Vietnamese is the national and official language of Vietnam. It is the native language of the Vietnamese (Kinh) people as well as a first or second language for many ethnic minorities.
Vietnamese is part of the Austroasiatic language family of which it has by far the most speakers. Vietnamese vocabulary has borrowings from Chinese, and it formerly used a modified set of Chinese characters called chữ nôm given vernacular pronunciation. The Vietnamese alphabet in use today is a Latin alphabet with additional diacritics for tones, and certain letters
While most of the minority groups in the country have its own language including Tay, Muong, Cham, Khmer, Chinese, Nung and Hmong. The Montagnard people in the Central Highland also speak distinct languages.
In recent years, English has become more and more popular as a second language. The study of English is now obligatory in schools. Besides, the French language, a legacy of colonial rule, Chinese, Japanese and Korean have grown in popularity as Vietnam’s links with other countries.
As English is widely spoken throughout the country, especially in the tourist areas, to help you get the most out of your contact with Vietnamese, try learning how to say these key phrases (not really exact but similar 🙂 )
|sin chow||Hello (or hi)|
|kwhere khom||How are you?|
|toy kwhere, come ern||I’m fine, thank you|
|come ern||Thank you|
|ten la zee||What is your name?|
|ten toy la…||My name is …|
|Bao new||How much?|
|Muk kwar||Its too expensive!|
|Sin loy||Excuse me / I’m sorry|
|Tum bee-et||Good bye!|
|Chook may mun||Good luck!|