As a result of a thousand years
of Chinese domination, much of Vietnamese vocabulary relating to science
and politics are derived from Chinese. As much as 70% of the vocabulary
have Chinese roots, although many compound words are Sino-Vietnamese,
composed of native Vietnamese words combined with the Chinese borrowings.
Recently Sino-Vietnamese terms have fallen out of favor and replaced by
more native Vietnamese terms. Reduplication is a regular part of the language
that usually denotes intensity. One can usually distinguish between a
native Vietnamese word and a Chinese borrowing if it can be reduplicated
or its meaning doesn't change when the tone is shifted. As a result of
French colonization, Vietnamese also has many loanwords borrowed from
the French language. In many cases, these loanwords are limited to the
more urbanized areas, such as Ho Chi Minh City. Recently many words are
borrowed from English, for example TV (pronounced tivi
for font. Sometimes these borrowings are literally translated into Vietnamese
for software, lit. soft part).