Code Mixing and Loan Words in The Vietnamese Vocabulary

Le Thanh Ha
Thanh Hoa University of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Vietnam
Keywords: loan words, borrowed words, code mixing, Chinese language, Sino- Vietnamese


Just like any other language, Vietnamese vocabulary includes many borrowed words from different countries that have influenced Vietnamese culture throughout its history. The majority of the borrowed words are from Chinese, French, and English. This study investigates such loan and borrowed words from cultural point of view. Examples have been drawn from trends among the young, educated Vietnamese who live in big cities in Vietnam and habituated to code mixing or code switching by making use of such English words, that have pure Vietnamese or Sino-Vietnamese equivalent words. The loanword situation in Vietnamese is so complex that it is too difficult to determine what is borrowed and what is original. The reason is perhaps because of the long exposure and extensive time frame and numerous languages in the region. Vietnamese has been linguistically affiliated with hundreds of languages in the past few centuries, but this study confirmed that Vietnamese has a strong database of vocabulary cognates and loan words as a Mon-Khmer language rather than a Tai-Kadai or Sino-Tibetan one. This paper will be a good contribution to semantics of the Vietnamese language as it examines the genealogy and the inheritance of loan words existing in the Vietnamese vocabulary

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.