I'm finally making some headway in my attempt to learn Vietnamese!
I've been living in Vietnam for almost four months now, but I haven't learned much of the language because I haven't had any direction in my studies. I've just been using my Vietnamese-English dictionary to look up words here & there, & pointing to various objects & asking for the word in Vietnamese. Most people that I meet will tell me a few words, but they are more interested in practicing their English skills than wading through my rudimentary Vietnamese.
Last week I finally broke through the language learning barrier when Marcus, another English teacher, got me a copy of Pimsleur's Vietnamese lessons. There are ten 30-minute lessons & I've already gone through two of them. Miss Hang, my coffee shop friend, was impressed when I tried out my new phrases on her.
Then last Friday, I went to teach my class at one of the local banks here in Bien Hoa. One of the students in the class introduced me to a co-worker, Phuong, who speaks English very well. She offered to help me learn Vietnamese, & we exchanged phone numbers. I met with her for two hours on Saturday & left very encouraged. She had all kinds of great information to help me learn Vietnamese. She even printed up three lessons for me to study during the week.
Phuong studied at a university in Bangkok, where all of the classes were in English. She's married to a Chinese man, who she met while she was studying in Thailand. Because of this, she seems to be much more open to making friends with foreigners = me! I'm planning on meeting with her again this Saturday.
To top if off, one of the students in my favorite English class gave me a book & CD: Vietnamese for Beginners 1. He said there are four levels & to let him know when I'm ready for the next one.
I'm so excited to finally start learning Vietnamese for real!