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Monday, August 07, 2006

Words to Your Mother: Chào

Okay, one more to make up for the missing day.  (Keep in mind, though, that I never promised a daily feature.)

Chào is not a word that is integrated into English, but it is very similar to one with a similar meaning and pronunciation that is integrated.  It is Vietnamese for "Hello".  It is pronounced quite similarly to "ciao" (Italian greeting or farewell) or "chow" (food or a type of dog; in Vietnam, perhaps both).  The main difference in pronunciation is that Vietnamese is a tonal language, and the mark above the letter "a" (called a huyền) indicates a low, falling tone.  Be careful with the tone: If you omit or mispronounce it, you may find yourself saying "lamp shade", "alas", "rice gruel", "frying pan", or "rope or cable".

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