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November 9, 2012

Special Sauce – mam ba khia – mam cong – mam tom

Ca Mau use fiddler crabs to produce mam ba khia. Can Giuoc produces mam cong from another species of small crab. And Go Cong is famous for its mam tom cha shrimp sauce.

Different types of fish sauce are made at different times of year. In northern Vietnam, ragworm sauce is typically produced from late September to early October. Binh Dinh mackerel sauce is produced during the fishing season from February to May. Following the Lunar New Year, when the swamps dry up, southern people catch linh fish and make fish sauce. The krill shrimp sauce season runs from January to April, when krill shrimp breed.

Fish sauce is eaten throughout Vietnam. It is used as a flavoring, a condiment and to preserve food. Many popular dishes require fish sauce. Hue beef vermicelli is flavored with krill shrimp sauce. Bacon and raw vegetables are dipped into sour shrimp sauce. Boiled sweet potato buds are flavored with sauce made from field crabs. Ragworm sauce mixed with mandarin orange peels is eaten with boiled pigs’ trotters. Lotus stems are served with braised fish sauce. Green bananas, green starfruit, boiled pork, rice pancake, and herbs are dipped into mackerel sauce. The list of recipes that call for mam is endless.

A popular verse from the central city of Hue proclaims:

“Don’t say krill shrimp sauce has a bad smell.
Without it, the meal is incomplete.”

The former royal capital of Hue produces many types of mam. Each season brings another type. The variety is astounding. Residents of this region, which is rich in seafood, produce salty, sweet and sour fish sauces using products like tuna, flying fish, dzut (tiny field shrimp), cong (tiny crabs) and so (shellfish). Thanks to the city’s strong Buddhist influence, Hue women are also skilled in making vegetarian “fish sauce which is a key ingredient for vegetarian dishes. Varieties include mam roi (vegetable “fish sauce”), mam ca (egg-plant “fish sauce”) and mam dzua (pickles “fish sauce”). Common ingredients include melons, cal rots, turnips, jackfruit fibers, galingale, red peppers, dried tofu, fried rice flour.

Fish sauce is very healthy. An old saying states that “Eat rice with fish sauce, one will look fine an d healthy!” There are many folk poems and tales relating to fish sauce. One old story concerns a special sauce called mam ngu (king’s fish sauce) that was reserve d for the royal family. Sea urchins, ragworms, shrim and anchovies are all suggested ingredients, but nc body is certain of the recipe for mam ngu.

While this royal recipe has been lost, Vietnam continue to produce plenty of delicious types of fish sauce. As thi ancient verse reminds us, no meal is complete without it:

“The fish sauce has run out so I must go out to catch fish After three years, when the fish sauce is ready, I will invit you to lunch.”

Tongue out Travel Blogs

10:52 PM Feb 14 2013


Viet Nam

About the dog in Phu Quoc???;)

November 7, 2012

Imagine you are giving a speech to your teacher. Write down the speech (120 words) reflecting on the following questions. What kills have you learned from the Public Speaking course?If you were to improve some aspect of the course to make it more effective to students' learning, what will you improve?


The first words, I would like to express my deep gratitude to my teacher : Nguyen Van Loi – who directly introduces me for Public Speaking course in this semester. Thanks to his helping, some his useful advices, guidances, corrections, and relevant sources...I accomplished this course and gained many achievements. Though this is the first time, I have a chance to study with him, I feel it is a big honor for me. I heard many my friends talking about him. They said that he was a hard and strict teacher.This made me felt confused registering this course. However, when I contact to him throughout the last course, I do not feel worry or afraid of standing in front of class to talk, to express my thinking to him and my classmates.

Public Speaking is an interesting subject. It equips for students many useful and necessary skills to talking in public. I have learned many things in this course. I feel more confident when speaking in the public. I do not feel worry, anxiety, and nervous for every time I have a presentation on class. I have ability to control my voice, my eyes to attract the audiences. A greater awareness of this course that I can use my own non-verbal signals to express my thinking, feeling. There are variety on topics which we together discussed lively in this course. Most of them are useful and practical topics so attract most of students in class.

Besides that, I have learned how to prepare for a well presentation, how to search and arrange information as well as do outlines for my speeches. I also have a chance to use projector and practice power point program to support for my presentation.

I think this is a successful course, however, I have some small ideas to improve our subject more effectively.

First, students should have a better preparation for their presentation, such as pronunciation, materials, posters, computers...

Second, some students do not feel relax, they are stressed and nervous and sometimes, they look at materials and read and read, they do not care of reactions from audiences.

Third, some students talk so fast, and unclear so audiences cannot catch them.

Fourth, many students plagiarize of materials. This is a very common problem. I think we have right to search or use any material by Internet, books... but students should transfer them into their language or provide the source if we use original materials. Using key words or notes to deliver their speeches to others.

Finally, teacher and students should have discussions together. They should be more active and cooperative to help our class more actively.

In conclusion, for many students, standing up in public and doing a speech, especially talking by a foreign language, is one of our greatest fears. Public Speaking is really a good chance for us overcome this fears, difficulties and explore our real potential abilities


November 4, 2012

Topic: “Interpreters are like travelers with backpacks full of cultural features who cross borders.”

Nowadays, interpretation is one of the “hot” careers on the jobs market with a high salary. In the context of an integrating society, the need for closing the distance between Viet Nam and other countries has made the using of interpretation more popular, especially in English interpretation. However, this is not a simple and easy job for all people because its high requires. One of the requires of interpreting job is a great cultural knowledge. Similar to travelers, it is very necessary for interpreters to equip the knowledge about culture. Therefore, there is an interesting definition comparing the cultural knowledge of interpreters as important as travelers. “Interpreters are like travelers with backpacks full of cultural features who cross borders.”

We have heard many definitions of interpretation. This word may have a wide range of meanings for people based on their background, training, or experience in the
interpretive profession. “
Interpreters are like travelers with backpacks full of cultural features who cross borders”. With the definition, the interpreters not only simply present information by using specific communication strategies to translate that information for people but also accumulate abundant cultural knowledge to interpret exactly and properly with each culture of each country.

What is the most necessary for a traveler who wants to explore the world in his trip? The best answer is extensively cutural knowlege. When a traveler is equipped with the full of cutural knowlede, the basic understanings of the land where he is going to visist, it is very easy and exciting for him to take this trip. Are you embarrassed, in the first time visting India, if you do not know that eating by hands is very popular in Indian's eating cuture? Or in another situation, how do you feel if you enter Japanese's house forgetting to take off your shoes? Clearly that, knowlege about the cultures will help you so much in such situations. Therefore, travelers should never stop learning and expanding the cutural knowlege so that they can access to any nation and always feel comfortable, interesting in their trips.

In intepretataion, in addition to language fluency, good memory, flexibility, patience, diligence etc. to be a successful interpreter, you need a wide range of general knowledge about the cultures and society in all aspects of relating to the speakers of those languages. Cultural knowledge is one of the vital factors which the interpreters cannot ignore in the field of interpretation. A good way to acquire this knowledge is through travel to come different countries in which those languages are spoken. By traveling to the countries, you will learn the customs, habits in their countries as well as the way to use the language correctly, accurately and perfectly. Besides that, we can also accumulate the variety of cultural knowledge through books, audio and video electronics multimedia in both languages and use of modern information technologies to support for interpretation in many other relevant subjects about cultures. One you have a good knowledge about their cultures, it is convenient for you to interpret from their nation's language to your nation’s language. Experience and cultural knowledge can assist you in working effectively.

There are some confuses happening between native people and foreigners that related to the differences about culture in communication. For example, a patient [in Cantonese] said: “I took the whole bottle of 60 po chia pills last night.” The interpreter used word – for – word format to repeat the statement without giving a cultural explanation that this pill is a popular Chinese medicine that usually requires the user to take the whole bottle. After his assistant's interpretation, Doctor said: “Mrs. D, were you trying to kill yourself last night?”. One more example, a foreign tourist look at Vietnamese woman who is wearing with long dress and also wearing a leaf hat on her head. Then, he tries to translate what he is seeing into Vietnamese' language: “Người phụ nữ đó đang mặc áo dài và mặc nón lá”. In English language, “wear” means to have clothing, jewellery, etc. on your body. However, Vietnamese people do not say “ mặc nón lá” though they use the same word “wear” but we should interpret “ đội nón lá”.

Every society and culture has different ways of interpreting that depends on their own culture or society. The rituals, customs, ethics and morals that are attributed to the cultures have caused many misunderstandings. Therefore, the interpreters have to always learn and promote cultural knowledge for themselves to understand cultural features of each country to interpret for every situations and events.

07:20 PM Nov 05 2012


Viet Nam

thanks for your reading

I am happy as becomingCool one of your friends here

please accept my require

11:34 AM Nov 05 2012

Mr. Learner

Amazing essay. I like it.
You've many cool points in this essay. Also, you've had a great English in this essay.

Looking forward to read more essays written by you.

Good luck