At the Youth Entrepreneurship Forum 2018 last month, Minister of Information and Communication Nguyen Manh Hung suggested that the Prime Minister should soon recognize English as the second official language of Vietnam to help startups reach out to the world. The proposal stirred a heated discussion on social media and prompted numerous professionals to pitch in with their views and opinions. While some welcomed the idea and supported widespread use of the language in Vietnam, others were wary of the cultural, legal and other implications of formalizing it as an official language. Everyone agreed that it was good to improve English use and fluency in the country, so the debate boiled down to whether declaring and using it as an official language was a feasible, practical option for Vietnam. Professor Chung Hoang Chuong, who has juggled teaching at the University of California and doing research in Vietnam, was optimistic about Vietnam having two official languages. Chuong, currently a … [Read more...] about English as an official language in Vietnam: would it work?
How to learn chinese writing
By Hà Nguyễn Hữu Ngọc was born and raised in Hà Nội, but it wasn’t until he left the city in 1946 to join the national resistance war against the French that he realised just how much he loved his hometown. Living in deep forests, eating cassava and potato, he missed Hà Nội’s steamed glutinous rice, the fragrance of steamed green bean and particularly phở (beef noodle). “When eating these foods daily, we could think them characterless. But when living far away, we understand their value,” the cultural scholar says. While he could return to Hà Nội to savour his favourite foods after the war was over, he fears that today the wars, market economy, and exposure to western culture are polluting Vietnamese traditional villages. Since his first extended trip outside the capital, he has dedicated his life to celebrating and preserving Vietnamese culture so that locals and foreigners will fight … [Read more...] about Scholar still fights to save Vietnamese culture
New tricks: Elderly people are studying at the Hán Nôm class in Vĩnh Tường District, Vĩnh Phúc Province. Viet Nam News by Nguyễn Thị Thảo Every Friday morning, about 20 elderly people in the northern province of Vĩnh Phúc gather at the communal house in Thượng Trưng Commune, Vĩnh Tường District for a class in ancient scripts, widely used in Việt Nam until the 19th century—and still the scripts in which millennia of Vietnamese history and literature is recorded. Many students in the special class are over age 60. The class has run since mid-2016 with the aim of helping local people enrich their knowledge of the Hán-Nôm (Chinese Han and Vietnamese Nôm ideographic) scripts and improve their skills of reading and writing in the characters. It also aims to promote people’s awareness about the preservation of the Hán-Nôm culture. Phạm … [Read more...] about Vĩnh Phúc elders learn ancient scripts
Saudi oil minister Khaled al-Faleh said at an economic conference in Russia that a gradual output increase could happen in the second half of the year to prevent any supply shocks. (Photo: AFP/Amer Hilabi) The suspected double-agents were charged and detained last December, but the incident only came to light late Thursday following French media reports and a statement from Defence Minister Florence Parly. "Two French agents in our service and probably one of the spouses of these agents are accused of serious acts likely to be considered acts of treason, on suspicions of delivering information to a foreign power," Parly told CNews television. Speaking from Moscow, French President Emmanuel Macron called the alleged conspiracy "extremely serious" and said the justice system would investigate and judge the suspects. A security source, speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity, confirmed French media reports that the two agents at the General Directorate of External Security (DGSE) … [Read more...] about Russia, Saudis signal oil production boost
Carolyn is wearing a Vietnamese conical hat. A blue stamp In her stamp collection, Carolyn is particularly interested in a small Vietnamese stamp that depicts a blue dragon on a red background. At 12 years old, the little girl asked her father “Where in the world is Vietnam?” She was too young to figure out the location of the country but for some unknown reason, Carolyn had “a good feeling about Vietnam”. In 1967 when she was a third-year student at the State University of New York, Carolyn was allowed to choose to study in any country she wanted over the course of the next two years. She chose France and it was the first opportunity for her to learn more about Vietnam. “I thought Vietnamese students were the best. My French teachers also said the same. Any educated American knows that Vietnamese students are very smart. It is one of the things, other than the war, that Americans know about Vietnam.” At that time, America was in the middle of the … [Read more...] about An American woman’s spiritual bond with Vietnam