"Tôi" is OK for foreigners to talk to Vietnamese people. However, the word is sometimes considered a bit posh, unfriendly or even rude in daily conversations. We usually use our given name and/or pronouns in relation to the people to whom we are talking (mình, tớ, anh, em, con, cháu, etc)
In more detail: Mình and Tớ are for polite and friendly. You use this when you're talking with your peers/same age. Tớ however, should only use when you're young. Adults don't use tớ. "Anh" is for MALE ONLY, you use this when you are OLDER than the person you talk with or to your GF/Wife. "Em". You use this when you're YOUNGER than the person you talk with or to your BF/Hubbie. "Con" and "cháu" are very polite and respectful. You use this when you're MUCH YOUNGER than the person you talk with. Like a son to his father, a granddaughter to her grandma. Or me to my uncle. Bonus: "Tao", can be both for friendly OR offensive!
Colloquially most English speakers say "It's me" but would recognize "It is I" as grammatically correct. Virtually no English speaker would say "It is I ringing the bell" when the "It" stands in for something like "What you see is... " or "What you hear is... " If, however, the ringing of the bell has some significance that would make my ringing it special in some way, then I might say "It is I, ringing the bell." (As in "It is I, your mortal enemy, ringing the bell that signals your doom.) Most of the time this would sound extremely pompous.
Oops, the one who wrote that line made a huge mistake! :P
"Kia" can be a determiner and also a pronoun like "that" and "those" in:
- THAT girl: cô gái KIA
- THOSE houses: những ngôi nhà KIA
- THAT is her dress: KIA là đầm của cô ấy
- THOSE are my shoes: KIA là (đôi/những chiếc) giày của tôi
When does one use kia vs đó? I thought đó was for standalone whereas kia was attached to a noun.
Eg, that man = người đàn ông kia That is the man = đó là người đàn ông.
I spoke to a Vietnamese friend who said in conversation kia and đó are used interchangeably and doesn't really matter. But the course marks you wrong for using them incorrectly. Here kia is being used standalone.
I think the correct version should be accepted, even though it is less commonly used. I got the answer right the first time by using the commonly used but grammatically wrong "That is me".
Consider the question of who is ringing the bell. "I am ringing the bell", not "Me am ringing the bell". Changing the form a bit, "That is I ringing the bell", not "That is me ringing the bell".
Sorry, I can't help you answer that question because I'm a Vietnamese, not an English native speaker. From my point of view, "Kia là tôi" means "That is me" as I point to myself in a picture. I've never myself used "That is I". I think that would be weird to say so. :)
May English speakers shed some light on this matter?
"It is I" is correct and is used in answer to questions like "Who is there?" or "Who is that?" Conversationally, "It's me" is more common and is idiomatic. It has been called a "sturdy indefensible." As grammatically defensible as "That is I" might seem, I can't remember ever hearing anyone say it --- not even a Brit.
So I am a native English speaker, and the correct English grammar as I learned in school would be "That is I," while colloquially (but grammatically incorrect) would be "That is me." I realize that we are learning essentially conversational language, but it seems that duoLIngo not accepting the [English] grammatically correct translation is interesting. I've missed this translation every time here (perhaps that's why I'm sour!) Now I am unlearning the rules of English grammar :-p
Thanks for your useful information. I've been learning English for more than 20 years but never have I come across a single English textbook in Vietnam which has this grammar rule. I guess our Ministry of Education and Training has been doing wrong for at least 20 years. ;(
I really appreciate your efforts to give contexts to this. however "kia là tôi" is not used in those ones. it is literally when you are pointing at yourself in a picture or a video: "look! did you see? that (was) me."
as for your examples, I would translate them as simple as "tôi", it plenty suffices. but in more detailed versions:
the 1st one would be in a fictional period drama: "đại nhân, có thuộc hạ." (my Lord, there is me) or "đại nhân, thuộc hạ xin tuân theo." (my Lord, I'll follow your orders).
the 2nd would be "để tôi." (let me do it) or "tôi sẽ làm." (I'll do it).
ps. as you can read in other comments above, the use of pronouns depends greatly on the kinship between the speaker and the listener. in the first context, I is translated as "thuộc hạ" and you as "đại nhân".