HA NOI – A workshop to discuss the significant contributions of scholar Nguyen Van Vinh to the development of the Vietnamese language will be held on Friday in Ha Noi.
Entitled Nguyen Van Vinh and The Journey of romanised Vietnamese script, the workshop will also discuss how to form a national-level scientific committee which would have the aim of valuing Vinh's cultural career and his efforts to spread the romanised Vietnamese script in the country at a time when Chinese-based ideograph characters were the norm.
Born to a poor family in Ha Noi, Vinh (1882-1936) was the top student at the College des Intrepretes (College of Interpreters) in Ha Noi during the 1893-95 term. He then worked for different French authority offices in the North before moving on to open the city's first printing house in 1907.
At the same time, Vinh published the Dai Nam Dong Van Nhat Bao newspaper, which means "the daily newspaper of Dai Nam with the use of a common language." The newspaper was the first publication in the Vietnamese language in the North.
During that time, Vinh also joined movements against the colonial authority that led to the forced closure of his newspaper by the French in 1908.
From 1908-19, he published Notre Journal (Our Daily), Notre Revue (Our Magazine), Luc Tinh Tan Van (Modern Literature of Six Southern Provinces), and the weekly Dong Duong Magazine.
In 1927, he founded the La pensee de l'Occident (Western European Opinion), which published his translated books.
Forced into bankruptcy in 1932, Vinh immigrated to Laos where he died of malaria in May 1936 while working on his memoir Un mois avec des chercheurs d'or (A Month Living with the Golden Diggers).
The workshop on his career will take place at 53 Nguyen Du Street from 1.30pm with the participation of historians and researchers as well as members of his family. – VNS