The national language of Vietnam has a history and vocabulary that reflects the influences of Chinese and Western cultures on Vietnamese history. Today, its reach extends well beyond Asia to communities in Australia, Western Europe, and North America — including Seattle.
A tonal language, Vietnamese can be challenging for non-native speakers to learn to pronounce. However, many other characteristics make learning the language surprisingly straightforward. It has no articles or plurals, uses limited tenses, and is written in a version of the Latin alphabet called quốc ngữ.
By embracing the challenges and benefits of studying Vietnamese, students can explore Vietnam’s historical legacies and the vibrant modern lives of Vietnamese speakers around the globe.
The department offers first-year Vietnamese (heritage and non-heritage tracks), second-year, third-year Vietnamese, and Special Topics in Vietnamese Studies (instruction is in English). Students with approved research proposals related to Vietnamese language and studies may also take undergraduate independent research courses (VIET 499).
Vietnamese can also be an area of emphasis in the following programs: