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Vietnam forum

Learning French In Vietnam

Posted by suolib on 7/9/2008 at 15:28

Hi all

Can anyone help, Im an English guy 45 yrs and will be travelling to Vietnam Nov 2008 - Mar 2009 and whilst on my travels I need to learn French as next year (2009) i wil be living and working in the south of France.

Im happy to go to school or be taught privatley. also will french be widely spoken out there ?

I prefer to be in thew south of Vietnam any information will be greatly recieved. Your advice and assistance is appreciated

Regards Billy

#1 suolib has been a member since 7/9/2008. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 5

Posted by SBE on 7/9/2008 at 18:06

I learnt French at the Alliance Francaise in Paris. One month there was WAY more useful than 6 years trying to learn French at school in the UK.

I did a total of three months was pretty fluent by the time I left (even though I was crap at French at school) and I'm now more or less bilingual. Native French speakers often think I'm French but can't quite place the accent. ;-)

Once you've got the basics I found watching TV and movies in French really helps a lot. It's a relatively painless way to learn correct grammar and pick up vocabulary, much better than trying to memorize vocabulary and grammar by rote and out of context. Plus with DVDs you can have the subtitles in French too so it might be worth bringing a computer or a DVD player with you.

Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be an Alliance Francaise in Saigon but I just found a small ad site (in French unfortunately)which had lots of people offering lessons so there are definitely French speakers about. Maybe ask at the French consulate in Ho Chi Minh if they can recommend someone or tell you where to start looking for a teacher?

#2 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,052
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Posted by AandLtraveling on 9/9/2008 at 13:45

Posted from within Vietnam.


Can you let us know how you go finding some french teachers? we are looking at doing the very same thing in HCMC.


#3 AandLtraveling has been a member since 8/9/2008. Posts: 2

Posted by rdavout on 14/9/2008 at 01:02


Be aware that you will find very few local French speakers in VN. You will find most French speakers working either in the tourist industry or working in French companies and NGOs.

Fortunately for you there is an FR-VN institute in HCMC - the IDECAF. They offer classes at beginner level for English speakers... but a website in French and Vietnamese only :-/

Try posting something over there if the lessons don't appeal to you. Another place would be at Fanny Ice Cream, where an "Amicale des Francophones" meets twice a week.


#4 rdavout has been a member since 18/2/2008. Posts: 14

Posted by malthoff on 23/9/2008 at 13:11

Posted from within Vietnam.

I've looked into it before though never followed anything through, despite being in HCMC now. A couple of addresses to add:

I visited teh Alliance Française in Bangkok and got a reasonable impression. Their standard books appear to be Reflets for Beginners/Elementary.

Of course, as said before, doing something in France is much better... Or start here (lower fees) and then go to France :)

Délégation Générale au Vietnam
Alliance Française de Hanoï
42 Phô Yêt Kiêu
Tel: 84 (4) 826 69 70
Fax: 84 (4) 826 69 77

L’Espace - Centre Culturel Français de Hanoi
24, Trang Tien, Hanoi
Tél : (84 4) 936 21 64
Fax : (84 4) 936 21 65
Mel :

#5 malthoff has been a member since 2/5/2008. Posts: 3

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