The following is log of time spent studying Vietnamese.
Total: 5 hours (of 1100)
2019-03, – hours
Began studying in earnest, including a workbook and a daily schedule for at least one-hour per day. The tones are different than in Mandarin, even where the diacritics match (e.g., mà), and the tones are noticeably more loose than in Mandarin. Native speakers, in general, don’t seem aware of the actual tones, which rarely match the textbook definitions. I’m not even sure the 6-tone writing system is accurate. Also, personal pronouns are extremely confusing.
Pronunciation is extremely difficult, and most native speakers have absolutely no idea how to explain the phonemes and tones. The resources for learning Vietnamese are pretty poor, but I’m finding some useful things online (i.e., happyhanoi.com). My guess is that it will take 100+ hours to get the basics of pronunciation.
2019-02, 5 hours
Watched some videos and learned a few simple phrases. Played around with some online resources. Learned to type and write in Vietnamese. The pronunciation seems extremely difficult, although I noticed a fair number of Chinese loan words which I hope will make things easier later on.