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Books and educational materials to help you learn the Vietnamese language

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A Little VietnameseTM CD-ROM Tutorial

Griesser Software

This is a CD-ROM language tutorial with recorded and translated conversations, lessons covering grammar, pronunciation, and usage, an audio dictionary, vocabulary word games, audiovisual flash cards, number drills and spelling drills.
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VietAnh Vietnamese-English Electronic Dictionary for Palm OS

Griesser Software

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This is an electronic dictionary which translates words from Vietnamese to English or English to Vietnamese. It works with any Palm OS computer such as those by Palm, Handspring, IBM or Sony. The dictionary contains over 5000 words. Requires Palm OS 2.0 or later.
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English-Vietnamese Vietnamese-English Dictionary

Nguyen Van Khon

This is the most famous Vietnamese-English dictionary. First published in 1967, it is very popular today, and it is the standard by which all other dictionaries are judged. The first half is Vietnamese-to-English. The second half is English-to-Vietnamese.
Hardcover, 21 x 15 x 7 cm, 1615 pp, $????
Paperback, 17 x 11 x 3 cm, 1615 pp, $????
Price and ordering information not yet available.
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NTC's Vietnamese-English Dictionary

Nguyen Dinh-Hoa

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This dictionary is more modern than Nguyen Van Khon's dictionary (above) so the type is easier to read and there is slightly more explanation of word usage. Published in 1995. Caution: This dictionary is only useful if you are looking up a Vietnamese word. It does not allow you to look up an English word. See the companion dictionary below.
Hardcover, 23 x 16 x 4 cm, 728 pp, $17.47
Paperback, 22 x 15 x 4 cm 728 pp, $14.36
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Essential English-Vietnamese Dictionary

Nguyen Dinh-Hoa and Patricia Nguyen Thi My-Huong

This dictionary is by the same author as the one above. You can think of it as a companion to the one above except that this one was written on a typewriter instead of using professional typesetting. Published in 1991. Caution: This dictionary is only useful if you are looking up an English word. It does not allow you to look up an Vietnamese word. See the companion dictionary above.
Paperback, 22 x 15 x 2 cm 316 pp, $13.56
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The New Oxford Picture Dictionary (English/Vietnamese)

Hai Trong Tran and E.C. Parnwell

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This is a picture book which each picture labeled in both English and Vietnamese. (Actually this company reuses these same pictures and prints this same dictionary in many different languages.) The pictures are well done. Most pictures show nouns, but the illustrators are creative at showing verbs and adjectives in the pictures also. Many of the words are too specific to be of much use to a beginner (forklift, buoy, launchpad, etc.) One advantage of this dictionary over a text dictionary is that you know you have the right word because you see a picture of the word. Published in 1989.
Paperback, 25 x 20 x 1 cm, 142 pp, $9.95
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A Vietnamese-English Syntactic Dictionary

Bang Vu, Ph.D.

This book gives more detail on word usage than a standard dictionary. Beginners always have a hard time with dictionaries because they don't explain differences between words or usages of words very well. This book explains the usages with more detail. It is a list of 1580 Vietnamese syllables and it explains the common words and phrases in which these syllables appear. It is one-way; you cannot look up an English word. Published in 1997.
Paperback, 27 x 21 x 1 cm, 195 pp, $????
Price and ordering information not yet available.
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Vietnamese Phrasebook

Nguyen Xuan Thu

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This is a very nice little phrasebook with lots of good words and common phrases. It is very small so it fits in your shirt pocket. It has a little dictionary in the back. It would be very handy while traveling in Vietnam. It explains a bit about customs and manners. The first edition was published in 1993. The second edition was published in 1996.
Paperback, 12 x 9 x 1 cm 157 pp, $4.76
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Vietnamese: A Rough Guide Phrasebook

Lexus; Ka Fue Lay, Nguyen Thi Thanh Binh, Nguyen Quoc Hung

This book is much more like a little dictionary than like a phrasebook. The phrasebook above is a better phrasebook. But this would be a good mini-dictionary to carry in a coat pocket. It attempts to help you pronounce words by spelling the words phonetically in English, but most people find this is useless. You need to learn the Vietnamese consonants and vowels directly or no one will understand you. Maybe the best things about this book are the advice which it gives to travelers and the small size which makes it easy to carry. Published in 1996.
Paperback, 14 x 10 x 1 cm 232 pp, $4.00
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Spoken Vietnamese for Beginners

Nguyen Long, Marybeth Clark, Nguyen Bich Thuan

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This is one of the most common textbooks used to teach first year Vietnamese in universities throughout the US. First written in 1984, it was published by Northern Illinois University in 1994. It is organized quite well. It starts off simple, gets progressively harder, and has lots of drills, repitition and exercises.
Paperback, 28 x 21 x 3 cm 401 pp, $34.00
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Conversational Vietnamese

Bac Hoai Tran

This textbook is used to teach first year Vietnamese at the University of California at Berkeley where the author is a professor. The book is quite well written and easy to follow. It has lots of simple conversations and simple paragraphs to read. It has a good explanation of the sounds of the Vietnamese language. Written in 1996.
Paperback, 21 x 13 x 2 cm, 357 pp, $????
Price and ordering information not yet available.
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Beginner's Vietnamese

Robert M. Quinn

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This is an older textbook from Cornell. Written in 1972 on a typewriter, the typeface is not too modern. But the teaching style is very good, and builds up slowly from easy concepts to more difficult ones. There are many pronunciation drills, and you will need some help from a Vietnamese friend to hear the correct pronunciation since there is no audio tape.
Paperback, 21 x 14 x 3 cm 515 pp, $15.96
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Basic Reading and Writing for Vietnamese Speakers

Kim Thu Ton and Stephen O'Harrow

This textbook is used at the University of Hawaii to teach Vietnamese reading and writing to people who already know how to speak. It has almost no English after page 16 and is intended for people who already know the language. It has many drills and readings. It can be purchased with a CD-ROM for Windows or Macintosh which allows one to hear the correct pronunciation of words in the text. Published in 1996.
Paperback, 28 x 22 x 1 cm 125 pp, $16.00
For the CD-ROM version, call 1-800-956-2840 or 1-808-988-6052 and order ISBN 0-8248-1877-6 (text plus CD-ROM) or ISBN 0-8248-1876-8 (CD-ROM only).
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Colloquial Vietnamese

Tuan Duc Vuong and John Moore

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This book is intended to help you teach yourself Vietnamese. You can purchase it with audio cassettes or with audio CD's. It is not easy to learn from a book because it is hard to stay motivated, but as self-help books go, this one is pretty well written. It has a good pace, and doesn't get too difficult too quickly.
Paperback, 21 x 13 x 2 cm 314 pp, $15.99
Paperback with two audio tapes $39.99
Paperback with audio CD $31.96
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Teach Yourself Vietnamese

Dana Healy

Similary to Colloquial Vietnamese above, this book is intended to help you learn Vietnamese on your own. It is almost exactly the same size and format as Colloquial Vietnamese, and claims to be "A complete course for beginners". But this book seems to get into difficult material quite quickly which may be hard for the beginner. This book seems more for an intermediate student because it has real readings from newspapers, advertisements, etc. The book has exercises for audio tapes, but the audio tapes are not provided by the publisher. Published in 1997.
Paperback, 20 x 13 x 2 cm, 268 pp, $11.96
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Seven Magic Brothers

Kuang-Tsai Hao, translated by Nguyen Ngoc Ngan

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This is a children's fairy tale written in English and Vietnamese. Seven brothers are born with various superhuman abilities. They use their talents to escape the jealous emporer. Beautiful illustrations.
Hardcover, 31 x 22 x 0.5 cm 30 pp, $16.95
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Em Hoc Viet Ngu (Children learn Vietnamese)

Nguyen Thi Tuyet Long

This is a sequence of eight schoolbooks for children to learn Vietnamese. The books cover spelling, sentences, family, daily life, emotional life, patriotism, spelling and conversation. These books are very useful if you want to teach Vietnamese to children. Published in 1989.
Paperback, 21 x 18 x 1 cm, 122 pp, $????
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