The History and Evolution of Pho: A Hundred Years' Journey
I personally do not think that Pho is from Hanoi, if you go anywhere in Hanoi or northern vietnam and you ask them where Pho bo(beef) came from... they would say Nam Dinh... but there is no historical evidence about this...
Also be careful about adaptation of words . Northern Vietnamese do not use "nha bang" they use ngan hang.... that word is southern word.
I personally do not think pho comes from french word. I know that vietnamese people have adapted some words but only for inventions what french people brought into Vietnam such as cars, pate, french etc... but what you have researched is quite interesting! However, the most interestingly is that France have influenced mostly central part of vietnam... thats why there are many students studying french in Hue or people who can speak french yet Southern vietnam influenced by the U.S but nothern vietnam ? i have no idea... french were there, chinese were there as well..
@Fero: Very interesting viewpoints. With respect to where pho came from, it's probably true it was Nam Định which is about 50 miles from Hanoi. For a global audience especially back in 2009, North Vietnam and Hanoi were probably more recognizable than Nam Dinh. In 2013 and 2014, in a few conversations threads above, I did mention that Nam Dinh should be the place to visit to learn more about pho. I think, like in any product and market, if I have something good to sell, I'd take it to where the big money and large market is. In the case of pho, if it actually initiated in nam Dinh, then I would take it to Hanoi, or maybe some entrepreneurial Hanoians visiting Nam Dinh took it back with them. It's time for me to update a few sentences in the article.
With respect to word adaptation, Vietnamese language actually has at least 2 forms, one of casual usage and the other, more formal and classical chữ Nôm or chữ nho. To me Northern Vietnamese use more of the formal/traditional words and Southern Vietnamese use more of the casual variety in everyday communication. In your example, “nha bang” is actually the casual type and "ngan hang" is the more formal form, Chinese-based chữ Nôm used in all places.
But even more importantly, one must also consider the strong fact that, until very recently, North Vietnam has not much influence from the outside (much like North Korea now) and South Vietnam specifically Saigon was the hotbed of culture, business and educational influence and exposure from Western ways. Saigon was even called "Pearl of the Far East" or "Paris of the Orient" or some combination thereof before 1975. So to me it makes total sense that most Hanioans say "ngan hang" while most Saigonese say "nha bang" in the street.
There is no question about Chinese influence which is still everywhere in the Vietnamese language today. With respect to your point about "many students studying french in Hue or people who can speak french" in Central Vietnam, I think it may be true today or in some cases but not always before. French was the "official" second language or (third, depending on how you look at languages in Vietnam) since the French came in and even during the Vietnam War when English was introduced in mass. Most Vietnamese (North, South, Central) did speak French fluently including myself and many people I know. I remember many people including myself attempting to learn English as the second foreign language in school. And after 1975, France was one of the most popular places for refugees to request to go.
I want to use this article for an assignment I have, but what's the source??
"The focus of pho bac is on the taste of its clear and simple broth."
"The main ingredients in pho bac are the rice noodles and the thinly sliced rare beef cooked quickly in the hot broth."
This is wrong. The 2 sentences do not belong to the same paragraph. There's no way you can have clear broth with rare beef unless clear as mud is what you meant by "clear." The main protein ingredients in pho bac is brisket. That's all. I suggest you read this well written article to get an idea. http://www.lasanmossard.org/thegioiinternet/2012/nguoimepho
I'm currently doing my Masters and have chosen to explore the history of Pho and how it has changed over the years including its migration to NZ . After some internet searches, I came across your article and it's a great start.
Are you able to share your resources please? It would be a great help for my research.
By the way, Alexandre de Rhodes gets all the credits on creating modern Vietnamese but he was working with Portuguese missionaries who started it first. Many influences in Portuguese can still be seen in the Vietnamese language.
Example: the word for soap is Vietnamese is xà bông. That is from Portuguese sabão, not the French savon.
Vietnamese's name for days of the week begins with thứ hai, thứ ba... Meaning second day, third day... Mirroring Portuguese names for days of the week: segunda-feira, terça-feira and not French lundi, Mardi...
Help convert their language? more like banned and wiped it out completely. Vietnam had a written language before the French. They destroyed it in the name of white man's burden.