Ministry denies proposing additions to alphabet
  • | Tuoi Tre | August 11, 2011 01:37 PM

The Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) does not have any proposal to add four more letters to Vietnam’s current alphabet, chief of its office Nguyen Manh Hung has confirmed in an official document sent to local media.

Preschool kids are familiarizing themselves with Vietnamese letters at Vang Anh Kindergarten in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City.

His confirmation follows recent reports on a proposition by one of the ministry’s arms to add the four F, J, W, and Z to the alphabet, which has 29 letters.

The addition is put forward by some researchers of the ministry’s Department of Information Technology (DIT) only, Hung insisted, adding it thus should not be considered MoET’s official viewpoint.

He said MoET does have plans to prepare a circular which gives guidelines on the use of Vietnamese on computers, and will gather opinions and recommendations from the public via the Internet.

But such a document is yet to take form till now, Hung asserted.

Local media have received many oppositions and severe criticisms targeted at the suggested addition since they published it yesterday.

Many fear the language would be assimilated into other languages that have the four letters in their official alphabets.

Others say the adding is to encourage the ‘distortion’ of Vietnamese by ‘licensing’ many local teens to proceed with what they are doing: combining the four with the official letters to make strange and incomprehensible words in chats or on online forums and social networking sites.

DIT director Quach Tuan Ngoc, who is assigned to steer the preparation of the above circular, earlier said that the four letters are widely used in IT, a field the country rates among its top priorities.

It is thus necessary to officially recognise them, he concluded.

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