by Le Yanna, Nguyen Thi Thanh Xuan
HANOI, June 15 (Xinhua) -- Wearing pajamas and lying on her bed at her home in Vietnam's capital Hanoi, 19-year-old Nguyen Nhu Van wasn't planning to sleep anytime soon on Wednesday, despite it being midnight.
Instead, her eyes glued to the laptop screen, she repeatedly pressed the F5 key. Van was waiting for the new episode of the ongoing Chinese drama Princess Agents to be uploaded on a local video website with Vietnamese subtitles.
"I can't wait until tomorrow to watch it. My eagerness is killing me right now," Van said reluctantly.
Van is among thousands of Vietnamese youngsters making a habit of updating any newly-released Chinese dramas at midnight. Series such as the Journey of Flowers or Ten miles of Peach Blossoms have ended, but now more are on the way to serve audiences this summer.
Thanks to the large number of translating teams nationwide, any new episode will be packed with Vietnamese subs within an hour of the original Chinese one being released.
In the meantime, translator Tan Thi Ngoc Anh was urgently finishing her part to send to the sub settlers of her team.
"We normally divide each episode into three parts, each translator is responsible for some 15 minutes," the young translator told Xinhua, explaining that partial posts would save waiting time.
Anh's subtitle team, with a total of 15 members, completes tasks from translating, setting subtitles, working with websites to upload the subbed video and fixing errors if they occur.
As it is a multi-stage process, all members must not miss their personal deadlines, or else the whole process would be ruined, since the episode won't be able to be released on time.
"Jumping out of bed every midnight is not a joke at all. I sometimes feel it is overwhelming," said Anh, "but thinking of so many youngsters stuck to their screens waiting for our subbed films, I slap my face to better concentrate on the translation."
Besides Chinese films, Anh's teams also do subtitles for English, Japanese and Korean works. However, the Chinese segment is the largest one, attracting a lot of youngsters watching online. Topics about romantic love, youth and modern life are great hits with the audiences, according to Anh.
The hard work at night brought new light to Anh's daytime, since she is now receiving more and more friends coming to chat about their film favorites.
"Many of them learn the dialogue by heart and imitate the characters' words. That's funny and adorable," Anh said with a bright smile.
Asking for her recommendations, Anh's friends are now excited to register for Chinese courses.
Hanoi's crowded Chua Lang Street, where at least three universities are situated nearby, includes a small-size language teaching Chinese Communication Center (3C).
Nghiem Thuy Trang, 30, owner of 3C, told Xinhua that it is the second branch she had opened, after the first one's debut last year. Due to increasing demand of Vietnamese people wanting to learn Chinese, her new facility in Chua Lang Street welcomes some 30 new students per month, which is a stable rise amid rampant online promotions of other centers.
Feeling imparted by the films and their idols are among the greatest hooks luring youngsters to Chinese studying places. "Young people born in the late 1990s and early 2000s come to us because they are fond of Chinese dramas and movies. They want to see the films without waiting for the subtitles and dream one day they can talk to their Chinese idols," Trang explained.
Even Trang herself said she shared a love for the China's Princess Returning Pearl, which is a phenomenally popular childhood series of any Vietnamese girls of Trang's generation. "It means a lot to me, enough to send me to China to study and become a Chinese teacher as I've become now," she expressed.
Not only preparing books, Trang equips the 3C places with samples representing Chinese culture such as Zithers, paper-cutting and engages her students in tea ceremonies.
"Passions for one type of culture, films for instance, will stimulate demand for further explorations," Trang said of her own experience, which she applied to her teaching work.
Apart from the online uploads that enrapture Vietnamese youngsters, the screening of Chinese films on television channels are also witnessing improved influence.
According to an unnamed representative from the Saigon Tourist Cable Television (SCTV), purchases of Chinese films by Vietnamese companies have increased in the past years.
More channels launched recently amid limited production capacity of local agents, makes Chinese films an economic choice for local TV companies, said the representative.
"Chinese films are offered at better prices than Korean ones. Many genres like dramas, historical or real life investigations, are familiar to Vietnamese due to cultural similarities," he told Xinhua.