Your hemi-semi-weekly Vietnamese proverb


“Có công mài sắt, có ngày nên kim”: “If you work hard enough at sharpening iron, one day you’ll have a needle” (literally “Put effort [into] sharpen[ing] iron, have one day in the end [a] needle”). Basically, insofar as I can tell, the closest equivalent would be that nothing is obtained without hard work. Again, I’m pretty sure of my translation, a lot less sure about my reading of the proverb.

Progress continues apace; I’m turning to vocabulary words that might actually be useful out there, namely: “nhà băng” (bank), “thông hành” (passport), and “khách sạn” (hotel). My vocabulary continues to be overwhelmingly focused on food, though: at the very least, menu-reading isn’t going to be a problem (nor is ordering, at least if they don’t answer back…).

Had last lesson before leaving; if nothing else, it confirmed that boy, I need to work on my neutral and short-descending accent (and my diphtongs and my “th”, and so on, and so forth). Should be fun…

That’s it from me. Don’t know how much internet I’m going to have over there (it’s not that there isn’t any, but rather that we might be busy). See you in two weeks?


  1. I like that saying!

    Have a WONDERFUL TIME, safe and pleasant journey, and all good things. I hope it’s every bit as amazing as it sounds like it’s going to be!

  2. Enjoy your trip to Vietnam. You might wish to know that the book “Ru” by Kim Thuy is doing well in Canada. It’s her story of immigrating from Vietnam to Montreal in Canada. Published in French and English.

  3. Bring me back some fish sauce.

  4. Giora: thanks!
    And that’s nice to know–sounds like a cool book.

  5. Justina 🙂 We skipped on the fish sauce due to a stuffed suitcase…

Sorry. Comments are closed on this entry.