We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The Tripadvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Basic Vietnamese Phrases

Cape Town, South...
Level Contributor
1,515 posts
100 reviews
58 helpful votes
Basic Vietnamese Phrases

Hello,

Since its so short to go to our trip there, we thought we would learn some phrases. However, i'm not sure how to pronounce the words that are written in English but have curly worly pigtails sticking out of everywhere.

Any links to websites where the English is reasonably accurate would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

Nha Trang, Vietnam
Level Contributor
3,509 posts
7 reviews
2 helpful votes
1. Re: Basic Vietnamese Phrases

My students (they're teachers at a local university) claimed today that Vietnamese is the world's most difficult language to learn.

While I certainly disagree with them (I'm also teaching German to one very bright woman, who finds German grammar quite a challenge) I'll admit that it's probably going to be difficult to acquire a halfway decent pronunciation of the Vietnamese language without the benefit of a coach.

Nha Trang, Vietnam
Level Contributor
3,509 posts
7 reviews
2 helpful votes
2. Re: Basic Vietnamese Phrases

"However, i'm not sure how to pronounce the words that are written in English but have curly worly pigtails sticking out of everywhere."

It's quite simple. Vietnamese is a tonal language. What you see is the Vietnamese equivalent of Hanyu Pinyin, which I assume you're familiar with coming from Singapore, ie with the tones built right in.

The difference to Chinese is that the Vietnamese dropped the characters a long time ago and romanized their written language. If the Chinese dropped the written Hanzi and stuck to Pinyin, everyone would be speaking Chinese.

Level Contributor
597 posts
23 reviews
5 helpful votes
3. Re: Basic Vietnamese Phrases

It's probably easier just to use Google Translate. Use short phrases only, as Google Translate tends to mangle long sentences.

Rach Gia, Vietnam
Level Contributor
793 posts
2 reviews
4. Re: Basic Vietnamese Phrases

"Learn Vietnamese while you sleep" on YouTube is helpful.

Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
2,408 posts
117 reviews
127 helpful votes
5. Re: Basic Vietnamese Phrases

Suggest you take a look at the app - "Learn Vietnamese - Free WordPower". Google it. Also:https://www.vietnamesepod101.com/apps/

Portsmouth, United...
Level Contributor
4,406 posts
42 reviews
17 helpful votes
6. Re: Basic Vietnamese Phrases

Plenty of good videos on YouTube.

Don't try to learn anything just by reading text, even if you've an idea of what the tone markers mean.

It's essential to listen carefully to Vietnamese nationals speaking. Also be aware that there are differences between northern and southern pronunciation. However, if what you learn is northern dialect, it will be understood in the south.

Rach Gia, Vietnam
Level Contributor
793 posts
2 reviews
7. Re: Basic Vietnamese Phrases

HOW about the other way round :Do northerners understand the Southerners? There is also a central Vietnamese accent :Southerners told me they have more problems with that one than with Hanoi Vietnamese

Nha Trang, Vietnam
Level Contributor
3,509 posts
7 reviews
2 helpful votes
8. Re: Basic Vietnamese Phrases

I for one, being a foreigner, have trouble with the northern dialect. However, since that's what's most national broadcast sound like, everyone understands it. Let it be known however that many Southerners make fun of people who speak the Hanoian dialect.

Yokohama, Japan
Level Contributor
70 posts
9. Re: Basic Vietnamese Phrases

Many other SEA lunguages and Chinese lunguage are tonal lunguages and Chinese lunguage has 4-tones but Vietnamese lunguage has 6-tones so Vietnamese is the most difficult lunguage among those tonal lunguages and the most important factor in learning Vietnamese is 6-tones more than pronounciation to foreigners who speak no tonal lunguage as their original lunguages .

.

>its so short to go to our trip there

---please give up your reckless attempt of learning Vietnamese in such a short time

>we would learn some phrases

---you shoud know that all Vietnamese words have 6-tones before making phrases and expressions

>i'm not sure how to pronounce the words

---mastering "6-tones" is more important than mastering pronounciation at the first step of learning ietnamese even in upper level too.

>that are written in English

---not in English but in "Romanized Alphabets"

>have curly worly pigtails sticking out of everywhere.

---those are simbols and marks which make Vietnamese to be "Vietnamese lunguage" so you must master 6-tones first anyhow

For mastering 6-tones using on-line methods and youtube videos which many LP users here reccommend are useless in practical learning 6-tones because those methods and videos never correct "your wrong tones" directly as native speaker(s) will do it in no time beside you --so please find native speaker(s) who speak Vietnamese and can become your teacher.

≪Vietnamese 6-tones≫---to understand 6-tones

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvgsEMYWn-4

①Thanh Ngang(or Thanh Khong) ②Thanh Huyen ③Thanh Nga ④Thanh Hoi ⑤Thanh Sac⑥Thanh Nang

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mjYHhicIDA

Even if you watch these youtube videos over 100 times continuosly, maybe you cannot master Vietnamese 6-tones correctly, sorry! because Vietnamese is such a difficult lunguage to master even in a short word and phrase.

Nha Trang, Vietnam
Level Contributor
3,509 posts
7 reviews
2 helpful votes
10. Re: Basic Vietnamese Phrases

In the south they use 4 tones and neutral.

Mandarin Chinese uses 4 tones and neutral.

End of story.

© 2024 Tripadvisor LLC All rights reserved.

This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in Australia. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu.