assignment代写范文-Influence of Chinese on Vietnamese

assignment代写范文-Influence of Chinese on Vietnamese

Influence of Chinese on Vietnamese

During the communication between China and Vietnam for more than two thousand years, Chinese has influenced Vietnamese in an all-round manner. This paper discusses the influencing cause and way of Chinese on Vietnamese through explaining the influence process of Chinese on Vietnamese, and analyzes the specific influence of Chinese on Vietnamese on this basis, in order to provide reference for the language researchers and learners.

As China’s southern neighbor, Vietnam has the profound cultural communication relation with China during several thousand years because of the special geographical environment and historical conditions, especially the contact between Vietnamese and Chinese language (Kwak, 161). Within a long historical period, Chinese characters and classical Chinese grammar system are widely used in every social field of Vietnam, and they become the orthodox character and grammar system of Vietnam. With the development of history, the influence of Chinese on Vietnamese has been increasingly profound gradually, and this paper tries to briefly discuss the main influence of Chinese on Vietnamese.

  1. The influence process and cause of Chinese on Vietnamese

(1)  The influence process of Chinese on Vietnamese

In 214 BC, the First Emperor of Qin pacified the south of the Five Ridges, set three prefectures, Nanhai (Guangdong today), Guilin (in Guangxi today) and Xiang (north and mid-north of Vietnam today), and sent officers to govern; as a result, the immigrants lived with the local natives, and Chinese began influence Vietnamese (Kond-Brown 29). In 207 BC, Zhao Tuo declared himself King and continued to spread and promote Chinese culture across Vietnam, and the Chinese language was also spread in Vietnam.

In 111 BC, the Emperor Wu of Han pacified Nanyue Kingdom, and included Vietnam officially into the Chinese territory, and set up Jiaozhi, Jiuzhen and Rinan Prefecture[1]. Chinese became Vietnam’s official language, and was introduced to the folk communities through the oral way. In the period of Emperor Guangwu of Eastern Han Dynasty, the chief of Jiaozhi and Jiuzhen Prefecture built schools in Vietnam, promoting Chinese culture education (Le, 14). In the late Eastern Han Dynasty, Tuxie governed Jiaozhi for more than 40 years, and he wrote books and built schools with some Confucian scholars from Central Plains fleeing war, educated with Four Books and Five Classics, making the Chinese occupy the orthodox position (19).

In Sui and Tang Dynasties, the central government strengthened the ruling of Vietnam, and sent talented officials, such as Linghu Xi, Gao Pian, et al. During their time in office, they set up schools and encouraged the people to read Four Books and Five Classics, so the Chinese culture with Chinese characters as the carrier was spread further. In A.D. 679, Annan Protector General was set up in Tang Dynasty, the education and imperial examination system was developed and promoted, so many intellectuals were born proficient in Chinese language, and someone acted as officials in Changan, so that Chinese language was spread to Vietnam comprehensively and systematically in written; and the modern Chinese with Changan sound as the standard sound also took root in Vietnam, leading to the gradual maturity of modern poetry and the formation of Sino-Vietnamese sound system. Since then, the Chinese characters went deeply into the Vietnamese society step by step.

In 938 AD, Vietnam established the independent feudal country. Vietnam always valued the independence status, and copied the feudal system of China at the same time, pursued the Confucianism, built the Confucius’ temples, set up the Imperial College, and elected officials through imperial examinations. Since the first imperial examination was in 1075 in Li Dynasty (1009-1225) to the last Provincial Examination held in Qinghua Province in 1917 in Ruan Dynasty (1802-1945), the Chinese characters was always the official language of Vietnam(Nguyen 319). After the “August Revolution” in 1945, the Vietnamese government designated the Latin alphabetic script as the national formal script, but after a long period of time, Chinese characters and Chinese ancient books were still spread in the folk. In today’s “renovation and opening up”, Chinese is the foreign language second only to English. People can not only see the Chinese characters on the temples and ancient buildings, but also see it on some traditional product trademarks.

(2) The influencing cause of Chinese on Vietnamese

We can see from the above historical process that the main transmission way of Chinese in Vietnam include: school building, religious dissemination, imperial examination system, immigration, etc. The cause of Chinese spreading in Vietnam was: first of all, the need for China’s feudal dynasties to popularize Chinese culture; secondly, the extensive dissemination of Chinese in Vietnam was also because the Vietnamese feudal dynasty needed to strengthen its own ruling. In terms of the internal affairs, learning China’s laws system to establish and maintain the feudal dynasty needed the Chinese language and Chinese culture; in terms of foreign affairs, keeping the vassal relationship with China to ensure the security was also inseparable from the Chinese language and Chinese culture. With the establishment of feudal monarchy and the strengthening of suzerain-vassal relation, China’s advanced culture was constantly spread to Vietnam, so Chinese language was popular more extensively, and Chinese characters even became the formal character of Vietnamese society (Berry 89); thirdly, the similarity between two languages also provided the inner basis for the spread of Chinese language in Vietnam. Both languages were monosyllabic languages, and according to the word structure and morphemes, Vietnamese and Chinese languages were the isolating language, and the relationship between the words did not rely on the morphological changes but the word order and function words. As a result, Vietnamese could integrate the Chinese language into its own language system without complex methods. In addition, the cultural identity of the Vietnamese also contributed to the spread of Chinese language in Vietnam.

  1. The specific influence of Chinese on Vietnamese

(1) Pronunciation level

It was believed in the academic circle that there was only one tone (level tone) in ancient Vietnamese. Ruan Youqionog argued that three tones did not appear in Vietnamese until the 6th century and six tones until the 7th century (Ruan 20). It can be said that the Vietnamese tones are generated by accepting the wide influence of Chinese language, which is an indisputable fact. In addition, the ancient Vietnamese only had the voiceless consonants, and the voiced consonants appeared due to the influence of Sino-Vietnamese sound[2] (Sullivan 179). At the same time, the Chinese borrowings in Vietnamese retained the ancient pronunciation when they were introduced into Vietnam, for example, the checked tone and some coda consonants lost in modern Chinese mandarin still existed in modern Vietnamese; as a result, Tang and Song poems in Vietnamese had more lingering charm than that in Chinese. From the above three points, Chinese language had profound influence on Vietnamese in pronunciation level directly or indirectly.

(2) Vocabulary level

The influence of Chinese on Vietnamese is not only reflected in vocabulary. Under the long-term influence of Chinese culture, the Chinese vocabulary has entered into the Vietnamese vocabulary bank, and become stable step by step, and a large number of Chinese borrowings become the Vietnamese vocabularies (Everson 219). The Chinese borrowings limited by the Vietnamese pronunciation rules are called as the “Sino-Vietnamese vocabulary”, distinguishing it from the pure Vietnamese vocabulary, namely the “pure Vietnamese vocabulary”. Chen Xiuhe used to point out: ”according to the survey of linguists, the Chinese vocabulary or those originated from Chinese language account for half of the total”; and according to the estimate of Vietnamese linguist, Ruan Wenxiu, about sixty percent of the Vietnamese vocabularies are the Sino-Vietnamese vocabularies (220).

The Vietnamese, as the mono-syllabic language with Chinese language, is incompatible with western language, and it is hard for it to accept the polysyllabic words. Therefore, although the France’s invasion and colonial rule of Vietnam lasted for nearly one century, the influence of French had very little influence on Vietnamese, and there was seldom French borrowing in Vietnamese. Vietnamese used the alphabetized words, and even some foreign person names and place names were also transformed into the Vietnamese syllabic forms according to the Chinese character translation, such as: My (America), Anh (English), Phap (French), NhatBan (Japan), Luan Don (London), Hoa Thinh Don (Washington) and Na Pha Luan (Napoleon) (Tse 14).

Chinese borrowings in Vietnamese can be divided into the direct borrowings and national transformation. The direct borrowings are mainly about the politics, economy and military, which generally retain the original meaning, such as the “government”, “country”, “military”, “industry”, etc. The Chinese borrowings with national transformation are complex. Some are compounded with Chinese morpheme: use the existing Chinese borrowings morpheme to form the new words, and express the new concept and meaning, which is an extremely important means to increase the Vietnamese vocabulary (Wong-fillmore 310). For example: the two morphemes, “contact” and “market”, form the word “tiep thi contact market”, meaning exposure to the market, market research, promotion, etc.; “khoi chiey” means starting release; “doi tac” refers to the partners. In addition, some words flexibly combine the Chinese morphemes and Vietnamese morphemes to constitute the Sino-Vietnamese words. For example: the Chinese morpheme “binh sodier” and the Vietnamese morpheme “linh” (also mean “soldier”) constitute the word “binh linh”, soldier; in the word “lo vi song microwave oven” (the word order in Vietnamese is “lo vi song “), only “vi” is the Sino-Vietnamese morpheme, and “lo” is the Sino-Vietnamese morpheme in Vietnamese style, and “song” is the Vietnamese morpheme.

In Vietnamese, most Chinese borrowings retain the original meaning of Chinese words, such as “government”, “revolution”, ”welcome” and “great”, etc. Some Chinese homophones become the words with the same spelling, making the words polysemous words objectively. For example, “tai” in Vietnamese is also borrowed from Chinese words, meaning “talent”, “property” and “material”. Such situation happens frequently in Vietnamese, but most retain the original meaning of Chinese words, and extend its meanings (Nguyen 88). For example, the word “gan” in Vietnamese borrows the pronunciation of the Chinese word “dry” and “liver”, and it also adds the meaning of “contact”, “relationship”, “discourage”, etc. At the same time, some Chinese borrowings are much different from the original meaning, or even have no relation. For example, “Bo Y Te” (the ministry of health) borrows the pronunciation from the Chinese language “Yijibu”; “V u Bao chi” (Information Department) borrows the pronunciation from the Chinese language “Baozhiwu”. The Chinese word “difficulty” means “bad guys, rogue” in Vietnamese, which has nothing to do with the original meaning.

After the Chinese borrowings enter the Vietnamese, the pronunciation, meaning and word formation have changed under the influence of Vietnamese language, Vietnamese culture and other factors, in order to conform to the Vietnamese language habits (Le 87). The original Chinese words change, changing the face of them. Chinese borrowings, however, greatly enrich the Vietnamese words, promote and perfect the expression function of Vietnamese, and play important roles in the development of Vietnamese culture, education and even the whole society.

(3) Grammar level

Chinese does not influence the Vietnamese grammar much, which can be proved by the sentence patterns similar to Chinese composed by function words, such as “in”, “by”, “for” ”yet”, “if”, “why” and “or”. Vietnamese is similar to Chinese in that the grammatical functions are completed by the word order and function words. But they are also different, because the modifier is in the front in Chinese, while that is in the rear in Vietnamese. During the communication for more than two thousand years, Vietnamese has absorbed many Chinese words but still maintained the stable grammar system, indicating that Vietnamese has a strong fusion ability and vitality.


Edward Sapir, an American linguist, said: ”the language, like the culture, is rarely self-sufficient. The communication makes people speaking one language contact those speaking neighboring language or with superior culture directly or indirectly” (Kinzie 214) The influence of Chinese language on Vietnamese language is the result of direct contact (spoken language) and indirect contact (written language) between Chinese and Vietnamese. Chinese language is input to Vietnam in the form of words and characters, which not only affect the formation of Vietnamese phonetic system, greatly enrich the expression function of Vietnamese, fill the gaps of Vietnamese writing symbol, but also make great contributions to the formation, maturity and development of Vietnamese, as a mature language. The influence is very profound and also continues to deepen, which is worthy of the in-depth research.

[1] north and mid-north of Vietnam today

[2] there are 10 voiced consonants in 22 consonants in Vietnamese