Lớn Lên Trong Môi Trường Song Ngữ

A ViệtSpeak Podcast

Growing up Bilingual in Australia is a podcast series that follows the lives and experiences of Vietnamese families wanting to maintain their heritage language and culture within Australia’s monolingual mindset. Growing up Bilingual in Australia is a series hosted in Vietnamese and English and is produced by ViệtSpeak in collaboration with Vietnamese Australian artists.

Host Chi Vu speaks with Vietnamese families in Melbourne’s western suburbs. We explore how it feels to be bilingual in Australia. We hear what motivates children, parents and grandparents to learn and maintain a language that is rooted in their identity. We also learn of the efforts to pass on a language that is one of the most spoken at home in Australia but not commonly taught in schools.

Where to listen:

Episode 1: Trọng

Trọng’s motivation for learning Vietnamese is supported by his busy mum, Vinh. We’re in their living room in Melbourne’s western suburb of St Albans. It’s a Sunday morning, and there’s a birthday sign and balloons still up from a lockdown birthday party.

Chi: Do you know what your name means in English?

Trọng: My name i’m pretty sure Anthony means Antion which was the son of Hercules. That was what I found up found out on the web 

Chi: Oh okay what about Trọng?

Trọng: Trọng means, my mom said that it was like VIP or something was special. I don’t knowThat was just what she said. 

Chi: Yeah yeah, that’s a good um way of translating. Um I think it’s like someone worthy of respect.

Trọng: Oh. My mom also said that it mean like they’re not worthy of respect but like respectful to others.

For full episode transcript visit here.

Episode 2 – Mai

Mai’s parents, Tanya and Michael, have unique language journeys that help shape language use at home. We’re in their house in Melbourne’s suburb of West Footscray. It’s a lively Sunday morning, and Melbourne’s just come out of another lockdown.

Chi: Nếu Mai gạp người nói tiếng Việt, Mai tự giới thiệu với họ là Mai tên là gì?

Mai: Um.

Chi: Con tên là?

Mai: Mai

Chi: Con tên là Mai hả. Con mấy tuổi?  

Mai: Um, I’m seven.

Chi: Oh, ở trường con có nói tiếng Việt không?  

Mai: Well, not really. But I do speak Italian because I go to Italian teacher at school.

Chi: Oh, wow.  

Mai: Oh well, my name is Mai and I am seven years old. There’s five people in my family. I’ve got a brothers and a sister. I live in with footscray.

Chi: And how many languages do you speak?

For full episode transcript visit here.

Episode 3: Karina and Sean

Karina, Sean and their mum, Thư-Trang, go on a 3 week trip that lasted for 2 years. In this episode we hear about their Việtnam language adventure and life back in Melbourne, Australia.

Interest in podcast participation

If you and your family would be interested in being interviewed for an episode please let us know through the form below.

Host Chi Vu
Script Development Andrè Dao and Chi Vu
Music Quang Dinh
Illustration Kim Lam
Production Hoang Tran Nguyen

This pilot podcast was made possible with the support of Arts Gen cohealth.