Vietnamese text by: Le Dinh Nhat Lang
English translation by: Nguyen Tam
The Vietnamese around the world are now applying the latest computer technology to most of the word processing in Vietnamese language. A number of Vietnamese font sets and software, developed for IBM PC or Apple, are being widely used for Vietnamese documents. Hand-typing and typesetting are things of the past. They have all been replaced by computers by most of the Vietnamese magazines, newspaper and publishers.
As a result, VNI for Windows was developed by VNI, a Vietnamese software company, to satisfy the customer's demand for a better software product for Vietnamese typing. It quickly became the most popular product in the market for its user-friendly features. In early 1995, VNI introduced a new release called "VNI Tan Ky for Windows" to augment the already popular VNI for Windows product. The new release not only continues to support the existing functionality, which offers a wide range of enhancements and new features.
This article is intended to evaluate these new features of VNI Tan Ky for Windows
to help you familiarizing with the enhancements. It also explores the immense
power of the computer technology in our Vietnamese typing needs.
° Easy typing as in hand-writing
With VNI Tan Ky for Windows, rigidity and awkwardness as you feel when typing no longer exist. In conventional typing method, accents are typed first, then the base letters. To make the typing easier, many of the current Vietnamese font sets have adopted the reverse method that allows letters first, then accents.
VNI Tan Ky for Windows has gone a step further beyond the conventional method. It allows placement of the Vietnamese accents (sac, huyen, hoi, nga, nang, dau mu o, dau moc o, etc..) anywhere in the syllable (word).
For example: with the conventional method, the syllable "truong" is typed as follows:
t r u (moc) o (moc) (huyen) n g
With VNI Tan Ky for Windows, the same syllable "truong" can be typed as follows:
t r u o n g (moc) (huyen),
t r u (moc) o n g (huyen),
t (huyen) r (moc) u o n g
or any other order.
The order of accent placement can be mixed anywhere in the syllable and they will be automatically and correctly placed over the intended base letters.
With the unique auto-correction feature in VNI Tan Ky for Windows as described above, no misspelled syllable is allowed. For example, the accent "nga" can not be placed above letter "u" in the syllable "quy".
Normally, accents are placed with little attention in handwriting without checking for correctness. VNI Tan Ky for Windows offers a similar natural flow when typing on a computer. Accent placement is enforced to comply with Vietnamese grammar, thus enabling an error-free environment. Typing Vietnamese therefore, becomes easier and more comfortable than ever before.
This new and unique method is called "VNI Tan Ky" to distinguish with the existing VNI's method "VNI Can Ban" (i.e. "Letters First, Accents Later" method). VNI Tan Ky supports both the VNI Basic typing and any other methods you have used. You have the option to select the method you are most familiarized. However, you might have unconsciously switched to VNI Tan Ky method without realizing, which is an advantage for you since you would be less concerned with the accent placement and pay more attention to what you would be writing.
° Pre-defined macros selection
In today's Vietnamese spelling, there are many different but correct spelling methods supported by different groups for the same syllable. For example, the syllable "hoa" can be written as "hoa". Many linguistics support the latter while in most of the publications, magazines and dictionaries, the former is the method of choice.
What method is the right one for you? If you are neither in publishing nor writing business, the choice is insignificant. However, if the publication or document you are writing will potentially be read by the majority of the population, correct spelling is important. In this case, you must decide the method you will be using in your document. Once the selection is made, the pre-defined rule will be applied throughout your document.
VNI Tan Ky provides you with an option to pre-define a set of macros for a uniformed spelling in your document - easily and effortless. The Vietnamese font sets will automatically correct the misspelled syllables to the pre-defined rules selected.
For example: If you have selected to use "y" after "qu", then every time an "i" is entered after "qu", it will be changed to "y" to read "quy".
In the case of the syllable "hoa": You have selected the aesthetic rule (i.e. written as "hoła" - the accent is placed on the "o" for cosmetic purpose) instead of phonetic rule (i.e. written as "hoał" - the accent is placed on the "a", considered as the main vowel). Every time the accent "sac" is typed on the syllable "hoa", the accent will always be placed on the "o".
Now that you want to type "hoan". What would you see when an "n" is added? The accent will be placed on the vowel "a" - as expected.
Beside providing the selection for pre-defined macros, VNI Tan Ky also offers a spelling feature to auto-correct the frequently misspelled syllables. If you type a misspelled syllable such as "ngi", an "h" will be automatically added after "ng".
In addition, only certain accents are allowed in some syllables. For example, in the syllable "Viet", only sac or nang accent is allowed. Others will be prevented.
If you want to change from "xoan" to "xuan" by adding the accent mu to the syllable, the "o" will be automatically changed to "u".
And many other exiting enhancements are available in VNI Tan Ky for Windows. Exploring it and you will experience the state-of-the-art Vietnamese font sets and the excitement of new features that VNI Tan Ky for Windows offers.
° Re-use all of other Vietnamese Fonts
Beside providing you the ultimate tool for the fast, easy and correct Vietnamese typing, VNI Tan Ky for Windows also supports all of other Vietnamese character and font sets.
You must have asked what the benefits VNI Tan Ky for Windows would offer? There are three significant benefits that you would not want to miss:
First of all, documents prepared under any other Vietnamese font sets can be opened and edited by VNI Tan Ky for Windows without additional installation of other font sets. Normally, existing Vietnamese font sets are not compatible to each other and only one font set can be used at a time. However, VNI Tan Ky for Windows, which offers full compatibility with any other Vietnamese font set on the market, is all you need.
Secondly, while using another Vietnamese font set for your document, VNI Tan Ky typing method can also be used simultaneously for an easy and comfortable typing.
Last but not least, additional fonts can be installed with VNI Tan Ky for Windows at your desire. VNI Tan Ky for Windows supports any of other Vietnamese fonts to help you avoid another full, expensive and unnecessary software installation in order to support what you need. Only font sets are needed.
° Macro typing support
VNI Tan Ky for Windows helps you to simplify the typing of a long string of characters by a pre-defined set of macros or shortcuts.
For example: In the pre-defined set of macros that you have selected, "tp" is "thanh pho", "khkt" is "khoa hoc ky thuat", or "dd" is "d", "aa" is "a" (Telex typing). Then when you need to type "thanh pho", "khoa hoc ky thuat", "d", or "a", you only need to type "tp", "khkt", "dd", or "a" respectively.
This feature is called toc ky (or macro typing). Thousands of macros as above can be pre-defined for faster typing. Sixteen-thousand definitions to be exact - if your memory permits.
Some users have proposed to apply this unique feature of VNI Tan Ky for Windows to define macros for other languages, that are not compatible with U.S. standard keyboard, such as French or Spanish, etc..
° Accent keys rearrangement to your desire
Another unique enhancement offered by VNI Tan Ky for Windows is to let you rearrange the accent keys to your desire.
This feature is insignificant to other enhancements. It is however, important to users who are already familiar with previous VNI standard accent key arrangement.
By providing this feature, it is proven that VNI always listens and supports user's demand for a better product.
° Other information
VNI Tan Ky for Windows is available at various computer retailers and bookstores. Retail price is $145.00 US dollars.
Full set or upgrade can also be directly ordered at: