Glossary

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The Vietnamese terms used in Down by the Sông Sàigòn were mangled by the publisher and I had to strip off the diacritics and tone markers.  Here they are, with translations, in order of appearance within the story.

See viet-tones.html for more information on Vietnamese tones, vowels and consonants
Term
Correct Vietnamese
Translation
Down by the Song Saigon Down by the Sông Sàigòn Down by the Saigon River
Cam Pho Cầm Phộ Village name
Tong Luat Tông Luat Village name
Cu Chi Củ Chi District name
Phu Cuong Phú Cường Village name
Andre Moreau André Moreau French name
epee epeé French sword for fencing
Da Nang Đã Nẵng City name
Toi noi duoc mot it Tôi nói đưồc một ít I speak just a little
Quoc Lo Mot Quốc Lộ Một National highway One
Hoc Mon bridge Hốc Môn bridge Infamous bridge
Tet Tết Principal holiday
Le Dai Hanh Lê Đại Hành Street name
Phu Tho Phú Thọ Race track name
Nha Be Nha Bè Location name, docks
Tu Do Tự Do Freedom or Liberty Street
Duc Ba Đức Bà Notre Dame
Nguyen Nguyễn Common family name
Le Loi Lê Lồi Street name
Ben Bach Dang Bến Bạch Đằng Street name
ao dai aó daì Traditional female dress
Vung Tau Vũng Tàu Peninsula name
Viet Nam Việt Nam South Land
Chao chi Chào chị Hello, older (respected) sister
Kieu Kiều Woman’s name
Lai anh khong? Lại anh không? Is your brother coming?
tieng Viet tiếng Việt Vietnamese language
di đĩ Prostitute (note the difference between đĩ and đi;
the first is a noun, the second a verb meaning “go.”
yeu yêu Love
tinh cam tình cảm Affection
Fraulein Fräulein German, Miss
Diem Diệm Ngô Đình Diệm, President of 
South Vietnam 1955-1963
Thieu Thiệu Nguyễn Văn Thiệu, President of 
South Vietnam 1967-1975
cho cai chó cái Prostitute
Hoc Học Man’s name
Quan Quận District
Moi dem bao nhieu tien? Mỗi đêm bao nhiêu tiền? How much do you charge per night?
Cam on nhieu lam Cám ơn nhiêù lắm Thank you very much
Khong co chi Không có chi It’s nothing
Anh Di Anh Đi Andi’s name “Vietnamized,” meaning “Let’s go,” or “Go English”
Hue Huế City name (Old Imperial capital)
Cai gi do? Cái gì đó? What is it?
Hao hang Hảo hạng Good quality
Co ay la nguoi dan ba dong tinh luyen ai Cô ấy là người đàn bà đồng tính luyến ái Woman who loves women
Toi khong ma co! Tôi không ma cô! I am not a pimp!
co gai vang toc cô gái vàng tóc Yellow-haired woman
Song Dong Nai Sông Đồng Nai Đồng Nai River
Bien Hoa Biẹn Hóa City name
Tan Hoa Tân Hòa Village name
Nui Ba Den Núi Bà Đen Mrs. Black’s Mountain; often
mistranslated as “Black Virgin Mountain”

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