Language Primer: Tiếng Việt / Vietnamese

Tiếng Việt, more widely known as Vietnamese, is Vietnam’s official language and ranks among the world’s most spoken vernaculars.

There are approximately 90 million speakers spread across the world: such is its reach, in fact, that the Czech Republic has recognised Tiếng Việt as a minority language. Tiếng Việt is part of the Mon-Khmer language family spoken across, amongst others, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

Read more: A tribute to Ayutthaya, Thailand’s fallen fulcrum.

Let us begin

Tiếng Việt

Hello – Jow (informal) / Seen jow (formal)

How are you? – Kweah kohng?

Fine – Thoy kweah

Thank you (very much) – Cam uhhn (nyeeoh)

Please – Lam uhhn

You’re welcome – Kohng sao doh

Yes Vuhng / Ya’a

No – Kohng

Goodbye – Jow

Good morning – Chao bwu-ee sang

Good afternoon – Chao bwu-ee chieu

Good evening – Chao boo-ee toi

Good night – Chuc ngu ngon

What’s your name? – Goh theyn la yi?

My name is (Thomm) – Thoye theyn la (Thomm)

I’m from (Dili) – Toi đen tu (Dili)

Where are you going? –  Ban đi đâu

I don’t know – Toi khong biet

I am going to – Toi sair … 

Where is (the temple)? – (Chua) oh dowh?

Over there – Dang kia

How far? – Bao xa?

How long? – Bao lao?

Airport – Son bye

Hotel – Khách san

Restaurant – Quan ahn

Bar – Thanh

Temple – Chua

Cheap – Reah uh

Expensive – Daht

Very – Het suc

Do you have (beer)? – Ban có (bia) không?

I want/would like (beer) – Toi muốn (bia)

Beer – Bia

Water – Neu-uk

Cigarettes – Thuốc lá

Lighter – Chai bat loo-uh

A room – Phoung

A ticket – Vei

Food – Doe arnh

Drink – Oo-ong

Chicken – Teet gah

Fish – Ca

Rice – Guhm / Gah-ow

Noodles – Mee

What’s the score? – Tỷ số là bao nhiêu?

I like your nose – Tôi thich cai mui của bạn


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