Boy (named Nobita) and girl go on a date in the mountain. This is what happens:
The comic is read like English comic: left to right, top to bottom (unlike Japanese manga, which is read left to right)
My explanation is in this format: original line (words – are separated – by hyphen – for ease of comprehension), then word-by-word translation (*), then proper English translation and explanation.
In this comic strip, the boy and girl use the pronoun tớ for the pronoun “I” and cậu for the pronoun “you”. There are many different ways to say “I” and “you” in Vietnamese, depending on age, gender, and how well you know the person (see lesson 13 on my blog if you’re confused).
cậu and tớ are used by friends who were born in the exact same year.
Girl: Tớ – nghe bảo – núi này – vọng tiếng – rất vang và rõ
Guy: Để tớ thử xem
Girl: I – hear tell – mountain this – echo sound – very loud and clear
Guy: Allow I try see
Girl: I heard that this mountain echoes sounds very loudly and clearly
Guy: Let me try
Note how the girl says “I heard that…” and how the boy says “Let me try”.
Guy: Nhảm nhí!!! Non-sense!!!
Guy: Ơ, lạ nhỉ. Không – nghe thấy – gì cả.
Oh, strange so. No – hear see – what all
Oh, strange. I hear nothing at all.
Note how to use không to say you không (don’t) do something.
Nghe is to hear. Thấy is to see. Nghe thấy is when you try to hear a sound and are able to hear it.
Guy: Hê hê. Vậy – là – tiếng đồn – sai bét – rồi.
Girl: Cậu -thử – lại – lần nữa – đi.
Guy: he he. So – to be – sound rumor – wrong – then
Girl: you – try -again – time more – command particle
Guy: hehe. So the rumor’s totally wrong.
Girl: Try it again.
Guy: Con gái – đúng là – cố chấp.
girl – right to be – stubborn
Girls are really stubborn.
đúng là is used when you want to diss someone. For example, that guy is really stingy “thằng đó đúng là keo kiệt”. In this one, the guy was generalizing “girls are really stubborn!”
Guy: Nobita đẹp trai, thông minh – nhất – thế giới
Nobita handsome, clever – most – the world
Nobita is the most handsome and clever in the world.
Note the superlative comparison nhất: adjective + nhất. Đẹp trai nhất: most handsome. Thông minh nhất: most clever
Mountain echo: NHẢM NHÍ!
see frame 2 for translation
If you’re still standing after all this, big round of applause. If not, take a week to sink this in.
We’ll come back next week with fresh ammunition (comic)!
(*) Word by word translation is done so you can see that Vietnamese word order is NOT anywhere close to English, therefore, do NOT try translate English words into Vietnamese to get a sentence.
On the other hand, if you understand Vietnamese word order, later you just need to substitute words into the correct structure to say what you want to say.