Seeing our world through the eyes of young travellers is a fantastic reminder that our planet really is diverse and exciting. Kaitlin Nichols went with her family to Vietnam and she hasn’t stopped talking about it since…
“I think the most fun that I have had trying to speak local dialect was actually on an Intrepid tour. It was in Vietnam and Son, our tour guide, attempted to teach our group some frequently used phrases. There were the basic ones, like hello and good bye, but we were also taught the numbers and sayings.
I found it difficult to initially pick up, because there can be up to five different meanings for a word depending on the tones used. There is one phrase that I probably will never forget though: Oi gioi oi mac qua!, translating to ‘Oh my God, so expensive!’. We said it with a smile on our faces and it made the locals laugh and smile. It came to be very handy when bartering with the Vietnamese. My brother picked up the language really quickly and by the end of the trip, he was able to buy an item and haggle, speaking the whole time in Vietnamese.
After spending two weeks in Vietnam, our family travelled to Phuket to spend a week shopping and relaxing. As we were walking in the markets, a man stopped us. He had noticed that Dad was wearing a Vietnam t-shirt and asked us if we had been there. With our response of yes, the man replied with a massive smile on his face saying that he had come from Vietnam. My brother ended up bargaining with a Vietnamese man, speaking Vietnamese in Phuket, Thailand!
Learning to speak Vietnamese was one of the best parts of the trip. It was easily noticeable that the locals really enjoyed watching us attempting to speak in their language and appreciated us trying to making the effort.”