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HI blueclown!

I've already read your translation. Great! I was really surprised at your English. Ah, why don't you send your translation to ROBERT WHITEHURST. He's also trying to translate Thuy Tram's diary into English. I think you can give him a hand.

You love Thuy Tram and her soul from the bottom of your heart so don't afraid of her mother. You just want everybody to know about Thuy Tram and the people in VietNam. I think she will understand you. Go on and try your best !

I"ve already read your translation. Great!!!!!!!! I was surprised at your English.

Why don't you send it to Robert ? He's trying to translate it into English. I think you can give him a hand. Don't afraid of Tram's mother. I think she will understand you. You love Tram and her soul from the bottom of your heart. You, as well as Fred, just want everybody all over the world to know about Thuy Tram - a Vietnamese heroin. go on and try your best!!!!!!!!!
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Thanks for posting your translation, blueclown.

Does anyone know where I can buy a Vietnamese copy? I would prefer an US online bookstore.

Her mother and the three sisters are presently paying a visit to the States and by now they should be in North Carolina with Fred's family as scheduled.

There are many places from the internet where you can download the Vietnamese version of the diary. If you woud like to buy from an online bookstore I'm afraid you'd have to wait for a while.


A cousin of Thuy's

hi everybody , first of all I want to say THANK YOU SO SO MUCH . Do you know how I am feeling ? Happy , proud , surprised and grateful .

I can't imagine that this forum is so popular that many people relating to Thuy Tram and Fred can know it . I don't know that Robert is translating the diary , cuz I thought that Fred was selling the diary in the USA . Thank you for your encouragement and also your interesting information : Tram's family is visiting VietNam center . That's wonderful .

So do you want me to translate more ? Because Robert is doing that and very soon , you will be able to read the version of Tram's diaries in english .
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Hi Blueclown,

Robert has translated the diary for over ten years but he told me his version is still to be edited as it has always been. I'm quite confident that he would be delighted to learn that someone, as a complete stranger, is doing the same thing with the inspiration being a motivation. Better still, your translation would well be a great reference as well. PM me should his email address be required as I am not so sure if I can give it here publicly.

PS: Considering your expertise in both languages, I would like to be enlightened if either English or Vietnamese is your native tongue, or neither at all.


Thuy's cousin

I have listened to the story told by Fred Whitehurst and was so moved to hear the story of rthe account of the diary of Dang Thuy Tram. I would love to read the book but have been unable to find where I can buy a copy. I would appreciate your reply with any suggestions.

My email address is <removed mod>and my name is Irene Tully. Thank you very much.
I am Rob Whitehurst and have been fortunate that one of my correspondents has let me know about this forum. I have read the postings and the translation here and am delighted to "get a take on" another effort to bring Thuy's journals into English. I will post the URL to the Vietnam Project: http://www.vietnam.ttu.edu / which can be used to view the original and my translation-to-date. Just click on the first entry about the diaries of Dang Thuy Tram and you can access all of it.

In short, as you have read here Fred put together with help a very rough and literal translation over the years when he first held the diaries. We were able to read part of them as long ago as 1970 when he first kept them out of the "burn barrel". He spent some time with me in the southern part of Viet Nam on a couple of "in-country R and Rs (rest and recreations) and we spoke then of their importance, but of course at that time there was still war between the U.S. and North Viet Nam, so for many years he held them. We would speak about them often and I watched his efforts to find Thuy's family continue without success. Truthfully, though her parents' names were given in the longer journal, Thuy had noted them after several empty pages towards the end of the book. Fred doesn't read Vietnamese, so he didn't realize the significance of the note. I came across it while counting pages to see how many were left in the book when she lost it in December of 1969, but this was in 2004 when I had decided to "tackle" the task of bringing the translation into a version easily read in English. The research for that was primarily on-line with reference to the scans of the original which we kept on a disc. I am not a native speaker of Vietnamese but went to language school in the US Army for a year. When in Viet Nam during 1970-72 I read very little, but became quite fluent in spoken Vietnamese...unfortunately, a lot of that ease has disappeared in the 33 years since I left Southeast Asia. My efforts have been a labor of love, support for a brother, and then increasingly admiration for the young doctor during her time in war. The many people who contributed to the final location of her family all have my deepest appreciation, and the help which I have continued to receive in my efforts to come to know Thuy and her place in time keep me in a state of delight and facination. Her family was not "lost" in truth, but the challenge of locating them for Fred and me was daunting. Two years ago Dang Thuy Tram was a sad and closely held old memory for her mother, family, and friends. For me she was "whispers and smoke" as I worked to make a connection between the small upstairs room where my computer sits and a then very obscure society on the other side of the world. The translation progressed as slowly as the increase in knowledge about the original. Today, after a very remarkable and wonderful correspondence, a hard-to-believe trip to Ha Noi with the meeting of her large family and many, many people too wonderful to imagine...it seems that it was easy, simple, and only natural, but I have to write that I need just to read the correspondence file which is close to 200 pages long to recall the difficulties wanting to be faced in order to get my translation to its present state. Of course now I have been helped by Thuy's youngest sister, many other members of her family, and many newcomers to the effort. Just for instance Thuy recalls Chu Van An twice in her journals: two years ago the only immediately available note about Chu Van An on the internet was the listing of a commemorative postal stamp honoring the school's 100 years. I would have otherwise not known what exactly she referred to. With the knowledge that it was a school I found a couple of sites for graduates, but nothing else. I now see in my mind's eye the dignified collection of old school buildings beside West Lake in Ha Noi and the gathering of her classmates there one morning when we visited in August, also the climb to the second floor classroom where they all took the seats at the desks they used almost 50 years ago, and I can picture the quiet conversation with a number of her friends from that time when I heard of their memories of Thuy. Today Chu Van An is a place clear to me, and hopefully it will be clear to the readers of the English translation.

I continue to work on my translation, now with the attention of Kim Tram to various of my wordings. I have started a section of foot-notes to explain things and people not immediately known to the reader, and I welcome any attention to my efforts. If I didn't spend a lot of my time at work and at sea I would love to get involved in a "round-table" discussion of the translation where anyone with knowledge could contribute to the most correct final version. Just now I am particularly interested in all of the place names in the Duc Pho district where all of Thuy's service took place. I want to note here that during the time covered by the two journals, she served in an area of approximately 15 miles east to west, and 20 miles north to south. I have located some of the intelligence reports from the US forces stationed in the area, and gradually a larger picture of the environment in which she worked has emerged.

I encourage anyone who can read the original text, or the book which the Tram Ladies have published, to do so, and anyone who can correct my efforts at a clear translation will be met by me with enthusiasm.

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I am a Vietnamese American living in the US in the past thirty years. I came across Thuy's story very recently through Asia Times, and ever since I found the copy of her diary on this website I've been reading it non stop. What a courageous woman who chose to accept an incredible challenge and gave up her life in the process.

Even though she and I were on opposite sides fighting for different causes, I could parallel much of her hopes and dreams as if they were mine.

I have a lot of respect for you and your brother for having the wisdom to withhold the diary from the burn barrel and keep it all these years. I can't imagine how grateful and joyous her family must’ve felt when they finally had the opportunity to read her diary. And I hope the connection will bring closure to their ordeal.

It’s typical for young people her generation to abbreviate and often times substitute the ‘f’ which does not exist in the Vietnamese alphabet for the ‘ph’ sound. She also wrote her initial as ‘Th’ for Thuy and T2 for Thuy Tram. Another one I notice is the TTS which stands for ‘Tieu Tu San’, the bourgeois.

Best of luck on your translation efforts.
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