United Kingdom's Ambassador to Vietnam: "I am thankful to the teachers at Faculty of Vietnamese Studies and Language"

Friday - 26/10/2018 05:33
On May 23rd, 2018, Mr. Giles Lever (United Kingdom's Ambassador to Vietnam) visited and had a meeting with the teachers at USSH's Faculty of Vietnamese Studies and Language (FVSL) as he had just finished his term in Vietnam. Welcoming him were Assoc. Prof. Dr Nguyen Thien Nam (Dean of FVSL) and MA. DAo Van Hung (Vice Dean of FVSL).

Ambassador Giles Lever became the United Kingdom's ambassador to Vietnam in 2014. He began to learn Vietnamese in the 90s in London, and came to Vietnam to work during this period. He is known as one of the ambassadors that speaks Vietnamese fluently, knows Vietnamese culture well and regularly appears in Vietnam's newspapers and media. Also in 2014, he became a student at FVSL.

The Ambassador shared about his affection and feelings with the Faculty, where he learnt more about the beauty of the Vietnamese language and cultivated a deeper understanding of the country and its people. He expressed his good impressions of teaching competence and enthusiasm of the Faculty's lecturers. They are not only linguistic experts that know well about Vietnamese but also have broad socio-cultural knowledge. After studying for a while with the teachers at FVSL, his Vietnamese pronunciation and grammar has gotten better and better.

Ambassador Giles Lever also emphasized learning Vietnamese well provides him with many advantages in both professional and daily life aspects. He said when performing diplomatic services in a country it is important to understand about its language. Each country has its own culture so without understanding its language one cannot grasp the  political, social and cultural situations there.

"In Vietnam, I want to be one of the foreign ambassadors to speak Vietnamese and hope this will draw the attention from the Vietnamese people and high-level leaders", he humorously remarked, "I find it better to speak about many diplomatic, economic, social and cultural issues with the Vietnamese directly through their language. Because interpretation would lessen the ability to thoroughly and profoundly understand an issue".

When asked to describe the Vietnamese language with three words, the Ambassador replied: diversified, humorous, and difficult. He shared his view: "the language is indeed difficult". Maybe the Vietnamese grammatical rules are not hard to practice, but pronunciation and listening is extremely taxing for foreigners. The Vietnamese also like to make word plays and use humorous phrases in every life; that is interesting.

After years working in Vietnam and going to return to the United Kingdom, he wanted to visit and say goodbye to his teachers and friends at FVSL: "I love this Faculty and am thankful to its lecturers. It is somewhat sad when I am going to say goodbye to my teachers and friends there", said he, "Vietnam is a country I have always felt attached to, so I will surely come back and keep in touch with everyone".

Speaking at the meeting with the Ambassador, Assoc. Prof. Dr Nguyen Thien Nam said the Faculty of Vietnamese Studies and Language is proud of half a century of teaching Vietnamese language and culture for foreigners. It is tasked with teaching the language for diplomatic staff from many countries. In particular, many of them have become ambassadors of different countries to Vietnam. Meanwhile, Mr. Giles Lever has become a good student, loved and especially cared for by his teachers. He is fond of and eager to learn more about the Vietnamese culture. He aptly made use of Vietnamese in his diplomatic services in Vietnam.

The Faculty's leading representatives also wished the Ambassdor new successes in his personal journey and hoped he will become a conduit of friendly cooperation between Vietnam and the UK.

Author: Thanh Ha

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