Tag: vietnamese

Mid-week post


So, not much (other than yummy Bday dinner involving trout, which I can smell cooking). Battling with a short that refuses to lie down, and thinking on revisions to the horrendous novella after my crit group’s been there (and they are truly made of awesome).

And working on a short story that refuses to cooperate, but that’s as expected and should be solved soon.

As far as the Vietnamese goes, my mom finally figured out that I had issues with two tones (the neutral, and the huyền, which is one of the two descending ones. I do fine with the ascending tone if I pay attention, and the falling-ascending ones are pronounced the same way as the accent on “phở”, so I got a lot of practise with it. And the other descending one, for some reason, never really bothers me, at least comparatively). Damn, there goes my last refuge–I can foresee that I will get drilled extensively… On the plus side, I now know a lot of fruit names. Some nice ones are “apple” (“táo tây”, ie “Western jujube”), “asparagus” (“măng tây”, ie “Western bamboo shoot”), and my absolute favorite, “star-apple” (“vú sữa”, ie “mother’s breast milk”, because the fruit is sort of spherical, with a little stem that sort of looks like a nipple, and has a cloudy white juice. Pragmatic, if nothing else).

I also tested out my new-found vocabulary for fruit and various other edibles by translating a Vietnamese recipe into French (the one for bì cuốn, aka rolls with pork skin. I know how to make the rolls, but not the pork). More accurately, I relied on Google translate to do the bulk of the work once we got out of the ingredients stage, and then corrected the thing by hand with the missing vocabulary. But still–I’m irrationally proud. I wouldn’t have been able to do that a year ago.

Tomorrow, London!! Aka the city of perdition where I will spend my birthday allowance on too many books…

Today’s experiments


-taught myself (not that there’s much involved) how to use VNI to input Vietnamese characters. Basically input numbers in addition to letters in order to add the diacritical marks (slightly non-intuitive, but I prefer numbers to the other method, which involves inputting extra letters/symbols). OK, that’s this week’s distraction, now I have no excuse to go back to my lessons…

-tried a slightly different phở recipe (see, I can use VNI *grin*). H was happy; I, less so. I think using the vegetarian broth as the basis for a phở bò is a bad idea. Yes, kind of obvious, when you think about it. We have veggie broth at home because it’s more versatile, but it’s just not phở without the meat broth… (beef, in this case. Never was a fan of the chicken version). Let’s see if I can find some without MSG… (yes, I could make my own beef broth, but I seldom have 3 hours to cook broth, so shortcuts are nice).

-also, am self-teaching myself Python, on the H’s recommendation that it’s a more versatile language than bash scripting, which is what I used before. I can see his point: it’s more practical, more readable, and it’s portable, which is darn handy. Go Python.