Discovering the language

Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt), the official language of Vietnam, belongs to the Viet-Muong group, of the Mon-Khmer branch, of the Austroasiatic language family. It is the language with the highest number of speakers, around 86 million (compared to the twenty million or so of the khmer language). In addition, it is spoken by 3 million Vietnamese living abroad, notably in Australia, North America, Europe (France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany...), and Asia (Japan, Korea...).
It is an isolating language, endowed with a six-tone system, which shares several syntactic features with other languages of the region.

The history of the Vietnamese language can be summarized as follows:
During the presence of Chinese, from the IIth century BC to the Xth century AD, the Vietnamese people developed their own language.C., the Vietnamese mainly used ideograms. These Chinese characters were used without sharing in administration, teaching, literature, poetry and ritual. However, Vietnamese continued to develop.
Towards the end of this domination (IXth-Xth centuries), a Vietnamese script came into being, known as Chữ Nôm. It used Chinese characters modified to represent Vietnamese sounds. The Nôm is considered the first script invented by the Vietnamese.
In the XVe century, Portuguese missionaries arrived in Vietnam where they encountered language difficulties. So they decided to transcribe Vietnamese sounds using Latin characters.
At the end of the XVIth century, the French missionaries who succeeded their Portuguese colleagues tried to perfect this transcription method, including Alexandre de Rhodes (1591-1660) from Avignon, who arrived in Vietnam in 1624 and published a Dictionary of Vietnamese in Latin and Portuguese in Italy in 1651, introducing the world to the new Vietnamese script known as Chữ Quốc Ngữ. It's a way of romanizing Vietnamese sounds in writing. At its birth, this script was not appreciated by the country's intellectuals. But during the French presence, the Chữ Quốc Ngữ became the official script of Vietnam. As this script was a transcription mode invented by the Portuguese and French, it could not, at first, faithfully translate Vietnamese sounds. However, for more than a century, the Vietnamese have been constantly adding to and improving it, so that it has become the current Vietnamese script. The use of the Latin alphabet is a linguistic advantage for the Vietnamese.

The study of the Vietnamese language, taught within the Southeast Asia and Pacific Department of Inalco, leads to several fields of study such as commerce, linguistics, literature, anthropology, history, musicology, ethnology... In addition, the Vietnamese section of Inalco has contributed to the promotion of Vietnamese language and culture by organizing numerous scientific and cultural events.

EDT S1 Vietnamien 2023-2024 (23.32 KB, .xlsx)

(Avec répartition des groupes de L1) Uniquement pour les cours dispensés à l’INALCO