaking with the correct accent anyway, so I don't want to screw myself up.
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Re: Vietnamese Accents

Postby Tenebrarum » 2010-12-17, 5:25

abcdefg wrote:all consonants here are pronounced softer & lighter than in other areas; trying to add more strength to each is a pointless tiring work.

I just noticed recently that Northerners have the strongest and sharpest /s/ of all. :wink:

ThumbsUp wrote:I believe Draven is a southerner like me. Which is possibly why he's confusing hỏi with ngã. Southerners also do say hiệu trưỡng or nowadays hiệu chưỡng.

I never get confused on hỏi and ngã because I'm a nerd, I go by the book, plus my mother was originally from Hanoi and still keeps her accent.

It's "thẳng thắn" and "hiệu trưởng" btw. Some southies turn rightful hỏi into ngã, but that's hypercorrection. I even heard, with my own ears, one man say D as /v/ when chatting with people of the northern dialect!

Talib wrote:
ThumbsUp wrote:if you learn Vietnamese and pronounce every sound correctly, like distinguishing s and x, tr and ch, and r it'd still be a northern accent, possibly a much less lazier northern accent because you're not merging similar sounds. So there's even a more correct northern accent than most northern accents.
Sounds like how I (try to) speak, except I can only make a half-assed imitation of the tones.

That sounds like northies who have migrated to the South. Doing so also "straighten up" their vowels as well, like erasing the yod-mutation that northern people nowadays seem to have (for instance, /ɛ/ --> /jɛ/, resulting in "myèo" and "iem" instead of "mèo" and "em") or helping them pronounce "correctly" the cursed triphthong ƯƠU /ɯəu̯/ that no-one seems to get "right" but Central people*.

* North: ươu = /iu̯/; South: ươu = /u/ or /ɯu̯/

ILuvEire wrote:These are all people living in Vietnam, which apparently the Northern dialect is much more prevalent.

It's not very prevalent if you live in the south. Saigon holds sway economically and Saigonese media is perfectly vibrant on its own, it's like Vietnam's second national broadcast center. (Because the de jure national group of TV channels is actually controlled and dominated by Hanoi, while the channel of Hanoi itself is left to rot.)

ILuvEire wrote:Living in the Americas, the Northern dialect is absolutely useless. You'll be lucky if you find a Northern Vietnamese speaker

You don't have to have a lot of luck. Just play Paris By Night (if you can stand it, of course). Nguyễn Ngọc Ngạn the male host speaks a fine example of pre-1975 Hanoi accent.

Oh, and about the Huế dialect - trust me, people from Huế are such bitches to deal with.

ILuvEire wrote:I went for some time speaking with a Southern accent but using Northern vocab and just confused the hell out of everyone.

Are you sure it's that, and not because you couldn't manage the tones? :wink: :P :lol:
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Re: Vietnamese Accents

Postby ThumbsUp » 2010-12-17, 7:30

Draven wrote:
It's "thẳng thắn" and "hiệu trưởng" btw. Some southies turn rightful hỏi into ngã, but that's hypercorrection. I even heard, with my own ears, one man say D as /v/ when chatting with people of the northern dialect!


Yes that is the correct way to spell them.
D as V? I think you mean southerners pronounce v as y which some people southerners think is d when written but when they speak to northerners they pronounce it correctly as v. Southerners definitely never pronounce d as v, in fact no accents in Vietnam pronounce d as v. This is probably another southerner confusion that is typical because we can't distinguish v, d, and gi cause they're all English y in southern.

Ex: Southerners say: Yiêng but write: Viên. But when speaking to Northerners they correctly sound it out as v. You probably thought the word was written with a d but in fact it was a v. So when they said it correctly it came out with v. I've never heard any accent pronounce d as v. Either y or z but never v.

Southerners merge ? into ~ not the other way around. It's too hard for southerners to pronounce ? unless they got some training.

Quick ex:
Southern http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLxgyDMDpFw
Notice how both say tất cả as tấc cã (ngã tone). @0:01 and @0:25

Northern http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxxFsovluZI @1:56
Notice how she says với cả bạn bè. The cả here is the correct hỏi sound whereas the cả in the first one is with the ngã tone (cã). Edit: found an even easier example in this clip. Just listen to how she says học hỏi @1:59 which is the same as the word hỏi tone. Notice how different it sounds to how we southerners pronounce it (hõi).

Add: Centralers merge the tones even more. They merge ? into ~ also but also sometimes merge ~ into nặng tone. Ex: Correct way is đũa but they say đụa.


Draven wrote:That sounds like northies who have migrated to the South. Doing so also "straighten up" their vowels as well, like erasing the yod-mutation that northern people nowadays seem to have (for instance, /ɛ/ --> /jɛ/, resulting in "myèo" and "iem" instead of "mèo" and "em") or helping them pronounce "correctly" the cursed triphthong ƯƠU /ɯəu̯/ that no-one seems to get "right" but Central people*.

* North: ươu = /iu̯/; South: ươu = /u/ or /ɯu̯/


I've heard of this but I thought it was only some provinces in the north. Most can pronounce them. Much like some provinces in the southwest pronounce r as g but majority pronounces it right.

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Re: Vietnamese Accents

Postby Tenebrarum » 2010-12-17, 8:14

ThumbsUp wrote: D as V? I think you mean southerners pronounce v as y which some people southerners think is d when written but when they speak to northerners they pronounce it correctly as v. Southerners definitely never pronounce d as v, in fact no accents in Vietnam pronounce d as v.

I believe that particular guy turned his D into /v/ because he was speaking with Northerners and just got confused. Like I said, it's hypercorrection. From a clueless Southern perspective: "If our V is /j/ and the Northern V is /v/, then that means if our D is /j/, their D must be /v/ too, right?"

ThumbsUp wrote:Southerners merge ? into ~ not the other way around. It's too hard for southerners to pronounce ? unless they got some training.

You're getting it wrong I'm afraid. It's the other way around. Ngã is merged into hỏi.

ThumbsUp wrote:Quick ex:
Southern http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLxgyDMDpFw
Notice how both say tất cả as tấc cã (ngã tone). @0:01 and @0:25

They're just being like that because they're on tv. That's not how Northerners do the ngã tone, and the vast majority of Southerners in real life certainly don't speak like that. We merge ngã into hỏi. You're hearing the dainty "oh we're on tv!" speech.
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Re: Vietnamese Accents

Postby ThumbsUp » 2010-12-17, 8:21

ILuvEire wrote:My biggest recommendation for you would be to pick a dialect and stick with it. I went for some time speaking with a Southern accent but using Northern vocab and just confused the hell out of everyone. If you speak straight up Hanoi dialect, most people will be able to guess what you're going for, but if you pronounce it funkily, they'll be absolutely lost in every way.


What I noticed is when northerners slow down their speech to match southerners speed it's much easier to understand. A lot of northerners have done that over here in the states due to interaction with southerners. Northerners in Vietnam just speak too damn fast. It'll take months of listening before we can fully understand them. Otherwise it just sounds like a completely different language to us at first.

My cousin's wife was a northerner from Vietnam and I didn't understand a thing she said, and my mother barely understood her I even thought she was a foreigner. Now I'm able to easily catch up with their speech.

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Re: Vietnamese Accents

Postby ThumbsUp » 2010-12-17, 8:30

Draven wrote:
ThumbsUp wrote: D as V? I think you mean southerners pronounce v as y which some people southerners think is d when written but when they speak to northerners they pronounce it correctly as v. Southerners definitely never pronounce d as v, in fact no accents in Vietnam pronounce d as v.

I believe that particular guy turned his D into /v/ because he was speaking with Northerners and just got confused. Like I said, it's hypercorrection. From a clueless Southern perspective: "If our V is /j/ and the Northern V is /v/, then that means if our D is /j/, their D must be /v/ too, right?"

ThumbsUp wrote:Southerners merge ? into ~ not the other way around. It's too hard for southerners to pronounce ? unless they got some training.

You're getting it wrong I'm afraid. It's the other way around. Ngã is merged into hỏi.

ThumbsUp wrote:Quick ex:
Southern http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLxgyDMDpFw
Notice how both say tất cả as tấc cã (ngã tone). @0:01 and @0:25

They're just being like that because they're on tv. That's not how Northerners do the ngã tone, and the vast majority of Southerners in real life certainly don't speak like that. We merge ngã into hỏi. You're hearing the dainty "oh we're on tv!" speech.


This is just weird. I'm starting to get confused now. All southerners i've known including me pronounce it the same way as those southerners which is cã.

abcd is a northerner himself and he even notice how those Danangers (which speak very similar to southern accent) pronounce hiệu trưởng as hiệu trưỡng. If they pronounced it correctly as hỏi then as a northerner who can differentiate the two he'd be pretty sure they pronounced it as a ngã (trưỡng) tone.

If anything northerners pronounce it right, and can distinguish the two, I don't think they'd flip cả into cã and đã into đả.

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Re: Vietnamese Accents

Postby ThumbsUp » 2010-12-17, 8:55

Yeah man, I wasn't wrong.

Found a clip in Northern Vietnamese saying all the tones correctly.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYSMvX5f5VQ

Southerners can't pronounce hỏi like her. The ngã is what you're hearing all the time.

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Re: Vietnamese Accents

Postby abcdefg » 2010-12-17, 9:53

Draven wrote:I just noticed recently that Northerners have the strongest and sharpest /s/ of all. :wink:

REALLY?
Hey, do you mind recording yourself pronounce the alphabet? It's already Friday today :)

Draven wrote:That sounds like northies who have migrated to the South. Doing so also "straighten up" their vowels as well, like erasing the yod-mutation that northern people nowadays seem to have (for instance, /ɛ/ --> /jɛ/, resulting in "myèo" and "iem" instead of "mèo" and "em") or helping them pronounce "correctly" the cursed triphthong ƯƠU /ɯəu̯/ that no-one seems to get "right" but Central people*.

* North: ươu = /iu̯/; South: ươu = /u/ or /ɯu̯ /

That 'yod-mutation' only affects several words in Hanoi dialect. It's khiéo liéo, ieo ơi, but thèm, kem.
But in other provinces (at least Thái Bình, Hải Dương, Hà Nam, Phú Thọ) yea it's like they add a /j/ before every e.

Northern ươu = /iə̯u̯/ I think, like iêu.

Ah there, the Southern yêu is quite different from the orthography right. :P

Well I think what distinguishes the 3 groups of accents from each other is the tones and pronunciation of vowels. Because most of consonants are pronounced the same throughout the country, only some are differed. So these differences take a small percentage in the speech, for eg. the sentence: 'Sữa mẹ là tốt nhất cho sức khỏe của trẻ sơ sinh và trẻ nhỏ', a Northerner can pronounce s = ʂ and tr = ʈ͡ʂ (or tʃ ) and still sound Northern, only a bit weird.

Draven wrote:the vast majority of Southerners in real life certainly don't speak like that. We merge ngã into hỏi.

Uhm.. I thought merging ngã into hỏi is typically Central, and it's the other way round in the South?
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Re: Vietnamese Accents

Postby Tenebrarum » 2010-12-17, 17:44

abcdefg wrote:Uhm.. I thought merging ngã into hỏi is typically Central, and it's the other way round in the South?

ThumbsUp wrote:The ngã is what you're hearing all the time.

Uhm, no, that's not the reality in Vietnam at all. :nope: My mom speaks the Hanoi dialect so I'm pretty sure I recognize ngã just fine when I hear it. One thing about ngã is the creakiness to it. And I can guarantee you the Southern hỏi tone is not creaky in real life. Not by one bit. If a Saigonese turns hỏi into ngã, they would be seen as annoying and pretentious. On the other hand if you distinguish hỏi and ngã, people would assume that you're a Northern immigrant trying to fit in.

If you have any doubt about it, you might want to listen to how this local gansta rapper rolls. :) (Explicit content btw)

abcdefg wrote:Northern ươu = /iə̯u̯/ I think, like iêu.

Ah there, the Southern yêu is quite different from the orthography right. :P

That's more like it! And yes, we say "iu" :D

I read the alphabet as follows:
A B C D Đ E Ê G H I K L M N O Ô Ơ P Q R S T U Ư V X Y
Vietnamese_alphabet.mp3


(^ no point to include  and Ă, since they're just short versions of Ơ and A)
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Re: Vietnamese Accents

Postby mōdgethanc » 2010-12-17, 18:36

ILuvEire wrote:Living in the Americas, the Northern dialect is absolutely useless. You'll be lucky if you find a Northern Vietnamese speaker (although if you go to an embassy or something, they'll probably speak the Northern variety). Everyone over on this side of the pond speaks a Southern or sometimes South-Central dialect.
Including Canada? There are quite a lot of Vietnamese people in Toronto (and their restaurants!) but I'm not sure how recently they've come over here.

If most of them speak a Southern dialect, then I am definitely not learning Vietnamese, because I only like the Northern dialect. (Well, and the Central. And I wasn't really planning on learning it anyway, but it was a possibility, if I mastered Korean, Italian, Punjabi and Turkish first.)

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Re: Vietnamese Accents

Postby Tenebrarum » 2010-12-17, 18:48

Talib wrote:If most of them speak a Southern dialect, then I am definitely not learning Vietnamese, because I only like the Northern dialect. (Well, and the Central. And I wasn't really planning on learning it anyway, but it was a possibility, if I mastered Korean, Italian, Punjabi and Turkish first.)

Lol! Man, with a to-learn list that long, you might want to give up on it or something.
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Re: Vietnamese Accents

Postby mōdgethanc » 2010-12-17, 18:54

Do you mean the list in my signature? I seriously doubt I will ever master all of those. Some of them, like Japanese and Hindi/Urdu, I would probably be content just knowing about.

Anyway my point was that there are several languages I'd pick before Vietnamese that have a comparable number of speakers, but I wouldn't totally rule it out either. I would be more likely to consider it if I could pronounce the damned tones correctly.

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Re: Vietnamese Accents

Postby ILuvEire » 2010-12-17, 21:37

Talib wrote:
ILuvEire wrote:Living in the Americas, the Northern dialect is absolutely useless. You'll be lucky if you find a Northern Vietnamese speaker (although if you go to an embassy or something, they'll probably speak the Northern variety). Everyone over on this side of the pond speaks a Southern or sometimes South-Central dialect.
Including Canada? There are quite a lot of Vietnamese people in Toronto (and their restaurants!) but I'm not sure how recently they've come over here.

If most of them speak a Southern dialect, then I am definitely not learning Vietnamese, because I only like the Northern dialect. (Well, and the Central. And I wasn't really planning on learning it anyway, but it was a possibility, if I mastered Korean, Italian, Punjabi and Turkish first.)
Including Canada, yes. And I suppose we're all entitled to our preferences, but the Northern dialect sounds just like someone catching a bee in their mouth. How unpleasant.
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Re: Vietnamese Accents

Postby mōdgethanc » 2010-12-17, 21:50

Then the Southern dialect sounds like Cletus the slack-jawed yokel saying "hyuck hyuck hyuck."

Since you probably won't get the joke, it refers to the prevalence of /z/ in the northern dialect and /j/ in the obverse.

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Re: Vietnamese Accents

Postby JackFrost » 2010-12-18, 3:41

Talib wrote:
ILuvEire wrote:Living in the Americas, the Northern dialect is absolutely useless. You'll be lucky if you find a Northern Vietnamese speaker (although if you go to an embassy or something, they'll probably speak the Northern variety). Everyone over on this side of the pond speaks a Southern or sometimes South-Central dialect.
Including Canada? There are quite a lot of Vietnamese people in Toronto (and their restaurants!) but I'm not sure how recently they've come over here.

Most of them came in by boats (well, not all the way in) in the 1970s and 1980s after Saigon fell to the communists, hence why they're generally Southerns. I had a Vietnamese boyfriend for over five years whose parents came from central Saigon... so I know fairly enough about the Vietnamese community in Montreal usually.
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Re: Vietnamese Accents

Postby ThumbsUp » 2010-12-18, 4:18

Draven wrote:
abcdefg wrote:Uhm.. I thought merging ngã into hỏi is typically Central, and it's the other way round in the South?

ThumbsUp wrote: And I can guarantee you the Southern hỏi tone is not creaky in real life. Not by one bit. If a Saigonese turns hỏi into ngã, they would be seen as annoying and pretentious. On the other hand if you distinguish hỏi and ngã, people would assume that you're a Northern immigrant trying to fit in.


There are different ways to say ngã, hỏi and nặng tones. Southerners however can't say hỏi at all. Ngã doesn't have to be creaky, it can be wavy but one thing you'll notice is it goes up down and up. It can even go down crackle and down (heard in central). Kinda like it can hiccup, or hicdown. The wavy ngã with no creakiness gives an illusion of hỏi but hỏi is a different type of tone generally softer. Probably another language with similar tone to hỏi would be Mandarin ă tone.

It's like a breathy circular motion when stressed but normally it's just like a burst a air + sound going downwards. It doesn't go wavy. I can guarantee that southerners can't sound out hỏi. Just listen to all the southern videos in the first post. They're all either creaky or wavy. I think the diacritics work well to explain them too. ~ shows it going like a wave, ? shows it in a smoothe motion downwards and then steady.

I can actually differentiate the two when speaking.

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Re: Vietnamese Accents

Postby ThumbsUp » 2010-12-18, 4:41

Talib wrote:
ILuvEire wrote:If most of them speak a Southern dialect, then I am definitely not learning Vietnamese, because I only like the Northern dialect. (Well, and the Central. And I wasn't really planning on learning it anyway, but it was a possibility, if I mastered Korean, Italian, Punjabi and Turkish first.)


Just learn the one you want and slow down your speech when speaking to southerners. Might be hard to keep your northern accent though from hearing the words pronounced differently around you.

This show is pretty interesting.
http://www.vtc.com.vn/lp/70/53379/chuye ... _tuoi.aspx
http://www.vtc.com.vn/lp/10/55181/chuye ... i_tre.aspx

This show has different foreigners having conversations in Vietnamese (northern because it's in Hanoi). It's interesting because of how the foreigners incorporated their native language's accents when speaking Vietnamese. It'd be interesting to see Vietnamese to have many different types of foreign accents like English in the future like Chinese-English, Indian-English, French-English etc.

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Re: Vietnamese Accents

Postby Tenebrarum » 2010-12-18, 6:15

ThumbsUp wrote:Southerners however can't say hỏi at all. Ngã doesn't have to be creaky, it can be wavy but one thing you'll notice is it goes up down and up. It can even go down crackle and down (heard in central).

Then how can you call those "non-creaky ngã tones" ngã at all? The "definition" ngã is creaky-rising or breaking-rising. A glottal constriction is involved somewhere in there.

ThumbsUp wrote:The wavy ngã with no creakiness gives an illusion of hỏi but hỏi is a different type of tone generally softer. [...] I can guarantee that southerners can't sound out hỏi. [...] I think the diacritics work well to explain them too. ~ shows it going like a wave, ? shows it in a smoothe motion downwards and then steady.

Hỏi is defined as the dipping-rising tone, and it's quite low in pitch. That's how Southerners say it. You can hear that clearly in my sample speech - notice the pitch. Ngã, as said in the north, is noticeably higher. There can be no "illusion" about it. And I wouldn't count "waviness" as the defining factor, because both hỏi and ngã are wavy.

So let's sum it up - if the Southern hỏi/ngã/whatever is defined as: quite low in pitch, dipping then rising and not creaky, then shouldn't that be closer to the Northern hỏi (pictured below)? So let's call it hỏi then. Regional variations of Vietnamese don't even strictly correspond to each other in tones, are you aware of that?

Image

Also, you can read the table of pitch correspondences here. The Southern "hỏi" tone is not identical to either hỏi or ngã in the North, but it's more similar to hỏi. So, for the sake of simplicity, let's call it "hỏi". And that's how it's generally perceived by people in Vietnam - as a type of "hỏi".

This is one of the links you posted: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ph9ry5MJ3pQ - the host is from Vĩnh Long, a province in the Mekong delta. You hear any ngã in their speech? Seriously?

The inability to pronounce the ngã tone is one of the most (in)famous things about Southerners. One wouldn't argue about that if he lives in Vietnam. :? You're the first person I've ever heard likening the Southern hỏi tone to the Northern ngã tone.
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