Fr. Indochine, former federation of states, SE Asia. It comprised the French colony of Cochin China and the French protectorates of Tonkin, Annam, Laos, and Cambodia (Cochin China, Tonkin, and Annam were later united to form Vietnam).
Now generally agreed to be one of the aus-troasiatic languages, Vietnamese is so different from its relatives that quite contradictory views on its origin have been expressed. It is the official language of Vietnam.