Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Reporting America At War
About The Series
The Reporters
Richard Harding Davis
Martha Gellhorn
Edward R. Murrow
Ernie Pyle
Walter Cronkite
Andy Rooney
Robert Capa
Homer Bigart
David Halberstam
Malcolm W. Browne
Gloria Emerson
Morley Safer
Peter Arnett
Ward Just
Chris Hedges
Christiane Amanpour

For Teachers
The Reporters

Saigon AP Bureau Handbook

Page 5 of 22 Back  Main  Next


English has become vital to coverage of news in Viet Nam -- even for reporters of the local press.

But French is also a must when dealing with most members of the government, many embassies and many Vietnamese military officers. French is still the nation's second language, despite the gains made by English.

Vietnamese is a very difficult language for Westerners, related fairly closely to Chinese (although it is written in Roman letters using special accent marks to indicate the tones.) Don't expect to learn the language unless you're prepared to spend several years at it. But learning a few Vietnamese words and phrases is useful -- particularly those needed in directing taxis.

Many Vietnamese speak Cantonese.

Courtesy Malcolm W. Browne.

Photo: Horst Faas, Mal Browne and Peter Arnett in the Saigon AP office. Photo credit: Peter Arnett collection Reporter's Notebook