English – Vietnamese phrasebook
English – Vietnamese phrasebook prepared by our travel company especially for our tourists includes the simplest and most commonly used words that can be useful to you on vacation. Take time and learn at least “hello” and “thank you” and you’ll always get a warm welcome.
We would like to note that if you spend your vacation in a tourist area, you won’t nave any problems with communications in Vietnam. The Vietnamese speak simple English words and sentences that are easy to understand, although they have quite specific pronunciation.
So why would you need an English-Vietnamese phrasebook?
English-Vietnamese phrasebook and knowledge of basic words will help you while traveling around the country: in transport, when you visit local Vietnamese (not touristic) cafés and shopping in village shops. In addition, the Vietnamese are sincerely happy when a foreigner tries to speak their native language. You will definitely see smiles on the faces of the locals, if you speak Vietnamese. And maybe even get a discount.
The Vietnamese language is difficult because the vowel sounds in the words have several tones. How you “sing” a word determines its meaning. Some sounds are quite difficult for us to pronounce. Still you can learn the minimum words that allow you to be polite and bargain. There is a chance that the locals won’t understand you the first time, but don’t be afraid to repeat. Jur English – Vietnamese phrasebook has a transcription of all words in Latin letters, so it is very easy to use.
English – Vietnamese phrasebook: greetings and thanks
Let’s start our English-Vietnamese phrasebook with greetings. The most common and official greeting in the country is: xin chào (sin chao). You can tell it to people of any age and gender. There are also other personal greetings, but you can use this single phrase for everyone in order not get confused or make a mistake by accident.
Vietnamese words of gratitude (“thank you”) are as follows: cảm ơn (kam on). It’s easy to remember, so you can always be polite to others.
If you want to thank the chef at the restaurant, you can add the phrase rất ngon (zat non). It means you really liked the dish (it can be translated literally as “very tasty”).
English – Vietnamese phrasebook: in a cafe
You can also use the English-Vietnamese phrasebook in restaurants and cafes, since it’s so much better to communicate with the staff in Vietnamese. You can always call the waitress by telling her em (em). You should bear in mind that it only works with girls younger than you (however, it’s the age group that works as a junior service staff in cafes).
To ask for the check, say tính tiền (tin tyen). Almost all the Vietnamese understand this phrase, even if you pronounce it with an accent. And don’t forget to thank the staff of the cafe with the words we introduced in the previous section.
In the tourist area, the menu is usually translated into English, Chinese and Russian. But what if you decide to have lunch in the restaurant with the locals or you are just away from the coast with all the hotels?! Our phrasebook offers you to get acquainted with the main dishes you can find in the Vietnamese menu:
- cơm (kom) — rice
- gà (ga) — chicken
- bò (bo) — beef
- heo (heo) — pork
- hải sản (hay san) – seafood
- cá (ka) – fish
- tôm (tom) — shrimp
- mực (muk) — squid
- cơm gà (kom ga) — chicken rice
- cơm heo (kom heo) — pork rice
- phở bò (fo bo) — popular Vietnamese soup with meat and noodles
- mì xào (mi syao) — fried noodles
- bánh mì (ban mi) – bread
- canh chua cá (kan chua ka) — sweet and sour fish soup
- trà (cha) — tea
- trà đá (cha da) — iced tea
- cà phê (ka fe) — coffee
- cà phê sữa đá (ka fe syua da) — iced coffee with condensed milk
English – Vietnamese phrasebook: in stores and markets
All Vietnamese shops have price tags, but at the markets, one often has to ask for the prices for goods. The Vietnamese, of course, will show you the amount with the calculator, but if you ask in Vietnamese, you will immediately get a discount. And here our English-Vietnamese phrasebook comes for help with a simple phrase: bao nhiêu? (bao nyu?) — How much? And point the product you need.
The numbers will help you to bargain:
- one — một (mot)
- two — hai (hay)
- three — ba (ba)
- four — bốn (bon)
- five — năm (nam), in numbers 15, 25 etc. Is used as lam (lam)
- six — sáu (sau)
- seven — bảy (bay)
- eight — tám (tam)
- nine — chin (chin)
- ten — mười (muy)
- hundred – một trăm (mot cham)
- mot cham – ngàn (nyain)
- million – triệu (chyu)
- 10.000 – mot muy nyain, 20.000 – hay muy nyain etc.
- 11.000 – mot muy mot nyain, 12.000 – mot muy hay nyain etc.
- 100.000 – mot cham nyain, 200.000 – hay cham nyain etc.
- 101.000 – mot cham mot nyain etc.
- 110.000 – mot cham mot muy nyain etc.
The money less than 1.000 dongs are not used here, so usually people don’t say “thousand”, for example, they say “mot” instead of “mot nyain”.
Another useful phrase in the store is bạn có…? (ban ko…?). It means “do you have…?”. Then you put any noun in. You can look it up in Google translator or just show a picture of a product or object you need on your mobile. You can just the picture without this phrase, but the Vietnamese like it when you speak their language a bit. Also, they lower the price, as they think you’re not here for vacations only, but have been living in Vietnam for a long time, so you know the prices and you’re not going to pay extra.
You see, there are not too many basic words for communication and they are easy to remember (or you can always just peep in this dictionary). We hope that our English-Vietnamese phrasebook will make your stay in this country much easier! We don’t say “goodbye” (tạm biệt – tam biet) to you, we say “see you!” – hàng úp lại (heng ap lay)!