At a hotel in London, the receptionist’s phone rang and he answered the phone. The person on the other end of the call said, “Tu ti tu tu tu tu!” The receptionist had no clue what the other person was saying, so he hung up.
A short moment later, the phone rang again, and the person on the other end repeated, “Tu ti tu tu tu tu,” and the receptionist, not knowing what this phrase meant, hung up again.
The third time the phone rang, the person on the other end said, “Tu ti tu tu tu tu,” and this time it drove the receptionist crazy. He slammed down the phone. A few minutes later, a man came towards the receptionist and yelled “Hey, do you understand English?” I have said three times “Bring two cups of tea to room 222!” “Two tea to 222!”
In order to help you avoid similar miscommunication, we will introduce the next four initial consonants, the t, th, tr, and v, as part of our ongoing series of introducing the Vietnamese alphabet.
(*) “t” “th” “tr” “v” in Vietnamese are not pronounced the same as they are in English. They are pronounced with a flat voice without a blow-out while “t” “th” “tr” in English are pronounced with a blow-out.
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