“Tiếng Việt” is the official language of the Vietnamese (Kinh) and is the official language in Vietnam. This is the mother tongue of 85% of the population of Vietnam, with more than four million Vietnamese overseas. Vietnamese is also the second language of the ethnic minorities in Vietnam such as the Thai, H’mong, Ede etc., There are also Vietnamese speakers in the USA, China, Cambodia, France, Australia, Laos, Canada and a number of other countries. Vietnamese has been the official language of Vietnam since the country gained independence from France in 1954.
Vietnamese was originally written with a Siniform (Chinese-like) script known as Chữ Nôm. Initially, most Vietnamese literature was essentially Chinese in structure and vocabulary. Later literature developed a more Vietnamese style, but was still full of Chinese loan words. Chữ-nôm was used until the 20th century. Courses in the Chữ-nôm script were available at Ho Chi Minh University until 1993, and the script is still studied and taught at the Han-Nom Institute in Hanoi, which has recently published a dictionary of all the nôm characters.
During the 17th century, Roman Catholic missionaries introduced a Latin-based orthography for Vietnamese, Quốc Ngữ (national language),which has been used ever since. Until the early 20th century, Quốc Ngữ was used in parallel with Chữ-nôm. Today only Quốc Ngữ is used.
Vietnamese Language is diverse in semantic , structure and wording of comparison, metaphor, metonymy, impersonal. It also has a treasure of idioms, proverbs and folk. With these reasons, Vietnamese language is considered as the most difficult language to learn for foreigners. For example to call grandmother, Vietnamese can use many words “bà nội” – mother of daddy, “bà ngoại” – mother of mommy.
However, nowadays with the developing countries, Vietnam has been the hot market for oversea investors. The landscapes there also attract many tourists per year. Many foreigners have settled down in Vietnam with the love of this country and its language.