Do Nhat Nam is well known in the literary world for many of his translations, most recently the translation of Mat troi moc, mat troi lan – cau chuyen ngay va dem (Sun Up, Sun Down – The Story of Day and Night). His special talent has also led to several appearances on children's shows, including Qua chuong nho (Little Bell) and Chuc be ngu ngon (Good Night, Baby!)
Inner Sanctum: How do you feel when people call you "the youngest translator in Viet Nam"?
Both my parents are delighted about that. As for me, it feels great to break another record and attain that title. However it also makes me feel that I have to try harder so that people will not just see me as a temporary phenomenon who will soon fade away.
Inner Sanctum: Can you tell us about your latest books?
My new book is titled To da hoc tieng Anh nhu the nao (How I Studied English), in which I tell the readers the secrets that will help them learn the language better. The book was published in March, 2012, after lots of effort from Thai Ha Book JSC, my mother and me. At the moment I am working on another book called Cach tu duy cua nhung nguoi thanh dat (How Successful People Think). That one is a bit harder, as it contains lots of abstract terms and information. It's nearly finished and I hope it will be published in September or October.
Inner Sanctum: Could you share some of your secrets for learning English so well?
You have to view learning as a huge passion. For example, I particularly love writing English essays, so I spend 30 minutes every day doing this. It's simple really: you have to believe you can do it and never give up hope for the future.
Inner Sanctum: Can you explain your reasons for attending so many international exams?
We have to enrich our experiences in order to have a broader view of the world. That is why I take exams like TOEIC, IELTS and TOEFL. Each exam I pass makes me feel more experienced and the qualifications will bring me more opportunities when studying abroad in the future. I also think that it makes my curriculum vitae much more impressive.
Inner Sanctum: Everyone has a dream. What's yours?
I have many! I believe that everyone should dream big. Previously I wanted to become the Minister of Foreign Affairs, or a biologist. Now I would most like to become a code-breaker for an intelligence agency. They are heroes as what they decode can save the world.
Inner Sanctum: Up to now, how many books have you read? And what are your other hobbies?
I think I have read about 4,000 English books and 2,000 Vietnamese books. People call me a "book worm" as I read so often, and it has given me a good source of knowledge. When I'm not reading I enjoy spending hours by the computer learning to design software.
Inner Sanctum: Do people ever tell you that you are wiser than your age?
Many people have told me that. But I know that I am still quite childish. I often play football and badminton with my friends. Perhaps you could say I am almost half child and half adult.
Inner Sanctum: Do you mind people calling you "the young man"? Does it make you feel distant from your friends?
It is fine for people to call me that, it means they think I am mature enough to know many things! As for my friends, they are still very close to me.
Inner Sanctum: You are also the speaker of several TV shows. How do you manage to balance your studies and your part-time job?
I just do the TV appearances for fun. These are often at the weekends, so it doesn't really change my daily routine.
Inner Sanctum: You have achieved so much at such a young age. You must be a person of discipline?
I have quite a lot of self control, but I sometimes break the rules I have made for myself! I often stay up late to design software, and recently I didn't go to bed so that I could watch the EURO 2012 football matches. — VNS