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Vietnam (c) Davidiohr Bueso/Flickr
Vietnam (c) Davidiohr Bueso/Flickr

18 Words to Make You Fall in Love with the Vietnamese Language

Picture of Dung Phan
Updated: 19 June 2017

Learning Vietnamese is not a speedy process, due to the complexity of its six tones and twelve vowels. But it can be as beautiful as it is challenging. Here are 18 words to persuade you how beautiful, charming, diverse and funny the language can be.

ƠI

Pronounce it like this: Oi

Ơi-Hey | © Culture Trip/Dung Phan

YÊU

Pronounce it like this: Eew

Yêu-Love | © Culture Trip/Dung Phan

NHỚ

Pronounce it like this: Nho

Nhớ-Miss | © Culture Trip/Dung Phan

LỆ

Pronounce it like this: Like “les” in French, with a silent ‘s’

Lệ-Teardrops | © Culture Trip/Dung Phan

QUÁ

Pronounce it like this: Q-woaa

Quá-Too much | © Culture Trip/Dung Phan

NHÉ

Pronounce it like this: Nh-eee

Nhé-endearing | © Culture Trip/Dung Phan

ĐI

Pronounce it like this: D (like the letter)

Đi-Please | © Culture Trip/Dung Phan

THƯƠNG

Pronounce it like this: Thuong

Thương-Compassionate affection | © Culture Trip/Dung Phan

CHẾT LIỀN

Pronounce it like this: Ch-et lii-en

Chết liền-Die | © Culture Trip/Dung Phan

CƠM MUỐI

Pronounce it like this: Com mu-oi

Cơm muối-Blessing| © Culture Trip/Dung Phan

TRẺ TRÂU

Pronounce it like this: Tr-e tr-ow

Trẻ trâu-Childish| © Culture Trip/Dung Phan

ẦU Ơ

Pronounce it like this: Ow er

Ầu ơ-Lullaby | © Culture Trip/Dung Phan

BÓ TAY

Pronounce it like this: Bo tay

Bó tay-Give up | © Culture Trip/Dung Phan

DẠ

Pronounce it like this: Zaaa

Dạ-Yes | © Culture Trip/Dung Phan

THƯƠNG

Pronounce it like this: Th-uong

Thương-More than love | © Culture Trip/Dung Phan

ẤY

Pronounce it like this: Eiii

Ấy-Implying | © Culture Trip/Dung Phan

DUYÊN

Pronounce it like this: Z-uen

Duyên-Charm | © Culture Trip/Dung Phan

BUÔNG

Pronounce it like this: Buong

Buông-Let go | © Culture Trip/Dung Phan