A discussion ensued on Quora about language groups and alphabets and has lasted for more than two years. Liv Goldstein added this to the discussion: Why Vietnamese is written in the Latin alphabet has historical reasons. Vietnam was a part of China for a thousand years. For Chinese words, one could use the Chinese signs, but for native Vietnamese words, one had to invent new signs. These signs were called Nôm. They looked exactly like Chinese signs. Catholic missionaries started in the 17th century to write Vietnamese using the Latin alphabet. The French Jesuit Pater Alexandre de Rhodes wrote a dictionary of the Vietnamese, Portuguese, and Latin languages in 1651, using the Latin alphabet. In the first half of the 20th century, the Latin alphabet superseded the rest.
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