The Vietnamese language has both easy and challenging aspects for native English speakers. Unlike most Asian languages, Vietnamese uses the Latin alphabet, making reading and recognizing different words easy for Westerners. However, it is also a tonal language. This means just a slight change in one’s intonation can completely alter a word’s meaning. Even though some aspects of the language make it daunting to learn, foreigners in Vietnam have no shortage of resources to help them with picking it up:

Online videos
As with most languages, Vietnamese has a wealth of instructional material on Youtube. One of the most popular channels contains a 15-video playlist, which serves as a good primer for anyone looking to come to Vietnam with some linguistic proficiency.

Naturally, Vietnam has a wealth of tutors who are eager to help teach their language for very reasonable rates. Usually, they can be found easily on social media groups. In Hanoi, for instance, many freelance tutors can be found on the city’s main Facebook group, Hanoi Massive.


Yes - có
No – không
Thank You – cảm ơn
You're Welcome – cứ tự nhiên
Excuse Me / Sorry – xin lỗi
Please / Can You Help Me? –
tôi làm phiền bạn một chút được không?


Hello – xin chào
Goodbye – tạm biệt
How are you? – dạo này thế nào?
I'm Fine. – vẫn ổn.
What's Your Name? – bạn tên gì?
My Name is _______. - Tên tôi là……

Directing a taxi

Left - trái
Right – phải
Straight – đi thẳng
Stop – dừng lại

Dining out

Beef – thịt bò
Chicken – thịt gà
Pork – thịt lợn
Fish – cá
No Meat, please – tôi ăn chay.
Coffee – cà phê
Tea – trà
Beer - bia
Rice – cơm
Chopscks - đũa
Spoon - thìa
Fork - dĩa
Ice - đá