• Vietnamese course for beginners A1
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  • 1 The Vietnamese alphabet
  • 2 How to pronounce Vietnamese [0/2]
  • 3 Vietnamese keyboard and how to write accents
  • 4 How to introduce yourself in Vietnamese [0/2]
  • 5 Vietnamese greetings [0/2]
  • 6 Vietnamese personal pronouns [0/2]
  • 7 How to talk about the weather in Vietnamese [0/2]
  • 8 Counting numbers in Vietnamese [0/2]
  • 9 Telling the time in Vietnamese [0/2]
  • 10 Days, months and seasons in Vietnamese [0/2]
  • 11 Learn the Vietnamese colours [0/2]
  • 12 Getting directions in Vietnamese [0/2]
  • 13 How to write country names in Vietnamese [0/2]
  • 14 How to name body parts in Vietnamese [0/2]
  • 15 Foods and drinks in Vietnamese [0/2]
  • 16 Vietnamese sayings (life, love and new year) [0/2]
  • The Vietnamese alphabet

    As you might have already noticed, the Vietnamese alphabet (chữ Quốc ngữ) uses the same Latin letters as the majority of languages. Luckily, you don't have to learn characters like in other Asian languages (Thai, Mandarin, etc.). There are three main dialects in Vietnam: the Northern, Central and Southern accent. We will only discuss the Northern pronunciation.

     

    A complete list of the Vietnamese letters and their pronunciations

    The Vietnamese language consists of 29 letters. It is based on the Latin alphabet without the consonants 'f', 'j', 'w' and 'z'. We will introduce you all the letters as follows:

    Letter Name Phonetic sound Example and how it sounds like
    a a [a] anh as in father
    ă á [a/a:] ăn as in hat
    â [ə] ấn as in but
    b bê; bờ [ɓ] ba as in baby
    c xê; cờ [k] con as in can
    d dê; dờ [z] as in zoo
    đ đê; đờ [ɗ] đo as in do
    e e [ε] em as in trend
    ê ê [e] êm as in mate
    g giê; gờ [ɣ] ga as in gold
    h hát; hờ [h] hoa as in hat
    i i; i ngắn [i] in as in she
    k ca [k] kịch as in kick
    l e-lờ; lờ [l] lo as in love
    m em-mờ; mờ [m] mai as in mum
    n en-nờ; nờ [n] nói as in nice
    o o [ɔ] ong as in hot
    ô ô [o] ông as in boat
    ơ ơ [ɜ:] ơn as in fur
    p pê; pờ; bê phở [p] pao as in pen
    q cu; quy; quờ [k] qua as in queue
    r e-rờ; rờ [z] ra as in zoo
    s ét-xì; sờ; xờ nặng [s] sao as in sell
    t tê; tờ [t] tan as in tea 
    u u [ʊ] u as in boot
    ư ư [ɨ] ưng as in cute
    v vê, vờ [v] vui as in van
    x ích xì; xờ; xờ nhẹ [s] xe an in sea
    y i dài; i-cờ-rét [i] yến as in she

     

    Summary

    The alphabet wasn't too hard now, was it? In the next chapter we will continue with the pronunciation rules. Make sure to check it out! :)