Seminar on the 100th anniversary of Quoc Ngu "national language”- a special cultural activity in Van Lang University

(Van Lang, November 30th, 2019) - On the morning of November 30th, 2019, the Faculty of Social & Humanities of Van Lang University held an event on "Celebrating 100 Years of Quoc Ngu - Vietnamese language" along with the participation of scientists, writers, journalists and more than 300 students at N2T1 Hall, Campus 3 (69/68 Dang Thuy Tram, Ward 13, Binh Thanh Dist., HCMC).

vlu 100th anniversary of Quoc Ngu aThe event received special attention from the leaders of Van Lang University and leading experts from various universities.

Representative of Van Lang University attending the event was Mr. Bui Quang Do - Chairman of the Board of Directors, Dr. Nguyen Cao Tri - Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, Journalist Duong Trong Dat - Director of the Institute of Culture, Art & Media Training, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Dang Ngoc Le - Head of the Faculty of Social and Humanities (Vice President of Vietnam Language Association, President of City Language Association), Dr. Ho Quoc Hung - Vice Dean of the Faculty of Social and Humanities.

Van Lang University proudly welcomed guests in the field of language and literature research to attend the program:

  • Assoc. Dr. Nguyen Van Hiep - Director of Language Institute, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences
  • Dr. Pham Thi Kieu Ly - Sorbonne Nouvelle University, Paris
  • Assoc. Prof. Dr.  Hoang Dung - Lecturer of HCMC University of Education
  • Assoc. Prof. Dr.  Doan Le Giang - Dean of the Faculty of Vietnam Studies, HCMC University of Social Sciences & Humanities
  • Assoc. Prof. Dr.  Nguyen Thanh Thi - Former Dean of the Faculty of Literature, HCMC University of Education
  • Assoc. Dr. Pham Thu Hien - Director of the Center of Applied Korean Study, HCMC University of Social Sciences & Humanities
  • Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vo Van Nhon - Head of Department of Literature, Faculty of Literature, HCMC University of Social Sciences & Humanities

During the seminar, students of the Applied Literature Major of Van Lang University have listened and acquired a lot of knowledge as well as understood more about the origin, history of formation and development of Quoc Ngu - Vietnamese language.

vlu 100th anniversary of Quoc Ngu bDr. Ho Quoc Hung - Vice Dean of Social & Humanities Faculty of Van Lang University gave an opening speech.

Dr. Ho Quoc Hung shared: “In today's event, we will share a great joy of honoring the 100-year-old Quoc Ngu, the Vietnamese script that is 100 years old - from December 28th, 1918, based on the King Khai Dinh’s decision about abolishing the study of Confucianism. In 1919, the final Huong examination was organized and since then, Quoc Ngu became the main script of Vietnamese people. This is an event that is of great interest to domestic and foreign scholars. Due to limited time, we stop at the scientific discussion. Protecting the Vietnamese script is a matter of all people, not just a single person.”

vlu 100th anniversary of Quoc Ngu cDr. Nguyen Cao Tri - Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors (Van Lang University) stated: “In the current technological age, preserving the Vietnamese language is an essential issue of modern people. We have developed artificial intelligence to do the most detailed work. However, for literature and culture, it is completely different, no artificial intelligence can perform, this is the unique value of each nation, each country and only the youngers of that region can create”.

vlu 100th anniversary of Quoc Ngu dThe three main speakers sharing directly in the event "Celebrating the 100th anniversary of Quoc Ngu - Vietnamese national language" at Van Lang University were: Dr. Pham Thi Kieu Ly - University of Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris; Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hoang Dung - Lecturer of HCMC University of Education; Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thanh Thi - Former Dean of Faculty of Literature, HCMC University of Education.

Dr. Pham Thi Kieu Ly also shared about the development of the Vietnamese language in the literary process of Vietnam: “After the 1884 – 1885 Protection Treaty, the national language was widely spread to the North and the Central region of Vietnam. In a very short term, the number of schools teaching national language was increased to 117 schools (1886) in the North, but the biggest and most important turning point for the success of the national language system in the North was the movements of patriotic literature in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, such as the Duy Tan movement or Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc movement”.

vlu 100th anniversary of Quoc Ngu eApplied Literature students of Van Lang University listened and noted attentively.

Assoc. Prof. Dr.  Hoang Dung - the leading linguistic expert continued the talk with his interesting discussion on "The linguistic and cultural values ​​of two books: Việt Bồ La Dictionary (Alexandre De Rhodes) and "Books to Transcribe" (Philiph Binh)”.

vlu 100th anniversary of Quoc Ngu f

Assoc. Dr. Nguyen Van Hiep - Director of the Institute of Linguistics shared an interesting topic about the reform of Vietnamese script: “After reviewing the history of national language reform over 100 years, all things can be imagined as the reform of Quoc Ngu script has been discussed for a long time by domestic and foreign scholars and takes a lot of time, effort and money. However, no reform has been implemented, all failed miserably. The Vietnamese script still remains nearly 99% of the appearance created in Taberd's dictionary in 1838. Should we take a look about the spelling standard? Because in the current 4.0 era, spelling becomes more important, how to mark the tone, how to capitalize, how to transcribe, this is what we should be concerned about.”

vlu 100th anniversary of Quoc Ngu gThe seminar took place in the atmosphere of learning and honoring the national language of scientists and the seriousness of students. This is a gratitude of Van Lang University to the sages who created and reformed the national language. Besides, this was one of the University's remarkable scientific and cultural activities in the last months of 2019.

To end the event "Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Quoc ngu", Dr. Ho Quoc Hung - Vice Dean of the Faculty of Social & Humanities - Van Lang University said: “With all the great and valuable information shared today, there are indeed too many issues raised around the preserving Vietnamese script. I think we have to make clear that preserving Vietnamese language is a common issue for all Vietnamese citizens, not just linguists.”

Since Van Lang University pioneered the first application of Applied Literature in Vietnam, the lecturers of the Faculty has actively shaped a separate path for Van Lang students of Applied Literature: expanding the boundary of traditional Literature, integrating knowledge and skills with practical career orientation in many different fields. Besides, do not forget to attach themselves to the intensive research activities of literature, language, do not separate Applied Literature from the massive Linguistic Literature foundation of the nation.

Source: Chi Nhan – Trung Nghia
Translated by: Linh Pham
Edited by: Duyen Anh Vo


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