Let’s go to Hogwarts!


By Hogwarts I mean school. And going to Hogwarts would have been fun if it existed.

As promised, today we have a lesson about schooling and such. After all, this is meant to be an educational website.

At school, you are học sinh (student) or sinh viên (university student).

Your classmates are bạn học, bạn cùng lớp, or bạn cùng trường (school mate).

The teacher is giáo viên (cô giáo is a female teacher; thầy giáo is a male teacher) or you have a giáo sư (professor).

The school is trường. The classroom is lớp học. A big study hall (at the university) is giảng đường. (I really hate the big 200-student hall – it’s too good for falling asleep).

Which one among the following schools did you attend? How about your parents?

[Bạn] học ở đâu? Where do/did you go to school?

[Tôi] học ở … I study at …

trường mẫu giáo – kindergarten

trường cấp một (1) / trường tiểu học – primary school; grade school

trường cấp hai (2) / trường trung học (cơ sở) – elementary school; middle school

trường cấp ba (3) / trường trung học (phổ thông) – high school

trường dạy nghề – vocational school

trường cao đẳng – community college (in the US); college (in UK, Singapore, etc.)

trường đại học – university

After you tốt nghiệp (graduate), you get a bằng (degree) + name of school.

A high school diploma is bằng cấp 3 / bằng trung học phổ thông.

A bachelor’s degree is bằng đại học.

A Master’s is bằng thạc sĩ, and MBA is bằng thạc sĩ quản trị kinh doanh, and a PhD is bằng tiến sĩ.

A few subjects offered in school are:

toán (học) văn (học) tiếng Anh (lịch) sử địa (lý)
math literature English history geography
(vật) sinh (học) hóa (học) thể dục vẽ / hội họa nhạc
physics biology chemistry physical education drawing/painting music
Bạn thích học môn nhất?
You like study subject what most?

Which subject do/did you like to study the most?

Tôi thích vẽ và tiếng Anh – I like drawing and English (my preference back in school 🙂

Bạn học ngành gì?
You study major what?
What is your major (at the university)?
Tôi học… I study …
kinh tế tài chính kinh doanh kế toán quảng cáo
economics finance business/commerce accounting advertising
nghệ thuật tin học nghề y luật xã hội học
the arts information technology medical field law social sciences

There’s a Vietnamese proverbs which goes like this “Học, học nữa, học mãi!” (Learn, learn more, learn forever).

It basically means one can never stop learning (but I think every once in a while one should get a break!).

And here’s the iconic white áo dài uniform for female high school students in Vietnam.

Áo dài trắng đồng phục
Áo dài trắng đồng phục

Áo dài trắng đồng phục


6 responses »

  1. Great post! When I was in Vietnam, I had a hard time explaining how my high school works. The breakdown I want to say is “High School > Grades (9th – 11th) > Classes (we have 6 classes, each are about 55 minutes each”

    So what are the words to say “I’m in 11th grade and we have 6 classes.”?

  2. trường cấp 3 từ lớp 9 đến lớp 11 – high school from grade 9 to 11
    ở trường mỗi năm học 6 môn (at school each year there are 6 subjects)
    tôi/em/ (I pronoun) học lớp 11

    the schooling system in Vietnam is different from the US
    back in my high school days in the US, if I had 6 classes, I studied the same 6 classes everyday (from Mon-Fri)
    and I had different subjects as I moved up the grade (for example, natural sciences in my high school: high school first year students study biology, second year students study chemistry, third year physics, fourth ???)

    but in Vietnam, they study a ton of subjects all at once
    for each subject, there are only 2-3 sessions (1 hour each) a week
    different grades study the same subjects, only more or less advanced
    the weekly schedule is the same, but the daily schedule is different each day

    the class is also divided differently
    in the US, a student good at math will go to a more advanced math class (like Honor or AP), and a lower level class in English and science
    and thus different students have different class schedule
    in Vietnam, they divide students into different class at the beginning of school by the students’ average grade from last year (or last school)
    all students in the same class study the exact same subjects at the same difficulty level

  3. Thank you! Yeah, I guess Vietnamese school sounds a lot like US colleges; my cousins have weird schedules during the week regarding school.

    Another question! Is there anything similar to the introductory phrase “Okay, here’s the deal..” or “Alright, how about this..” ? Because I kinda want to propose an idea/proposition to my cousin. Kinda like “Ok, here’s the deal: you take care of the dog until I come back home.”

  4. thế này nhé: anh/chị/em chăm chó cho em cho tới khi em về nhà
    kind of “here, like this: you look after the dog until I come back home”

    alright, how about this = được rồi, còn thế này thì sao

    this is spoken casual Vietnamese so there’s probably 10 different ways to say the same thing

  5. You have primary/grade school as something different than elementary school. Can you explain? I think most Americans refer to it as elementary school. Meaning the year after kindergarten up to 6th grade usually.

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