Basic Vietnamese Phrases
for Travelers

You're planning to travel to Vietnam?

Then, learning several essential Vietnamese phrases is good way to communicate and understand the locals better.

On an air plane, let’s say, talking to a Vietnamese air hostess, or sitting besides some Vietnamese passengers, it’s fantastic if you know how to speak basic phrases or words expressing “hello”, “thank you”, or “I’m sorry”.

So, here’re …

Basic phrases for your daily activities

Perhaps, the most common expression for traveling is saying hello to locals. In Vietnamese, you can say “xin chào” for all “hello”, “hi”, “good day”, “good morning”, and the like.

In below part, I will list basic phrases in English and Vietnamese, together with pronunciation methods. That’s not international phonetic system. Rather, it’s imitation sound which I suppose it’s easier for you to imitate (tell me whether you think it’s a suitable way). I want to say thanks to vietvet.com for this friendly and funny way of phonetic representation.

English

Vietnamese

Pronunciation

Hello
Hi
Good morning
Good afternoon
Good evening

Xin chào

Sin chow

Good night

Chúc ngủ ngon

Chook ngu ngon

Goodbye

Tạm biệt

Tam bee it

See you again

Hẹn gặp lại

hen gawp lie

Thank You

Cám ơn

Caam uhrn

You’re welcome

Không có chi

Kong kaw chi

I am sorry

Xin lỗi

Sin loi

No problem.

Không sao

Kung sao

Help me

Giúp tôi với

Giu

Yes

Caw

No

Không

Kung

Some longer Vietnamese sentences

How are you?

Bạn có khỏe không?

Baan coh quay kong

I’m fine, thank you

Tôi khỏe, cám ơn bạn

Toy quay, caam urhn.

Do you speak English?

Bạn nói được tiếng Anh không?

Baan coh noy doo-ox tieng Ang

I can’t speak Vietnamese

Tôi không biết tiếng Việt

Toy kung bee-it tieng viet

I don’t understand

Tôi không hiểu

Toy kung hey-oh

Above are common speeches not only in Vietnamese, but universally. Try to learn and remember them. You’ll get more fun in my country. 

If you want to go to some place, you need to learn some additional… 

Traveling Vietnamese phrases

I want to go to ... (telling a taxi driver)

Tôi muốn đến ...

Where is ...?

... ở đâu?

Basic Vietnamese for Shopping

What is this?

Cái gì đây?

kie zee day

How much is it?

Bao nhiêu tiền?

Bow neuw tee-en

That’s expensive

Đắt quá

Dat wa

I’ll buy this

Tôi mua cái này

Toy moo-ah kuy nay

I don't want to buy this

Tôi không mua

Toy kung moo-ah

Learning a little further, you will understand that Vietnamese is a highly tonal, inflected language. That means when raising or lowering of the vocal tone and emphasis, on purpose or accident, you can change meaning of a word drastically, sometimes from positive meaning to a very nasty word.

Yet, as a foreign traveler, you don’t need to worry too much. We quite understand and usually forgive funny mispronunciation of foreigners. As long as you express your goodwill, you’ll be fine and all welcomed in my country.

In case you want to learn Vietnamese more seriously, then taking a language class is advisable. You can take an online course or traditional class.

Enjoy your leaning an Asian language and travelling in Vietnam.


Have you tried learning some basic Vietnamese phrases? Do you feel comfortable with them? You may want to share some of your thoughts here.

Also, if you find useful information in this article, would you mind encouraging me with a Like button? I’d love your thumbs up. Thank you!


Return from Vietnamese Phrases to Home Page

Quick Site Search