What is the French Influence in Vietnam

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French Indochina and influence in Vietnam

During the Sino-French war of 1884, following its victory over China, France obtained control of different regions of Vietnam. This victory was the beginning of the French rule in the region. During the colonial period, France ruled over the regions of Annam, Tonkin, and Cochinchina. After the Franco-Siamese war of 1893, the Kingdom of Cambodia and Laos also became a part of the French Indochina. The citizens of Annam, Tonkin, and Cochinchina rebelled against the French occupation right from the start. But it wasn’t until 1954 that these territories of Southeast Asia got their independence.

During the colonization of the region, the French taught the locals about various dishes. They also learned new cuisines from the locals. A lot of cuisines that are made of potatoes, rice flour, dairy products, noodle soup, and fish sauce were only created because of the clash of two cultures.

French colonization of Southeast Asian territories lasted for nearly a century. During this time, the culture of the locals was greatly affected. Everything from local cuisine to the native languages was affected by the culture of the French. Colonial rules always end up affecting the cultural makeup of society. But some cultures get affected more than others. Cultural studies would be incomplete without taking the effects of outside elements into consideration. Asian cultures are completely different from European cultures. European countries ended up influencing a lot of cultures around the world because of colonization.


The Vietnamese Language

Vietnamese is an Austro-asiatic language that is spoken by 90 million Vietnamese people. Also is the native language of the Kinh people and the official language of Vietnam. This language is also spoken as a first or second language by other ethnic groups of the country. It is recognized as a minority language in the Czech Republic. The language has a phonemic tone. Like various other languages of the region, this one is also an analytic language. The vocabulary of the language has been influenced by Chinese and French.

The language has gone through six periods of development. The current version of the language is the one that has less influence of Chinese. However, it continues to have a few Chinese words in its vocabulary.

Different writing systems have been used for writing this language. Chữ Nôm, a writing system that uses a combination of Chinese script and locally invented characters, was used to write the language in the past. But this changed during French colonialism. A modern alphabet was adopted that uses the Latin alphabet. Diacritics are used in this alphabet for tones and pronunciation. Nowadays, Chữ Nôm is only occasionally used by the Gin people of China.

In the US, modern Vietnamese is the fifth most spoken language. In certain states, including Texas and Washington, it is the third most spoken language. It is also popular in Australia and France. Due to the large diaspora communities living in different countries, the language has become a popular subject at schools.

French influence on Vietnam and the Vietnamese

It is impossible for a country to be occupied and not get influenced by the occupiers. The influence of French culture on the Indochina nations is pretty obvious. Every aspect of people’s lives was influenced by the colonizers. The local dishes have a perfect balance of taste today only because of colonization. The language of the natives of Indochinese territories was also affected by the French colonists. Multiple French words ended up becoming a permanent part of the Vietnamese vocabulary during this time. Even today, these words are a part of the everyday vocabulary of people.

The French language words that introduced the natives to new technology and concepts were the ones that became a permanent part of their vocabulary. French cuisine influenced the names of street foods in Southeast Asia. But the biggest change that came during colonial times was the adoption of a new alphabet. It was the French colonizers that promoted the use of a new alphabet. The modern alphabet changed the way the language was written. It also made it easier for the language to adopt loanwords.

The reason the French wanted Chinese characters removed from the alphabet was to eliminate the links to China. In a way, this step also helped the natives to establish their independent identity. Since the old alphabet had a connection to China, it is still used in that country. Many Chinese citizens continue to use the old alphabet.

But it wasn’t just the colonial government that changed the lives and cultures of the natives. European influence continues to change the lifestyle of Vietnamese citizens even today. Many words in modern Vietnamese are the ones that have been adopted from Western languages.



Understanding and Translating Languages

Every language is part of a family and a group. But there is a lot of things you have to consider to truly understand a language. If you don’t take into account the outside influences, you won’t be able to figure out the true nature of a language. You can’t learn about the native tongue of a people if you ignore the outside forces. For instance, French influence in Vietnam is important for understanding the way the language of the natives changed during the colonial period.

It isn’t just the restaurants and the coffee shops that changed in the country. The language also adopted the European style. Even the word for the cafe was adopted from French. French literature and paintings also changed the way Vietnamese artists and writers operated. French colonizers provided the natives with the motivation and inspiration they needed to progress in their fields. Even French architecture inspired the natives to incorporate new elements into their designs. But ultimately, all of these new combinations changed the language of the natives.

Translating a language that has been affected by a foreign language is not easy. For more info on Translate Document from Vietnam to English click here. Even the natives can get confused sometimes. Languages are constantly evolving, which is why it is important to hire qualified and trained professionals to translate them. These translators are the ones who can handle all kinds of documents and provide you with accurate translations. Also they will be familiar with the cultural status within a language and translate it accurately. And they are the ones you can trust with the translations of your official documents.

How did the Americans Influence Vietnamese Culture?

It isn’t just the French colonialists who changed the foods and buildings of the Indochinese population. Everything from local dishes and the interior of restaurants to the official language and literature was also influenced by the Americans. Many literary movements started only because of colonialists. The foreign forces changed the everyday life of every citizen by influencing the local foods, buildings, fashion, and language. Unlike the French, the American influence is not openly accepted. It is also something that inspired the natives to be more independent in their choices.

The views of the natives regarding the Americans have started changing. Many natives moved to the US over the years to improve their financial status and live a better life. This has brought the two cultures together. A significant percentage of Asians live in the US today and continue to influence the local culture. The French influence in Vietnam proves that it isn’t just the colonial influence that can change the culture of a country.

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