My closest friend is a Vietnamese, but her kids, who were born here, speak English all the time. A few days ago, she kindly asked me to teach them our language. I admitted that I didn’t know how to, but I promised her that I would do my best.

To be honest, I had no idea where to start. The only one word they already knew was Cám ơn“, which meant “Thank you”, so which one should be the next? I tried to find something short, simple and interesting, something they can use everyday… 

Maddy, my friend’s second daughter, is not only bright and stunning, but also vigorous. She runs fast, jumps high and always reaches farther. If she can play on a swing, she will never stop swinging wildly back and forth. Or after she goes down a slide, you will probably see her challenge herself to walk up.

Whenever I’m at her house, she always loves to play games, especially ring around the rosie, with me. Last time, at the moment she asked: “Can you please play ring around the rosie with me?“, I realized that PLEASE was absolutely the one I had been looking for.

It is such a magic word!

Little by little, in order to have me play, she made every effort to speak the whole sentence in Vietnamese (Cô Như làm ơn chơi với Maddy!), which sounded extremely cute and lovely. The first time was above and beyond what we could have expected; we, therefore, both burst out laughing while encouraging her to keep up.

Don’t you think it is a promising and auspicious start?

Well, now and then, she asks her mommy: “May I làm ơn have some more cookies?“. Moreover, as soon as I tell her that I don’t want to play anymore, she will hug me tightly and won’t stop saying: “Làm ơn, làm ơn làm ơn!“. These requests are always too sweet and special that I can never turn them down.

If you are about to learn any new language, make sure you know how to say “Thanks!”, “Sorry!”, and “Please!”.

QuynhNhu Phan



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