If you ask a Vietnamese person about their language, you will get a “very difficult” answer. This is almost the general view of people. So when you think about how to learn Vietnamese, you almost feel dismayed. However, Vietnamese may be easier than what you think.

It is indisputable that with six accents and so many vowels different from English, Vietnamese pronunciation is difficult. But most people in Vietnam within a year will recognize pronunciation as the only thing that hinders Vietnamese, other factors are easy – especially when compared to most other European languages.

Vietnamese is not gender.

If you have studied French, Spanish, German or almost any European language except English, you will be relieved because Vietnamese has no concept of male or female for vocabulary. You just need to memorize every word without having to memorize anything more.

Vietnamese ignores the article “a”, “the”

If a foreigner learns English and asks you when to use “a” and “the”, can you explain it in detail? This is a complicated issue, even the article about articles on Wikipedia pages is longer than 2,500 words.

However, is it really important to use “a” and “the” before a subject? In a simpler way, you can eliminate them because of things that are obvious, listeners can also understand you without adding the article. That’s exactly what Vietnamese people still do. “Người” is a word that means “a person” and “the person” that the listener still does not worry about.

Vietnamese has no plural.

In English, when we want to show something in plural, we often add “s” at the end of the word. Thus, “dog” becomes “dogs”, “table” becomes “tables” and “house” into “houses”. However, many “person” exceptions to “people”, “mouse” to “mice”, “man” to “men” and some words like “sheep” or “fish” have not changed.

In Vietnamese, every word is like “sheep” – con cừu. The “person” I mentioned above can also be used as “people” or “person”, “chó” as “dog” or “dogs”, “bàn” as “table” or “tables” … If you have questions that this may cause confusion, ask yourself, have you ever heard someone tell about “that sheep”, “that dog” and confused because you don’t write how many children they’re referring to objects in that story or not?

If you need detailed information, you just need to easily add a word before that noun, like “one person”, “people” (some people) or “all the people”.

Vietnamese does not have different forms of verbs.

It is pitiful for Spanish learners to say simple words like “hablar” (nói), they still have to learn 5 or 6 different forms (depending on the locality) to express the exact verb form this. “I hablo”, “you hablas”, “he habla”, “we hablamos” and this list is not over yet. A verb in Spanish can include 50 different forms that students must memorize.

English is not like Spanish but a word also includes many different forms depending on the context. For example, the verb “speak” can turn the way (inflect) into “speaks”, “speaking”, “spoken” or “spoke”.

Vietnamese is a completely unmodified language – no words changed in any context. For example, “speak in Vietnamese” is “nói” and you always use “say in any case -” I nói”, “you nói”, “he nói”, “she nói”, “we nói”, “you nói” and “they nói”. This can save tens, even hundreds of hours of learning compared to a European language.

The Vietnamese language can be completed in 2 minutes.

You just need to add the following 5 words listed in front of the original verb to express the desire: “đã” – past, “mới” – just now, closer to the present with “already”, “đang” – right now, the near future, “sắp” – the near future, “sẽ” – in the future.

Vietnamese is really too easy. In addition to the above 5 words, you have a number of other words, but only need 5 words, you can express up to 99% correctly. I will give you a few examples:

– Tôi ăn cơm = I eat rice.

– Tôi đã ăn cơm = I ate rice.

– Tôi mới ăn cơm = I have just eaten rice.

– Tôi đang ăn cơm = I am eating rice (right now).

– Tôi sắp ăn cơm = I am going to eat rice, I am about to eat rice.

– Tôi sẽ ăn cơm = I will eat rice.

Moreover, you can ignore these words if the sentence context is clear enough. For example, “Tôi ăn cơm hôm qua” like “I eat rice yesterday” – the word “hôm qua (yesterday)” has shown something in the past, the word “đã (already)” is no longer necessary so this sentence is completely grammatical in Vietnamese also “I eat rice yesterday” is again completely grammatical with English.

You do not have to learn the new alphabet.


Vietnamese Alphabet


You should thank the French for this. About 100 years ago, a part of Vietnamese people still used a complex hieroglyphic system called “Nom script”, which has the same characters as Chinese now. Today, that has been changed 100% by the Latin alphabet, called the script. Therefore, unlike with Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, Thai, Cambodian, Korean or dozens of other Asian languages, you don’t need to learn the alphabet. All you need is to add diacritic marks to clarify your tone and you can read Vietnamese now.

How to pronounce Vietnamese words completely in accordance with a rule.

Quick question: “How do you read ‘read’, ‘object’, ‘close’ and ‘present’?”. You will have to worry about how they are in the context: “Was it close” or “Did you close?”, “Did you present the present”, “Read what I’ve read” or “Object to the object ? ” (These words have different reading, depending on the word, meaning)

Compared to the languages ​​I know, the pronunciation of English words is really inconsistent because the same words can be read differently in each context. Even each letter is read a lot of different sounds, such as “a” in “catch”, “male”, “farmer”, “bread”, “read” and “meta”. English learners all over the world have a lot of difficulties in remembering how English words are written and read with rules.

On the other hand, Vietnamese language has no such unreasonable characteristics. All letters are always read like that even if the word or context changes (however, this is more accurate in Vietnamese than in Hanoi – where there is a little sound that has inconsistencies in reading). Once you memorize the 28 Vietnamese letters that are almost identical to the 26 English letters and understand the differences of accents created, you can read any word correctly.

Vietnamese grammar almost does not exist.

As I mentioned, Vietnamese allows you to omit the word, in the sentence, such as “I eat rice yesterday” if the context helps listeners understand correctly. This is a typical example for a larger perspective: Vietnamese grammar is very simple. You almost always use the minimum number of words to express your point of view and grammar remains accurate even with English, the word pairing usually only creates an error.

This is also the reason you can hear many Vietnamese people say English sentences like “no have”, “where you go”. They are translating directly what is often said in Vietnamese into English, forgetting that there are a number of complicated rules that English users must follow. This is a great disadvantage for Vietnamese people who want to learn English but vice versa, a great advantage for English speakers who want to learn Vietnamese.

Vietnamese vocabulary is extremely logical.

Most foreigners in Vietnam, though not speaking this language, know the interesting fact that “xe ôm” – the name of a transport vehicle like a motorbike taxi, is simply mapped from “hug vehicle”. But things don’t stop there, a large percentage of vocabulary in Vietnam is made up of a formula that combines two logical words together, while in English, you have to learn a completely new vocabulary. For example, if I tell you “máy” means “machine”, “bay” means “flying”, do you guess what “máy bay” means?

There are many other examples I can list for you: a bench – ghế dài – a long chair, a refrigerator – tủ lạnh – a cold cupboard, a bra – áo ngực – a breast shirt, a bicycle – xe đạp – a pedal vehicle; to ski – trượt tuyết – to slide snow, a tractor – máy kéo – pulling machine, a zebra – ngựa vằn – a striped horse.

Such word matching can help you quickly learn new words. Once you have a basic vocabulary, you can automatically know hundreds of other words without learning more.

Notable features for you to learn Vietnamese easier.

Why is Vietnamese easy?

Below is a summary of fifteen reasons why Vietnamese is easy to learn, much easier than many other languages.

  • 1. Short words. Short words and easy to learn. Many common words like sleep and go have only one syllable, and even multi-syllable words as interesting are often short.
  • 2. Steady tone. The tone does not change depending on the context; that is, the tone of every syllable is always the same.
  • 3. No gender. Vietnamese has no grammatical gender. Gender is a major obstacle for learners of many languages, such as Arabic and German, because the word form is often irregular and irrational.
  • 4. No plural. Vietnamese has no plural form, whether noun or adjective or verb. Plural forms can be very irregular (as in German and Arabic) and therefore difficult to learn.
  • 5. No articles. Vietnamese has no article. In many languages ​​such as German and Portuguese, mastering the article is a difficult task, because their word form can be based on gender, quantity, and manner.
  • 6. Do not divide verbs. Vietnamese verbs need not be divided; that is, they only always have one form. Some languages ​​have hundreds of verbs, and learners may have to spend years to learn.
  • 7. It’s easy. Vietnamese tenses are created by a small number of sub-words from pre-ordered verbs, such as for the past and for the future. Therefore, you can proficiently use Vietnamese tenses within minutes.
  • 8. Not required to use it. The specified sub-words can be omitted if the context has clarified the word, or by word time, as in My lunch yesterday.
  • 9. No way. The Vietnamese word does not change in a grammatical way (as a way of giving or giving way), making this language much easier to learn than languages ​​with a complex system of ways like German.
  • 10. No matching. Because the Vietnamese word does not change and there is no verb conjugation, they never change according to the time, quantity, and gender of other words in the sentence, unlike many other languages.
  • 11. Easy to read. Vietnamese is written in the Latin alphabet with accents. It is much easier to read than other Asian languages ​​such as Chinese and Japanese, which are written in non-Latin scripts.
  • 12. Easy to write. Vietnamese is easy to write because it uses the Latin alphabet and because its spelling is quite stable, unlike languages ​​like French and English.
  • 13. Easy words. Vietnamese is created based on Chinese model. Because each syllable has a clear meaning (usually taken from a Chinese character), we can easily understand the meaning of a compound word if we know the meaning of each element in the compound word.
  • 14. Easy grammar. Vietnamese grammar is much easier than many other languages, because of features such as verb conjugation and transformation of words in a way that is not present, while other characteristics, such as plural and then, It’s easy to use and also
  • 15. Information density. Vietnamese puts more information into the same volume of syllables than other mainstream world languages, and this makes learning easier because short words express meaning more effectively.

Why is Vietnamese difficult?


Vietnamese Diacritic


Below is a summary of the reasons why Vietnamese are difficult to learn.

Difficult to pronounce.
  • 1. Consonant. The majority of the consonants of these 19 consonants are similar to English and are easy to pronounce, but the first and second, as in the language, can be difficult to say.
  • 2. Vowels. Vietnamese has 11 vowels and many double vowels and three vowels. For learners, the most difficult vowels are probably / u /, / ơ /, / â /, and / like /.
  • 3. Syllable. There are nearly 7000 syllables, some are complex structures, and many syllables are hard to pronounce, such as chirping, tilting, lifting, and postage.
  • 4. The tone. Vietnamese actually has eight rather than six tones. Some tones are difficult to read, such as heavy and falling marks.

People often think it’s easier to learn to use a language more passively (read and listen) than to actively use it (speaking and writing). For Vietnamese, it seems that speaking can be easier than listening, for the following reasons.

  • 1. Sounds difficult. Vietnamese phonemes are rich and complex: 11 vowels, 19 (or 20) consonants, 8 last syllables, and 8 tones combined to create nearly 7000 syllables, some of which are quite similar and difficult to distinguish, such as nhinh [ɲïʲŋ], nghinh [ŋïʲŋ], and tilt [ŋiəŋ]
  • 2. Hard tone. It can be difficult to tell the difference between some tones when the speaker is speaking fast, such as the difference between the outside, the outside, and the outside when speaking fast.
  • 3. Speak fast. Vietnamese is often spoken slowly, but if the speaker speaks quickly, is unclear, or has a low voice, understanding becomes difficult.
  • 4. Vocabulary. A major obstacle to learning any language is the presence of strange words and phrases. But even if you already know the majority of words, you may still find it difficult to understand Vietnamese.
  • 5. Estimated. If anyone asks you an unexpected question, you will misunderstand even if you know every word in that question.
  • 6. Hearing memory. If you learn a word by reading but rarely hear it, you may not recognize it. You need a “auditory image,” not just a visual image, to understand the word when you hear it.
  • 7. Loss of control. When you talk, you are the one who controls the subject, the vocabulary, and the speed, but when you hear, the other person takes control and you can get lost. Therefore speaking is easier than listening.
  • 8. Information density. Although high information density makes Vietnamese language easier to learn, it may actually make listening harder because you may take more time to absorb more dense information.
Pronouns and word types.
  • 1. Pronouns. There are dozens of pronouns, and to use them correctly requires knowledge of cultural and social factors. A confusing thing is that the same word, like brother and sister, can point to the first person and the second person.
  • 2. Type of word. Vietnamese has a number of rich words, using them is mandatory, and remembering which words fit with any noun can be quite a difficult task.


Vietnamese is easier than you think: Will I prove to you that Vietnamese is easier than what you ever thought of? Hopefully I dismissed some rumors, misunderstandings about Vietnamese that you have heard before and understand more about this language.

Source: G. Millo, Jack Halpern.