"Con "

Translation:The goat

April 22, 2016



When I first learned this word (in the southern dialect, where d sounds like y) I cracked up. Con dê= Kanye, lol.


Kanye is definitely the GOAT hehehe


So both the 'd' sounding like 'y' and 'z' are correct? I never pronounce it as 'z'


the northernes pronounce it "z" and the southerners rather "y". Which I think is peculiar since often the "y" would be closer in sinitic words.


Who was born in the year of the Goat?


I looked up what the year of the Goat is, and then I found out that I was a Fire Ox. That sounds pretty badass.


I am a water horse. Is that what they call the Loch ness monster?


No, it's what you play water polo on.


I'm a Wood Ox. That sounds a bit less awesome.


I'm a human Tôi là một con người


Con is really used for animals and children


Imma fire boar ...


I thought you are a monkey.


I'm a metal horse! ♥ Almost all of my friends are metal goats, tho.


So "con" is similar to "the" and "mot" is similar to "a"?


Yep, pretty much.

Con is "the" but for animals, other objects and people have different classifiers but similarly mean "the", Người dàn ông (the man) for example.

Một implies one so can be considered as "a" or "an". Một con dê (a goat) for example.


I don't think that the and con are equivalent. Your last example shows this. Vietnamese doesn't have any articles, so this con (and cái etc.) seem to serve another purpose... Can you explain why and when it is used?


Counters have always been a stumbling block for me in SE-Asian languages. The best I've managed to come up with relates to the Chinese influence on many of these, and relates to some things I've found in self-study but was never officially taught. So, don't quote me on this, don't cite me in wikipedia, and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong:

  • The same syllable can act as both a noun and another part of speech, as a sort of attributive word. (Let's stick with goats: 羊 is the hanzi for goat/sheep.)
  • It's "preferable" for nouns to be two syllables. Not a hard-and-fast rule, but a very common trend.
  • Certain markers help indicate that this is the "noun-usage" of the syllable, instead of as an attributive word or an alternate reading.

So, 羊 is the concept of goat, or talking about goats in general. But what if you need to talk about specific goats? That's where "counter+word" helps satisfy the two-syllable trend, and cement the noun-ness of the thing and clarifies that it's specifically the item or object or creature itself, as opposed using the syllable as a descriptor. So, with the counter 只 for animals, if you want talk about a tangible quantity of "the living creature that jumps on things and chews on paper and headbutts people," you say that it's 只羊("animal: goat"), as opposed to, say, 羊肉 (goat meat).

So alone is the "idea" of goat to indicate goat products, or things attributed to goats--Google Translate suggests sữa dê for goat's milk, and thịt dê for goat meat--but adding con in front of it adds the specification of animal, so con dê gives that "animal: goat" meaning again.


(edited comment for spelling:) From what I have read in Duolingo site's tips and notes and the https://duome.eu/ it is better to thinki of mot, cai, etc as classifiers. See more under the Animals 1 for example, and more and more taught in later lessons, even under questions. There are even cases when classifiers are not needed but those sentences give special meaning to the noun or its sentence. Wrote my comment here on 2020 March 4.


Classifiers are used as a definite article or when counting something. So, it is used for THE goat, and a/1/2/3/10 etc. goat(s). If you are talking about goats in general, like 'goats like to eat grass' then the classifier is optional. (like if you look back in the earlier exercises "báo và tạp chỉ" allows newspaper and magazine as well as newspapers and magazines.

There is more to it, but I think this is a good starting point.


This -d-sounds like an English "z" to me.


Yes, it is supposed to sound like this in the Northern Vietnamese presented here. In the South, it would sound like an English "y". By the way, in Old Vietnamese, the <d> was pronounced like the English "th" in "this"!


It's funny because in Bulgarian the word for horse sounds like con and the word for goat sounds like co da.


There always coincidences in life, but who knows who might have shared words with each other over the centuries. English for example uses sheriff borrowed from Arabic. Rodeo borrowed from Spanish. And a few curse words from the Anglos and Saxons. For me this type of thing is the fun of learning other languages.


A native Vietnamese speaker tells me she pronounces the "d" in "dê" with a "y" sound. Is this also correct?


People in the South would pronounce "d" as "y" in young, yard, yawn, etc. People in the North would pronounce "d" as "z" in zoo, zigzag, zebra, etc.


dd721411, I am very new student learning Vietnamese. Most of your comments are from 3 years back (2017?): Just want to say, your comments help me a lot. I hope you are still around.


yes with a line through it it is the d sound without it is the y sound


She's southern vietnamese. I think Southern dialects should be taught instead of Northern. It's more common


Time will determine that. I've seen many changes over the decade in pronunciation and vocabulary in the several languages I have studied. I just make note even though i don't always remember.


The "d" in dê sounds like "s." Is it supposed to?


Yes, you can thank a stupid French person for that nonsense. The đ sounds like a normal d.

  • People in the South would pronounce "d" as "y" in young, yard, yawn, etc.

  • People in the North would pronounce "d" as "z" in zoo, zigzag, zebra, etc.


I've only hear the word dê used as an insult, interchangeable (by my understanding) with the English translation for pervert... Does the word dê have other meanings?


What is "con" really supposed to mean? Does it mean something like "the"?


"Con" is the most common classifier for animals. "The" is an article in English only; we Vietnamese don't have any articles at all. You should take a look at the brief notes at the beginning of each skill to get the idea. :)


I'm using the app. There are no brief notes at the beginning of each skill


Oops, sorry to hear that! You need to use a web browser to see the content though.


search tips and notes or https://duome.eu/ to search the vietnamese tips for the word classifiers etc the/an/ animals, humans, objects.


So if there is a "co" in front of a word, that means it's an animal?


Not really. "CON" is the most common classifier the animals. For example: con ong (bee), con mèo (cat), con cá voi (whale), con người (man), etc. "CON" can also be the classifier for objects such as: con dao (knife), con diều (kite), con trăng (moon), con xe (vehicle), etc.


GOAT in the US mean Greatest Of All Times. Just sayin, lol!

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