Some Vietnamese friends who are now U.S. citizens were instructing me recently on a few of the words in their language. I found it really interesting and it gave me some insight into what it’s like to live in a land where the language is foreign to you.

Some Vietnamese friends who are now U.S. citizens were instructing me recently on a few of the words in their language. I found it really interesting and it gave me some insight into what it’s like to live in a land where the language is foreign to you.


I won’t remember half of what they taught me Friday but a few of the phrases are "Good morning — Chao Buoi Sang," "Eat — An," "Rice — Gao," and "Eat white rice, — An cho gao trang." I also learned year is "nam" and five is the same "nam."


My friends explained to me that the Vietnam language doesn’t have variations of different words to connote plurals, past tense and possessive. For example year is nam and four is bon. So if you want to say four years, you say bon nam. There is no change to make year plural.


This is all fascinating to me. I was sharing my new information with my daughter Jamie who is fluent in Spanish. I suspect she is one of those people who has an ear for dialects and languages and is able to pick it up easily. Spanish came easy to her, but she didn’t become fluent until she spent a semester in Costa Rica where all she could speak was Spanish and Spanish was the only language spoken to her.


As I was telling her about my experience with Vietnamese we began talking about our English language and what a problem it can be for others to learn because there are so many words with double meanings.


Jamie related an incident of the day before involving my sweet 4-year-old grandson, Langston, and like the Vietnamese friends, he’s learning to master the English language.


He and his little brother, 3-year-old Riverson, began acting out a hunting scenario after watching one on television. Riverson donned a Halloween costume that made him resemble a tiger and went on the prowl. Langston put on a hat, vest and grabbed his pop gun to go on the hunt. He showed his mommy what he was doing and Jamie commented, "You are a little hunter."


"No, Mommy," he said to her. "I Langston. Hunter is at his home."


Happy birthday Wednesday to Marianne Blevins, Ruth Ann Hightower, Margie Louise Wilhelm, Bonnie Garrett, James Cantrell, Vera Skipworth, James Harry Jones, Sammy Morales Jr. and Mable Lyons, all of Sherman; Sandra Jean Valentine and Pat Blankenship, both of Denison; David C. Scott of Alpharetta, Ga.; Tommy Dean Cox of Luella; Kenneth Franklin of Whitewright; Ricky Akin of Aubrey; Bill Melton of Hooks, Texas; Tommy Cox of Tom Bean; Ruth Underwood of Ravenna.