by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2010/02/27 07:01 -05:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2010/02/27/9970251.aspx
The Vietnamese Language Interface Pack for Windows 7 is now live!
And what is more, in contrast with Vista, which I talked about in A serious lack of overlap with 64, the Vietnamese LIP is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions!
You can get it right here....
Anyway, here is some of that background information on Vietnamese:
NUMBER OF SPEAKERS: ~80 million
NAME IN THE LANGUAGE ITSELF: tiếng Việt
ABOUT VIETNAMESE: Vietnamese is the official language of Vietnam where it is spoken by the vast majority of the population. It is also spoken by about 3 million Vietnamese abroad, 1 million of which live in the United States. Vietnamese is an analytical (isolating) language which means that it does not use inflectional markers to indicate the grammatical role of a word in a sentence. Instead word order is used to express grammatical function. Vietnamese is also a tonal language. The standard dialect of Vietnamese, that of Hanoi, has 6 different tones which are represented in the script (while most other Vietnamese dialects recognize only 5 tones). The word "ma", for example, can have very different meanings depending on the tone: ma (mid falling) means ghost, má (high rising) mother, mà (low falling) but, mã (high rising glottalised) horse.
FUN FACTS: French colonial rule has left traces in form of several loanwords like đầm (from madame, madam), ga (from gare, station), xi-măng (from ciment, cement), pho mat (from fromage, cheese) or banh (from pain, bread).
CLASSIFICATION: Vietnamese is widely agreed to be an Austro-Asiatic language, specifically a member of the group of Mon-Khmer languages spoken in Indo-China. For a long time, it had been considered a member of the Sino-Tibetan family because of the influence of China's culture and language over two millennia, but the classification has been deemed wrong since the 1950s.
SCRIPT: The easily recognizable Vietnamese alphabet, the quốc ngữ script, is based on the Latin alphabet, with several diacritics added. Vietnamese was written in variants of the Chinese script, chữ nôm and chữ nho, from the 13th century on, but as early as the 16th century, the Latin alphabet was used to transcribe Vietnamese: Portuguese missionaries used it for teaching and evangelization. The French Jesuit Alexandre de Rhodes, who worked in the country between 1624 and 1644, built upon these efforts and contributed largely to the development of the modern script.
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