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Common Vietnamese Phrases - English To Vietnamese

Travelling to a new country can be an overwhelming task in itself, and not being able to speak the local language certainly adds on to a traveller's apprehension. However, having a few go-to phrases of the local language not only helps you get your message across in a more clear manner but also eases your way into conversations with the locals. If you are planning to visit Vietnam anytime soon, here is a list of common phrases in Vietnamese to help you on your journey. The English words are followed by their Vietnamese counterpart and the pronunciation is enclosed within parenthesis:

Common Vietnamese Phrases - English To Vietnamese

Greetings


The traditional way of greeting in Vietnam is by joining your hands and bowing slightly. However, handshakes are fast gaining popularity as well. Exchanging business cards is common even after the smallest of interactions, so be sure to have some handy. Some of the common phrases for greeting one another are:-

1. Hello! - Xin chao! (sin chow!)

2. Goodbye - Tam Biet (tam byet)

3. How are you? - Ban co khoe khong? (ban co kwe khome?)

4. I'm fine, thank you! - Cam on ban toi khoe (gahm un ban thoy kwe)

5. And you? - Ban thi sao? (ban ty sao?)

6. What's your name - Ban ten gi (ban thane zee)

7. My name is... - Toi la (thoy la)

8. Thank you - Xin Cam on (sin gahm un)

9. You're welcome - Khong co' gi (khom go zee)

10. Excuse me/Sorry... - Xin loi (seen loy)
Common Vietnamese Phrases - English To Vietnamese
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Addressing Others


The majority of the Vietnamese population is Buddhist and follows the teachings of Confucious. Addressing older people and younger ones with proper terms is an important way to show respect, and you can use the following for the same:-


1. Friend- b?n (bhang with a heavy A.)

2. Child- Con (ghone)

2. Younger female- Em (em)

4. Older Man- Anh (un as in understand)

5. Older Woman - Ch? (chi)

6. Mister or Uncle- Chú (chu)

7. Miss- Cô (co)

8. Unisex term for sir/madam- Bác (bac)

9. Old gentleman/grandfather-  Ông ( aung)

10. Old lady/ grandmother- Bà (Ba with stress on A)
Common Vietnamese Phrases - English To Vietnamese
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Eating Out

Eating out can be a tricky business, and it is important that you are able to convey exactly what you would like for your meal to your host. Vietnamese cuisine has a wide variety of options for non-vegetarians and vegetarians as well, and you can communicate your likes and dislikes by the use of the following phrases:-

 

1. I'd like to eat - Toi muon an (thoy moowan un)

2. I'd like to drink - Toi muon uong (thoy moowan oowanh)

3. Good - Tot (thote)

4. Bad - Khong tot (khome thote)

5. What is this? - Cai nay la gi (guy nai la zee)

6. Hot - Nong (nom)

7. Cold - Lanh (lang)

8. Coffee - Ca phe (cah feh)

9. Hot black coffee - Ca phe nong (cah feh nom)

10. Hot Coffee with milk - Ca phe sua nong (cah feh sua nom)

11. Tea - Tra (chah)

12. I like - Toi thich (thoy tick)

13. I am happy - Toi vui (thoy vuoy)

14. I'm hungry- Tôi dói 

15. I'm thirsty- Tôi khát (toi khaat)

16. Vegetarian- an chay (un chai, un as in understand, emphasis on i)

17. Vegetarian food- com chay (com chai, emphasis on i)

18. Vegetarian restaurant- nha hang com chay  (nya ha com chai, emphasis on i)

19. Vegetable- rau (zao)

20. No eggs- khong co trung (khong co chuhng) 

21. I don't eat pork- Tôi không ?n th't heo l'n (toi khong un theet lone)

22. I don't eat beef- Tôi không ?n th't bò (toi khong un theet baw)

23. I eat only kosher food- Tôi ch? ?n th?c ?n kosher thôi (toi chi un thuc an koser, r of koser soft )

24. Chicken- (th't) gà (teet. gah)

25. Beef- (th't) bò (teet. baw)

26. Fish- cá (kah?)

27. Ham- gi'm bông (zuhm bohng)

28. Sausage- xúc xích (sook sick)

29. Cheese- pho mát (faw maht) 

30. Eggs- tr'ng (chuhng?)

31. Salad- xà lách (sah... lack?)    

32. Fresh fruit- trái cây (t??i) (chai? kai)

33. Bread- bánh mì (bang mee)

34. Noodles- mì (mee)

35. Rice (cooked)- c'm (kuhm)   

36. Water- n''c (neu-uk)   

37. Salt- mu?i (moo-ee)

38. Black pepper- h?t tiêu (haht. tew)

39. Butter-  b? (buh)   

40. The check, please- Thanh toán ti'n                        

Common Vietnamese Phrases - English To Vietnamese
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At a Bar

When in Vietnam, party Vietnam style! The following phrases should definitely make your experience at bars and pubs more enjoyable, and you can be the endearing foreigner who spoke flawless Vietnamese!


1. Serve alcohol? – Ph?c v? r''u (phuc bu xeo)

2. Beer- Bia (bia)

3. Red wine/white wine – r''u vang ??/ r''u tr'ng (xeo van daw/ xeo chang)

4. A bottle - m't chai. (mote chai)

5. Whisky - uýt-ky (weet-kee)

6. Vodka - r''u vôtca (Northern Vietnam : zew vote-kah, Southern Vietnam : ro vawt-kah)

7. Champagne - sâm banh (shum bang)

8. Rum - r''u rum (Northern Vietnam : zew room, Southern Vietnam: ro ruhm)

9. Water - n''c (neu-uhck?)

10. Soda pop - n''c ng?t (neu-uhck? ngawt.)

11. Orange juice - n''c cam (neu-uhck? kam)

12. Cola - côla (koh-lah)

13. One more - m't lan n?a (mol an nu-ah)

14. When is closing time? - Bao gi? ?óng c'a? (Bow zuh... downg? keu-uh?)

Common Vietnamese Phrases - English To Vietnamese
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While Driving


While driving in a country other than yours, it is important that you acquaint yourself with the rules and regulations. These phrases should help you in your endeavours:-

1. I want to rent a car - Tôi mu'n thuê xe. (toy moo-uhn? thuee seh)

2. Can I get insurance? - Có b?o hi?m cho tôi không? (kaw? bah...oo hee...m? chaw toy khohng)

3. Stop (on a street sign) - ng?ng/d?ng (ngung/dung)

4. One way - m't chi?u (mote chew)

5.Yield - s'n l??ng (san loong)

6. No parking - ??ng/không ??u (SV)/?? (NV) xe (dung doh seh)

7. Speed limit - gi?i h'n t'c ?? (zuh-ee han toke doe)

8. Gas (petrol) station - cây x'ng (kay sung!)

9. Petrol - x'ng (sung!)

10. Diesel - ??ng c? ?iêzen ("dohng kuh dee-eh-zen ")

Common Vietnamese Phrases - English To Vietnamese
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Directions


You can use these phrases to find your way through the streets of Vietnam:-

1. One ticket to _____, please

Xin cho tôi m't vé ??n _____. (seen chaw toy mo'oht veah? dehn? _____)

2. Does this train/bus stop in _____?

Tàu/xe này có ng?ng t'i _____ không? (tao.../seh nay...! kaw? ngeung... thah'ee _____ kohng)

3. When does the train/bus for _____ leave?

Tàu/xe ?i  ch?y lúc nào? (tao.../seh dee _____ chai loohk? nahh-oh...)

4. Train station- nhà ga? (niah gah)

5.Bus station- tr?m xe buýt (chap se beet)

6. Airport- Sân bay? (sun bai)

7. Left ? trái (chai)

8. Right - ph?i (fie)

9. Straight - th'ng (thung)

Lodging


Finding the perfect place to stay can be a tricky business, and these commonly used phrases will definitely help you in your quest:-

1. Rooms available? - Còn phòng (con phung)

2. How much - bao nhiêu (bao niu)

3. Bedsheets- ga tr?i g??ng (ya jai jungh)

4. Bathroom- phòng t?m (phong tam, stress on A)

5. A telephone- phôn ("phone")

6. A TV- tivi? (tee vee)

7. See room first- Xem phòng tr??c tiên (Sem phong chu tien)

8. Bigger- l'n h'n (lun hun)

9. Cleaner- s?ch h'n (syke hun)

10. Cheaper- giá r? h'n (xa the hun)

11. _____ night(s) - _____ ?êm (dame)

12. Another hotel? - khách s'n khác (khuch sac kaak)

13. Safe- an toàn (un toan)

14. Locker- khoa (khua)

15. Breakfast  included? - B?a sáng bao g?m (bu sang bau gome)

16. What time is supper? - Th?i gian là b?a ?n t'i ( Thoi xan la-b un toi)

Common Vietnamese Phrases - English To Vietnamese
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Shopping


Make shopping in Vietnam a memorable experience with these frequently used local phrases. Certainly, an interaction in Vietnamese will take the shopkeepers by surprise and make up for an interesting transaction for both the parties involved!

1. My size?-  kích th??c c'a tôi (ki tuh koi toi)

2. How much (money) is this? - Bao nhiêu (ti'n)? (bahw ngew tee-uhn...)

3. That's too expensive. - ??t quá. (daht?! kwahh?)

4. Would you take _____?-  L?y giúp tôi _____ ???c không? (lay _____ deu'uhk kohng)

5. Expensive - ??t (daht?!)

6. Cheap - r? (zeh?)

7. I can't afford it. - Tôi không có ?? ti'n mua. (toy kohng kaw doo...oo? tee-uhn... moo-uh)

8. I don't want it. - Tôi không mu'n (toy kohng moo-uhn?)

9. OK, I'll take it- Ô-kê, tôi l'y. (Oh-kay, toy lay)

10. Can I have a bag? - Có bao (South Vietnam)/túi (North Vietnam) không? (kaw? bahw kohng)

11. Toothpaste- kem ?ánh r'ng. (kem dang zung)

12. Toothbrush- bàn ch?i ?ánh r'ng. (bahn... chah-ee? dang? zung)

13. Tampons - b'ng v? sinh (bang ve seen)

14. Soap- xà bong  (sah... bohng)

15. Shampoo-d?u g'i  (dau go)

16. Pain reliever- thu'c gi'm ?au. (too-uhc? zah...ahm? dahw!)

17. Cold medicine- thu'c c'm (thook kam)

18. Stomach medicine- thu'c d? dày ( thook xa xai)

19. A razor- dao c?o râu. (zahw kah'oh zoh)

20. An umbrella- ô (aum)

21. Sunblock lotion- kem ch'ng n?ng. (came chong nang)

22. Batteries- pin. (peen)

23. Writing paper- gi?y. (yay)

24. A pen- bút m?c. (boot muck)

25. Pencil- bút chì. (boot  chee)

26. English-English dictionary- t? ?i?n Anh-Anh. (theu... dee-en? ang-ang)

27. Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars? - Có l'y ?ô la M?/Úc/Canada không  (co lai do la mai/ook/ kanada khong )

28. Do you accept British pounds? - Có l'y b'ng Anh không?  (co lai bangh anh khong)

29. Do you accept credit cards? - Có nh'n th? tín d?ng không? (co nhan the teen xung khong)

30. Can you change money for me? - ??i ti'n cho tôi ???c không? (do tien cho toi duc khong)

31. Where can I get money changed? - Tôi có th? ?i ??i ti'n ? ?âu? (to koi the di doi tien o dhau)

32. Can you change a traveler's check for me?- Có th? ??i séc du l'ch cho tôi ???c không? (co the doi sec xu lick cho doi khong)

33. Where can I get a traveler's check changed? - Tôi có th? ??i séc du l'ch ? ?âu? (to co the doi xu leck au dou)

34. What is the exchange rate?- T? giá là bao nhiêu? (ti xa la bau nio)

35. Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)? - Máy rút ti'n (ATM) ? ?âu? (mai zut tien ATM au dau)

Emergency Situations


Disaster neither sees time nor place, and in a foreign country it is all the more important to know how to defend yourself in case you feel that you are in danger. Some of the common phrases that will help you in a sticky situation are:-

1. Leave me alone. - ??ng làm phi?n tôi. (DUHung LAHm fien Toy)

2. Don't touch me! - ??ng ??ng vào tôi! (DUHung DUHooung vaw Toy)

3.I'll call the police. - Tôi s? g'i c?nh sát./Tôi s? g'i công an. (Toy seEh Goy Kang Sat/ Toy seEH GAWoy Kong an)

4.Police! - Công an!/C?nh sát! (Kong an!/Kang Sat)

5. Stop! Thief! - Ng?ng l?i! ?n tr?m! (GNoong LAai! Anh Chohm!)

6. I need your help. - Giúp tôi v?i. (zoop Toy vowi)

7. It's an emergency. - Vi?c này kh'n c?p. (Vuec nai Kun cup)

8. I'm lost. - Tôi b? l?c. (Toi bee lack)

9. I lost my bag. - Tôi b? m't túi. (Toy bee mUHtt tui)

10. I lost my wallet. - Tôi b? m't cái ví. (Toy bee mUHtt kai vee)

11. I'm sick. - Tôi b? ?m. (Thoi bee oom)

12. I've been injured. - Tôi ?ã b? th??ng. (Toy DAH bee tew-ung)

13. I need a doctor. - Tôi c?n m't bác s?. (Toy Kuhn moht back see)

14. Can I use your phone? -Tôi dùng ?i?n tho?i c'a (second person pronoun) ???c không? (Toi zoong dyen twai KOOuh... DUHuc KHong)

15. I haven't done anything wrong. - Tôi ch?a làm gì sai. (toy cheu-uh lam zee sai?)

16. It was a misunderstanding. - Ch? là hi?u l?m thôi. (chee...ee? lah... hugh luhm... toy)

17. Where are you taking me? - Ông ?ang d?n tôi ?i ?âu? (ohng dahng yuh'n? toy dee duhw)

18. I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian/Indian citizen. - Tôi là công dân M?/Úc/Anh/Ca-na-?a/Ng??i ?n ?? (toi la cung xi mei/ook/ ann/ ka-na-da/ gai-an-do)

19. I want to talk to a lawyer. - Tôi mu'n nói chuy?n v?i lu?t s? (toi muon noi chuyen voi lat suo)

20. Can I just pay a fine now? - Tôi ch? tr? ti'n ph?t thôi ???c không (toi chi cha tien phat thoi dukk khong)

Needless to say, it is impossible to capture the intricacies of any language in a few weeks or through a limited number of expressions. However, you can use the above-mentioned phrases during your holiday in Vietnam and it will certainly upgrade your vacationing experience to a whole new level. Bon Voyage!

This post was published by Vishakha Srivastava