A Brief Hiatus and a new intro to Vietnamese

Last week I wrote about some spring cleaning we were doing here at Tuttle’s Vermont office as we closed our warehouse and merged that part of our operation with Simon & Schuster. Another big change is that today is my last day here. I’m leaving to take a new job as the Director of Sales and Marketing at the University of Alabama Press.

I’m a native Alabaman. Citizens of the Yellowhammer State mostly prefer the demonym “Alabamian”, but there’s no reason of logic, tradition, or aesthetics to wedge an extra ‘i’ in before the last ‘a’. A native Muskogean word well-fit to the Anglo-Saxon rhythm of English, an Alabaman is what I’ll be next week.

I’m also a graduate of the University of Alabama. I did my BA there, and it was from there that I made my first trip over to Japan, studying at the Kansai University of Foreign Studies in Osaka. Later on, I did my first stint at Tuttle in our Tokyo office. I’ve enjoyed writing this blog and plan to continue, but I’m packing up my house this weekend and need to take the next couple of weeks off from writing. Wish me well, and I’ll look forward to re-starting the conversation soon.


The 3rd edition of Elementary Vietnamese by Harvard’s Binh Nhu Ngo includes a free audio disc.

Before I go, I’d like to raffle of our newly released 3rd edition of Elementary Vietnamese by Harvard’s Dr. Binh Nhu Ngo.

The largest of the Austroasiatic languages, Vietnamese is spoken by about 90 million people worldwide. It is related to Khmer (which rhymes not with “bear” but with “buy”) in neighboring Cambodia. It is not related to Chinese, but, like many languages on China’s cultural periphery, Vietnamese borrowed so many loanwords from China that early European linguists assumed it was.

Vietnamese is one of the few continental Asian languages written in a romanized script. Called Quốc Ngữ, which means “national language”, Vietnamese script uses roman letters to indicate the 12 vowels and 6 tones of the modern language.

Dr. Ngo’s book has been the definitive Vietnamese textbook on the market for some years. What the book lacked was the free audio disc that the volumes in Tuttle’s “Elementary” series usually include. And audio material is tough to do without, especially with tonal languages. Saying a book is “new and improved” is a dull cliche in publishing, but in this case the extremly high quality audio material recorded by the author at Harvard really makes this THE gold standard in Vietnamese language. Click here to email me and write “Vietnamese” in the subject line. I’ll announce a winner soon.