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42
4.2 out of 5 stars
Sing 'n Learn Vietnamese Book with Audio CD (English and Vietnamese Edition)
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2007
I bought a bunch of Vietnamese children's CDs for my Amerasian children and this was definitely the best. The vocals are exceptionally clear, the melodies catchy and beautiful, and the arrangements perfect for kids in their simplicity. The songs are a mixture of Vietnamese children's favorites and familiar Western tunes, e.g. "Twinkle Twinkle and "Frere Jacques" (though not direct translations)

My daughter is particularly enchanted with a beautifully melancholy tune about Chu Cuoi, the "man on the moon." We sometimes underestimate children's ability to appreciate complex tones and emotions in music. There are also a lot of fun witty songs, including about a mouse tricking a cat, and another about loving everyone in your (extended) family "the most."

The lyric book is simple, in English and Vietnamese. I found a few translation flubs but they're minor.

This is a must-have and I wish they would make more!
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2007
As a half-Vietnamese person, you would think that I grew up learning two languages, English and Vietnamese, but I didn't. My mother never taught us; she said it was too hard when everyone else around us, including my father, spoke only English. Now as an adult, I find myself reaching to touch my Vietnamese roots, and I wish that I could have learned to speak the language. With the birth of my daughter, I also felt the growing importance of teaching her about her Vietnamese roots as well. This book and CD is the first thing I have found that is appropriate for a toddler, and I am so glad I bought it. My two year old daughter started picking up words right away, and sometimes sings along with parts of the songs. Equally important is the fact that the actually asks to hear the CD and really likes the music, because if it isn't fun, toddlers aren't going be the willing learners that you want them to be.

The book contains translations of the songs, explanations on how to pronounce letters and words in Vietnamese, and some cute illustrations. The songs seem a little fast at first and you think you will never learn to catch up, but with repetition it gets easier, and soon you will be singing along, too!

If you are looking for a way to introduce Vietnamese to your child (or to yourself!) this is a great place to start. Vietnamese is a tonal language, and my mother says that singing is the perfect way to begin learning the tonalities. Highly recommended.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2005
I almost didn't get this book and CD because of the reviews here, but I'm glad that I did get it. Perhaps the negative reviews are from the cassett version, because the CD is very good. The singing is nice, clearly understandable, and the music is very pleasant.

I do wish they would have done a slower tempo version of each song, then a normal tempo version, then just music. I do recommend it to beginners of Vietnamese and those with small children to introduce them to the language. As a tonal language, Vietnamese is easiest to learn singing and chanting.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2003
It was very easy to sing along for my children and all the words in the book matched the recording. My Vietnamese friends also loved the songs. The singing voice was pleasant and clear and the music is easy to listen to. We love singing Kia con Buom Vang (Yellow Butterfly). We listen to it over and over again. Illustrations are lovely and authentic.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2007
I play this in the car for my 3 year old and she loves it. She is half Vietnamese (Amerasian) and my wife is trying to get her to learn Vietnamese. She already speaks English and knew a few Vietnamese words. She sings along with CD and sings the songs even when she is not listening to it. They have the songs with singing, then without singing on the CD; so they can sing it themselves when they know the words. I bought it 2 weeks ago. I have been trying to hunt down other Book/CD combos that have both English and Vietnamese for her and they are pretty scarce. The Vietnamese stores in the Twin Cities only have Vietnamese-only books, Cds and Videos. If you are thinking about buying this book at all, do it. You won't be disappointed.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2004
We have adopted a Vietnamese child and are exposing him to the language. At the suggestion of a Vietnamese friend we bought the Sing and Learn Vietnamese book and CD. Our son loves the vocals and the music. My Vietnamese friend said the singer is very popular in the Vietnamese community.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2013
Whether you're an adult learning the language (like me) or somebody who's trying to get a child interested in the language (like me) Sing 'n Learn Vietnamese is an excellent purchase. Inexpensive, excellent sound quality with fairly simple instrumentation so you can clearly hear all the lyrics. Great tunes, very catchy. My two-and-a-half-year-old son loves them.

Of the fourteen songs, four you probably already know, since they've been translated from English or French: (Frère Jacques, This is The Way We…, If You're Happy And You Know It…, Twinkle, Twinkle). Some people might be disappointed that they're not getting strictly Vietnamese songs on this CD, but I thought it was great to see the way these songs were handled in a much different language. In Vietnamese, Frère Jacques is adapted to become a song about a yellow butterfly. And the tempo and rhythm of If You're Happy… is even more upbeat than the English version.

Apart from those four, most of the songs are traditional Vietnamese kid's songs, with one or two created specifically for learning purposes. The melodies are beautiful, the rhythms catchy, and the lyrics much different from what we're used to.

What I especially liked was the very colloquial nature of the tunes. I'm used to very stiff formal Vietnamese in the courses and reading I've done, and it was great to hear very natural use of the language. With a very catchy traditional Viet song like Em yêu ai?, you follow along with the booklet, trying to match the English text to the Vietnamese, and you realize that it's very tough to do because Vietnamese and English simply don't express themselves in the same manner. This was a bit of an eye opener for me. I'm fluent in English and French, and I'm used to relying on the similarities between those two languages. But Vietnamese and English? Not the same story. You have to work hard with the booklet, your ears and a good dictionary (like the Tuttle Concise) to fully understand the different ways that English and Vietnamese express similar ideas and emotions.

Of course, when you work closely with the text and a good dictionary, you realize that there are some transcription errors in the booklet, but big deal.

I'm loving this aspect of my learning, and my son loves the tunes and doesn't even realize he's learning Vietnamese. I learned a lot of French through song, and it's a great way to learn. I wish there were several volumes of Vietnamese/English songbooks.

Five stars out of five.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2010
I bought this book for our son (1 year old) who is growing up bilingual. He loves the music and moves his arms to it (his version of dancing); the tunes are very catchy and you can listen to them many times (even on repeat) and still enjoy them. The songs are a mixture of American (translated to Vietnamese) and Vietnamese songs; I mostly enjoy the Vietnamese one's.

One of the two singers (Kelly Vu) does not get all the Vietnamese tones right (or as my wife puts it: she sounds a bit like me). In any case, it is sung in the Southern Vietnamese accent. The book contains the lyrics (very good), it's black-and-white inside. Overall, good - our son really likes it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2011
My 2 yo son really likes this CD. He only knows a little bit of Vietnamese but I hear him trying to sing along with some of the songs. He likes track 1 and the VN version of If You're Happy and You Know it. This CD is a lot better then some of the other VN children's CDs -- not so whiny. I wish that they didn't sing as fast so he could catch on a little better. Overall though, pretty good and I would recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 10, 2011
The songs are great. My mom knew a lot of them from her childhood. The book has all the word in viet & english so you can sing along. It's definitely worth it.
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