Nationality: Vietnamese American
Residence: Irvine, CA
Date of Performance/Collection: March 30, 2018
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Vietnamese
RN is the informant, PH is myself.
PH: Do you know any legends, jokes, proverbs that you especially like?
RN: Can it be in another language?
RN: I’ll give you the English translation and you can just write [that it is a] Vietnamese proverb
PH: Do you know how to spell it?
RN: [says the proverb in Vietnamese]
PH: I’ll let you spell it.
RN: It means there’s nothing like fish and rice, there’s nothing like mother and child.
The actual proverb in Vietnamese is:
“Không có gì bằng cơm với cá, không có gì bằng má với con.”
Translations of this proverb vary, and this translation was off the top of the informant’s head. The informant speaks Vietnamese, as it is the language primarily spoken in his home, but not at an advanced level.
For another instance of this proverb, see Night Sky with Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong.