Written Vietnamese

While adopting many elements of the Chinese language, the Vietnamese people changed many Chinese words, gradually creating Han-Viet (Chinese-Vietnamese) which incorporated purely Vietnamese words. “Vietnamization” not only applied to the Chinese language, but also to French and other language groups, creating a diverse vocabulary for the Vietnamese language, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.

Vietnamese was first written using modified Chinese characters when Vietnam was a province of China, from the second century BC until the tenth century. During the medieval period, from the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries, Buddhist scholars and priests developed a writing system based on Chinese characters. This script, called chu nom, used combinations or digraphs of Chinese characters; one component gave the meaning and the other component signaled the pronunciation.

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