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   Nôm: Vernacular script of Vietname from 10th-20th centuries
Nôm, is the "vernacular script." After Vietnamese independence from China in 939 CE, scholars began their creation of nôm, an ideographic script that represents Vietnamese speech. For the next 1000 years -- from the 10th century and into the 20th -- much of Vietnamese literature, philosophy, history, law, medicine, religion, and government policy was written in nôm. Indeed, during the 24 years of the Tây-SÆ¡n emperors (1788-1802), all administrative documents were written in nôm. In other words, approximately 1000 years of Vietnamese cultural heritage is recorded in this unique system.

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