Useful Vietnamese for Travellers
Useful Info (必备资讯) – English

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It is always good to pick up some useful phrases of the native language of the country that you will be visiting. In this blog post, we will share some phrases that may come in handy during your next visit to Vietnam!  

 

Greetings

This is how you say Hello to a fellow Vietnamese, “Xin Chao!” and to bid farewell you say “Tam Biet”. Start a friendly chat with them by asking “Ban co kwe khome?” which means “How are you?” When they respond with “Gham un ban thoy kwe” which means “I am fine thank you”, wow them with a response and ask them “And you?” by saying “Ban Ty Sao?”

 

Getting to know each other

So you’re getting to know someone at the bar. To impress ask “Ban thane zee?” which means “what’s your name?” and respond by letting him or her know your name by saying “Toi la (followed by your name)”.

 

Bargaining when shopping

One of the most important things for you to do on a holiday. Shop! So, here are some tips for you to help you with your bargaining power! “Bow Nyew” means “how much?” If it is too expensive, you can respond by saying “Mahk gwa!” To ask for a better price, “Toi co the nhan duoc mot muc gia re hon?” which means, “Can you give me a better price?” and if you manage to lower the price, don’t forget to thank them by saying “Sin gahm un” which means “Thank you”.

 

Basics

If someone asks you a question, and you’d like to say yes, you can say “Vung” and if you’d like to say no, you can say “Khome”. The Vietnamese are known for their special coffee so when you’re chilling at one of the hip cafes, you can impress them by ordering your coffee by saying “Thoy moowan oowanh cah feh” which means “I would like to drink coffee”. “Cah feh nom” means “hot black coffee” and “Cah Feh Sua Nom” means “Hot coffee with milk”.

 

Asking for help

Start by saying “Ban zoop thoy duc khom?” which means “Can you help me?” If you’re running short of cash and need an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) just by saying “Cay ATM o dau?” will get you to the nearest one. Getting to the airport on a taxi? Say “San Bay” which means airport and you’ll be driven there in no time. Need to relieve yourself urgently, ask “Noi la nha ve sinh gan nhat?” which means “Where is the nearest toilet?”

 

Have fun practising!

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