Chữ Nôm (𡨸喃, IPA: [cɨ̌ˀ nom], literally ‘Southern characters’) is a logographic writing system formerly used to write the Vietnamese language. It uses Chinese characters to represent Sino-Vietnamese vocabulary and some native Vietnamese words, with other words represented by new characters created using a variety of methods, including phono-semantic compounds. The system was therefore highly complex, and was accessible only to the small proportion of the population who could read Chinese.
Although formal writing in Vietnam was done in classical Chinese until the early 20th century (except for two brief interludes), chữ Nôm was widely used between the 15th and 19th centuries by Vietnam’s cultured elite for popular works, many in verse. One of the best-known pieces of Vietnamese literature, The Tale of Kiều, was written in chữ Nôm.
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The Vietnamese alphabet created by Portuguese Jesuit missionaries with works starting in the 17th century replaced chữ Nôm as the preferred way to record Vietnamese literature from 1920s. While Chinese characters are still used for decorative, historic and ceremonial value, chữ Nôm has fallen out of mainstream use in modern Vietnam. The task of studying and translating Vietnamese texts written in chữ Nôm to the Vietnamese alphabet is conducted in the Institute of Hán-Nôm Studies at Hanoi.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Terminology
- 3 History
- 4 Texts
- 5 Characters
- 6 Computer encoding
- 7 See also
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
The Vietnamese word chữ (character) is derived from the Old Chinese word 字, meaning ‘[Chinese] character’. The word Nôm in chữ Nôm means ‘Southern’, and is derived from the Middle Chinese word 南, meaning ‘south’.
There are many ways to write the name chữ Nôm in chữ Nôm characters. The word chữ may be written as 字, 𫳘(⿰字宁), 𪧚(⿰字守), 𡨸, 茡, 芓, 𫿰(⿰字文), 𡦂(⿰字字), 佇 or 宁, while Nôm may be written as 喃 or 諵.
Chữ Nôm is the logographic writing system of the Vietnamese language. It is based on the Chinese writing system but adds a large number of new characters to make it fit the Vietnamese language. In earlier times it was also called Chữ Nam (𡨸南) or Quốc Âm (國音, ‘National sound’).
In Vietnamese, Chinese characters are called chữ Hán (字漢 ‘Han characters’), Hán tự (漢字 ‘Han characters’) and chữ nho (字儒 ‘Confucian characters’, due to the connection with Confucianism). Hán văn (漢文) means classical Chinese literature.
The term Hán Nôm (漢喃 ‘Han and chữ Nôm characters’) in Vietnamese designates the whole body of premodern written materials from Vietnam, either written in Chinese (chữ hán) or in Vietnamese (chữ Nôm). Hán and Nôm could also be found in the same document side by side, for example, in the case of translations of books on Chinese medicine. The Buddhist history Cổ Châu Pháp Vân phật bản hạnh ngữ lục (1752) gives the story of early Buddhism in Vietnam both in Hán script and in a parallel Nôm translation. The Jesuit Girolamo Maiorica (1605–1656) had also used parallel Hán and Nôm texts.
The term chữ Quốc ngữ (𡨸國語 ‘national language script’) refers to the Vietnamese alphabet in current use.
A page from Tự Đức Thánh Chế Tự Học Giải Nghĩa Ca (
嗣德聖製字學解義歌), a 19th-century primer for teaching Vietnamese children Chinese characters. The work is attributed to Emperor Tự Đức, the 4th Emperor of the Nguyễn dynasty. In this primer, chữ Nôm is used to gloss the Chinese characters, for example,
𡗶 is used to gloss
Chinese characters were introduced to Vietnam after the Han dynasty conquered the country in 111 BC. Independence was achieved in 938 AD, but Literary Chinese was adopted for official purposes in 1010. For most of the period up to the early 20th century, formal writing was indistinguishable from contemporaneous classical Chinese works produced in China, Korea, and Japan.
Vietnamese scholars were thus intimately familiar with Chinese writing. In order to record their native language, they applied the structural principles of Chinese characters to develop chữ Nôm. The new script was mostly used to record folk songs and for other popular literature. Vietnamese written in chữ Nôm briefly replaced Chinese for official purposes under the Hồ dynasty (1400–1407) and under the Tây Sơn (1778–1802), but in both cases this was swiftly reversed.
The use of Chinese characters to transcribe the Vietnamese language can be traced to an inscription with the two characters “布蓋“, as part of the posthumous title of Phùng Hưng, a national hero who succeeded in briefly expelling the Chinese in the late 8th century. The two characters have literal Chinese meanings ‘cloth’ and ‘cover’, which make no sense in this context. They have thus been interpreted as a phonetic transcription, via their Middle Chinese pronunciations buH kajH, of a Vietnamese phrase, either vua cái ‘great king’, or bố cái ‘father and mother’ (of the people).
During the 10th century, Dinh Bo Linh (r. 968–979), the founder of the Dai Viet kingdom, named the country Đại Cồ Việt 大瞿越. The first and third Chinese characters mean ‘great’ and ‘Viet’. The second character was often used to transcribe non-Chinese terms and names phonetically. Scholars assume that it was used here to represent a native Vietnamese word, possibly also meaning ‘great’, though exactly which Vietnamese word it represents is unclear.
The oldest surviving Nom inscription, dating from 1210, is a list naming 21 people and villages on a stele at the Tự Già Báo Ân pagoda in Tháp Miếu village (Mê Linh District, Hanoi). Another stele at Hộ Thành Sơn in Ninh Bình Province (1343) lists 20 villages.[a]
The king Tran Nhan Tong (r. 1278–1293) ordered that Nom be used to communicate his proclamations to the people. The first literary writing in Vietnamese is said to have been an incantation in verse composed in 1282 by the Minister of Justice Nguyễn Thuyên and thrown into the Red River to expel a menacing crocodile. Four poems written in Nom from the Tran dynasty, two by Tran Nhan Tong and one each by Huyền Quang and Mạc Đĩnh Chi, were collected and published in 1805.
The Nom text Phật thuyết Đại báo phụ mẫu ân trọng kinh (‘Sūtra explained by the Buddha on the Great Repayment of the Heavy Debt to Parents’) was printed around 1730, but conspicuously avoids the character 利 lợi, suggesting that it was written (or copied) during the reign of Lê Lợi (1428–1433). Based on archaic features of the text compared with the Tran dynasty poems, including an exceptional number of words with initial consonant clusters written with pairs of characters, some scholars suggest that it is a copy of an earlier original, perhaps as early as the 12th century.
Hồ dynasty (1400–07) and Ming conquest (1407–27)
During the seven years of the Hồ dynasty (1400–07) Classical Chinese was discouraged in favor of vernacular Vietnamese written in Nôm, which became the official script. The emperor Hồ Quý Ly even ordered the translation of the Book of Documents into Nôm and pushed for reinterpretation of Confucian thoughts in his book Minh đạo. These efforts were reversed with the fall of the Hồ and Chinese conquest of 1407, lasting twenty years, during which use of the vernacular language and demotic script were suppressed.
During the Ming dynasty occupation of Vietnam, chữ Nôm printing blocks, texts and inscriptions were thoroughly destroyed; as a result the earliest surviving texts of chữ Nôm post-date the occupation.
From 15th to 19th century
A page from the bilingual dictionary Nhật dụng thường đàm (1851). Characters representing words in Hán (Chinese) are explained in Nôm (Vietnamese).
Among the earlier works in Nôm of this era are the writings of Nguyễn Trãi (1380–1442). The corpus of Nôm writings grew over time as did more scholarly compilations of the script itself. Trịnh Thị Ngọc Trúc, consort of King Lê Thần Tông, is generally given credit for Chỉ nam ngọc âm giải nghĩa (the Explication of the Guide to Jeweled Sounds), a 24,000-character bilingual Han-to-Nom dictionary compiled between the 15th and 18th centuries, most likely in 1641 or 1761.
While almost all official writings and documents continued to be written in classical Chinese until the early 20th century, Nôm was the preferred script for literary compositions of the cultural elites. Nôm reached its golden period with the Nguyễn dynasty in the 19th century as it became a vehicle for diverse genres, from novels to theatrical pieces, and instructional manuals. Although it was prohibited during the reign of Minh Mang (1820–1840), apogees of Vietnamese literature emerged with Nguyễn Du’s The Tale of Kiều and Hồ Xuân Hương’s poetry. Although literacy in premodern Vietnam was limited to just 3 to 5 percent of the population, nearly every village had someone who could read Nom aloud for the benefit of other villagers. Thus these Nôm works circulated orally in the villages, making it accessible even to the illiterates.
Chữ Nôm was the dominant script in Vietnamese Catholic literature until the late 19th century. In 1838, Jean-Louis Taberd compiled a Nom dictionary, helping with the standardization of the script.
The reformist Catholic scholar Nguyễn Trường Tộ presented the Emperor Tự Đức with a series of unsuccessful petitions (written in classical Chinese, like all court documents) proposing reforms in several areas of government and society. A 1967 petition Tế cấp bát điều (濟急八條 ‘Eight urgent matters’), includes proposals on education, including a section entitled Xin khoan dung quốc âm (‘Please tolerate the national voice’). He proposed to replace classical Chinese with Vietnamese written using a script based on Chinese characters that he called quốc âm Hán tự (國音漢字 ‘Han characters with national pronunciations’), though he described this as a new creation, and did not mention chữ Nôm.
French Indochina and the Latin alphabet
From the latter half of the 19th century onwards, the French colonial authorities discouraged or simply banned the use of classical Chinese, and promoted the use of the Vietnamese alphabet, which they viewed as a stepping stone toward learning French. Language reform movements in other Asian nations stimulated Vietnamese interest in the subject. Following the Russo-Japanese War of 1905, Japan was increasingly cited as a model for modernization. The Confucian education system was compared unfavorably to the Japanese system of public education. According to a polemic by writer Phan Châu Trinh, “so-called Confucian scholars” lacked knowledge of the modern world, as well as real understanding of Han literature. Their degrees showed only that they had learned how to write characters, he claimed.
The popularity of Hanoi’s short-lived Tonkin Free School suggested that broad reform was possible. In 1910, the colonial school system adopted a “Franco-Vietnamese curriculum”, which emphasized French and alphabetic Vietnamese. The teaching of Chinese characters was discontinued in 1917. On December 28, 1918, Emperor Khải Định declared that the traditional writing system no longer had official status. The traditional Civil Service Examination, which emphasized the command of classical Chinese, was dismantled in 1915 in Tonkin and was given for the last time at the imperial capital of Huế on January 4, 1919. The examination system, and the education system based on it, had been in effect for almost 900 years.
The decline of the Chinese script also led to the decline of chữ Nôm given that Nôm and Chinese characters are so intimately connected. After the First World War, chữ Nôm gradually died out as the Vietnamese alphabet grew more and popular. In an article published in 1935 (based on a lecture given in 1925), Georges Cordier estimated that 70% of literate persons knew the alphabet, 20% knew chữ Nôm and 10% knew Chinese characters. However, estimates of the rate of literacy in the late 1930s range from 5% to 20%. By 1953, literacy (using the alphabet) had risen to 70%.
The Gin people, descendants of 16th-century migrants from Vietnam to islands off Dongxing in southern China, now speak a form of Yue Chinese, but their priests use songbooks and scriptures written in chữ Nôm in their ceremonies.
A page from The Tale of Kieu by Nguyễn Du. This novel was first published in 1820 and is the best-known work in Nom. The edition shown was printed in the late 19th century.
- Đại Việt sử ký tiệp lục tổng tự. This history of Vietnam was written during the Tây Sơn dynasty. The original is Han, and there is also a Nom translation.
- Nguyễn Du, The Tale of Kieu (1820)
- Nguyễn Trãi, Quốc âm thi tập (“National Language Poetry Compilation”)
- Phạm Đình Hồ, Nhật Dụng Thường Đàm (1851). A Han-to-Nom dictionary for Vietnamese speakers.
- Nguyễn Đình Chiểu, Lục Vân Tiên (19th century)
- Đặng Trần Côn, Chinh Phụ Ngâm Khúc (18th century)
- various poems by Hồ Xuân Hương (18th century)
Vietnamese is a tonal language, like Chinese, and has nearly 5,000 distinct syllables. In chữ Nôm, each monosyllabic word of Vietnamese was represented by a character, either borrowed from Chinese or locally created. The resulting system was even more difficult to use than the Chinese script.
As an analytic language, Vietnamese was a better fit for a character-based script than Japanese and Korean, with their agglutinative morphology. Partly for this reason, there was no development of a phonetic system that could be taught to the general public, like Japanese kana syllabary or the Korean hangul alphabet. Moreover, Vietnam’s educated class looked down on Nom as inferior to Chinese, and had no interest in turning Nom into a form of writing suitable for mass communication.
Chữ Nôm has never been standardized. As a result, a Vietnamese word could be represented by several Nôm characters. For example, the very word chữ (‘character’, ‘script’), a Chinese loanword, can be written as either 字 (Chinese character), 𡦂 (Vietnamese-only compound-semantic character) or 𡨸 (Vietnamese-only semantic-phonetic character). For another example, the word béo (‘fat’, ‘greasy’) can be written either as 脿 or (⿰月報). Both characters were invented for Vietnamese and have a semantic-phonetic structure, the difference being the phonetic indicator (表 vs. 報).
Characters for cân (top) and khăn (bottom), meaning turban/towel, in Tự Đức thánh chế tự học giải nghĩa ca. The character for khăn has a diacritic to indicate different pronunciation.
Unmodified Chinese characters were used in chữ Nôm in three different ways.
- A large proportion of Vietnamese vocabulary had been borrowed from Chinese from the Tang period. Such Sino-Vietnamese vocabulary could be written with the original Chinese character for each word, for example:
- 役 dịch (‘service’, ‘corvée’), from Early Middle Chinese (EMC) /jwiajk/
- 本 bản (‘root’, ‘foundation’), from EMC /pənˀ/
- 頭 đầu (‘head’), from EMC /dəw/
- One way to represent a native Vietnamese word was to use a Chinese character for a Chinese word with a similar meaning. For example, 本 may also represent vốn (‘capital, funds’). In this case, the word vốn is actually an earlier Chinese loan that has become accepted as Vietnamese; William Hannas claims that all such readings are similar early loans.
- Alternatively, a native Vietnamese word could be written using a Chinese character for a Chinese word with a similar sound, regardless of the meaning of the Chinese word. For example, 沒 (Early Middle Chinese /mət/) may represent the Vietnamese word một (‘one’).
The first two categories are similar to the on and kun readings of Japanese kanji respectively. The third is similar to ateji, in which characters are used only for their sound value, or the Man’yōgana script that became the origin of hiragana and katakana.
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When a character would have two readings, a diacritic may be added to the character to indicate the “indigenous” reading. The two most common alternate reading diacritical marks are cá and nháy (a variant form of 个). Thus when 本 is meant to be read as vốn, it is written as 本‹,[b] with a diacritic at the upper right corner.
Locally invented characters
The Nom character for phở (
𬖾), a popular soup made from rice noodles. The radical
米 on the left suggests that the meaning of the character is linked to rice. The phonetic component
頗 on the right suggests that the pronunciation of the character is linked to that of
頗 phở, and in this case the character’s pronunciation and that of its phonetic component is the same.
In contrast to the few hundred Japanese kokuji and handful of Korean gukja, which are mostly rarely used characters for indigenous natural phenomena, Vietnamese scribes created thousands of new characters, used throughout the language.
As in the Chinese writing system, the most common kind of invented character in Nom is the phono-semantic compound, made by combining two characters or components, one suggesting the word’s meaning and the other its approximate sound. For example,
- 𠀧 (ba ‘three’) is composed of the phonetic part 巴 (Sino-Vietnamese reading: ba) and the semantic part 三 ‘three’. ‘Father’ is also ba, but written as 爸 (⿱父巴), while ‘turtle’ is con ba ba 昆蚆蚆.
- 媄 (mẹ ‘mother’) has 女 ‘woman’ as semantic component and 美 (Sino-Vietnamese reading: mỹ) as phonetic component.[c]
A smaller group consists of semantic compound characters, which are composed of two Chinese characters representing words of similar meaning. For example, 𡗶 (giời or trời ‘sky’, ‘heaven’) is composed of 天 (‘sky’) and 上 (‘upper’).
A few characters were obtained by modifying Chinese characters related either semantically or phonetically to the word to be represented. For example,
- the Nôm character 𧘇 (ấy ‘that’, ‘those’) is a simplified form of the Chinese character 衣 (Sino-Vietnamese reading: ý).
- the Nôm character 爫 (làm ‘work’, ‘labour’) is a simplified form of the Chinese character 濫 (Sino-Vietnamese reading: lạm) (濫 > 氵爫 > 爫).
- the Nôm character 𠬠 (một ‘one’) comes from the right part of the Chinese character 没 (Sino-Vietnamese reading: một).
As an example of the way Chữ Nôm was used to record Vietnamese, the first two lines of the Tale of Kieu (1866 edition), written in the traditional six-eight form of Vietnamese verse, consist of the following 14 characters:
|𤾓 (⿱百林)||trăm||hundred||compound of 百 ‘hundred’ and 林 lâm|
|𢆥 (⿰南年)||năm||year||compound of 南 nam and 年 ‘year’|
|𥪞 (⿺竜內)||trong||in||compound of 竜 long and 內 ‘inside’|
|揆||cõi||world||character of near-homophone Sino-Vietnamese quĩ/quỹ ‘prime minister; to guess, estimate’|
|𠊛 (⿰㝵人)||người||person||compound of abbreviated 碍 ngại and 人 ‘person’|
|些||ta||our||character of homophone Sino-Vietnamese ta ‘little, few; rather, somewhat’|
|𡦂 (⿰字字)||chữ||word||doubling of 字 tự ‘character’|
|𡦂 (⿰字字)||chữ||word||doubling of 字 tự ‘character’|
|窖||khéo||clever||character of near-homophone Sino-Vietnamese khiếu ‘pit, cellar’|
|𦉼 (⿱罒大)||là||be||abbreviated form of 羅 là ‘be’, using the character of near-homophone Sino-Vietnamese la ‘net for catching birds’|
|恄||ghét||hate||compound of 忄 ‘heart’ classifier and 吉 cát|
|饒||nhau||each other||character of near-homophone Sino-Vietnamese nhiêu ‘bountiful, abundant, plentiful’|
This is translated as ‘A hundred years—in this life span on earth, talent and destiny are apt to feud.’
Most common characters
The website chunom.org gives a frequency table of the 586 most common characters in Nom literature. According to this table, the most common 50 characters are as follows, with the modern spelling given in italics:
- 羅 là to be
- 吧 và and
- 各 các each; every
- 没 một one
- 固 có there is
- 𧵑 của of
- 得 được to get, to obtain
- 𥪝 trong in
- 𤄯 trong clear
- 𠊛 (or 𠊚) người people
- 忍 những (plural marker)
- 學 học to learn
- 如 như as
- 詞 từ word
- 會 hội to meet
- 咍 hay or, good
- 空 không not
- 体 thể body
- 四 tư four
- 拱 cũng also
- 𠇍 với, mấy with
- 朱 cho to give
- 社 xã society, company
- 尼 này, nơi place
- 底 để to place
- 關 quan frontier, barrier, gate
- 觀 quan to see
- 場 trường school
- 本 bản, vốn, composition, financial capital
- 𧗱 về to return; about
- 經 kinh classic works, sutra
- 行 hàng, hãng, hành, hạnh company, firm
- 航 hàng sail; navigate
- 産 sản, sẵn to give birth, to be prepared
- 𠚢 ra to get out
- 世 thế world; era
- 替 thế to replace
- 勢 thế position, power; like that, so
- 常 thường frequent; common, normal, usual
- 事 sự matter; event
- 妬 đó there; that
- 濟 tế to cross
- 際 tế border
- 頭 đầu head; top (of a multitude)
- 投 đầu to throw, to send
- 𦓡 mà but
- 類 loại class, group
- 恪 khác another, different; further
- 一 nhất first
- 旦 đến arrive, reach
In 1993, the Vietnamese government released an 8-bit coding standard for alphabetic Vietnamese (TCVN 5712:1993, or VSCII), as well as a 16-bit standard for Nom (TCVN 5773:1993). This group of glyphs is referred to as “V0.” In 1994, the Ideographic Rapporteur Group agreed to include Nom characters as part of Unicode. A revised standard, TCVN 6909:2001, defines 9,299 glyphs. About half of these glyphs are specific to Vietnam. Nom characters not already encoded were added to CJK Unified Ideographs Extension B. (These characters have five-digit hexadecimal code points. The characters that were encoded earlier have four-digit hex.)
|Code||Characters||Unicode block||Standard||Date||V Source||Sources|
|V0||2,246||Basic Block (593), A (138), B (1,515)||TCVN 5773:1993||2001||V0-3021 to V0-4927||5|
|V1||3,311||Basic Block (3,110), C (1)||TCVN 6056:1995||1999||V1-4A21 to V1-6D35||2, 5|
|V2||3,205||Basic Block (763), A (151), B (2,291)||VHN 01:1998||2001||V2-6E21 to V2-9171||2, 5|
|V3||535||Basic Block (91), A (19), B (425)||VHN 02:1998||2001||V3-3021 to V3-3644||Manuscripts|
|V4||785 (encoded)||Extension C||Defined as sources 1, 3, and 6||2009||V4-4021 to V4-4B2F||1, 3, 6|
|V04||1,028||Extension E||Unencoded V4 and V6 characters||Projected||V04-4022 to V04-583E||V4: 1, 3, 6;
V6: 4, manuscripts
|V5||~900||Proposed in 2001, but already coded||2001||None||2, 5|
|Sources: Nguyễn Quang Hồng, “Unibook Character Browser”, Unicode,Inc., “Code Charts – CJK Ext. E” (N4358-A).|
Characters were extracted from the following sources:
- Hoàng Triều Ân, Tự điển chữ Nôm Tày [Nom of the Tay People], 2003.
- Institute of Linguistics, Bảng tra chữ Nôm [Nom Index], Hanoi, 1976.
- Nguyễn Quang Hồng, editor, Tự điển chữ Nôm [Nom Dictionary], 2006.
- Father Trần Văn Kiệm, Giúp đọc Nôm và Hán Việt [Help with Nom and Sino-Vietnamese], 2004.
- Vũ Văn Kính & Nguyễn Quang Xỷ, Tự điển chữ Nôm [Nom Dictionary], Saigon, 1971.
- Vũ Văn Kính, Bảng tra chữ Nôm miền Nam [Table of Nom in the South], 1994.
- Vũ Văn Kính, Bảng tra chữ Nôm sau thế kỷ XVII [Table of Nom After the 17th Century], 1994.
- Vũ Văn Kính, Đại tự điển chữ Nôm [Great Nom Dictionary], 1999.
- Nguyễn Văn Huyên, Góp phần nghiên cứu văn hoá Việt Nam [Contributions to the Study of Vietnamese Culture], 1995.
The V2, V3, and V4 proposals were developed by a group at the Han-Nom Research Institute led by Nguyễn Quang Hồng. V4, developed in 2001, includes over 400 ideograms formerly used by the Tay people of northern Vietnam. This allows the Tay language to get its own registration code. V5 is a set of about 900 characters proposed in 2001. As these characters were already part of Unicode, the IRG concluded that they could not be edited and no Vietnamese code was added. (This is despite the fact that national codes were added retroactively for version 3.0 in 1999.) The Nom Na Group, led by Ngô Thanh Nhàn, published a set of nearly 20,000 Nom characters in 2005. This set includes both the characters proposed earlier and a large group of additional characters referred to as “V6”. These are mainly Han characters from Trần Văn Kiệm’s dictionary which were already assigned code points. Character readings were determined manually by Hồng’s group, while Nhàn’s group developed software for this purpose. The work of the two groups was integrated and published in 2008 as the Hán Nôm Coded Character Repertoire.
|Character||Composition||Nom reading||Han Viet||English||Code point||V Source||Other sources|
|吧||⿰口巴||ba||ba||[emphatic final particle]||U+5427||V0-3122||G0,J,KP,K,T|
|㤝||⿰忄充||suông||song||to become interested in||U+391D||V3-313D||G3,KP,K,T|
|𫋙||⿰虫強||càng||cường (強)||claw, pincer||U+2B2D9||V4-536F||None|
|Key: G0 = China (GB 2312); G1 = China (GB 12345); G3 = China (GB 7589); GHZ = Hanyu Da Zidian; J = Japan; KP= North Korea; K = South Korea; T = Taiwan.
Sources: Unihan Database, Vietnamese Nôm Preservation Foundation, “Code Charts – CJK Ext. E” (N4358-A). The Han-Viet readings are from Hán Việt Từ Điển.
The characters that do not exist in Chinese have Han-Viet readings that are based on the characters given in parenthesis. The common character for càng (強) contains the radical 虫 (insects). This radical is added redundantly to create 𫋙, a rare variation shown in the chart above. The character 𫡯 (giàu) is specific to the Tay people. It has been part of the Unicode standard only since version 8.0 of June 2015, so there is still very little font and input method support for it. It is a variation of 朝, the corresponding character in Vietnamese.
- Chinese family of scripts
- ^ The Hộ Thành Sơn inscription was mentioned by Henri Maspero. This mention was often cited, including by DeFrancis and Thompson, but according to Nguyễn Đình Hoà no-one has been able to find the inscription that Maspero referred to.
- ^ Properly written 本𖿱. The cá and nháy marks were added to the Ideographic Symbols and Punctuation block in Unicode 13.0, but they are poorly supported as of April 2021. ‹ is a visual approximation.
- ^ The character 媄 is also used in Chinese as an alternate form of 美 ‘beautiful’.
- ^ Nguyễn, Khuê (2009). Chữ Nôm: cơ sở và nâng cao. Nhà xuất bản Đại học Quốc gia Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh. p. 5.
- ^ Nguyễn, Tri Tài (2002). Giáo trình tiếng Hán. Tập I: Cơ sở. Nhà xuất bản Đại học Quốc gia Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh. p. 5.
- ^ Nguyễn, Tài Cẩn (1995). Giáo trình lịch sử ngữ âm tiếng Việt (sơ thảo). Nhà xuất bản Giáo dục. p. 47.
- ^ Nguyễn, Khuê (2009). Chữ Nôm: cơ sở và nâng cao. Nhà xuất bản Đại học Quốc gia Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh. pp. 5, 215.
- ^ Vũ, Văn Kính (2005). Đại tự điển chữ Nôm. Nhà xuất bản Văn nghệ Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh. pp. 293, 899.
- ^ Nguyễn, Hữu Vinh; Đặng, Thế Kiệt; Nguyễn, Doãn Vượng; Lê, Văn Đặng; Nguyễn, Văn Sâm; Nguyễn, Ngọc Bích; Trần, Uyên Thi (2009). Tự điển chữ Nôm trích dẫn. Viện Việt-học. pp. 248, 249, 866.
- ^ Nguyễn, Tài Cẩn (2001). Nguồn gốc và quá trình hình thành cách đọc Hán Việt. Nhà xuất bản Đại học quốc gia Hà Nội. p. 16.
- ^ Hội Khai-trí tiến-đức (1954). Việt-nam tự-điển. Văn Mới. pp. 141, 228.
- ^ Đào, Duy Anh (2005). Hán-Việt từ-điển giản yếu. Nhà xuất bản Văn hoá Thông tin. p. 281.
- ^ Hội Khai-trí tiến-đức (1954). Việt-nam tự-điển. Văn Mới. p. 228.
- ^ Đào, Duy Anh (2005). Hán-Việt từ-điển giản yếu. Nhà xuất bản Văn hoá Thông tin. pp. 281, 900.
- ^ Trần, Văn Chánh (January 2012). “Tản mạn kinh nghiệm học chữ Hán cổ”. Suối Nguồn, Tập 3&4. Nhà xuất bản Tổng hợp Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh: 82.
- ^ Asian research trends: a humanities and social science review – No 8 to 10 – Page 140 Yunesuko Higashi Ajia Bunka Kenkyū Sentā (Tokyo, Japan) – 1998 “Most of the source materials from premodern Vietnam are written in Chinese, obviously using Chinese characters; however, a portion of the literary genre is written in Vietnamese, using chu nom. Therefore, han nom is the term designating the whole body of premodern written materials..”
- ^ Vietnam Courier 1984 Vol20/21 Page 63 “Altogether about 15,000 books in Han, Nom and Han—Nom have been collected. These books include royal certificates granted to deities, stories and records of deities, clan histories, family genealogies, records of cutsoms, land registers, …”
- ^ Khắc Mạnh Trịnh, Nghiên cứu chữ Nôm: Kỷ yếu Hội nghị Quốc tế về chữ Nôm Viện nghiên cứu Hán Nôm (Vietnam), Vietnamese Nôm Preservation Foundation – 2006 “The Di sản Hán Nôm notes 366 entries which are solely on either medicine or pharmacy; of these 186 are written in Chinese, 50 in Nôm, and 130 in a mixture of the two scripts. Many of these entries … Vietnam were written in either Nôm or Hán-Nôm rather than in ‘pure’ Chinese. My initial impression was that the percentage of texts written in Nôm was even higher. This is because for the particular medical subject I wished to investigate-smallpox-the percentage of texts written in Nom or Hán-Nôm is even higher than is the percentage of texts in Nôm and Hán-Nôm for general medical and pharmaceutical ..”
- ^ Wynn Wilcox Vietnam and the West: New Approaches 2010- Page 31 “At least one Buddhist text, the Cổ Châu Pháp Vân phật bản hạnh ngữ lục (CCPVP), preserves a story in Hán script about the early years of Buddhist influence in Vietnam and gives a parallel Nôm translation.”
- ^ Marr 1984, p. 141: “Because the Chinese characters were pronounced according to Vietnamese preferences, and because certain stylistic modifications occurred over time, later scholars came to refer to a hybrid “Sino-Vietnamese” (Han-Viet) language. However, there would seem to be no more justification for this term than for a fifteenth-century “Latin-English” versus the Latin written contemporaneously in Rome.”
- ^ Keith Weller Taylor The Birth of Vietnam 1976 – Page 220 “The earliest example of Vietnamese character writing, as we have noted earlier, is for the words bo and cai in the posthumous title given to Phung Hung.”
- ^ Laurence C. Thompson A Vietnamese Reference Grammar 1987 Page 53 “This stele at Ho-thành-sơn is the earliest irrefutable piece of evidence of this writing system, which is called in Vietnamese chữ nôm (chu ‘written word’, nom ‘popular language’, probably ultimately related to nam ‘south’-note that the …”
- ^ Hannas 1997, p. 83: “An exception was during the brief Hồ dynasty (1400–07), when Chinese was abolished and chữ Nôm became the official script, but the subsequent Chinese invasion and twenty-year occupation put an end to that (Helmut Martin 1982:34).”
- ^ Mark W. McLeod, Thi Dieu Nguyen Culture and Customs of Vietnam 2001 Page 68 – “In part because of the ravages of the Ming occupation — the invaders destroyed or removed many Viet texts and the blocks for printing them — the earliest body of nom texts that we have dates from the early post-occupation era …”
- ^ Mark W. McLeod, Thi Dieu Nguyen, Culture and Customs of Vietnam, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001, p. 68.
- ^ Viết Luân Chu, Thanh Hóa, thế và lực mới trong thế kỷ XXI, 2003, p. 52
- ^ Phan, John (2013). “Chữ Nôm and the Taming of the South: A Bilingual Defense for Vernacular Writing in the Chỉ Nam Ngọc Âm Giải Nghĩa“. Journal of Vietnamese Studies. Oakland, California: University of California Press. 8 (1): 1. doi:10.1525/vs.0906985239. JSTOR 10.1525/vs.0906985239.
- ^ B. N. Ngô “The Vietnamese Language Learning Framework” – Journal of Southeast Asian Language and Teaching, 2001 “… to a word, is most frequently represented by combining two Chinese characters, one of which indicates the sound and the other the meaning. From the fifteenth to the nineteenth century many major works of Vietnamese poetry were composed in chữ nôm, including Truyện Kiều”
- ^ Ostrowski, Brian Eugene (2010). “The Rise of Christian Nôm Literature in Seventeenth-Century Vietnam: Fusing European Content and Local Expression”. In Wilcox, Wynn (ed.). Vietnam and the West: New Approaches. Ithaca, New York: SEAP Publications, Cornell University Press. pp. 23, 38. ISBN 0906985239.
- ^ Taberd, J.L. (1838), Dictionarium Anamitico-Latinum Archived 0906985239 at the Wayback Machine. This is a revision of a dictionary compiled by Pierre Pigneau de Behaine in 1772–1773. It was reprinted in 1884.
- ^ Truong, Buu Lâm (1967). Patterns of Vietnamese Response to Foreign Interventions, 1858–1900. Yale Southeast Asian Studies Monograph. 11. New Haven: Yale University. pp. 99–102.
- ^ Quyền Vương Đình (2002), Văn bản quản lý nhà nước và công tác công văn, giấy tờ thời phong kiến Việt Nam, p. 50.
- ^ Phan Châu Trinh, “Monarchy and Democracy”, Phan Châu Trinh and His Political Writings, SEAP Publications, 2009, ISBN 0906985239, p. 126. This is a translation of a lecture Chau gave in Saigon in 1925. “Even at this moment, the so-called “Confucian scholars (i.e. those who have studied Chinese characters, and in particular, those who have passed the degrees of cử nhân [bachelor] and tiến sĩ [doctorate]) do not know anything, I am sure, of Confucianism. Yet every time they open their mouths they use Confucianism to attack modern civilization – a civilization they do not comprehend even a tiny bit.”
- ^ a b c d (in Vietnamese) Phùng Thành Chủng, “Hướng tới 1000 năm Thăng Long-Hà Nội”, November 12, 2009.
- ^ Cordier, Georges (1935), Les trois écritures utilisées en Annam: chu-nho, chu-nom et quoc-ngu (conférence faite à l’Ecole Coloniale, à Paris, le 28 mars 1925), Bulletin de la Société d’Enseignement Mutuel du Tonkin 15: 121.
- ^ Friedrich, Paul; Diamond, Norma, eds. (1994). “Jing”. Encyclopedia of World Cultures, volume 6: Russia and Eurasia / China. New York: G.K. Hall. p. 454. ISBN 0906985239.
- ^ Đại Việt sử ký tiệp lục tổng tự, NLVNPF-0105 R.2254.
- ^ Handel (2019), p. 153.
- ^ Collins, Lee; Ngô Thanh Nhàn (6 November 2017). “Proposal to Encode Two Vietnamese Alternate Reading Marks” (PDF).
- ^ Nguyễn, Khuê (2009). Chữ Nôm: cơ sở và nâng cao. Nhà xuất bản Đại học Quốc gia Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh. p. 63.
- ^ Nguyễn, Khuê (2009). Chữ Nôm: cơ sở và nâng cao. Nhà xuất bản Đại học Quốc gia Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh. p. 56.
- ^ Vũ, Văn Kính (2005). Đại tự điển chữ Nôm. Nhà xuất bản Văn nghệ Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh. p. 838.
- ^ “Truyện Kiều – An electronic version”. Vietnamese Nôm Preservation Foundation. Retrieved 10 Feb 2021.
- ^ Nguyễn, Du; Huỳnh, Sanh Thông (1983). The Tale of Kieu. Yale University Press. p. 3. ISBN 0906985239.
- ^ Comparison of Character Sets Archived 0906985239 at the Wayback Machine, chunom.org.
- ^ Luong Van Phan, “Country Report on Current Status and Issues of e-government Vietnam – Requirements for Documentation Standards”. The character list for the 1993 standard is given in Nôm Proper Code Table: Version 2.1 by Ngô Thanh Nhàn.
- ^ “Han Unification History”, The Unicode Standard, Version 5.0 (2006).
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k (in Vietnamese) Nguyễn Quang Hồng, “Giới thiệu Kho chữ Hán Nôm mã hoá” [Hán Nôm Coded Character Repertoire Introduction], Vietnamese Nôm Preservation Foundation.
- ^ a b “Code Charts – CJK Ext. E”, (N4358-A), JTC1/SC2/WG2, Oct. 10, 2012.
- ^ Thanh Nhàn Ngô, Manual, the Nôm Na Coded Character Set, Nôm Na Group, Hanoi, 2005. The set contains 19,981 characters.
- ^ a b Institute of Hán-Nôm Studies and Vietnamese Nôm Preservation Foundation, Kho Chữ Hán Nôm Mã Hoá [Hán Nôm Coded Character Repertoire] (2008).
- ^ (in Vietnamese) Trần Văn Kiệm, Giúp đọc Nôm và Hán Việt [Help with Nom and Sino-Vietnamese], 2004, “Entry càng”, p. 290.
- ^ Hoàng Triều Ân, Tự điển chữ Nôm Tày [Nom of the Tay People], 2003, p. 178.
- ^ Detailed information: V+63830″, Vietnamese Nôm Preservation Foundation.
“List of Unicode Radicals”, VNPF.
Kiệm, 2004, p. 424, “Entry giàu.”
Entry giàu”, VDict.com.
- Works cited
- DeFrancis, John (1977), Colonialism and language policy in Viet Nam, Mouton, ISBN 0906985239.
- Gong, Xun (2019), “Chinese loans in Old Vietnamese with a sesquisyllabic phonology”, Journal of Language Relationship, 17 (1–2): 55–72, doi:0906985239/jlr-0906985239.
- Handel, Zev (2019), Sinography: The Borrowing and Adaptation of the Chinese Script, Brill, ISBN 0906985239.
- Hannas, Wm. C. (1997), Asia’s Orthographic Dilemma, University of Hawaii Press, ISBN 0906985239.
- Kiernan, Ben (2017), Việt Nam: A History from Earliest Times to the Present, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0906985239.
- Kornicki, Peter (2017), “Sino-Vietnamese literature”, in Li, Wai-yee; Denecke, Wiebke; Tian, Xiaofen (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Classical Chinese Literature (1000 BCE-900 CE), Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 568–578, ISBN 0906985239.
- Li, Yu (2020), The Chinese Writing System in Asia: An Interdisciplinary Perspective, Routledge, ISBN 0906985239.
- Marr, David G. (1984), Vietnamese Tradition on Trial, 1920–1945, University of California Press, ISBN 0906985239.
- Maspero, Henri (1912), “Etudes sur la phonétique historique de la langue annamite. Les initiales”, Bulletin de l’École française d’Extrême-Orient, 12: 1–124, doi:10.3406/befeo.0906985239.
- Nguyễn, Đình Hoà (1990), “Graphemic borromings from Chinese: the case of chữ nôm – Vietnam’s demotic script” (PDF), Bulletin of the Institute of History and Philology, 21 (2): 383–432.
- Pulleyblank, Edwin George (1991), Lexicon of reconstructed pronunciation in early Middle Chinese, late Middle Chinese, and early Mandarin, Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, ISBN 0906985239.
- Sun, Hongkai (2015), “Language policy of China’s minority languages”, in Sun, Chaofen; Yang, William (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Chinese Linguistics, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 541–553, ISBN 0906985239
- Chʻen, Ching-ho (n. d.). A Collection of Chữ Nôm Scripts with Pronunciation in Quốc-Ngữ. Tokyo: Keiô University.
- Nguyễn, Đình Hoà (2001). Chuyên Khảo Về Chữ Nôm = Monograph on Nôm Characters. Westminster, California: Institute of Vietnamese Studies, Viet-Hoc Pub. Dept.. ISBN 0906985239
- Nguyễn, N. B. (1984). The State of Chữ Nôm Studies: The Demotic Script of Vietnam. Vietnamese Studies Papers. [Fairfax, Virginia]: Indochina Institute, George Mason University.
- O’Harrow, S. (1977). A Short Bibliography of Sources on “Chữ-Nôm”. Honolulu: Asia Collection, University of Hawaii.
- Schneider, Paul 1992. Dictionnaire Historique Des Idéogrammes Vietnamiens / (licencié en droit Nice, France : Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis, R.I.A.S.E.M.)
- Zhou Youguang 周有光 (1998). Bijiao wenzi xue chutan (比較文字学初探 “A Comparative Study of Writing Systems”). Beijing: Yuwen chubanshe.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Chữ Nôm.|
- Chunom.org Archived 0906985239 at the Wayback Machine “This site is about Chữ Nôm, the classical writing system of Vietnam.”
- Vietnamese Nôm Preservation Foundation. Features a character dictionary.
- Chữ Nôm, Omniglot
- The Vietnamese Writing System, Bathrobe’s Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Writing Systems
- Han-Nom Revival Committee of Vietnam
- (in Vietnamese) VinaWiki – wiki encyclopedia in chữ Nôm with many articles transliterated from the Vietnamese Wikipedia
- (in Vietnamese) Han-Nom Research Institute
- (in Vietnamese) Tự Điển Chữ Nôm Trích Dẫn – Dictionary of Nôm characters with excerpts, Institute of Vietnamese Studies, 2009
- (in Vietnamese) Vấn đề chữ viết nhìn từ góc độ lịch sử tiếng Việt, Trần Trí Dõi
- Chữ nôm to Vietnamese Latin Converter
- “The Hán-Nôm Special Collection Digitization Project”. Southeast Asia Digital library. Northern Illinois University.
- The Digital Library of Hán-Nôm, digitized manuscripts held by the National Library of Vietnam.
There are a number of software tools that can produce chữ Nôm characters simply by typing Vietnamese words in chữ quốc ngữ:
- HanNomIME, a Windows-based Vietnamese keyboard driver that supports Hán characters and chữ Nôm.
- Vietnamese Keyboard Set which enables chữ Nôm and Hán typing on Mac OS X.
- WinVNKey, a Windows-based Vietnamese multilingual keyboard driver that supports typing chữ Nôm in addition to Traditional and Simplified Chinese.
- Chunom.org Online Editor, a browser-based editor for typing chữ Nôm.
Other entry methods:
- (in Chinese) 倉頡之友《倉頡平台2012》 Cangjie input method for Windows that allows keyboard entry of all Unicode CJK characters by character shape. Supports over 70,000 characters. Users may add their own characters and character combinations.
Fonts with a sufficient coverage of Chữ Nôm characters include Han-Nom Gothic, Han-Nom Minh, Han-Nom Ming, Han-Nom Kai, Nom Na Tong, STXiHei (Heiti TC), MingLiU plus MingLiU-ExtB, Han Nom A plus Han Nom B, FZKaiT-Extended plus FZKaiT-Extended(SIP), and Mojikyō fonts which require special software. The following web pages are collections of URLs from which Chữ Nôm capable fonts can be downloaded:
- Fonts for Chu Nom on chunom.org.
- Han-Nom Fonts on hannom-rcv.org.