Chatting in Vietnamese

Stephanie Sackman is learning Vietnamese to communicate with her daughter’s birth family. You can read her latest post here, and see her blogging history here.

About a week ago, I was doing something on my computer and suddenly got an instant message. It was in Vietnamese. I froze. It was McKenna’s birth father IM’ing me! Would I be able to chat with him? Would I be able to come up with anything to say, let alone type it? Would he understand me? The conversation went something like this (all in Vietnamese):

Him: Hello, Stephanie.

Me: Hello, guy of youngish age, how are you?

Him: We are fine. [Oh boy! He understood me!] How are you?

Me: Sheridan is sick, but Steve, McKenna, and I are fine.

Him: I just got a picture of Sheridan. [I think he had taken a look at the blog with Sheridan’s picture in it.]

Him: Do you intend to come to Vietnam? Do not call me balance of months younger. [Huh?]

This is one of the main reasons I’m learning Vietnamese. Online translation programs just don’t cut it sometimes! I decided to use a phrase I’ve learned from my Rosetta Stone studies:

Me: When do you work?

Him: I am not busy right now. [He understood me!]

This short conversation took about 15 minutes as I shifted from my IM service to my Vietnamese keyboard emulator to the online translator when I didn’t understand something he wrote.

I chatted with my daughter’s birth father. I was a little stunned that I’d done it.

Somehow, half a world away doesn’t seem so far when you can chat with someone in their language.

boat2 e1307992917229

Find more posts about:

Stephanie Sackman

Stephanie Sackman has been blogging for nearly a year about her two daughters, adopted from Asia, and recently about her experience learning Vietnamese with Rosetta Stone. She lives with her husband, kids, and dog, Tucker, in Ohio, where she’s worked as a project manager for more than 17 years. Stephanie loves to travel and hopes she’ll have time to learn Mandarin, French, Russian, and Irish after studying Vietnamese.
blog comments powered by Disqus