Whether traveling to Vietnam for a business, pleasure, or simply to get to know the area better, experts agree that proper preparation prevents travel disasters. There are risks associated with traveling in foreign countries. Being educated and well-prepared is an integral part of enjoying traveling abroad. Begin preparing for a trip to Vietnam by researching and learning the most common phrases or words first. Your travel will be more interesting when you are active in everything around you.
Let’s try 30 basic Vietnamese pharses!
Introducing and greeting when you travel to Vietnam
- Hello. Chào. (jow)
- Hello. (on the phone)
- How are you? (Are you healthy?) Khỏe không? (kweah kohng?)
- Fine, thank you. (I am healthy, thank you.)
Khoẻ, cảm ơn. (kweah, gam uhhn)
- Asking about name
– What is your name? (formal, to a man (forties or older, depending on the sensitivity of the person you address))
Ông tên là gì? (ohng theyn la yi)
– What is your name? (formal, to a woman (forties or older, depending on the sensitivity of the person you address))
Bà tên là gì? (ba theyn la yi)
– What is your name? (informal, to a male who is not quite middle-aged AND/OR is not significantly older than you)
Anh tên là gì? (ayng theyn la yi) Anh is an umbrella term for any older male figure. It’s literal meaning is “older brother”.
– What is your name? (informal and also flattering, to a female who is not quite middle-aged AND not significantly older than you)
Cô tên là gì? (goh theyn la yi). There is a distinction between this and the last phrase, because in Vietnamese culture, one generally assumes that a woman, regardless of whether she looks middle-aged or not, is either not yet married, or does not yet have children, or is younger than she looks. Using “Cô” instead of “Bà” implies that you are giving her the benefit of your lack of knowledge about her. Thus, if she feels the need, she will (as a result of your flattery and politeness) correct you to use the mature “Bà” or the gender-disregarding term for an adult who is anywhere in their late thirties to fifties, “Bac” which is equivalent to “Sir” or “Madam”. Some men and women prefer to be addressed as the polite and age-ambiguous “Bac” indefinitely, until they feel it is appropriate to be addressed in more mature terms.
- My name is ____ .
Tôi tên là ____ . (Thoye theyn la ___ .)
Làm ơn. (lam uhhn)
- Thank you.
Cảm ơn. (gam uhhn)
- You’re welcome.
Không sao đâu. (kohng sao doh)
Vâng (affirmative). (vuhng); Dạ (affirmative, respectful) (ya’a) ; Đúng (correct) (duhn)
- I’m sorry.
Xin lỗi. (seen loh’EE)
Chào. (jow), Tam biet
- I can’t speak Vietnamese [well].
Tôi không biết nói tiếng Việt [giỏi lắm]. (thoy kohng bee-IT noh-Y thee-IHNG vee’it [yi-oh-i lahm])
When you need help
- Do you speak English?
Biết nói tiếng Anh không? (bee-IT noh-Y thee-IHNG ayng kohng)
- Is there someone here who speaks English?
Có ai đây biết nói tiếng Anh không? (GAW ai dey bee-IT noh-Y thee-IHNG ayng kohng)
Cứu (tôi) với! (gih-OO (thoy) vuh-y!) Thoi cang nguoi giup toi.
- Look out!
Cẩn thận! (guhn tuh’n!)
- I don’t understand.
Tôi không hiểu. (thoy kohng hee-oh)
- Be back soon
Sẽ quay lại sớm (…)
- Leave me alone.
Đừng làm phiền tôi. (DUHung LAHm fien Thoy) (beware that “Thoi” with a fat and long sounding “T” translates to “enough!” in standard Vietnamese)
- Don’t touch me!
Đừng đụng tôi! (DUHung DUHooung Thoy)
- I’ll call the police.
Tôi sẽ gọi cảnh sát./Tôi sẽ gọi công an. (Thoy seEh GAWoy Kanh Sat/ Thoy seEH GAWoy Kong aanh)
Công an!/Cảnh sát! (Kong aanh!/Kanh Sat)
- Stop! Thief!
Ngừng lại! Ăn trộm! (GNoong LAai! Anh Chom!)
- I need your help.
Cần (second person pronoun) giúp cho tôi. (Khan…… yip CHo Thoy)
- It’s an emergency.
Việc này khẩn cấp. (VAHech nuhay Khan gup)
- I’m lost.
Tôi bị lạc. (Thoi bee lack)
- I lost my bag.
Tôi bị mất cái giỏ. (Thoi bee mUHtt kai yah)
- I’m sick.
Tôi bị bệnh. (Thoi bee binh)