Archive for the ‘Vietnamese’ Category

A new language for holiday

Posted on May 27th, 2011by Michelle
In German, Language acquisition, Vietnamese | Leave a Comment »

As you read this blog post, I will hopefully be enjoying the sun in beautiful Croatia. I’ve never been to the country before and have not encountered the language either.

This had me wondering – how much of a language should you try and learn before a holiday?

In the past I’ve learned bits of Vietnamese, German, Greek and Malay whilst on holiday. Whilst on the plane to Vietnam, I listed to a beginners guide to the language in the form of a podcast. When trying to speak and listen to the language, however, I found I had forgotten most of what I had heard.

With other languages I have picked up phrases whilst in country. These were enough to get by, along with liberal doses of sign language. As a native English speaker, I try and avoid the assumption that others will speak my language, but find that a lot of the time, they do!
Before going to Croatia I will pick up a phrasebook and try and learn some basic phrases and greetings. These websites seem to be a good start for travellers to the country. Obviously it’s not possible for me to become fluent in Croatian in a couple of weeks, but I will make some effort.

How much of the language do you learn before going on holiday?

Theatre translation

Posted on November 26th, 2009by Michelle
In Culture, Language acquisition, Technology, Translation, Vietnamese | Leave a Comment »

Water puppetsA great way to experience local culture when travelling is to visit the theatre, particularly in countries with a strong theatrical tradition.

For example, when I visited Hanoi a few years ago, I made time to attend a water puppet performance. Water puppetry is a traditional art in this part of Vietnam. However, whilst it was interesting to watch, it was sometimes hard to follow the storyline as the songs were sung in Vietnamese.

It’s a great way to immerse yourself in a language, but what if you want to enjoy the show in your native language?

A British company has come up with a solution – hand held translation devices called ‘AirScript’. These small screens provide a real time translation of what is happening on stage, in eight different languages including French, Russian and Japanese.

Whilst only available at The Shaftesbury Theatre in London at the moment, the devices could become popular with theatre-goers.

I guess using the device is a decision between becoming immersed in the visual aspects of the performance, and knowing precisely what is said. Which would you choose?