My Nôm Characters Dictionary just arrived. I am so excited! It is a huge book, with 1679 pages of dense information, packed tight in a book that is worthy of its cost, $75 plus shipping n handling. I have Việt dictionaries, but I have never had one of these. Not sure how I am going to approach this, but I think just jumping in head-first will do it for now.
This book is esoteric enough for me to get a first edition even though it was printed in 2009. It is the first book of its kind in that it was created entirely through internet communications from ten different linguistic historians, located all over the world. I am not sure how I will be able to learn the characters with only a dictionary, but I’m going to try.
Moreover, there is a font that is available for the Nôm Characters that can be downloaded and will allow me to type in this archaic form of the Vietnamese language. This means I can quickly put the characters together without having to write it all laboriously via the old-fashioned method, ink and paper. For those of you who are interested, here is the link for the font.
It is going to take me awhile to get used to thinking about my native language in character format, but it’s worth learning. Not sure what I can do with this knowledge since the number of people who can still read this script is few and getting fewer by the day due to the fact that the vast majority of them are rather advanced in years. Still, my father has told me often, there is no such thing as wasted knowledge. Everything I learn is useful for something and for some reason.
Good enough reason for me to learn! And you never know, I might stumble upon something interesting in the future that will require my understanding of this script.
Tự Điển Chữ Nôm Trích Dẫn. Nguyen H. Vinh, Dang T Kiet, Nguyen D Vuong, Le V Dang, Nguyen V Sam, Nguyen N Bich, Tran U Thi. Westminster, California: Viet-Hoc Publishing. 2009.