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Kayla Nguyen, a Vietnamese-American makes learning Vietnamese less stressful and more fun through Vietglish Fun

Spend 5 minutes with YouTuber Kayla Nguyen.

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Kayla Nguyen is a YouTube sensation who is well loved by both young Vietnamese and second generation Vietnamese. Kayla and her channel Vietglish Fun are famous for humorous videos that translate famous English songs into Vietnamese. At the moment, Vietglish Fun has more than 220,000 subscribers. Some famous videos from the channel are, “What Do You Mean” by Justin Bieber – Vietnamese Style by Chị Kayla (with 8 million views) and “Hello” by Adele in Vietnamese (with 1.4 million views). Besides translating videos, Kayla also produces a series called Learn Vietnamese with Vietglish Fun, which shares how to use Vietnamese words in a fun way. This helps make learning Vietnamese less stressful, especially for second generation Vietnamese. Born in New Jersey, the 28-years-old young woman says that she always wants to give back to the community.

You became popular thanks to your fun and informative videos on YouTube about Vietnamese. What made you decide to start creating those videos?

 I always had a vision to create something that would help my Vietnamese American community.  As for the translation videos, it actually started as a challenge given to me by my little sister.  I was a translator at the time and my sister asked me if I could translate a song on the spot. I did it, and she laughed a lot so I decided to post it a few months later.

As a Vietnamese-American, how do you feel about the Vietnamese language?

I LOVE the Vietnamese language.  I think the language itself has a lot of character and it allows me to express myself more in some aspects.  It really breaks my heart when I see peers or children not knowing Vietnamese who cannot talk to their relatives.  There’s a huge disconnect because of the language and culture barrier and it kills me because they are missing out on the community connection.  I am really blessed to be able to connect to the adults around me and I’ve been able to gain so much wisdom from them, so I want to do whatever it takes to help my Vietnamese American community do the same.

Is it hard for you to study Vietnamese?

To be honest, I am really blessed that my mom forced me to speak Vietnamese at home and I actually enjoyed Vietnamese dubbed dramas. It was not hard at all since I used it everyday with my family.  Now, reading and writing is another story.  I think for that I had to reconnect with family in Vietnam and make friends with Vietnamese people overseas who did not know how to write English. This forced me to read and write Vietnamese.  Praise the Lord for voice-to-text… that helped me tremendously.

Is it hard for you to study Vietnamese?

To be honest, I am really blessed that my mom forced me to speak Vietnamese at home and I actually enjoyed Vietnamese dubbed dramas. It was not hard at all since I used it everyday with my family.  Now, reading and writing is another story.  I think for that I had to reconnect with family in Vietnam and make friends with Vietnamese people overseas who did not know how to write English. This forced me to read and write Vietnamese.  Praise the Lord for voice-to-text… that helped me tremendously.

Do you have any tips to make studying Vietnamese easier?

In everything, you have to know why you are learning in the first place.  What is your purpose in learning and practicing Vietnamese?  Is it to impress your friends? Is it to connect to your family members?  Or is it to pass a class to get your elective credits?  If someone is really serious about learning Vietnamese, they need a community.  If you are never practicing it or forced to use Vietnamese, it will be almost impossible to fully master the language.  So my tip is to find a community and use it, maybe even watch a few movies that are Vietnamese.  I learned my Vietnamese through constantly watching Vietnamese dubbed Hong-Kong dramas.

What message do you want to share through your videos?

Appreciate the Vietnamese language and culture.  I know a lot of non-Vietnamese speakers really enjoy my videos, but if you read the comments, you will find many people comment things like, “This is so much funnier if you understand it,” or “This made me laugh so hard because I actually know Vietnamese.” So I want to encourage all people to explore the language and culture because it really is beautiful and something I want everyone to be proud of.

What message do you want to share through your videos?

Appreciate the Vietnamese language and culture.  I know a lot of non-Vietnamese speakers really enjoy my videos, but if you read the comments, you will find many people comment things like, “This is so much funnier if you understand it,” or “This made me laugh so hard because I actually know Vietnamese.” So I want to encourage all people to explore the language and culture because it really is beautiful and something I want everyone to be proud of.

What is one thing you like the most about the Vietnamese culture?

I appreciate the strong family and community that comes with being Vietnamese.  There is a deep respect for older people and the language reflects that.  Everyone is basically family in the Vietnamese language. My name is “Chi Kayla” because I am a big sister to everyone. 

Can you share your future plans?

I want to start bringing more people onto Vietglish Fun and start a short series called, “Let’s Go!” It’s a passion project of mine that lets me teach Vietnamese in a fun way.  There are some animation and a lot of fun characters that will be created.  I hope that many around the world will appreciate this project and everyone can learn Vietnamese in a Vietglish Fun way!

This post is also available in: Tiếng Việt

This post is also available in: Tiếng Việt