If you’re planning to visit Vietnam or starting to learn Vietnamese, knowing a few basic expressions will be very useful.
In this article, you’ll learn some basic Vietnamese greetings and the etiquette.
I. How to say Hello in Vietnamese
The most common greeting in Vietnamese is Xin chao (pronounced “zeen chow”).
When greeting your friends or someone you know, you can say:
Chao + their first name/ what you called them
Chao sounds very similar to the Italian ciao!
When answering the telephone, you can say simply say a-lo (pronounced “ah-lo”).
II. Quick intro to Vietnamese Pronouns
Vietnamese has several words for “you”. You address people (and refer to yourself) using words like “uncle”, “brother”, or “grandpa”.
The specific word to use depends on the age, gender, and social status of the person you’re talking to. You can use these words for everyone, not just in your family.
- em (younger sibling): someone younger than you
- bạn (friend): someone around the same age as you, your friend.
- anh (older brother): a male slightly older than you
- chị (older sister): a female slightly older than you
- cô (aunt): a woman older than you
- chú (uncle): a man older than you
- bác (uncle): can be used for both gender who are about middle-age or about your parents’ age.
- ông (grandpa): an elderly man or someone much older than you
- bà (grandma): an elderly woman or someone much older than you
Read more: You can learn more about pronouns here.
Note: It’s more casual to say Chào followed by the pronoun
- Chào bạn: “hello (person same age as me)”
- Chào anh: “hello (young man, boy slightly older than me)”
- Chào chị: “hello (young woman older than me)”
III. Good Morning, Good Afternoon and Good Evening in Vietnamese
Although these greetings are fairly uncommon, you should still know them. If somebody greets you in this way, you should respond in the same way.
|good morning||chào buổi sáng|
|good afternoon||chào buổi chiều|
|good evening||chào buổi tối|
IV. Vietnamese Ơi
If you need to get someone’s attention, such as in a restaurant, on the street, in a shop or anywhere, you can use “ơi”, which means “hey”.
It usually goes together with the pronouns or names.
For example, to call a waiter, you use “anh ơi”. Or if you needs to call your friend named John, say “John ơi”.
V. Nice to Meet You in Vietnamese
After greeting, you would say “Rất vui được gặp bạn”. It means “Nice to meet you”. You should replace “bạn” with a proper pronoun.
VI. Goodbye in Vietnamese
How to say goodbye in Vietnamese?
With our friends, we casually say “bái bai” as in “bye bye”. For more formal goodbye, you can say “tạm biệt”.
Another Vietnamese phrase you should know is “Hẹn gặp lại”, which means see you again.
VII. Overview: Vietnamese Greetings
|Hello (on phone)||A-lô|
|Good morning||Chào buổi sáng|
|Good afternoon||Chào buổi chiều|
|Good evening||Chào buổi tối|
|Good night||Chúc ngủ ngon|
|It’s nice to meet you||Rất vui được gặp bạn.|
|Bye||Bái bai, tạm biệt|