Why do you think Vietnamese is not popular as other Asian la

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Re: Why do you think Vietnamese is not popular as other Asian la

Postby Pangu » 2013-06-27, 15:07

Tenebrarum wrote:
mōdgethanc wrote:義國

What is that?

I'm assuming 義大利 Italy, but I don't think 義國 is used as often.

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Re: Why do you think Vietnamese is not popular as other Asian la

Postby ling » 2013-06-27, 16:15

Most learning materials teach the northern dialect, while most overseas Vietnamese speak the southern dialect. Perhaps this is a contributing factor.
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Re: Why do you think Vietnamese is not popular as other Asian la

Postby Tenebrarum » 2013-06-27, 16:18

Ah, Vietnamese has 意 as the first character instead, because 義 would be read "nghĩa", which is totally off.

And Talib, no, "Ý Quốc" never made it to Vietnam. Only Ý Đại Lợi did.
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Re: Why do you think Vietnamese is not popular as other Asian la

Postby Yasna » 2013-06-27, 16:40

So does Chinese: 意大利
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Re: Why do you think Vietnamese is not popular as other Asian la

Postby Tenebrarum » 2013-06-27, 18:52

That's the variant that made it to Vietnam.
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Re: Why do you think Vietnamese is not popular as other Asian la

Postby Pangu » 2013-06-27, 19:00

Yasna wrote:So does Chinese: 意大利

Interesting, it's 義 in Taiwan but 意 in mainland.

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Re: Why do you think Vietnamese is not popular as other Asian la

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-06-27, 20:27

Pangu wrote:
Yasna wrote:So does Chinese: 意大利

Interesting, it's 義 in Taiwan but 意 in mainland.

Huh, interesting. I learned it with 義.

I think 義國 is acceptable as shorthand for 義大利. I thought Russia was called 俄羅斯 for the longest time, but recently I've seen 俄國. The trend seems to be toward using short forms for country names, and I imagine it would be the same in Vietnamese.

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Re: Why do you think Vietnamese is not popular as other Asian la

Postby Tenebrarum » 2013-06-28, 20:18

mōdgethanc wrote:The trend seems to be toward using short forms for country names, and I imagine it would be the same in Vietnamese.

For "pivotal" countries, Vietnamese only takes the first syllable of the original Chinese and leaves out the rest, so that the names become monosyllabic - Anh, Pháp, Đức, Ý, Nga, Úc, Mỹ... Borrowed words that are long tend to get that treatment.
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Re: Why do you think Vietnamese is not popular as other Asian la

Postby Pangu » 2013-06-29, 4:02

mōdgethanc wrote:The trend seems to be toward using short forms for country names, and I imagine it would be the same in Vietnamese.

It's due to history.

There are essentially three different types of country names in Chinese, and to a certain extend, Vietnamese. The first type are countries that have historically been in contact with China, such as Japan, Korea, Vietnam... etc. The second are the "Western" countries that came into contact with China in the 1800's. These are the countries with shorter names, such as 英國 for 英格蘭 (England), 俄國 for 俄羅斯 (Russia), 美國 for 阿美利加 (America) so on and so forth. These are the countries that have been discussed here. The third type are those that came into contact with China later, which ranges from Canada to Congo, and they all only have phonetic names and no abbreviations with 國. For example, you only hear 加拿大 for Canada and never 加國 or 愛爾蘭 for Ireland and never 愛國... etc.

Point is, there is no trend toward using short forms.

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Re: Why do you think Vietnamese is not popular as other Asian la

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-07-03, 7:48

Pangu wrote:The second are the "Western" countries that came into contact with China in the 1800's. These are the countries with shorter names, such as 英國 for 英格蘭 (England), 俄國 for 俄羅斯 (Russia), 美國 for 阿美利加 (America) so on and so forth. These are the countries that have been discussed here. [...]

Point is, there is no trend toward using short forms.
There is for these ones at least. Even Japan is more often called 日本 and its language 日語 instead of 日本國 and 日本語. Then there are the widely used abbreviations for Chinese provinces. Countries like Canada and Ireland have longer names because they were transliterated into Chinese more recently, but I disagree that there is no overall trend towards shortening geographical names. I wouldn't be surprised if in the future, abbreviations like 加國 and 愛國 were to become common.

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Re: Why do you think Vietnamese is not popular as other Asian la

Postby Pangu » 2013-07-03, 13:58

mōdgethanc wrote:There is for these ones at least. Even Japan is more often called 日本 and its language 日語 instead of 日本國 and 日本語.

The terms 日本國 and 日本語 are only used in Japanese itself. Find me a historical context where those terms are used in Chinese. Can you imagine? 越南國? lol...

mōdgethanc wrote:Then there are the widely used abbreviations for Chinese provinces.

You mean like 粵 for Guangdong for example? People don't use that in everyday conversations. AFAIK they are only used on license plates or other similar occasions. It's not unlike TX for Texas or CA for California.

mōdgethanc wrote:Countries like Canada and Ireland have longer names because they were transliterated into Chinese more recently, but I disagree that there is no overall trend towards shortening geographical names. I wouldn't be surprised if in the future, abbreviations like 加國 and 愛國 were to become common.

I WOULD be surprised because as stated, there is no trend toward using short forms.

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Re: Why do you think Vietnamese is not popular as other Asian la

Postby Yasna » 2013-07-03, 15:43

Pangu wrote:You mean like 粵 for Guangdong for example? People don't use that in everyday conversations. AFAIK they are only used on license plates or other similar occasions. It's not unlike TX for Texas or CA for California.

You also come across them in the news sometimes.
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Re: Why do you think Vietnamese is not popular as other Asian la

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-07-03, 22:11

Pangu wrote:The terms 日本國 and 日本語 are only used in Japanese itself. Find me a historical context where those terms are used in Chinese.
Is Wikipedia historical?
Can you imagine? 越南國? lol...
I didn't say Vietnam. I said Japan. But you're just bolstering my argument by giving an example of a shorter name being preferred over a longer one.
I WOULD be surprised because as stated, there is no trend toward using short forms.
You're just begging the question, though. I provided the examples of 19th-century European powers and Japan; where are your counter-examples from that time period? Chinese does have a preference for short words: aside from neologisms and loanwords, the vast majority of them are one or two syllables, and I don't see why country names should be any different. And this preference is nothing new: Classical Chinese preferred monosyllabic words for what are multisyllabic names in other languages, like 佛. And if we look at the history of Tibet, it had many other multisyllabic names (mostly transliterations from other languages) before the Chinese finally settled on 藏區. And finally, there is the tendency to shorten place names in the media.

So what is your evidence against all of that besides that recently coined names haven't been shortened (yet)? Can you think of a country name that has been in Chinese for hundreds of years and hasn't been shortened once?

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Re: Why do you think Vietnamese is not popular as other Asian la

Postby Pangu » 2013-07-03, 22:58

mōdgethanc wrote:
Pangu wrote:The terms 日本國 and 日本語 are only used in Japanese itself. Find me a historical context where those terms are used in Chinese.
Is Wikipedia historical?
Can you imagine? 越南國? lol...
I didn't say Vietnam. I said Japan. But you're just bolstering my argument by giving an example of a shorter name being preferred over a longer one.

You are claiming that there is a systematic abbreviation out there for country names which I disagree with.

The Wikipedia entry says nothing about Japan being referred to as 日本國 historically. It only implied that its "official name" is 日本國 but is often abbreviated simply as 日本. Let's assume this Wikipedia entry is completely accurate, OK fine, you got me with this one. But what does this actually mean? 國 is dropped? Probably because it's redundant as when people see or hear 日本, they know it's a country. That's like saying "People's Republic of China" is abbreviated to "China", there must be a systematic abbreviation in the English language!

So let's pretend your example of Japan is actually legit, it's a weak argument at best. Don't feel too bad though, your initial argument was just too general and blanket arguments are often easily proven wrong.

mōdgethanc wrote:
I WOULD be surprised because as stated, there is no trend toward using short forms.
You're just begging the question, though. I provided the examples of 19th-century European powers and Japan; where are your counter-examples from that time period? Chinese does have a preference for short words: aside from neologisms and loanwords, the vast majority of them are one or two syllables, and I don't see why country names should be any different. And this preference is nothing new: Classical Chinese preferred monosyllabic words for what are multisyllabic names in other languages, like 佛. And if we look at the history of Tibet, it had many other multisyllabic names (mostly transliterations from other languages) before the Chinese finally settled on 藏區. And finally, there is the tendency to shorten place names in the media.

So what is your evidence against all of that besides that recently coined names haven't been shortened (yet)? Can you think of a country name that has been in Chinese for hundreds of years and hasn't been shortened once?

Look, it's very simple. You argument is that names are getting shorter. But what you fail to realize is the history behind the names. I won't repeat myself so go back and read how the different country names became what they are in Chinese. If anything, newer names are getting "longer" and older names are the "shorter" ones, therefore the facts are the exact opposite of your argument.

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Re: Why do you think Vietnamese is not popular as other Asian la

Postby Meera » 2013-07-07, 5:13

I'm sure this has been mentioned before but I think Vietnamese isn't popular in the United States because Vietnam is still a very sensetive topic here. People here still think Vietnam hates the United States and that it is a no go aera for American tourists. There are extreamly bad sterotypes of Vietnamese people here. People here still precieve Vietnam as the enemy, while Korea and Japan are considered alies to the United States. I know this isn't the whole reason why it isn't popular, but here I think the Vietnam war is a very sensetive issue and it turns people off of the language. :(
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Re: Why do you think Vietnamese is not popular as other Asian la

Postby Pangu » 2013-07-07, 14:21

Meera wrote:I'm sure this has been mentioned before but I think Vietnamese isn't popular in the United States because Vietnam is still a very sensetive topic here. People here still think Vietnam hates the United States and that it is a no go aera for American tourists. There are extreamly bad sterotypes of Vietnamese people here. People here still precieve Vietnam as the enemy, while Korea and Japan are considered alies to the United States. I know this isn't the whole reason why it isn't popular, but here I think the Vietnam war is a very sensetive issue and it turns people off of the language. :(

Are you serious? I don't know about Philadelphia, but that isn't the case for all the places I have been in the US, from New York to Oklahoma City to Los Angeles.

A great majority of Americans don't even know much about Vietnam. They may remember the name "Vietnam" from their history class but that's pretty much it.

It all comes down to money. Japan and South Korea are wealthy and their wealth drive their pop culture which Americans (and majority of the world) just eat it up.

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Re: Why do you think Vietnamese is not popular as other Asian la

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-07-08, 2:10

Pangu wrote:You are claiming that there is a systematic abbreviation out there for country names which I disagree with.
I don't think I said it was systematic. I said I believe there is a trend. That's not the same thing.
The Wikipedia entry says nothing about Japan being referred to as 日本國 historically. It only implied that its "official name" is 日本國 but is often abbreviated simply as 日本. Let's assume this Wikipedia entry is completely accurate, OK fine, you got me with this one. But what does this actually mean? 國 is dropped? Probably because it's redundant as when people see or hear 日本, they know it's a country. That's like saying "People's Republic of China" is abbreviated to "China", there must be a systematic abbreviation in the English language!
And when people see a name ending in 國, they know it's a country too, which allows longer names to be shortened since they're redundant. That was my point about shorter names fitting the structure of the language better: you know as well as I do that most Mandarin words are mono- or disyllabic.
So let's pretend your example of Japan is actually legit, it's a weak argument at best. Don't feel too bad though, your initial argument was just too general and blanket arguments are often easily proven wrong.
Just as a warning, I don't take well to this kind of snotty attitude. You haven't proven anything, and neither have I. I think this may be a pointless exercise anyway, since the question may not be falsifiable to begin with.
Look, it's very simple. You argument is that names are getting shorter. But what you fail to realize is the history behind the names. I won't repeat myself so go back and read how the different country names became what they are in Chinese. If anything, newer names are getting "longer" and older names are the "shorter" ones, therefore the facts are the exact opposite of your argument.
I know exactly what you said: you said that 19th-century names are fundamentally different from 20th-century ones. But since you haven't told me why they are different and why the changes that happened to them won't (or even can't) happen to newer ones, it's just special pleading on your part.

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Re: Why do you think Vietnamese is not popular as other Asian la

Postby Meera » 2013-07-08, 6:20

Pangu wrote:
Meera wrote:I'm sure this has been mentioned before but I think Vietnamese isn't popular in the United States because Vietnam is still a very sensetive topic here. People here still think Vietnam hates the United States and that it is a no go aera for American tourists. There are extreamly bad sterotypes of Vietnamese people here. People here still precieve Vietnam as the enemy, while Korea and Japan are considered alies to the United States. I know this isn't the whole reason why it isn't popular, but here I think the Vietnam war is a very sensetive issue and it turns people off of the language. :(

Are you serious? I don't know about Philadelphia, but that isn't the case for all the places I have been in the US, from New York to Oklahoma City to Los Angeles.

A great majority of Americans don't even know much about Vietnam. They may remember the name "Vietnam" from their history class but that's pretty much it.

It all comes down to money. Japan and South Korea are wealthy and their wealth drive their pop culture which Americans (and majority of the world) just eat it up.


I have heard a lot of people talk about how much Vietnam hates the USA. And there are still tons of veterans that are still alive from it and talk about it. I'm not saying that this is the full reason, but the only thing most people associate Vietnam with here is the war. Of course I've met people here who think Vietnamese people speak Chinese lol Also I don't think Korean is that popular of a language, I never met anyone outside of Unilang and other language forums who was interested in it, unless they were a hertiatge speaker or had a Korean spouse. I think Japanese and Mandarin are the most popular for foreign learners.
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Re: Why do you think Vietnamese is not popular as other Asian la

Postby Pangu » 2013-07-08, 16:06

Meera wrote:Of course I've met people here who think Vietnamese people speak Chinese

You realize that majority of Americans think Asians = Chinese right? So them knowing what "Vietnamese" is, is already a level above majority of their counterpart.

Meera wrote:Also I don't think Korean is that popular of a language, I never met anyone outside of Unilang and other language forums who was interested in it, unless they were a hertiatge speaker or had a Korean spouse.


Korean is the most popular among young Asian-Americans who are hooked on Korean pop music and TV dramas. It is also popular among young Asians in Asia but less so.

The reason why it's more popular among Asian-Americans (not sure about other oversea Asians) is because Asian-Americans tend to be less connected to their own cultures due to 1.) overpowered by the local American culture, 2.) parents may not pass down their own culture, 3.) lack of an environment. But because the Korean pop culture became popular and they are Asian, young Asian-Americans naturally tend to associate with them better.

Asians in Asia don't have the three problems above so while they may be fascinated by Korean pop culture as well, their own culture is still stronger.

Meera wrote:I think Japanese and Mandarin are the most popular for foreign learners.

I definitely agree with this. But the topic is about Vietnamese vs other Asian languages, which include Korean, which happens to be more popular than Vietnamese ATM.

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Re: Why do you think Vietnamese is not popular as other Asian la

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-07-08, 18:51

You realize that majority of Americans think Asians = Chinese right? So them knowing what "Vietnamese" is, is already a level above majority of their counterpart.
You realize that the Vietnam War was kind of a big deal to Americans, right? It's not hard to guess that "Vietnamese" might be the language spoken by the inhabitants of Vietnam.


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