I’ve been thinking about starting to learn another language for a while now. I find that with other learning activities such as programming languages, technical topics or even physical training variety really helps the mind to solidify new ideas and concepts. The question of how I decided to study Vietnamese is another article altogether.
An important take away I have from learning Russian the past few years is to choose a few resources and stick with them. Don’t jump around too much or you can easily waste all your time searching for the perfect materials. It is better to choose a course, book or podcast series and finish it or take it to the point where it no longer brings you any new value and move on.
Vietnamese learning materials have initially been more challenging to find than with Russian. Here is what I am starting with:
Language learning apps
I really like the content format of this app. All of the content can be voiced using a natural sounding voice as many times as you like. The flow is well done and new content is introduced at a manageable pace. It is one of the only apps I’ve found which has a tailored Vietnamese course. The app is not free after the first few lessons but having a guided tour of these initial concepts with unlimited repetition and voicing is worth the price. I also appreciate the amusing deer branding concept.
This course seems like a great starting point as you need to be able to repeat words with proper pronunciation to speak, to read in your head and to remember. I like the in depth guide to pronouncing all the letters by a male and female speaker and the course author’s enthusiasm for the language.
Once I have a basic understanding of pronunciation and some repetition with things like basic phrases and pronouns this seems like a good next logical step, especially since it is by the same author as the pronunciation course. In a language closer to something I am already familiar with I might jump into a book or video series for self study but Vietnamese has proven a bit more elusive with less obvious rocks to grab onto than other languages for me.