Naturally (VN Diary No. 17)

So, if you woke up with a head cold, what would be the first thing you would think to do? Well, naturally, you would go with your friend who is writing a language instruction book to a recording studio to help with the English on the accompanying CD. And after that, you would no doubt have lunch and then go to your Vietnamese teacher for what, in this language, amounts to a singing lesson. In both situations I sounded more like a croaking frog than a human being, but everyone was very gracious, which is the norm here. In Vietnamese, croaking frog would go something like this: ku ?m ?p con ?ch. I put that in just to see if WordPress can handle the unicode keyboard driver I just got installed today. As you can see, Vietnamese uses the Roman alphabet modified with diacritical marks to indicate the extra vowels and the system of tones.

Update: I’ll have to do a little more work on displaying Vietnamese characters.

Author: jd

Joseph Duemer is Professor of Literature at Clarkson University in northern New York state. His most recent book of poems is Magical Thinking from Ohio State University Press. Since the mid-1990s he has spent a good deal of time in Vietnam, mostly Hanoi. He lives with his wife Carole & five terriers (four Jack Russells & one Patterdale) on the stony bank of the Raquette River in South Colton.