Vietnamese language, official language of Vietnam since 1954. Vietnamese is an Austroasiatic language related, albeit distantly, to Khmer and to some of the so-called 'tribal' languages of Eastern India. It is the first language of the majority of the Vietnamese population and has a considerable number of speakers not only in Southeast Asia but further afield, notably in the United States and in Australia.
Vietnamese was originally written with a Siniform (Chinese-like) script known as Chu-nom or Nom . At first most Vietnamese literature was essentially Chinese in structure and vocabulary. Later literature developed a more Vietnamese style, but was still full of Chinese loan words. The greatest literary work in Vietnamese is Kim Van Kieu, the 'Tale of Kieu', a romance written by Nguyen-Du (1765-1820).
Chu-nom was used until the 20th century. Courses in the Chu-nom script were available at Ho Chi Minh University until 1993, and the script is still studied and taught at the Han-Nom Institute in Hanoi, which has recently published a dictionary of all the nôm characters.
During the 17th century, Roman Catholic missionaries introduced a Latin-based orthography for Vietnamese, Quốc Ngữ (national language),which has been used ever since. Until the early 20th century, Quốc Ngữ was used in parallel with Chu-nom. Today only Quốc Ngữ is used.
Latin (Vietnamese alphabet), Vietnamese Braille.
About 82 million people mainly in Vietnam. Vietnamese speakers in the USA, China, Cambodia, France, Australia, Laos, Canada and a number of other countries.
Vietnamese language on websites ranks on 22nd on its content available on net and it is 0.4% in terms of percentage.