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spelling variations

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I have noticed that almost everyone on this board spells Vietnamese sandwiches "bahn mi", not "banh mi", which I always thought was the correct spelling. Is this a regional variation? I'm not trying to be obnoxious, I'm honestly curious.

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  1. I spell it both ways, depending on my mood. (Actually, I don't know for sure, either). But I'm willing to bet someone will enlighten us! Pat

    3 Replies
    1. re: Pat Hammond

      The correct spelling is banh mi (actually it's bánh mì because tones are always marked in Vietnamese). The correct tones are high-rising (kind of like saying "baaahn?") and mid-falling ("miiih.").

      Tôi mu*ó*n ___ ít bánh mì ______. (toy mwuun ___ eet baahn mih ______)
      I would like ___ sandwich with _____.

      mo.t (mutt) - one
      hai (high) - two
      ba (bah) - three
      bô'n (bohn) - four

      thi.t bó nu*ó*ng (thit baw noong) - BBQ beef
      thi.t heo nu*ó*ng (thit heh-aw noong) - BBQ pork
      thi.t gà nu*ó*ng (thit gah noong) - BBQ chicken
      cá nu*ó*ng (cah noong) - grilled fish

      1. re: PRSMDave

        So is it a short i or a long i?

        Does it approximate to "me" or "my"?

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          Not really either... it's closer to "me" but also to the "mi" in the English word "mix". Sorry for the confusion.