Language and scripts |
Among the 54 Vietnamese ethnic
groups some have had their own scripts for a long time
and some have not preserved their ancient scripts. As a
matter of fact, some ethnic groups consisting of some
hundreds of individuals living in remote areas have
their own languages.
Throughout the years, these languages have been enriched
in terms of vocabulary, precision, and expression.
However, the Viet language is most commonly used.
In terms of script, for a long time under northern
domination, han (Chinese) was widely used in trade,
education and state documents. This lasted until the
beginning of 20th century. During the eighth century,
parallel to the use of han, the Vietnamese created the
nom script, which used the pictography of han to note
the sounds of the Viet language. The appearance of the
nom script marked a point of maturity in the national
conscious of the Viet, and led to the development of
literature in Vietnam.
In the 16th century, quoc ngu (a Romanized script
produced by French missionaries) appeared and was
substituted for both the han and nom scripts.
Source: Vietnam Nation Administration of Tourism