Revised by Prof. Đàm Trung Pháp

In December 2001, The Institute of Vietnamese Studies in Southern California has published Monographs on Nôm Characters in Honor of Nguyễn Đình-Hoà (1924-2000).

The Booklet includes four Monographs by Nguyễn Đình-Hoà (# 1 & 4), Nguyễn Khắc-Kham (#2) and Lê Văn Đặng (#3).


Prof. Nguyễn Ðình-Hoà

Nguyễn Ðình-Hoà (B.A., Union College; M.A. and Ph. D., New York University) was Professor Emeritus of Linguistics and Foreign Languages & Literatures at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois, USA.. Between 1969 and 1990, he also served as Associate Director, then Director, of the Center for Vietnamese Studies, set up on the SIU campus to coordinate academic courses and research programs on various aspects of Vietnamese civilization.

Since 1948, the Hanoi-born scholar had lived in the United States, except for the interval from 1957 to 1965, when he served as Dean of the University of Saigon Faculty of Letters (1957-1958), chaired its Department of English, and concurrently taught linguistics at the Universities of Saigon, Hue, and Dalat. In addition to his duties at the University of Saigon, Professor Nguyen also headed the Directorate of Cultural Affairs of the Ministry of National Education and liaised with the UNESCO.

Other teaching experiences at Columbia University, the University of Washington, the University of California at San Diego, the University of Hawaii, the Centre Pédagogique Régional in Rabat, Morocco, San Jose State University and Mission College, as well as his 21 years spent in the American Midwest had resulted in several language textbooks and bilingual dictionaries as well as numerous articles and essays appearing in international journals and encyclopedias.

In addition to his popular texts Speak Vietnamese and Colloquial Vietnamese, in the year of 2000, the 76-year-old Vietnamese American scholar had authored Vietnamese literature: A Brief Survey and Vietnamese literature: An Anthology (both published at San Diego State University), and Vietnamese [grammar] (published by John Benjamins in Holland). One year before he was selected as the first director of the Institute of Vietnamese Studies, established in Garden Grove, California, on February 26, 2000, Professor Nguyễn had issued the first volume of his autobiography: From the city inside the Red River: A cultural memoir of mid-century Vietnam (published by McFarland Co. in Jefferson, North Carolina, in 1999). The late Professor Nguyễn Ðình-Hoà passed away in December 2000 in Mountain View, California.


Prof. Nguyễn Khắc-Kham Nguyễn Khắc-Kham, pen-names Lãng Xuyên and Lãng Hồ, Professor Emeritus, was born on December 23, 1910 in Hanoi, Vietnam. He holds a Licence ès-Lettres (Sorbonne, France, 1934) and a Licence en Droit (Faculty of Law, Paris, 1934).

From 1937 to December 10, 1946, he taught at Gia-Long, Thăng-Long, Văn-Lang and Hoài-Ðức private High Schools and Chu Văn-An public High School in Hanoi. He was the Principal of Lyceum Văn-Lang from 1941 to December 20, 1946. At the same time he was a member of the Literary Committee of AFIMA (Association pour la Formation Intellectuelle et Morale des Annamites). From 1952 to July 1954, while being the Principal of Minh-Tân and later of Văn-Hoá private High Schools, he taught at the University of Hanoi, Faculty of Letters. From late 1954 to September 1967, he was successively teacher at Pétrus Ký and Chu Văn-An public High Schools in Saigon, professor at the University of Saigon, Faculty of Letters and Faculty of Pedagogy. He also taught for a short time at the University of Huế and at Vạn-Hạnh, a private Buddhist University, Faculty of Letters.

In January 1964, he attended the XXVI International Congress of Orientalists in New Delhi (India). From December 1966 to February 1967 he served as a Visiting Researcher at Ostasiatisches Seminar, Frankfurt (West Germany). From September 1967 to 1973, he was visiting professor at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. During his distinguished carreer as an educator, he successively cumulated important official positions in the field of Vietnamese culture: Acting Director of the Institute for Historical Researches; Director of Cultural Affairs; Secretary General of the Vietnamese National Commission for UNESCO; Director of National Archives and Libraries. During his stay in Japan, he actively participated in the Annual Congress of Orientalists in Japan (1969-1973) and served as a corresponding researcher at the Center for East Asian Cultural Studies for UNESCO, within the Toyo Bunko. During the same period, he was also a member of Tonan Ajiya Shigakkai (Japan Society for Southeast Asian History). In 1971, he was awarded the Education and Culture Medal by the Vietnamese Ministry of Education (ROV) and was promoted by Tokyo University of Foreign Studies to the full professorship (Kyakuin Kyòju). From 1969 to 1974 he was a member of Advisory Board of Southeast Asia, an International Quarterly, Southern Illinois University (SIU) at Carbondale. In 1973, he participated in the Vietnamese Historical Sources Project headed by Prof. Chingho A. Chen, funded by the HEH (National Endowment for the Humanities), co-sponsored by SIU and the Chung Wen University, HongKong.

In 1977, Prof. Nguyễn Khắc-Kham resettled in the United States. From February 1982 to February 1991, he was successively Research Associate at the Center for South and Southeast Asia Studies and the Center for Southeast Asia Studies, University of California at Berkeley. Since 1982, he has been a member of I.S.A. (Independent Scholars of Asia, a non-profit, non-partisan, professional organization), Berkeley, California in USA. Since February 2000, he has been a member of the Board of Advisors at the Institute of Vietnamese Studies, Garden Grove, California.


Prof. Lê Văn Ðặng Born on August 10, 1933 into a family of scholars, Prof. Lê Văn Ðặng learned Chinese characters from his father before going to school. He received a French education at Lycée Pétrus Trương Vĩnh Ký in Saigon, and at the University of Saigon, he graduated with a B.S. degree in Mathematics and a B.S. degree in Physics and continued his post-graduate studies in Theoretical Physics. He also did other post-graduate studies in Statistics at the University of Nancy and at the “Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris” (special course by Prof. Carter), and post-graduate studies in Applied Mathematics at the University of René Descartes in Paris V, at the Research Institute in Math Education, University of Pierre & Marie Curie in Paris VI (IREM de Paris Sud).

In 1957, he began teaching Physics and Mathematics at Pétrus Trương Vĩnh Ký High School and other high schools in Saigon and Mỹ Tho. He conducted lectures in Economic Mathematics (Toán Pháp Tài Chánh) at the Training Center for Bank Specialists (Trung Tâm Huấn Luyện Chuyên Môn Ngân Hàng) sponsored by the National Bank of Vietnam.

He was Inspector in Mathematics at the Division of Test Development and Examinations, Ministry of Culture, Education and Youth, Republic of Vietnam.

Representing IREM of Paris, under the direction of Prof. André Revuz, in the “Séminaire International sur L’Enseignement des Mathématiques” in Toulouse, France, 5-9 July 1975, he presented the paper “Aperçu sur l’Enseignement des Probabilités et Statistiques au Vietnam” (Report on the Teaching of Probabilities and Statistics in Vietnam).

In March 1976, Prof. Lê moved from Paris to Seattle, where he retired and has devoted all his time on his research on Nôm Literature.

His publications cover several areas: Mathematics (text books, National Academic Examinations Tests, articles, papers), Literature (translations from French, Nôm studies, Chinese classics, articles), Buddhist Studies (Comparative Study of the Diamond Sutra, The Heart Sutra, The Amitabha Sutra, Lessons of Chinese Characters from Sutras, and others), and Fonts Design (True Type Fonts for Personal Computers: Vietnamese, Nôm glyphs, IChing, and others).

Since February 2000, Prof. Lê has joined the Linguistics faculty of the Institute of Vietnamese Studies in Southern California.