Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

VietNamNet Bridge – Prof., Doctor, People’s Teacher Hoang Trong Phien is one of the leading scientists in Vietnamese studies. He is not only known as a famous expert on grammar studies but is also the founder of the subject on teaching Vietnamese to foreigners in Vietnam.

Hoang Trong Phien, vietnamese studies, scientistProf. Hoang Trong Phien (May, 2012).

For many generations of students majoring in literature and linguistics at Hanoi General University (present-day University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University – Hanoi), including those who became politicians or famous scientists, the image of Hoang Trong Phien is always in their minds. He is a renowned scientist and a role model and open-hearted teacher with an artistic temperament.

Although having lived in Hanoi for dozens of years, he still keeps the accent of the Quang area in the Central Region of Vietnam. He talks rather wittily with laughter and a loud speaking voice. With white hair, he looks like an artist. Therefore, after only meeting him for one time, one will never forget him.

Prof. Phien was born on January 2, 1934 in Khue Bac Village (present-day Bac My An Ward, Ngu Hanh Son District, Da Nang Province). He was a student of the first course of the Faculty of Linguistics and Literature at Hanoi General University. In 1959, he graduated and stayed at the university to work as a lecturer in linguistics, a new major in Vietnam at that time.

In 1962, he was sent to the former Soviet Union to do a postgraduate thesis at Moscow University where he was directly instructed by two famous linguists Prof. Ju.S.Stepanov and Prof. V.M.Solncov. After four years of studying, he completed his thesis in Russian that received an excellent evaluation by the Council of the former Soviet Union Academy of Sciences.

Returning home, he continued lecturing in linguistics at Hanoi General University and was a visiting professor of many universities both domestically and internationally. After over 40 years of research and lecturing, he has successfully trained many PhDs.

He has also complied and translated many valuable scientific works, namely “General Linguistics” (translated from Russian in 1970), “Semantics and Language Structure” (translated from Russian in 1996), “The Theory on Vietnamese Grammar” (1976), “The Style of Learning Modern Vietnamese Language” (1976), “Vietnamese Language Syntax” (1980), and “The Basis of Linguistics and Vietnamese” (Chief author – 1990).

When talking about the establishment of the subject on teaching Vietnamese to foreigners, it is impossible not to mention the contribution of Prof. Phien. In 1968, to implement the task of teaching the Vietnamese language and culture to foreign students under the agreements signed by the Vietnamese Government and other countries, Hanoi General University decided to found the Vietnamese Language Faculty and Prof. Phien was the man who laid the first bricks to build this faculty. He then became the first dean of the faculty.

Recalling the first days, Prof. Phien said: “At that time, besides teaching Vietnamese to foreigners, we had to take responsibility for the work of “external relations”, including the preparation of accommodations for the students. I myself sometimes had to go to the kitchen to prepare meals for students.”

After over ten years of working as the dean of the faculty, he taught many foreign students who were successful at learning Vietnamese. He told us a story about a student from Romania who could speak Vietnamese very well with an accent of Hanoi. In a workshop, when hearing his speaking, a professor said: “If he hides his nose, he is a real Vietnamese.”

Working as a linguist and directly teaching Vietnamese to foreigners, Prof. Phien wrote many books on teaching Vietnamese to foreigners. He also shared many effective and practical learning methods and one of them is now very popular – “Studying a foreign language with native-speaking people”.

He often advises his students: “To study a foreign language well, you should find yourselves a live dictionary. If you are living in Hanoi, you should find a boy and a girl in Hanoi to talk with. It is the best way to study Vietnamese that no teacher can teach you.”

It is the method that he learnt from his famous teacher, Prof. Ju.S.Stepanov. Thanks to this simple method, many of his students were successful in studying Vietnamese – the language that many say that studying is more difficult than going to heaven”.

For over 40 years, the Faculty of Vietnamese Language founded by Prof. Phien has strongly developed and now has become the Faculty of Vietnamese Studies and Vietnamese Language.

The faculty has taught over 7,000 foreign students of 40 nationalities, including eight Ambassadors Extraordinare and Plenipotentiary in Hanoi, making a contribution to strengthening the cultural exchange, solidarity and friendship between Vietnam and other countries in the world.

At the age of 78, Prof. Phien still looks young with an artistic soul and continues making great efforts in linguistics in general and Vietnamese studies in particular.

Hoang Trong Phien, vietnamese studies, scientistThe professor and students of the Vietnamese Language Faculty pose for a photo at the graduation ceremony.

Hoang Trong Phien, vietnamese studies, scientistProf. Phien and foreign students of the Vietnamese Language Faculty.

Hoang Trong Phien, vietnamese studies, scientistProf. Phien at the library of the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, VNU-Hanoi.

Hoang Trong Phien, vietnamese studies, scientistProf. Phien and his former student.

Hoang Trong Phien, vietnamese studies, scientistAt the age of 80, Prof. Phien constantly works and researches science.


By vivian