Tieng Viet – a paragon of logic?

The more Vietnamese I learn, the more relieved I become I am not learning English.

Sure, Vietnamese has six tones to contend with, but that is nothing compared to the idiocy of English. I have nothing but sympathy for English learners trying to navigate a language rich in idioms, words that aren’t pronounced the way they are spelt and rules that have just as many exceptions.

By contrast, Vietnamese is a paragon of logic. Most of the time. I have written before on this subject. (See related posts below.)

Lamps in Hoi An


At the risk of someone getting the jump on me, it is patently obvious there should be a dictionary of English language idioms. As far as I am aware there isn’t one particularly geared for Vietnamese learners. But I could be wrong.

The need for just such a tome occurred to me one day when I was messaging a friend in the Netherlands recently. We were talking about the result of the UK’s Brexit poll and I casually mentioned that my Facebook feed had been in meltdown for the past eight hours.

She immediately fired backed the question, “What is meltdown?”

I then gave a long winded explanation referencing a nuclear reactor overheating and burning through the Earth’s core to China. She liked the explanation and suggested there was a gap in the market.

So maybe she is onto something. Raining cats and dogs is just about self explanatory but there is always someone barking up the wrong tree or getting the wrong end of the stick.

I shall test the water with this idea over the coming weeks. If it doesn’t go down like a lead balloon then I had better hit the old keyboard asap. (Okay, that’s probably enough idioms for one blog post.)

* If you have heard an idiom you don’t understand, please drop me a line

Update: See online idiom dictionary


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