Translators must master the strong regional differences in Vietnamese between the language used in the South and North of the country.
Vietnamese is one of the most beautiful languages, filled with poetry. If you are fluent in it, when you start learning another language, it might even feel bland and practical to you, due to its richness. And this is not because the rest of the languages are simple, not at all!
Language facts that affect Vietnamese translation:
The complexity of Vietnamese translation
1. The written language > Translation Services
- Honoritication: There is an extensive system of honorifics used in the Vietnamese language. Actually, you cannot communicate with someone without explicitly expressing your understanding of the hierarchy between you and your speaker, or perhaps expressing that there is a lack of hierarchy. The system of honorifics in Vietnamese dictates not only how you call the person you’re speaking to, but how you choose to call yourself as well. In other words, not just what form of “you” is used but also what form of “I” is used. The system is based on a wide range of factors, some of these are more mystical than others, for example, your age, your interlocutor’s perceived age, your gender, your interlocutor’s gender, how you know each other, whether you work together, whether you’re related, whether you’re siblings, whether you’re cousins, whom you’re married to, whom your interlocutor is married to, etc.
- Writing system: Vietnamese was originally written with characters based on Chinese characters, but at the beginning of the 20th Century a Latin-based alphabet was declared the official writing system. Since Vietnamese is a tonal language, it makes extensive use of diacritics to differentiate the different tones. Although many bugs have been fixed, some CAT tools and DTP tools still allow the diacritical marks to be lost or broken. This means that our Vietnamese translators, editors, and proofreaders must be equipped with special utilities and equipment to be able to work with the language.
2. The spoken language > Media Services
- Dialects: Vietnamese has 3 main recognized dialects: Northern, Central and Southern which are widely accepted/known by everyone. Some scholars may further divide the central dialect into three smaller groups: north-central, mid-central, and south-central. The main differences between these dialects are the vocabulary (including basic vocabulary, non-basic vocabulary, and grammatical words), consonant correspondences, and tone correspondences. The Central regional varieties, which have a significant amount of vocabulary differences, are generally less mutually intelligible to Northern and Southern speakers. The standard dialect in Vietnam is the northern (Hanoi) dialect because it is spoken in the capital and used on the television, books, official documents, etc while the southern dialect (Saigon) is commonly used among the overseas Vietnamese, particularly in the US.
- Tone: Vietnamese is a tone language, which simply put means that there is more in complexity than it meets the eye at first glance. The meaning of words and sentences is affected by the pitch in which they are spoken. For the Western speaker, this is usually the most challenging aspect of the language, as the meaning and connotation of many if not most Vietnamese words and phrases are changed by the six tones used in the inflection and pronunciation.
1-StopAsia’s solution for you
1. Native translators with local knowledge.
Our Vietnamese linguists grew up with the language and culture, and our team of experienced translators has been mastering their craft and producing high-quality work for years. Their knowledge of the local culture makes the difference in their work, as having it ensures that the content is conveyed accurately and with as much cultural relevance as possible.
2. 20 years of experience.
For over 2 decades in the industry, we’ve cultivated a team of Project Managers who have an in-depth understanding of the industry and most importantly, have access to a robust and agile project management system. They’re always there to handle your inquiries, save you time and deliver great quality translations within the allotted time for each assignment.
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