Vietnamese Writing System Essay

Vietnamese Writing System Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 384

  • Pages: 2

Vietnamese Writing System

A pgonemic system with borrowings from Chinese logographs, the modern Vietnamese writing system is a 17th century reformed Latin alphabet known as quoc ngu (“Conlang,” 2007). The present system was developed by the Portuguese missionaries in Vietnam (“The Vietnamese,” 2006). The system has penetrated all walks of life and today is the dominant writing system in the country without fear or favor (“Vietnamese Language,” 2007). Of course, Vietnam has very close ties with China.

Not only is the Vietnamese writing system using some of the Chinese logographs; but the love of literacy in the golden (ancient) Chinese civilization has also been transferred unto the Vietnamese people. Before the 17th century the dominant writing system in Vietnam used “modified Chinese characters” (“The Vietnamese”). The system was called Chonum. That system was completely overruled at the time the French missionary by the name of Alexandre de Rhodes confirmed quoc ngu as the new system of Latin style writing in Vietnam.

Life changed for the Vietnamese people forever as internationalization took hold. After all, the writing system of a peoples represents their very heart and soul in some way or another. Reforms made to writing systems do also reveal patterns of historical movements. The Vietnamese writing system has not undergone reforms after Rhodes. This stability in the use of language is supplemented by the fact that Latin is a multinational alphabet that has been adopted by the very ethnic, nationalist, and individualist Vietnamese peoples (“Writing,” 2007).

As is obvious, the Vietnamese people have adopted internationalization wholeheartedly, even though colonialism might not have been a brilliant experience for everybody. The use of quoc ngu in modern-day Vietnam is a testament to the potency of long lasting changes.


Conlang/Intermediate/Writing. (2007). Wikibooks. Retrieved 15 June 2007, from http://en. wikibooks. org/wiki/Conlang/Intermediate/Writing. The Vietnamese Writing System. (2006).

Globalization Partners International. Retrieved 15 June 2007, from http://www. globalisationpartners. com/Translation_Services/Vietnamese/HTML/The_Vie tnamese_Writing_System. html. Vietnamese Language. (2007). Wikipedia. Retrieved 15 June 2007, from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Vietnamese_language. Writing: The history, development and evolution of the world’s writing systems. (2007). Kryss Tal. Retrieved 15 June 2007, from http://www. krysstal. com/writing. html.


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