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Vietnamese literature

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.

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. Chu nom, 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 ch? n?m and when it briefly became the official written script. While the qu?c ng? 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 Quoc Ngu.

Script

Classical Chinese/H?n V?n (??)
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 qu?c ng? script due to their Chinese syntax and vocabulary. As a result, these works must be translated into colloquial Vietnamese in order to be understood by the general public. These works include official proclamations by Vietnamese kings, royal histories, and declarations of independence from China, as well as Vietnamese Poetry.

Ch? n?m (??)
Works written in ch? n?m don't suffer the understandability problems that those in Classical Chinese are susceptible to. For the most part, they can be directly transliterated into the modern qu?c ng? script and be readily understood by modern Vietnamese speakers. However, since ch? n?m was never standardized, there are ambiguities as to which words are meant when a writer used certain characters. This resulted in many variations when transliterating works in ch? n?m into qu?c ng?. Some highly regarded works in Vietnamese literature were written in ch? n?m, including Nguy?n Du's Truy?n Ki?u, ?o?n Th? ?i?m's ch? n?m translation of the poem Chinh Ph? Ng?m Kh?c (???? - Lament of a Warrior Wife) from the Classical Chinese poem composed by her friend ??ng Tr?n C?n (famous in its own right), and poems by the renowned poet H? Xu?n H??ng.

Quoc Ngu
While created in the seventeenth century, quoc ngu was not widely used outside of missionary circles until the early 20th century, when the French colonial government mandated its use in French Indochina. During the early years of the twentieth century, many periodicals in qu?c ng? flourished and their popularity helped popularize qu?c ng?. While some leaders resisted the popularity of quoc ngu as an imposition from the French, others embraced it as a convenient tool to boost literacy. After declaring independence from the French in 1945, Ho Chi Minh's Viet Minh provisional government adopted a policy of increasing literacy with qu?c ng?. Their efforts were hugely successful, as the literacy rate jumped overnight.
In those early years, there were many variations in orthography and there was no consensus on how to write certain words. After some conferences, the issues were mostly settled, but some still linger to this day. By the mid-20th century, all Vietnamese works of literature are written in qu?c ng?, while works written in earlier scripts are transliterated into quoc ngu for accessibility to modern Vietnamese speakers. The use of the earlier scripts is now limited to historical references.

Genres

Folk literature
Unlike written literature, early oral literature was composed in Vietnamese and is still accessible to ordinary Vietnamese today. Vietnamese folk literature is an intermingling of many forms. It is not only an oral tradition, but a mixing of three media: hidden (only retained in the memory of folk authors), fixed (written), and shown (performed). Folk literature usually exist in many versions, passed down orally, and have unknown authors.

Myths
Myths consist of stories about supernatural beings, heroes, creator gods, and reflect the viewpoint of ancient people about human life. They consist of , creation stories, stories about their origins(L?c Long Qu?n, ?u C?), culture heroes (S?n Tinh or Mountain Spirit- Th?y Tinh or Water Spirit).

Legends

Ca dao
Ca dao are folk poems.

 
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