How would you distinguish between a question and a statement, if you don't see the question mark?
You can put this sentence in two ways to express it as a question:
bạn là người Việt Nam? with intonation at the end just like some other languages, or you will be able to tell base on the scenario.
bạn là người Việt Nam phải không? in which "phải không" at the end indicates a question. This is also introduced in the course.
I would expect no use of intonation in a tonal language, but you say it may change a statement into a question. In a text on topic I've read that the whole sentence is pronounced slightly higher, if it is a question. That's an interesting discovery for me, thanks a lot.
It's a bit tricky but im sure you will get it :). Bạn là người Việt ? = You're vietnamese ? / Bạn là người Việt phải không ? = Are you Vietnamese ? OR a more literal translate of this would be: You're Vietnamese, right ?
Intonation is definetly wrong and confusing for beginners in this language, i would consider changin it to either not using questions that early or putting khong behind the sentence (at least informal correct)
Intonation. Also often times we add in "phải không?" at the end. "Bán có phải là người Việt Nam không?" also works.
This works the same way if someone asks you in English "You are Russian?" In another word, it's not a proper question. The proper question would be "Bạn là người Việt Nam phải không?"
"You are Russian?" is a perfectly proper question in English, though it may be confusing, if the intonation is unclear. Like V. Ivanov, I'm quite surprised that tone can be used to indicate a question in a tonal language. I don't think it's possible in Chinese, for instance.
they could say ban co nguoi vietnam khong? co...khong is yes no question structure or they simply could put khong at the end
How do I say "I am not vietnamese"? Would "Tội không là người việt nam" be correct?
I'm not sure a formal way to say it but i think this is how it would be said "Tôi không phải là người việt nam". In some cases, i think là can go in front or be omitted all together