13 Sep 2015
Learn the local language | Vietnam

Do you want to get more out of you holiday? A good tip when you travel is to learn a few phrases in the local language. It will certainly enrich your holiday, even if we are only talking about a few words. Many places Ethical Travel Portal visit English is not commonly spoken. At least not among the elders, so a few good phrases is always appreciated among the local people.


Local language Vietnam

I am currently traveling in Vietnam, trying my best to learn a few Vietnamese Phrases. One of the best words to start with is too learn how to greet people! As a traveller you are the visitor, and it is only polite to greet people when you meet them. Right? So, Xin chao! Hello!

Why not get a little bit advanced and ask them how they are doing, or like in Vietnamese you would ask “are you well?” which is “Co khoe khong?” Your reply would be “Toi khoe, cam on” or as in English “I am well, thank you”. Of course, you may not be well, but that is for an advanced course!

Another important word to know; is how to say thank you. This was my second word to learn in Vietnamese, and it is simply “Cam on”. This one is actually easy; I just think about “come on” in English… So now we have learned the initial polite stuff.

Further on it can be interactive to know how to tell the locals your name and where you come from. We are the visitors, of course the people that you visit are curious where you are coming from! I am too, when I see traveller where I live!


What is your name? Ten ban la gi?

My name is Linda. Ten toi la Linda

Yes (vâng) and no (Không) are always handy!


Hey, we have a conversation going! Why not wrap it up with a “nice to meet you” “Rat vui khi gap ban” and “Goodbye” “Chao tam biet”? If you get to this point, you have definitely increased the number of your precious memories!

Co khoe khong?”

— Are you well...?

Then of course you have those few practical phrases to know. Like when you are shopping (learn to ask if your souvenir is locally made for example), at a restaurant (ask for the local food and drinks!) or when you are traveling!

And then, you have the pronunciation….  :-) But do not worry too much, just try, and the locals will correct you! People will appreciate your efforts!

Before you travel, do your research and learn a few words. If you are traveling with a tour operator, ask them for a short list of the most important phrases of the language to the country that you are traveling to. Make the most out of your holiday!


And last but not least, a smile always goes a long way…

Hen gap lai!

(see you again!)

  • Tags: Vietnam, ethicaltravel, Local, people