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Important Vietnamese for travelers

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Although in popular tourist destinations and larger cities it is just about possible to get by without knowing a word of Vietnamese, insisting on speaking your own language all the time will isolate you from the majority of Vietnamese people and leave you less likely to make friends and relationships you will remember from your travels. By learning to speak just a few words of Vietnamese you can greatly improve your experience, reduce misunderstandings and frustrations and have a chance to talk – however briefly – with individuals who work outside of the tourist service industry, giving you a far greater appreciation of the Vietnamese culture and outlook on life.

We think any responsible traveller should at a minimum learn how to meet and greet people and how to be polite, but taking the time to learn a few more phrases will certainly enhance your enjoyment – even if it just means you are able to recognise a few more items on that otherwise baffling Vietnamese menu.

Basic greeting
1. Hello.
Xin chào. (sin chow)
2. Please.
Làm ơn. (lam uhhn)
3. Thank you.
Cảm ơn. (gauhm uhhn)
4. You’re welcome.
Không sao (kohng sao )
5. Yes (affirmative)
Vâng (vuhng)
6. Yes (affirmative, respectful)
Dạ (Northern : zah, Southern : yah)
7. No.
Không. (kaumng)
8. I’m sorry.
Xin lỗi. (sin loy)
9. Goodbye
Tạm biệt (tam byet)
Shopping
10. How much
Bao nhieu (bao nyee-oh tee-uhn)
11.expensive
đắt (daht?!)
12. cheap
rẻ (zeh?)
13. ATM
eh-ee tea em
14. Can i have(thing…) please ?
lam uhhn chaw toy(thing…)
15. I want to buy(thing)
toy moo-ohn moo-er (thing)
16.water
nước (neu-uk?)
17.bread
bánh mì (bang mee…)
18.(fresh) fruit
trái cây
(chai? kai)/ hoo-ar koo-ar
19. Clothes
ahh-oh koo-uhn
20. Speciality
dark sahhn
21. Where ?
.uh? doh
22.Pharmacy
koo-ey thoo-uhck tey
23. grocery store
tahp hoo-ah
Site and food
24.Best place to see ?
(cho nahh-oh dehp)
25.Beach
bee-ehn
26. What to eat ?
cho nahh-oh ahn ngawn
27.Chicken
gah
28.seafood
hah-ee sahn
Transport renting
29.
i want to rent a bike
toy moo-uhn thuee seh may-ee
30.gas (petrol) station
cây xăng (kay sung!)
31.petrol, gasoline
xăng (sung!)
32.medicine
too-uhc (can be used for cigarette too )
33. delicious
nall-uhn
34. Cheer when drink
moht hi bah dzoh
35. Where is the toilet? (this phrase may be considered impolite)
toilet /nah veh sin uh? doh
36.Bill/Check
teen tee-ehn
Other words are sound similar so you can speak in English but people will understand
-beer, cocacola,

Extra if needed
I’ll call the police.
Tôi sẽ gọi cảnh sát./Tôi sẽ gọi công an. (Toy seEh Goy Kang Sat/ Toy seEH GAWoy Kong an)
Police!
Công an!/Cảnh sát! (Kong an!/Kang Sat)
I’m lost.
Tôi bị lạc. (Toi bee lack)
I lost my bag.
Tôi bị mất túi. (Toy bee mUHtt tui)
I lost my wallet.
Tôi bị mất cái ví. (Toy bee mUHtt kai vee)
I need a doctor.
Tôi cần một bác sĩ. (Toy Kuhn moht back see)
Can I use your phone?
Tôi dùng điện thoại của (second person pronoun) được không? (Toi zoong dyen twai KOOuh… DUHuc KHong)