Vietnamese literature

Vietnamese Literature

Vietnamese literature

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Vietnamese literature is literature, both oral and written, created largely by Vietnamese-speaking people, although Francophone Vietnamese and English-speaking Vietnamese authors in Australia and the United States are counted by many critics as part of the national tradition. For a millennium before the 11th century, Vietnam was dominated by China and as a result much of the written work during this period was in Classical Chinese. Chữ nôm, created around the 10th century, allowed writers to compose in Vietnamese using modified Chinese characters. Although regarded as inferior to Chinese, it gradually grew in prestige. It flourished in the 18th century when many notable Vietnamese writers and poets composed their works in chữ nôm and when it briefly became the official written script. While the quốc ngữ script was created in the 17th century, it did not become popular outside of missionary groups until the early 20th century, when the French colonial administration mandated its use in French Indochina. By the mid-20th century, virtually all Vietnamese works of literature were composed in quốc ngữ.

Script

Classical Chinese/Hán Văn (漢文)

Many of the official documents in Vietnamese history were written in Classical Chinese. Not only is the Chinese script foreign to modern Vietnamese speakers, these works are mostly unintelligible even when directly transliterated into the modern quốc ngữ script due to their Chinese syntax and vocabulary. As a...
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