Southern Vietnamese for Beginners (Free PDF)

Introduction to Southern Vietnamese for Beginners

Lesson Overview: Welcome to your introductory lesson on Southern Vietnamese! 🇻🇳

In this lesson, you’ll learn the basics of Southern Vietnamese pronunciation, common phrases, and essential vocabulary.

By the end of this lesson, you’ll be equipped with the foundational knowledge to start conversing in Southern Vietnamese with confidence.

Let’s get started! 🎉

(Click here to download this lesson as a PDF)

Section 1: Pronunciation

1.1 Vietnamese Tones

Southern Vietnamese, like other dialects of Vietnamese, is a tonal language. 🎶 There are six tones in Southern Vietnamese, each denoted by diacritics. Let’s explore them:

  1. Mid-level tone (ngang): Denoted by a flat tone mark (¯). Example: ma (ghost)
  2. Rising tone (hỏi): Denoted by a rising accent mark (´). Example: (cheek)
  3. Dipping tone (ngã): Denoted by a falling-rising accent mark (`). Example: (but)
  4. Falling tone (sắc): Denoted by a falling accent mark (`). Example: mạ (rice seedling)
  5. Low-level tone (huyền): Denoted by a low tone mark (`). Example: mả (tomb)
  6. Falling-rising tone (nặng): Denoted by a dot underneath the vowel (˜). Example: (horse)

1.2 Pronunciation Guide

Let’s practice the pronunciation of some common Southern Vietnamese sounds:

  • C: Pronounced like “g” in “go”. Example: (eggplant)
  • Gi: Pronounced like “j” in “jam”. Example: giỏi (good)
  • R: Pronounced with a slight flap of the tongue against the upper palate. Example: rơi (fall)
  • D: Pronounced like “y” in “yes”. Example: đi (go)

Section 2: Common Phrases

2.1 Greetings and Introductions

  • Xin chào: Hello
  • Chào bạn: Hi (informal)
  • Tên của bạn là gì?: What’s your name?
  • Tôi tên là…: My name is…

2.2 Polite Expressions

  • Xin lỗi: Sorry
  • Cảm ơn: Thank you
  • Xin vui lòng: Please
  • Không sao đâu: No problem

2.3 Basic Conversation

  • Bạn khỏe không?: How are you?
  • Tôi khỏe, cảm ơn: I’m fine, thank you
  • Bạn đến từ đâu?: Where are you from?
  • Tôi đến từ…: I’m from…

Section 3: Essential Vocabulary

3.1 Numbers

  • Một: One
  • Hai: Two
  • Ba: Three
  • Bốn: Four
  • Năm: Five

3.2 Colors

  • Đỏ: Red
  • Xanh: Blue
  • Vàng: Yellow
  • Trắng: White
  • Đen: Black

3.3 Family Members

  • Mẹ: Mother
  • Cha: Father
  • Anh: Older brother
  • Em: Younger sibling
  • : Aunt

Section 4: Cultural Insights

Southern Vietnamese culture is rich and diverse, influenced by centuries of history and traditions. 🏞️ Key cultural practices include:

  • Respect for Elders: Addressing elders with appropriate honorifics, such as “ông” (grandfather) and “bà” (grandmother).
  • Festivals: Celebrating traditional festivals like Tết Nguyên Đán (Lunar New Year) with family gatherings and special meals.
  • Cuisine: Enjoying delicious Southern Vietnamese dishes such as bánh xèo (sizzling pancakes) and cà phê sữa đá (Vietnamese iced coffee).


Congratulations! 🎊 You’ve completed your first lesson in Southern Vietnamese for Beginners.

By mastering the pronunciation, common phrases, and essential vocabulary covered in this lesson, you’re well on your way to becoming proficient in Southern Vietnamese.

Keep practicing and immersing yourself in the language to continue your language learning journey.

Chúc bạn may mắn! (Good luck!) 🌟🇻🇳