French influences on Vietnam

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The first French to arrive in Vietnam in the 17th century could not imagine having a lot of influence over the country during the later centuries. After more than 60 years as a French colony, the French influence on the S-shaped country is still bold in the Vietnamese thought, from culture, education, language, architecture to food, religion. The French not only laid the foundations of the foundation, but also built the practices and habits for the Vietnamese, whose generation of fathers and brothers are those who are directly influenced from their education.

Cultural influences

We were fortunate to have been exposed to the two greatest cultures in human history that is the oriental culture of the Chinese and the Western cultures of the French but all in historical circumstances ironically as the time of our country was Invasion, the city, the colony. The French who set foot in Vietnam first was to missionary, disseminate a new cultural product. After that, the French authorities came and have left many bold highlights of education in Vietnam, especially in Hanoi and Saigon. From the same as King Dong Khanh handed the core of Hanoi to the French (1888), the French had laid the foundations, creating habits, practices, lifestyles, norms for a modern urban metropolis in the form of the Western municipality. The French cultural transformation took place in the south and arrived in the central region with infrastructures and cultural mechanisms, and today we are inherited.

Overcoming the dark elements and the ups and downs of history, the mark of the French culture in Vietnam is good, positive, enriching our own ethnic culture. We cannot fail to mention the French culinary culture as it also penetrates strongly into the Vietnamese society for new habits to be formed such as coffee, wine, bread, PA, egg dishes and knife habits. Fork. French culture also influences both Vietnamese costumes as they begin to interfere with Western fashion through the tunic dresses, the front dress is favored by the noble ladies, long pants, the collar shirt for men.

Language influences

In order to serve as a ruler, the French aimed to suppress the study of Confucianism, Kanji, and substitution with the words of the French, the letter of the same romanization. There are non-physical heritage such as the alphabet that we are using today have a portion of the Western culture in general and the French in particular. Although there has been a time when we are sympathetic and with no less evidence of the dark side of the colonial period but that time of the colony, there is a portion of the French culture that has been warmed into our blood, going into the words of our voice when A series of French-derived words have been made in a talented manner. The alphabet is not only a symbol for recording but also changes the grammar to the soul of the Vietnamese, and it is also somewhat good value France.

Furthermore, France is the country that owns the most brilliant literary of humanity, dedicating many classics, making the movement, the thought of spreading, widespread influence. The French language also has a strong influence on the class of intellectual youth, the city of Vietnam to form movements such as new poetry and pre-war music. French literature in Vietnam has brought new genres: fables, novels, prose. Vietnamese literature is influenced by the French literature, which has many ways of innovation in form, change in style, propose new thoughts. All of that proves that the colonial education has trained a comprehensive knowledge of the western level, understanding the culture and the French language while enriching ethnic cultures.

Architectural influences

The French to Vietnam also means public buildings and houses for the French to begin the birth and formation of the French style construction industry in Vietnam. The combination of French architecture and indigenous architecture gave birth to the unique Indochina (Dong Duong) architectural line, unlike anywhere in the world. It seems that the French and the Vietnamese share too many similarities so the newly born architecture has been well received and become the legacy of today with the French Quarter, church, school, public buildings such as the town hall , museums, Treasuries, banks, and many other unique architecture in Hanoi with architectural works along the small streets are planned in the French style, Da lat with many villas high dome colony, balcony , symmetric column,… Thereby, it is enough to see how deep French cultural elements influence in our lives and also create a common heritage for both countries.

The French contributed to the building, keeping us with the practices and lifestyles we have filtered, preserving and developing a lot of the flowers today.

Tristan Cruz

Tristan Cruz

Cell and Molecular Biology at Boston University

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4 years ago

Do Vietnamese speak French? 

I want to take french lessons in highschool.


Reply to  caelyn
4 years ago

I don’t think Vietnamese speak French



I think around 1% of vietnamese speak french

germinator avatar
4 years ago

The writer needs to set the examples of cuisine that have french influences.

Json avatar
Reply to  Geremy
4 years ago


Try vietnamese sandwiches, I think its French influenced 

jerick avatar
Reply to  Geremy
4 years ago


 Vietnamese will see that as a slap in the face, they don’t think like us. 

eastbound88 avatar
4 years ago

I will just change the default layout for writers. 

jerick avatar
4 years ago

I don’t think the Vietnamese like French, most Vietnamese have no interest connecting with their French Colonial Masters

KAY avatar
3 years ago

Do Vietnamese still speak french?

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