Vietnamese language helps overseas Vietnamese connect with homeland

The preservation and dissemination of the Vietnamese language among overseas Vietnamese communities around the world not only help them improve language competency but nurture a pride and love for the homeland.
A Vietnamese language class in Laos. (Photo: VNA)
A Vietnamese language class in Laos. (Source: VNA)

For the Vietnamese community abroad, the Vietnamese language - their mother tongue is a means of preserving, spreading, and transmitting culture, helping them keep their cultural identity. Vietnamese is a bridge connecting Vietnamese people around the world with the fatherland.

Teaching Vietnamese to Vietnamese people abroad, especially the younger generation, has become a movement in Vietnamese communities around the world. So far, there are about 200 centers and establishments teaching Vietnamese in the US, 39 classes in Thailand, 33 schools in Cambodia, and 13 schools in Laos.

Since 2013, the State Committee on Overseas Vietnamese Affairs (SCOVA) under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has coordinated with the Ministry of Education and Training to provide training courses for teachers teaching Vietnamese abroad.

So far, more than 800 teachers have attended these training courses with the latest one held from August 16-30.

Dao Le Quynh Phan, an overseas Vietnamese in Thailand said that there is a huge demand for learning the Vietnamese language in Thailand, particularly its northeast region which is home to the third largest Vietnamese community in Thailand.

Having attended the two training courses, Phan said that she has more teaching skills and finds effective teaching methods to instruct her students, especially the second and third generations of Vietnamese people in Thailand.

This year, the annual summer camp for overseas Vietnamese youth also had activities to promote Vietnamese teaching and learning.

For example, camp participants had an opportunity to join a Vietnamese language competition where they were asked to tell stories, sing, rap, and read poetry in Vietnamese.

Le Thanh Trang from Russia said the competition helped her understand and love her mother tongue more.

She felt more confident and passionate about improving the Vietnamese language and contributing to preserving the beauty of the national culture.

"Although I was not born and raised in Vietnam, thanks to the Vietnamese language, I can feel the cultural beauty of the country in my heart," she said.

Last year, the Prime Minister approved the project "Honouring the Vietnamese language in the overseas Vietnamese community from 2023 to 2030".

In 2023, the first year of the project, September 8 marked “Vietnamese Language Day” for the first time.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang, Chairwoman of the SCOVA, said that the project aims to turn “Vietnamese Language Day” into an important annual milestone in the cultural and spiritual life of overseas Vietnamese communities, creating motivation to preserve and promote the Vietnamese language globally.

Under the project, from the beginning of 2023, the SCOVA launched a contest to find "Ambassadors of Vietnamese language abroad in 2023”.

By the end of the year, the committee will open libraries with Vietnamese books to serve communities in countries such as Japan, Slovakia, Austria, and Hungary. It will continue to support Vietnamese learning and teaching abroad, for example, providing teaching/learning materials, or Vietnamese language teaching TV programmes.

The Deputy FM hoped that activities to honour the Vietnamese language and culture will increasingly receive widespread attention from communities, organisations, and individuals at home and abroad.

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(Source: VNA)