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Common Vietnamese Phrases You Should Know

Updated: 8 hours ago

Even though English is a popular language in Vietnam, especially in big cities such as Saigon and Hanoi, not everyone speaks English. The Vietnamese language can be difficult, but don’t worry! With our basic guide to useful Vietnamese phrases and some practice, you’ll really make the most of your trip.

Tonal Marks in Vietnamese

While the Vietnamese language is spoken with six tones, don’t worry if you haven’t mastered them yet – we’ll sum them up below. Even if you mess up your tones, follow the pronunciation guides in brackets and people will understand you based on context.


Greetings in a local language are a bridge for connection and a great place to start when learning common Vietnamese phrases as a tourist. Know these common greetings and you’ll be set to start a conversation.

Hello – Xin chào (Sin Chow)

Goodbye – Tạm biệt

My name is _____  Tên tôi là ___ (Den toy la ___)

How are you? – Bạn khỏe không? (Ban kwe khom)

Yes – Vâng (vang)

No – Không (khom)

Polite Phrases

Thank you –Cảm ơn (Cam urn)

You’re Welcome –Không có gì (khom coh zi)

Sorry –Xin lỗi (sin loy)

Basic Vietnamese for Ordering and Eating Food

The food in Vietnam is a core part of the culture, and ultimately your travels. Vietnam boasts some of the best street food in the world. It will be super helpful to know some basic Vietnamese phrases once you start ordering and tasting all the diverse food options.

Hot/Spicy – Cay (kigh)

I’m vegetarian – Tôi ăn chay (doi an chay)

No Sugar – Không đường (khom dung)

1, 2, 3, cheers! –Một, hai, ba, vô! (mote, hi, ba, yo)

Delicious! – Ngon quá (ngon wha)

How much? – Bao nhiêu? (bow nyew)

Can I get a ____ ? Cho tôi một____(cho toy mode) 


These common direction-related useful Vietnamese phrases will be handy throughout your entire trip, especially if you are taking a Grab bike to get around.

Where is the bathroom? – Nhà vệ sinh ở đâu? (nyah vey sin uh dow)

Turn Left – Rẽ trái (ray-uh try)

Turn Right – Rẽ phải (ray-uh fy)

Stop – Dừng lại (yung lie)

Go –  Đi đi (dee dee)

Slow Down – Chậm lại (chum lie)

Basic Numbers and Sizes

Numbers come in really handy when ordering drinks and food!


One – Một (Mode)

Two – Hai (Hi)

Three – Ba (Ba)

Four – Bốn (Bone)

Five – Năm (Num)

Six – Sáu (Sow)

Seven – Bảy (Bay)

Eight – Tám (Tam)

Nine – Chín (Chin)

Ten – Mười (Mu-oi)


Big – Lon (lunh)

Small – Nho (n-yor)

Medium – Vua (vurh)

Learning popular Vietnamese phrases or words is one of the first things you should definitely do if you are going to volunteer in Vietnam for a few months. Your Vietnamese vocabulary, though limited, can help you impress your local friends and help you adapt to the way of life here faster.



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