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The Best Vietnamese Movies to Help You Level Up

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Sitting on the couch can be productive for movie buffs in the present day. Traveling to Vietnam is usually seen as one of the most effective ways to learn the language, but it costs money and time. The good news is: watching movies or feature films is one of the most effective ways to improve your language skills if you apply the right approach. Before jumping to the 10 free Vietnamese movies and feature films online that you can both enjoy and expand your lexicon, here are some tips that might help you throughout the process:

  • Pick your favorite Vietnamese film genre: You might probably have had some basic vocabulary for specific topics at this point. Choosing your favorite genre or plot, therefore, will be extremely helpful so that you can really know how to apply it to practical conversations. 

  • Do not depend on Vietnamese films’ subtitles: Watching a feature film twice is a trick to understanding the plot while learning the language. The first time watching can be either with or without subtitles in your mother tongue, and the second one is the opposite.
      – If you watch Vietnamese movies or feature films with English subtitles (or in your mother tongue) for the first time, you will understand the meaning of the movie immediately. Then turn off subtitles when watching it again and focus on the target language instead the second time. You’ll see that you’ll understand the movie easily even without subtitles because you’ve watched it and now you remember when they’re about to say something. Bear in mind that this is the best time to practice pronunciation by repeating after the characters.
      – Not using subtitles the 1st time, on the other hand, allows you to focus on understanding the context without focusing much on exact words. You’ll make your brain work and practice in the target language without depending on the translation. Hence watching the 2nd time is to confirm what you have got so far and clarify what you haven’t understood clearly.
  • Take notes: Needless to say that taking notes is significant while watching movies and feature films because this is a chance for you to catch the words and phrases that you haven’t heard before. Try to focus on the ones that you might be using on a daily basis. You’ll be impressed by how it’ll enrich your vocabulary. I used to watch Grey’s Anatomy because I was learning medical English at that time. That was when I learned about “OR – operating room,” “complication,” or other medical terms, and I was so excited that I still remember those words even though I’m not using them often now.  

  • Enjoy the movie: Learning can be pressuring, and you don’t want to ruin the whole process. Relax and allow yourself to really enjoy the movie sometimes so that you have a chance to listen to the vocabulary listed again and again in the coming episodes. 

It’s time to start learning Vietnamese through movies and feature films. Here are some words that I’m going to use while listing the 10 best Vietnamese films. Why don’t we practice a little bit beforehand? 

Cấp độ
Level
Khó
Difficult
Trung bình
Medium
Dễ
Easy
Phụ đề
Subtitles
Tiếng Anh
English
Tiếng Việt
Vietnamese
Không 
No subtitles
Ngữ điệu
Dialect
Miền Nam
Southern
Miền Bắc
Northern
 Miền Trung              
Central
Tốc độ nói
Speaking speed
Nhanh
Fast
Bình thường
Normal
Chậm
Slow

These 10 movies and feature films are not all famous but entertaining and meaningful in their plots. Some of them are for sure very popular and even rated The best movie of the year. I’ll let you explore what you can learn from them, so take a look at the links provided, and you’ll find out what suits you best. Remember, everything is free!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Vietnamese Table of Contents
  1. Bố già (Old father)
  2. Lan Quế Phường (Lan Kwai Fong)
  3. Bố trẻ (Young father)
  4. Phim ngắn (Short movie)
  5. Phim ngắn|Bạn gái tôi làm gái (My girlfriend is a call girl)
  6. Mối tình đầu của tôi (My first love)
  7. Hoa Hồng trên ngực trái (The rose on the left chest)
  8. Con ghẻ (The adopted child)
  9. Về nhà đi con (Come home, kids)
  10. Gạo nếp gạo tẻ (Sticky rice, ordinary rice)
  11. Conclusion

1. Bố già (Old father) 

“Bố già” is a family-love web drama, a 2020 new year comedy project with the ambition to become an international film by Tran Thanh, the most famous Vietnamese host. Tran Thanh is also well known as a comedian, even though he’s not making any romantic comedy. In Bố già, Tran Thanh plays the main role – a brute, conservative but loving father who always cares about his family. The film revolves around the theme of the gangster world, focusing on keeping an honest nature or chasing money. The crew filmed for 11 days. The director is Mr. To – who performed the web drama Thirteen Tam Soi, Thirteen Lady, and Vi Ca prequel… In addition to Le Giang, Tuan Tran, who is very famous for the comedy genre, Tran Thanh’s sister, also played a role. Due to its success in Vietnam for creat, Bố già has been shown abroad as an international film also, and you can watch it on Netflix now. Music is also a very attractive aspect of the film in which Tran Thanh wrote the main song. If you’re curious about Vietnamese music, take a look at one of the newest videos on our Youtube channel talking about the Top 10 Vietnamese popular singers and songs. 

  • Cấp độ (Level): Khó (Difficult)
  • Phụ đề (Subtitles): Tiếng Anh (English)
  • Ngữ điệu (Dialect): Miền Nam (Southern)
  • Speaking speed (Tốc độ nói): Nhanh (Fast)
  • Quote

Tui nói cho ông biết nha (Let me tell you): This is very common for Vietnamese women at their middle age to speak to their husbands. Instead of using Anh – Em to address each other, they often use Ông – Tui/tôi. “Ông” means “grandpa,” but it also means “you,” as now you’re a grandpa.

For example 

Northern styleSouthern style
For young couplesEm nói cho anh biết
(Let me tell you)
Em nói cho anh biết nha
(Let me tell you)
For middle age couples who already have grandchildrenTôi nói cho ông biết
(Let me tell you)
Tui nói cho ông biết nha
(Let me tell you)

2. Lan Quế Phường (Lan Kwai Fong)

You probably have heard about Lan Kwai Fong in Hongkong, haven’t you? Don’t expect one if you plan to travel to Vietnam, though. We don’t have a Lan Kwai Fong here, but we have a web-drama, a romantic comedy called the same – Lan Quế Phường.

President’s daughter Ky Thu, famous for her father’s wealth, often hangs out with friends who are badasses in school. One day, her father got revenge and went bankrupt. How can she suffer a poor life, and will she be able to overcome life’s challenges?

The short web drama with a romantic comedy vibe has become super popular for its meaning and modern topic, not to mention all the sexy girls appearing in every scene.

  • Cấp độ (Level) :  Trung bình (Medium)
  • Phụ đề (Subtitles) : Tiếng Anh & Tiếng Việt (English & Vietnamese)
  • Ngữ điệu (Dialect) : Miền Nam (Southern)
  • Speaking speed (Tốc độ nói) :  Bình thường (Normal)
  • Quote:
    Làm tốt nhiệm vụ của mày đi (Do your job well)
    Nếu không tụi bay chết với tao (If not you are dead to me)
    Khách sắp tới (The clients are coming)

3. Bố trẻ (Young father)

“Bố trẻ” is a Vietnamese romantic comedy. In Bố trẻ, Tuan Tran plays a young man named Hoang, a clumsy, arrogant owner of a small riverside bar. Hoang’s life is turned upside down when he is caught in an ironic situation: reluctantly becoming a father of an abandoned baby girl (Ngan Chi). From the initial conflicts, he was forced to accept the situation and adapt to the new role. On the other hand, this also made the father and son Hoang and the people involved also fall into the sights of a gang of gangsters… Let’s take a look at more details in this Vietnamese film. 

  • Cấp độ (Level) : Vừa (Medium)
  • Phụ đề (Subtitles) : Tiếng Anh (English)
  • Ngữ điệu (Dialect) : Miền Nam (Southern)
  • Speaking speed (Tốc độ nói) : Bình thường (Normal)
  • Quote
    Giờ sao ta (What now?)
    Tôi không phải là ba (I’m not you, dad)
    Con muốn về nhà (I wanna go home)
    Từ nay về sau, em không cần phải làm gì hết. Em chỉ cần làm công chúa của anh thôi (From now on, you don’t have to do anything. You only need to be my princess.)

4. Phim ngắn (Short movie)

Short Vietnamese films are very profitable for producers because of their low cost and high coverage. One of them recently is a short movie about the big family issue – having an affair. 

Criticizing his wife for the “smell of milk” after giving birth, the husband went to find another “milk” that was better. The short film is about a man cheating on his wife, who is not young and attractive anymore, with a young beautiful girl and their story afterward. 

  • Cấp độ (Level) : Trung bình (Medium)
  • Phụ đề (Subtitles) : Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Ngữ điệu (Dialect) : Miền Nam (Southern)
  • Speaking speed (Tốc độ nói) : Bình thường (Normal)
  • Quote:
    Nó đi đổ rác thôi nó cũng phải đẹp (She has to be pretty even for taking the garbage out)
    Anh làm chồng làm cha kiểu gì vậy? (What kind of husband, father are you?)
    Cô nhìn lại bản thân mình đi (Look at yourself)
    Cô có xứng đáng với tôi không? (Do you deserve me?)

5. Phim ngắn|Bạn gái tôi làm gái (My girlfriend is a call girl)

Another short Vietnamese film is Bạn gái tôi làm gái (My girlfriend is a call girl). If you travel to Vietnam, it’s very common to see a lot of motorbike taxis on the street. Bạn gái tôi làm gái is a 5-episode web drama talking about a love story of a motorbike taxi driver and a call girl. They both are poor and have to face different challenges in life. However, their ego issues have separated them from each other, and they have to overcome all the difficulties themselves to live their life. Will they be able to forgive and give each other another chance? Although it’s not a typical romantic comedy that young people are obsessed with, Bạn gái tôi làm gái embraces the tough lives of Vietnamese blue-collar workers and will give you emotional moments throughout the film.

  • Cấp độ (Level) : Trung bình (Medium)
  • Phụ đề (Subtitles) : Tiếng Anh & Việt (English & Vietnamese)
  • Ngữ điệu (Dialect) : Miền Nam (Southern)
  • Speaking speed (Tốc độ nói) : Bình thường (Normal)
  • Quote

  • Người ta phải ăn cơm để sống chứ (I have to eat to live)
    Cho anh một cơ hội chăm sóc em (Give me a chance to take care of you)
    Anh thương em, anh thương con người của em (I love you, I love who you are)

6. Mối tình đầu của tôi (My first love)

“Mối tình đầu của tôi” is a Vietnamese film remake of the Korean romantic comedy ‘’She was pretty” – an international film with the participation of Ninh Duong Lan Ngoc, B Tran, Chi Pu, and Binh An who are famous actors and actresses in Vietnam. This is a romantic and funny story about the friendship, love, and work of modern young people. The romantic comedy revolves around the story of close friends An Chi and Ha Linh. While Ha Linh is a beautiful, successful girl, and many boys pursue her, An Chi has an unattractive appearance, is unemployed, and has an outdated style of dress. However, they have had a very beautiful friendship from childhood to the present. Until two “marshal” guys, Nam Phong and Minh Huy appeared and messed up the lives of the two girls. Mối tình đầu của tôi promises many new surprises with the Vietnamese version. You can watch the full Vietnamese drama following this link : Mối tình đầu của tôi

  • Cấp độ (Level) : Khó (Difficult)
  • Phụ đề (Subtitles) :  Không (No)
  • Ngữ điệu (Dialect) : Miền Nam & Miền Bắc (Southern & Northern)
  • Speaking speed (Tốc độ nói) : Nhanh (Fast)
  • Quote
    Được làm bạn với một người xinh đẹp, giỏi giang và hoàn hảo như An Chi, mình thật là may mắn (To be friend with a beautiful, talented and perfect person like An Chi, I’m so lucky)
    Cho cô một like (I give you a like)
    Tự tin đón chào ngày mới (Confidently welcome a new day)
    Trùng hợp quá ha (What a coincidence)
    Tại sao trên đời này lại có thứ đàn ông đáng ghét như vậy chứ? (Why is there such an abhorrent man in this world)

7. Hoa Hồng trên ngực trái (The rose on the left chest)

In Vietnam, the husband is very powerful in the family. You might not be able to see it easily if you only travel to Vietnam. It’s clearer if you live with a Vietnamese family. “Hoa hồng trên ngực trái” (The rose on the left chest) is a Vietnamese film talking about a multi-dimensional story of family life, the journey of preserving and finding happiness for women in modern society. Khue – Mrs. Hong’s daughter-in-law, like many women who accept to retreat to the rear, only knows about cooking and the story of “diaper, milk” all year. But when she retired to perform her duties as a wife and a mother, Khue was considered useless, a parasite by her husband. Meanwhile, her husband cheated on her with younger, more modern women. You can watch the full series by clicking this link: Hoa hồng trên ngực trái

  • Cấp độ (Level) : Khó (Difficult)
  • Phụ đề (Subtitles) :  Không (No)
  • Ngữ điệu (Dialect) : Miền Bắc (Northern)
  • Speaking speed (Tốc độ nói) : Bình thường (Normal)
  • Quote
    Cô bị điên à? (Are you crazy?)
    Cứ làm theo những gì chị dặn đi (Just follow what I told you)
    Chuyện của nhà chị cứ để chị tự giải quyết (Let me take care of my family’s business)
    Mình có thể không ly hôn được không anh? (May we not get a divorce?)

8. Con ghẻ (The adopted child)

“Con ghẻ” is a short musical movie published in 2017 and has received over 47 million views on Youtube so far. The movie is set in a poor family context where the parents have to sell their first daughter in order to get money for the husband’s injury treatment. The daughter then became adopted by a rich couple who can’t have kids. After some time, the wife suddenly got pregnant and they happily had their own kid. The adopted girl then became abandoned and got very badly treated by her adoptive parents. 

  • Cấp độ (Level) : Dễ (Easy)
  • Phụ đề (Subtitles) :  Tiếng Anh (English)
  • Ngữ điệu (Dialect) : Miền Nam (Southern)
  • Speaking speed (Tốc độ nói) : Chậm (Slow)
  • Quote
    Tôi qua để hỏi mượn anh ít tiền (I come to borrow some money from you)
    Sao mày dám giành đồ chơi của con tao (How dare you take my baby’s toy?)
    Mày cút ra khỏi nhà tao (Get out of my house)

9. Về nhà đi con (Come home, kids)

The story of the movie “Come home, kids” revolves around 3 sisters Thu Hue, Anh Thu, Anh Duong, who lost their mother at a very young age, each with a different personality and a lifestyle.

The eldest sister Thu Hue is gentle and calm, Anh Thu is beautiful, sharp, and practical while the youngest, Anh Duong, is outspoken, wild, and lives like a son. All three girls have been through their own ups and downs, but they are fortunate to have the same fulcrum, Mr. Son – a devoted father who loves his children wholeheartedly. After many things going on, the 3 daughters all realized that the greatest happiness they have is a father who is always ready to cover and say “Come home, kids” whenever they need a home at the end of the day. You can watch the full Vietnamese series online by clicking this link : Về nhà đi con

  • Cấp độ (Level) : Vừa (Medium)
  • Phụ đề (Subtitles) :  Không (No)
  • Ngữ điệu (Dialect) : Miền Bắc (Northern)
  • Speaking speed (Tốc độ nói) : Bình thường (Normal)
  • Quote
    Tha thứ cho một kẻ không ra gì không phải vị tha mà là tột đỉnh của sự ngu dốt (Forgiving someone who is worthless is not forgiveness but the culmination of ignorance)
    Không phải sai lầm nào cũng có thể sửa chữa, hối hận nào cũng có thể tha thứ (Not every mistake can be fixed, every regret can be forgiven)
    Nó thừa sức lấy một thằng ít tiền nhưng đạo đức tốt hơn mày (She’s more than capable of marrying a guy with less money but better morals than you)

10. Gạo nếp gạo tẻ (Sticky rice, ordinary rice)

Exploiting a familiar family theme to the Vietnamese audience, Gạo nếp gạo tẻ brings a different color compared to movies in the same genre. The ironic situations in Gạo nếp gạo tẻ stem from the mother’s bias towards her children. Conflicts and differences in behaviors and living situations between the two daughters, one side is loved and spoiled by the mother, the other is despised, have made the relationship between mother-daughter and sisters in the family increasingly difficult and distant from time to time.

  • Cấp độ (Level) : Khó (Difficult)
  • Phụ đề (Subtitles) : Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Ngữ điệu (Dialect) : Miền Nam (Southern)
  • Speaking speed (Tốc độ nói) : Bình thường (Normal)
  • Quote
    Tôi sinh ra là để được yêu thương chiều chuộng, đây không phải cuộc sống mà tôi mong muốn (I was born to be loved and pampered, this is not the life I want) 
    Tôi hối hận vì tôi lấy anh (I regret that I married you)
    Tại sao anh lại bắt tôi suy nghĩ cho người khác vậy chứ. Sống gì mà khổ cực quá vậy? (Why do you make me think for other people? Why do you have to make your life difficult?
    Chỉ cần mình có mục tiêu rõ ràng và quyết tâm thì nhất định sẽ đạt được mục tiêu đó (As long as you have a clear goal and determination, you will definitely achieve it)
    Ép bản thân mình làm chuyện mình không thích thì sẽ khiến cho mình rất mệt mỏi (Forcing yourself to do what you don’t like would exhaust you.)
    Học là để có kiến thức, có kỹ năng. Từ đó mới có thể làm được nghề nghiệp mà mình yêu thích (Learning is to have knowledge and skills. Only then will you be able do the job that you like)

11. Conclusion

Not only can you learn Vietnamese from the movies that I have introduced to you but also from many life experiences from the characters’ lines. I hope that these lines and quotes will inspire you to look for and watch the full movie in your leisure time. 

In case you’re still afraid of not knowing where to start, why don’t you visit VietnamesePod101 for more lessons, flashcards, vocabulary lists, and many audio files for better preparation? A free lifetime account is waiting for you and a Youtube channel is also there to support you with pronunciation. 

Now, enjoy the movies and I’ll catch you later!

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Vietnamese Women’s Day – An Ode to Progress

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Vietnam’s perception of women has had a long history. From before the start of China’s rule over Vietnam—when the country is thought to have been matriarchal—all the way through its European rule, the Vietnam War, and everything in-between, society’s view of women has undergone many shifts, not all of them positive.

Today, however, the role of Vietnamese women in society is much stronger than in times past. This progress, and the lời chúc mừng (“wish”) for future progress, is expressed each year through Vietnamese Women’s Day. 

In this article, you’ll learn more about the history of this holiday, how the Vietnamese celebrate it today, and more. 

Let’s get started!

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1. What is Women’s Day?

A Woman Smelling a Bouquet of Flowers

Each year on October 20, Vietnamese Women’s Day is welcomed with open arms.

This is a holiday dedicated to honoring and respecting women, fighting for their rights, and reflecting on how far gender equality in Vietnam has come. Today, it’s still fairly common for women in Vietnam to experience domestic abuse and other forms of disrespect, though the rates of this happening are much lower than they were in times past. Considering the country’s long history of male-domination, the advances women have made in society are truly spectacular. 

These advances were largely the result of women challenging the Confucianist view of women, the efforts of the Vietnam Women’s Union, and women throughout Vietnam’s history who proved their strength, bravery, and ability in traditionally male-oriented fields. Keep reading to find out which two Vietnamese women served as war heroes in Vietnam’s feudal history, thus paving the way for the more positive modern-day perceptions of women. 

The Vietnamese also celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8 with the rest of the world, which shows that this country is keen on continuing to improve the status of women!

    →Work and education are two major aspects of Vietnamese women’s struggle in society. Learn the most relevant words for Jobs / Work and School on VietnamesePod101.com.

2. How Do Vietnamese Celebrate Women’s Day?

A Woman Participating in a Beauty Contest

A common tradition on Women’s Day is for men to give the women in their life a quà tặng (“present”). The woman receiving the gift could be his wife, girlfriend, mother, sister, or even his teacher. In fact, students are highly encouraged to make or buy gifts for their female teachers to show respect and appreciation for them. The most popular gifts include đồ trang sức (“jewelry”), a hoa (“flower”), or a cuộc hẹn (“date”). Women also enjoy giving other women gifts as a sign of encouragement and respect.

Women’s Day in Vietnam is also the perfect occasion for stores and markets to hold special deals on items women will love. For example, clothing, accessories, perfume, and makeup are likely to be marked down to encourage men to purchase them as gifts—and to entice any woman who happens to catch wind of it. 

Other Women’s Day celebrations include things such as a cuộc thi nấu ăn (“cooking contest”), a cuộc thi sắc đẹp (“beauty contest”), and a special buổi biểu diễn (“performance”). These contests are very popular because, in Vietnam, many people still consider a woman’s value to be in her appearance and her ability to perform traditionally feminine tasks well. 


3. Two Incredible Heroines

While the Vietnamese Women’s Day history can’t be traced to a single event, there are two sisters of feudal Vietnam who are credited with helping women branch out into a better societal view. Do you know who they are?

They are Hai Ba Trung (the two Trung ladies). These two women led an army force against the Han Dynasty, reflecting the courageous and patriotic nature of women in Vietnam. It should be noted that, upon the force’s eventual failure (after several victories), the Trung ladies were mocked for their role in the war, as were the men who followed them. 

    →There’s even a special spring-time holiday for commemorating the Trung sisters. You can learn more about it on VietnamesePod101.com.

4. Essential Vocabulary for Women’s Day

A Man Sauteeing Veggies in the Kitchen

Let’s review some of the vocabulary words and phrases from this article!

  • buổi biểu diễn (“performance”)
  • hoa (“flower”)
  • quà tặng (“present”)
  • đồ trang sức (“jewelry”)
  • bưu thiếp (“postcard”)
  • Ngày phụ nữ Việt Nam (“Vietnamese Women’s Day”)
  • cuộc hẹn (“date”)
  • lời chúc mừng (“wish”)
  • khuyến mãi dành cho phụ nữ (“promotion for woman”)
  • cuộc thi nấu ăn (“cooking contest”)
  • cuộc thi sắc đẹp (“beauty contest”)
  • đàn ông làm việc nhà (“men doing housework”)
  • cuộc họp (“meeting”)

Remember that you can find each of these words and phrases with their pronunciation on our Vietnamese Women’s Day vocabulary list! 

Final Thoughts

Happy Women’s Day

Vietnamese Women’s Day is an important part of modern Vietnamese society, nurturing the hope of a nation where gender-equality is the standard and women are free to grow. 

Do you observe Women’s Day in your country? If so, how do you celebrate? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

If you’re interested in learning more about Vietnamese culture and the language, we recommend the following blog posts from VietnamesePod101.com: 

And there’s more where that came from! VietnamesePod101 is the ultimate online source for Vietnamese learning content and cultural information. Whether you’re an absolute beginner or already very knowledgeable, we have the resources you need to reach full fluency in Vietnamese! Create your free lifetime account today and start speaking Vietnamese in minutes. 

We hope to see you around. 😉

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Celebrating National Teacher’s Day in Vietnam

Do you have a teacher who made a huge positive impact on your life? Someone who patiently guided you through a topic or subject you struggled with, or encouraged you to pursue your passions and interests?

If your answer is yes, then we don’t have to tell you the weight of gratitude that students may feel toward teachers.

Each year in Vietnam, students show thanks, gratitude, and respect for their teachers on National Teacher’s Day. In this article, you’ll learn about why this is so significant to Vietnamese students and teachers, a little bit of history of Teacher’s Day in Vietnam, and how National Teacher’s Day is celebrated today.

At VietnamesePod101.com, we hope to make every aspect of your language-learning journey both fun and informative!

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1. What is Teacher’s Day?

Vietnam Teacher’s Day is a festival of education to honor those who work in the field. This day is an opportunity for generations of students to express their gratitude to teachers.

In Vietnam, Teacher’s Day is set aside to praise the country’s spirit of being deferential to your teacher and having respect for morals by showing gratitude and respect to teachers.

2. When is Teacher’s Day in Vietnam?

Teacher and Students in Class

Each year, Vietnam celebrates Teacher’s Day on November 20.

3. Reading Practice: Teacher’s Day Celebrations & Events

Visiting Teacher

Read the Vietnamese text below to learn how students in Vietnam celebrate Teacher’s Day and honor their teachers! Then check your reading skills against the English text directly below it.

Trong ngày này, các học trò sẽ đến thăm, tặng hoa và gửi những lời chúc đến các thầy cô giáo đang và đã từng dạy mình. Có nhiều người tuy đã đi làm những cũng vẫn sẽ về thăm trường cũ, thầy cô giáo cũ, vì vậy, ngày này cũng trở thành như một ngày họp lớp, để các học sinh sau khi tốt nghiệp tập hợp và ôn lại kỷ niệm cũ cũng như chia sẻ về cuộc sống hiện tại của mình. Ngoài ra, đây cũng là ngày các bộ ngành đánh giá và khen thưởng các giáo viên có thành tích tốt trong một năm đã qua.

Các hoạt động chào mừng ngày lễ này đều diễn ra tưng bừng trong các nhà trường. Từ nhiều tuần trước đó, các hoạt động thi đua trong học tập cũng như văn nghệ của các em học sinh cũng đã được chuẩn bị. Trong ngày lễ này, học sinh vẫn đến trường nhưng thường sẽ dành phần lớn thời gian để tham gia các hoạt động kỷ niệm.

Một số phụ huynh học sinh cũng tranh thủ dịp này để đến gặp và cảm ơn thầy cô giáo của con mình. Tuy nhiên, hiện tượng này đã được Bộ Giáo dục hạn chế và không khuyến khích để tránh những hiện tượng tiêu cực có thể xảy ra.

On this day, students visit, give flowers to, and send greetings to the teachers who have been teaching them. Many people who are workers still come to visit their old schools and teachers, so this day also becomes an occasion for class meetings in which graduates reunite and relive old memories as well as talk about their current lives. In addition, this is also the day when the ministries assess and reward teachers who’ve performed well during the year.

Activities to celebrate this holiday take place jubilantly in schools. From several weeks prior to the day, students’ learning and performances are also prepared for emulation. On this holiday, students still go to school, but they often spend their time participating in these celebratory activities.

Some parents also make use of this chance to see and give thanks to their children’s teachers. However, this phenomenon has been limited and discouraged by the Ministry of Education and Training to avoid the negative outcomes that can occur.

4. Origin of the Date

Do you know when the November 20 date was chosen for this holiday?

On September 28, 1982, the Ministerial Council (now the Government) made an official decision to select November 20 as Vietnam Teacher’s Day.

5. Essential Vietnamese Vocab for Teacher’s Day

A Flower

Here’s some essential Vietnamese vocabulary you need for Teacher’s Day in Vietnam!

  • Trường học — “School
  • Hoa — “Flower”
  • Quà tặng — “Present”
  • Lớp học — “Class”
  • Hát — “Sing”
  • Bưu thiếp — “Postcard”
  • Ngày Nhà giáo Việt Nam — “Teacher’s Day in Vietnam”
  • Tiệc — “Party”
  • Lời chúc mừng — “Wish”
  • Thăm nhà thầy cô giáo — “Visit teacher’s house”
  • Đến thăm thầy cô giáo của con — “Visit one’s child’s teacher”
  • Bày tỏ lòng biết ơn — “Pay tribute”
  • Cuộc mít-tinh — “Meeting”

To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, and read them alongside relevant images, be sure to check out our Vietnamese Teacher’s Day vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about Vietnam Teacher’s Day with us. Does your country have a day for celebrating and thanking teachers? If so, how do you show gratitude to your teachers? We look forward to hearing from you!

Learning about other cultures may be the most fascinating and enriching aspect of trying to master their language. If more Vietnam cultural information is what you’re after, you may find the following pages on VietnamesePod101.com helpful:

If you’re more interested in expediting your Vietnamese language skills, we have you covered! By creating a free lifetime account, you can have access to numerous learning tools: more insightful blog posts like this one, vocabulary lists, and even mobile apps. Upgrade to Premium Plus to take advantage of our MyTeacher program and learn Vietnamese with a personal tutor.

Becoming fluent in Vietnamese as a second language isn’t easy, but your determination and hard work will pay off! And VietnamesePod101.com will be here with practical learning tools and encouragement on every step of your way to language mastery!

Happy Vietnamese Teacher’s Day!

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The Vietnam National Day: Vietnamese Independence Day

As in any country, the Vietnam National Day is the most significant date in the history of Vietnam. This is the day in 1945 that Vietnam finally gained its independence after a long struggle.

In this article, you’ll learn about the National Day in Vietnam, including the history behind it, common traditions, and the unfortunate event that the Vietnamese also commemorate on National Vietnam Day.

At VietnamesePod101.com, we hope to make every aspect of your learning journey both fun and informative. So let’s get started!

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1. What is the Vietnam National Day Holiday?

The holiday marks the day in 1945 when Vietnam officially became its own country. On September 2, 1945, President Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence in a meeting held at Ba Dinh square in Hanoi. In the declaration, President Ho Chi Minh declared the birth of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam to the people of Vietnam and the world.

Ho Chi Minh was the leader of the Viet Minh Front, which was led by the Communist Party. He talked Emperor Bao Dai into abdicating his throne so that the country could become its own nation, and then Vietnam’s declaration of independence was made. At that time, the country was declaring freedom from France, but France wouldn’t give up control of the region so easily.

Shortly after independence was declared, Ho Chi Minh and the leader of some two-hundred-thousand Chinese Nationalists agreed to set up a coalition government instead of one that was completely communist. Just a few months later, a new agreement was signed with France declaring the nation an autonomous state in the French Union.

That agreement was designed to drive the Chinese out, which it did, although the Vietnamese then began fighting again with the French.

2. When is Vietnam National Day?

Vietnam's National Day

Vietnam’s National Day is observed each year on September 2, the date on which President Ho Chi Minh read the Vietnamese Declaration of Independence.

3. Vietnam National Day Celebrations

Celebration Fireworks

The National Day celebrations are usually held in a formal manner in Vietnam Embassies in many countries around the world. Diplomatic officials of the local countries are also invited to attend the celebration to forge closer ties between the two countries. On this day, the government of Vietnam receives many greetings from the authorities of other countries.

This is an official public holiday, so workers, office employees, and students are off on this day. Some companies also hold group tours for their staff. Some common festivities on this day include swimming, sailing, and boat racing festivals, which are held in many places. These attract many participants.

To celebrate National Day, families, stores, and shopping centers everywhere display Vietnam’s red flag with a yellow star. The streets are filled with flags and banners. Some people also hold meetings at the centers of big cities.

4. Another Observation

Do you know what else the Vietnamese commemorate on September 2?

September 2 is also the date on which President Ho Chi Minh died in 1969, at the age of seventy-nine.

5. Useful Vocabulary for the Vietnamese National Day

Plant Sprouting

Here’s some vocabulary you need to know for the Vietnamese National Day!

  • Hoa — “Flower”
  • Quốc khánh — “National Day”
  • Diễn văn — “Speech”
  • Cuộc diễu hành — “Parade”
  • Quốc kỳ — “National flag”
  • Chủ tịch Hồ Chí Minh — “Ho Chi Minh President”
  • Pháo hoa — “Firework”
  • Trò giải trí — “Entertainment”
  • Biểu ngữ — “Banner”
  • Bóng bay — “Balloon”
  • Quảng trường Ba Đình — “Ba Dinh Square”
  • Quốc ca — “Anthem”
  • Sự kiện — “Event”
  • Lịch sử — “Historical”
  • Quốc gia — “Country”
  • Sự khai sinh — “Birth”

To hear each vocabulary word pronounced, check out our Vietnam National Day vocabulary list!

How VietnamesePod101 Can Help You Learn About Vietnamese Culture

We hope you enjoyed learning about the National Day of Vietnam with us. Tell us about your own country’s national day in the comments; we always love hearing from you!

To continue learning about Vietnamese culture and studying the language, explore VietnamesePod101.com. We provide an array of fun and effective learning tools for every type of learner, at every level:

  • Insightful blog posts on a range of cultural and language-related topics
  • Free vocabulary lists covering various topics and themes
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  • Much, much more!

If you would like to learn Vietnamese one-on-one with your own tutor, you can also upgrade to Premium Plus. Our MyTeacher program gives you access to a personal tutor who will help you develop a specialized learning plan based on your needs and goals. Yes, really!

At VietnamesePod101, we believe that you really can master the Vietnamese language and come to understand its unique culture. That’s why we make our lessons as simple yet effective as possible. Our constant support, paired with your hard work and determination, can ensure your language-learning success!

Happy Vietnam National Day!

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The Must-Know Common Vietnamese Body Gestures

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There was a colleague that I used to work with who is extremely good at using body language. Every time we had a meeting or a presentation, she would make use of her hand signals, gestures, facial expressions, or postures to make her talk more interesting. 

The nonverbal signs that we use to communicate every day are referred to as body language. Nonverbal signals account for a significant portion of daily communication. The things we don’t say, from our facial expressions to hand signals or our bodily motions, can nonetheless convey a lot of information.

When learning languages, understanding how to use your body and facial expressions as well as to avoid rude gestures is very helpful to emphasize what you’re saying. In Vietnam, on the other hand, body gestures are not as common as in other countries due to cultural differences. Vietnamese people tend to be a little bit shy when using body language because it attracts attention more than using verbal language only. That’s the reason why someone who knows how to effectively use body gestures in Vietnam is considered very confident and special.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Vietnamese Table of Contents
  1. Cách chào hỏi bằng ngôn ngữ cơ thể (How to greet people using body language)
  2. Cử chỉ tay (Hand gestures)
  3. Giọng nói (Voice tone)
  4. Dấu hiệu nói dối (Signs of a lie)
  5. Dấu hiệu ai đó thích bạn (Signs showing someone is having a crush on you)
  6. Dấu hiệu ai đó giận dữ (Signs showing someone is angry)
  7. Cử chỉ với trẻ em (Gestures with children)
  8. Conclusion

1. Cách chào hỏi bằng ngôn ngữ cơ thể (How to greet people using body language)

Knowing that these body gestures mean hello in Vietnam can be surprising if you’re new here. The fact is, saying Xin chào is not always necessary. Instead, Vietnamese people have plenty of ways to greet each other by nonverbally communicating, especially using hand signals. For example:

  • Vẫy tay, phẩy tay (Wave hand)

    • – How to do it: you wave your hand from left to right or from up to down as if calling someone.
      – When to use: waving your hand can be used with friends, someone who is younger than you, babies, or even pets because it’s considered super casual and friendly.
      – Note: When waving hands with older people, it means calling them rather than saying hello in general.
  • Cười (Smile)

    • – How to do: have a smile on your face with eye contact
      – When to use: smiling is suitable when greeting someone you haven’t met and don’t know how to address them or at a social party where there’s a lot of people and it’s not convenient to speak loudly.
      – Note: Vietnamese people usually smile and say hi. However, when someone smiles only and walks away, it means they just want to be polite and don’t want to talk.

A Man Waving Hand and Smiling
  • Gật đầu (Nod your head)

    • – Meaning: similarly to smiling, nodding your head or eye contact is seen as saying Hello to someone you haven’t met before. In addition, it can also be used as a sign that “I’ll catch up with you in a bit”
      – How to do: nod your head either from up to down or vice versa.
      – When to use: with colleagues and acquaintances at a social event, a party, a meeting, or a conference. HOWEVER, nodding your head with elderly people is considered a disrespectful gesture.
  • Khoanh tay chào (Fold your arms)

    • – Meaning: a way kids say Hello.
      – How to do: you can either fold your arms with or without covering your palms on your chest.
      – When to use: kids usually are asked to fold their arms when greeting their teacher, adults, or elderly people because it looks respectful.
      – Note: it’s not very common in Vietnam because we can use “ạ” at the end of the sentence to show respect. Kids who fold their arms when greeting are considered very polite and well educated but if they don’t, it’s not seen as a disrespectful gesture.
  • Cúi người (Bow)
  • A Man Bowing in Front of His Boss

      – How to do: slightly bow your body and head.
      – When to use: bowing in Vietnam is not as common as in Japan or Korea but people have been doing it lately to greet and show respect to their boss or manager.
  • Bắt tay (Shake hands)

    • – Meaning: shaking hands and bowing can be used at the same time for greeting your colleagues, boss, or manager.
      – How to do: Simply shake hands.
      – When to use: shaking hands can be used anywhere in Vietnam but it’s most suitable in formal occasions or talking to someone who is in a higher position than you are.
  • Vỗ vai/lưng (Pat one’s shoulder/back)

    • – Meaning: if someone didn’t see you in the first place, coming and slightly patting their shoulder or their back is a sign to gently say Hi.
      – How to do: it doesn’t need to be a strong slap but rather a few slight pats instead.
      – When to use: when saying hello to someone you know and want to get their attention.
      – Note: Patting one’s shoulder or back should be used for very close friends or people you know very well. Men should avoid patting women’s backs unless they’re a couple or family. Otherwise, it can be seen as an impolite gesture.
  • Gõ vào bàn/cửa (Knock on the table/door)

    • – Meaning: Another way to say hello in Vietnam using body gestures is to knock on the nearest table or door to get someone’s attention.
      – When to use: when you don’t see anyone at the place and you want to call them or when you show up when people are in the middle of the conversation and you want to politely interrupt them.
  • Gây tiếng động (Make some noise)

    • – Meaning: similarly to knocking on the table, making some noise when showing up is also another way to say Hi.
      – How to do it: you can either make some strong steps on the floor, speak loudly before entering the room, or slightly cough.
      – When to use: This can be used to say hello to your employees or people who you work with when they’re talking and you want to tell them that you’re coming.
      – Note: It should not be over because it can be seen as a rude gesture.

Similarly to using body gestures to say hello, when saying goodbye, you can also use one of the following signals to nonverbally communicate:

  • Vẫy tay, phẩy tay (Wave hand)
  • Gật đầu (Nod your head)
  • Khoanh tay chào (Fold your arms)
  • Cúi người (Bow)
  • Bắt tay (Shake hands)

2. Cử chỉ tay (Hand gestures)

You’re out of control with your hands and don’t know what to do with them? You’re not on your own! Most of the hand gestures or hand signals that I’m going to introduce to you are quite common in Vietnam and other countries when nonverbally communicating so it won’t be very hard to remember.

  • (Yes)

    • – Meaning: flexibly give a thumbs up to indicate Yes, Okay or It’s good
      – How to do: Thumbs up

A Woman Giving a Thumbs Up in Front of 2 Men
  • Không/Chưa (No)

    • – Meaning: it either means no or I haven’t
      – How to do: wave your hand or/and shake your head.
  • Tệ (Bad/Not good)

    • – How to do: this one is easy, you just need to give a thumbs down
      – When to use: when food is not good, when you want to complain or something is just simply bad.
  • Bình thường/tạm được (So so, okay)

    • – Meaning: When things are normal, not good, not bad, when you hesitate and haven’t made a decision yet.
      – How to do: Hand outstretched, wave your fingers
  • Tiền (Money/Cash)

    • – Meaning: There’s money, it takes money or I need money.
      – How to do: The thumb touches the remaining fingers and keeps moving slightly from the little finger to the index finger and vice versa.
      – Note : This should be used with your close people only, otherwise it can be seen as a pretty rude gesture as if you’re aggressively asking for money.
  • Thanh toán (I’d like to pay)

    • – How to do: have eye contact with the waiter/waitress and draw a square in the air using your fingers, you can also say “Thanh toán”, “Tính tiền” at the same time or not.
      – When to use: When you want to pay the bill or tell your friend to pay so you can leave.
  • Mấy giờ rồi (What time is it?), Muộn rồi (It’s late)

    • – How to do: point your index finger to the watch or to your wrist if you don’t wear one.
      – When to use: When you want to ask for the time or you want to tell your friend that it’s late.

A Man Pointing to His Watch
  • Chúng ta phải đi thôi (We gotta go)

    • – How to do: point your index finger to the watch or to your wrist if you don’t wear one, then point your thumb to the back or another direction.
      – When to use: when you want to give your friend a signal that you have to leave or it’s time you both should go.
  • No bụng (I’m full)

    • – How to do: rub your hand on your belly
      – When to use: when you are already full or want to refuse food from someone
  • Đói bụng (I’m hungry)

    • – How to do: slightly pat your hand on your belly a few times
      – When to use: when you’re hungry or it’s break time.
  • Giật mình (Startle) & Sợ/Ngạc nhiên (Scared/surprised)

    • – How to do: put your hand on your chest or on your mouth
      – When to use: when someone scares you or you got surprised
  • Tôi không biết (I don’t know)
    • – How to do: Shrugs, shake your head

You might be wondering why crossing fingers wasn’t listed. The reason is that it’s not common in Vietnam. Even if you know it, there’s a high possibility that the person you’re talking to doesn’t know it. Therefore, try to remember these hand signals because they seem to be easier to remember rather than learning the actual phrases, don’t they?

3. Giọng nói (Voice tone)

In Vietnam, you can read someone’s status based on their voice tone in certain specific situations. For example:

  • Nói nhanh, gấp gáp (Speak quickly, urgently): They might be in a rush or urgent situation unless they naturally speak fast. 
  • Nói chậm rãi (Speak slowly): They might be buying time or thinking of what’s going to say next. Sometimes, Vietnamese people also tend to repeat the questions if they need more time to think of the answer. 
  • Lên giọng ở cuối câu (Rising tone at the end): When someone repeats the question or what you have said with a rising tone at the end, they’re probably either thinking you’re joking, not hearing clearly, or surprised by what you’ve said. 
  • Xuống giọng ở cuối câu (Falling tone at the end): To be disappointed or upset.

Vietnamese people have different accents throughout the country. For example, people from central Vietnam have quite a strong accent in their voices. Therefore, they might sometimes sound like they’re angrily discussing something but they’re actually not. People from the West of Vietnam have a very nice and soft accent while people from the North have a stronger accent because the tones are clearer. Depending on where you are, people’s accents may vary.

4. Dấu hiệu nói dối (Signs of a lie)

A Women with a Funny Long Nose

People lie for many reasons such as to protect their feelings, confidence, self-esteem, or to protect others’ feelings. Besides “great” pretenders, Vietnamese people don’t usually tend to lie. In case they have to for some reason, here are a few signs you can tell that they might be lying:

  • Gãi đầu, gãi tai (Scratch your head, scratch your ears)
    • – When to use: When someone is having a hard time finding the answer, scratching their head or ears might be a sign that they’re lying. These are pretty basic ones and are mostly used by kids. 

  • Nhìn sang hướng khác (Look at another direction)
    • – When to use: Looking away means someone is trying to avoid eye contact with you or find excuses for something. 

  • Gãi mũi (Scratch your nose)
    • – When to use: In fact, some people, when lying, subconsciously put their hand on their face to scratch their nose or something like that to avoid attention.

  • Đổi chủ đề (Change the topic)
    • – When to use: Another sign to know if someone is lying or trying to cover the truth is when they change the topic. In Vietnam, when people do so and get caught, we usually say:
        + Đừng có đổi chủ đề nữa (Stop changing the topic)
        + Lại đổi chủ đề rồi (You change the topic again)
        + …
  • Giải thích quá (Over explaining)
    • – When to use: When explaining too much about something, it either means the other person hasn’t acknowledged what you said and you want to repeat that or you’re lying about something and want to give extra details to make it more convincing. 

  • Thay đổi tông giọng (Change voice tone)
    • – When to use: People also tend to suddenly raise or lower their tone when talking. It’s either something special or they’re lying. 

Bear in mind that these are not always true because there might be a possibility that they don’t lie or sometimes you don’t even realize that you are being lied to if you’re too into the conversation. Therefore, let’s take it easy and see them for fun. 

5. Dấu hiệu ai đó thích bạn (Signs showing someone is having a crush on you)

Knowing someone likes you doesn’t depend on what they do or say only but also on their gestures or the way they nonverbally communicate with you. 

  • Lặp lại hành động hay lời nói của bạn (Mirror your actions or words)

Mirroring a conversation partner’s gestures is one of the techniques to build rapport and get trust. Mirroring someone that you’re interested in tells a lot about how attracted they are to you. In Vietnam, when someone is into you, they will have a tendency to copy some of your gestures, words, or favorite quote. Old Vietnamese couples even have something called “tướng phu thê” meaning “husband and wife look” because they’ve been living together for a long time and are probably influenced by each other’s gestures. That’s why when a young couple look alike, Vietnamese people will say they have “tướng phu thê.”
  • Xoay người về phía bạn (Turn towards you)

Similar to mirroring your actions or words, someone is probably into you if they tend to turn towards you when talking. It means they’re interested in the conversations and want to get your full attention also.

A Woman Smiling at a Meal
  • Có xu hướng chạm nhẹ vào bạn (Tends to lightly touch you)

I remember when my boyfriend and I were on the first date, he tended to touch my back and cover for me when we crossed the road or slightly touch my hand when we were talking. He’s still doing so but what I’m trying to say is when someone is really into you, he/she might unintentionally or intentionally touch you at some point. Depending on how close the relationship is, the frequency and level of touches can be different. Touching strangers’ bodies, in general, is not very common anywhere in the world I believe, and neither is it in Vietnam. 

  • Lắng nghe bạn chăm chú (Attentively listen to you)

Last but not least, when someone likes you, they will pay full attention to what you say and need. 

6. Dấu hiệu ai đó giận dữ (Signs showing someone is angry)

A Kid Getting Angry

Fun fact, Vietnamese people can be pretty bad tempered, especially people from the North like myself. When someone gets angry, there’s not much to cover it unless they’re extremely calm or good at hiding their emotions. Here are a few regular signs in Vietnam that tell someone is getting really uncomfortable or angry. 

  • Mặt đỏ (Your face turns red)
  • Nói lớn hoặc quát tháo (Speak loudly or shout)
  • Im lặng và bỏ đi (Keep silent and leave)
  • Vò đầu bứt tai (Rub your head)

Pretty common, isn’t it?

Also, we usually say “Đổ thêm dầu vào lửa” (Add fuel to the fire or add insult to injury) to indicate someone’s actions have made a bad situation worse. This kind of action is considered pretty rude. 

7. Cử chỉ với trẻ em (Gestures with children)

Two Women Hanging Out with a Little Girl

Showing affection to kids is one of the most sensitive things to do anywhere in the world and it is controversial in Vietnam. 

Due to cultural habits, sometimes it is considered a rude gesture to a baby if the mother is not happy to let you do so. In Vietnam, most elderly people enjoy hugging, kissing, or touching newborn babies to show love. On the other hand, new mothers (mostly young women) are very uncomfortable when someone touches their baby without permission. Some kids don’t even like to be touched, including myself. I remember that I hated when my cousin’s brother kept pinching my cheeks when I was a little girl and now I keep doing the same thing with his little son, which is normal when we’re adults but not very pleasant when we were young.

Here are a few gestures that you can use when meeting children that you know.

  • Véo má (Pinching cheek)
    • – When to use: when meeting kids that you know or are in your family. Some kids don’t like it and see it as a rude gesture so you can touch your index finger on their cheek instead. 

  • Xoa đầu (Touching head)
    • – When to use: touching kids’ heads is most common in Vietnam but it should be used for babies or small kids who are shorter than you because some older kids may not like it. 

  • Bế (Lifting)
    • – When to use: Lifting or hugging is obviously suitable for babies or young kids only. When kids are in primary school and above, it’s not very easy and suitable to lift them unless you’re very close or they know you very well. 

  • Nắm tay (Holding hands)
    • – When to use: Holding kids’ hands is very important especially when walking on the street because the traffic in Vietnam is quite complicated. In addition, kids might get lost in crowded tourist spots when traveling. Only let them walk alone once you’re sure that they’re old enough.

8. Conclusion

Body gestures can help you communicate nonverbally in Vietnam better.  However, you will need to combine speaking the language also but they will absolutely help you connect to locals and understand each other better. 

There are also other ways to communicate such as writing, texting, learning through the cultures … and knowing how to use body gestures in Vietnam is like adding some spices to your dish to finally elevate the flavors. 

No matter if you’re an absolute beginner or intermediate, you’ll definitely find lessons, audio files, flashcards and other resources on VietnamesePod101. Our Youtube channel also provides interesting video lessons that will help you improve pronunciation every week. 

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Vietnamese Internet Text Slang

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Each generation of teenagers has its own language conventions, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to figure out what they’re saying. Slang words are often seen as a language that teenagers use, but the funny thing is that even adults have been adopting slang terms these days in order to stay trendy. 

Teen slang words can be puzzling to those who aren’t familiar with them. The good news is that most of them are harmless. Teenagers can use slang to express their personality, assert their independence, or simply to sound cool. They can also bond with their peers by using slang easily.

One of the most fascinating aspects of slang—which also happens to be one of the most frustrating things for language learners—is that it’s always evolving. Slang words change their meanings over time to reflect the culture’s beliefs and attitudes, and these terms are sometimes used to give conventional words new meanings. Thus, while attempting to keep up with their children, parents are probably already behind even after they think they’ve nailed a few terms.

One of the fastest ways to learn a language is to hang out with locals and discover first-hand how to use language conventions like slang. Slang is frequently used to appear friendly to show that you belong to a specific group of people or to demonstrate that you’re familiar with popular culture. Therefore, when learning Vietnamese, you should absolutely know and remember these most common modern Vietnamese text slang terms for 2022.

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  1. The Origin of Vietnamese Slang
  2. Is Slang Good or Bad?
  3. Most Common Slang Words Used by Young Vietnamese People
  4. Vietnamese Internet Slang
  5. Text Slang Expressions

1. The Origin of Vietnamese Slang

There are two kinds of Vietnamese slang words that are commonly used on the internet or for texting: Từ thuần Việt and Từ mượn.

A- Từ thuần Việt

These slang words are of purely Vietnamese origin. This class of words is considered simple and easy to understand, and it’s most often used in the media (especially journals). When a pure Vietnamese word becomes slang, it will inevitably be assigned a different meaning from its original meaning.

Example:

  • means “chicken,” but in Vietnamese slang, it refers to promising talent under the management of a company. In this case, is understood as a “pure” Vietnamese slang word, and it’s very common on the internet. 

B- Từ mượn 

This class of words comprises those that are borrowed from other languages. Essentially, the words are adopted by speakers of one language from a different language (French, Chinese, Russian…). 

Example:

  • Phi công (“Pilot”): A man who is in a relationship with an older woman
  • Vệ tinh (“Satellite”): A man who is attracted to a woman
  • Cấm vận (“Embargo”): To prohibit your partner from having sex with you

2. Is Slang Good or Bad?

Slang is often used within a specific social group. This means that each group will have its own set of slang terms that only the members of that group can understand. When forming a social group, the existence, and development of slang is almost inevitable. For example, the online community uses a separate system of slang, while students have their own slang system.

When this kind of language first appeared, people often thought it was bad and that the teenagers who used them were naughty. However, in the Vietnamese language today, slang is used much more widely. Thanks to slang, everyday stories have even become funnier and wittier. That’s why people sometimes prefer to use these types of words more often. 

3. Most Common Slang Words Used by Young Vietnamese People

You’ll be surprised by how creative and imaginative Vietnamese teenagers are when it comes to creating slang words. 

  • Gấu (“Bear”): Boyfriend/girlfriend. Calling someone gấu means you’re in a relationship, and it’s very warm to hug each other in winter (like hugging a bear). Funny, isn’t it?
  • Thả thính (“To drop fishing bait”): To flirt around. In the past, thả thính referred literally to fishing; now, it refers to a person intentionally attracting or seducing one or more people even though there’s no affection (as if they were dropping bait to catch fish).

An Animated Character Dropping Roasted Rice Powder

  • Quẩy (“Bagel twists”): To dance or to go party. While dancing, your legs usually look twisted the same way that a bagel does.

A Plate Full of Bagel Twists
  • Trẻ trâu (“Young buffaloes”): In the past, buffaloes were called calves. Today, “young buffalo” or “ox children” refers to a class of young, energetic, extravagant teenagers who like to show off and often act impulsively.

  • Cá sấu (“Crocodile”): Ugly people. Sấu has a similar pronunciation to xấu, which means “ugly,” and cá is “fish.”  So: cá sấu = ugly “fish”/people.

  • Bánh bèo (a kind of street food in Hue) is used to refer to girls who are redheaded and who appear weak and dependable.

  • GATO Ghen Ăn Tức : To be jealous. GATO also means “birthday cake,” which has nothing to do with what the slang phrase means. When you see that a Vietnamese person is GATO, you’d better not point it out; otherwise, they may get mad. 

  • Đào mộ (“Tomb digging”): In the current sense, this is the activity of finding and renewing old images or information that mistakenly attracts attention.

  • Đi bão (“To go storm”): If “storm” was previously used as a noun, it has now become a verb referring to the gathering of vehicles to celebrate a victory or racing event (mostly in football).

  • (“Chicken”): When used as an adjective, this word refers to someone who doesn’t play well, does well in games, etc. 

  • Anh hùng bàn phím (“Hero keyboard”): Used with sarcasm to mock people who “hide their faces” behind computer screens.

  • Sống ảo (“Virtual living”): People who often show off or brag about what they don’t have.

  • Bóc phốt: To reveal faults or scandals.

  • Manh chiếu mới  (“A new mat”): Newbies or innocent people.

Now, let’s move on to the next part to learn some popular Vietnamese slang words and phrases used on the internet. 

4. Vietnamese Internet Slang

Most internet slang terms are adopted from spoken Vietnamese, and they quickly go viral due to the explosion of social media platforms such as Facebook, Tiktok, and Instagram. When learning Vietnamese, you will probably see these online slang expressions while browsing the internet: 

  • ACC: Account. 
    When talking about an account, Vietnamese people sometimes forget how to spell the word correctly, which is why they just write ACC instead.
  • AC (Anh/chị): Brother or sister.
    Simply means “you.” Don’t mix it up with the one above.
  • Ad: Administrator or admin.
    Again, it’s hard for Vietnamese people to remember the spelling of certain words in English. Forgive us. 🙂
  • ATSM (Ảo tưởng sức mạnh): Power illusion.
    Those who are overconfident and under the illusion that they are the center of the universe. These young Vietnamese are not often liked by others.
A Screenshot of Text Messages

(- Ê mày ơi, con An B nó ATSM nhờ.
– Ừ công nhận)

  • Ava: Avatar.
    Profile picture.
  • Ox/Bx (Ông xã/Bà xã): Husband/Wife.
  • Bae: Before anyone else, babe, or baby. 
    Used to describe a romantic partner or good friend.
  • Blah blah blah: 
    When someone talks a lot and others don’t want to listen, they appear as if they’re babbling. Hence, “blah blah blah.” If you want to describe someone who is talkative, you can say:
    Anh ấy cứ blah blah blah mãi về lương của mình.
    He just “blah blah blahs” all the time about his salary.
  • COCC (Con ông cháu cha): Rich kids.
    Refers to the descendants of powerful people.

A Screenshot of Text Messages

(- Nghe nói Hải Đức là COCC đấy
– Là sao??
– Con ông cháu cha ý
– Ồ ra vậy)

  • G9: Goodnight.
  • Ib/PM: Inbox or DM.
    To send someone private messages on their social media.
  • KLQ (Không liên quan): Irrelevant.
  • NYC (Người yêu cũ): Not “New York City,” but rather refers to an ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend. 
  • Rep: To reply or respond to someone’s messages.
  • SNVV (Sinh nhật vui vẻ): This is a short and simple way to say “Happy birthday,” but it’s not appreciated very much as it’s too short and not very thoughtful.

A Screenshot of Text Messages

(- SVNN nha mày
Alo
???
Alooo)

5. Text Slang Expressions

Technically, spoken Vietnamese turns into internet slang. Then, once internet slang goes viral, it turns into text language. 

Now, let’s learn some common Vietnamese SMS abbreviations. Below is a list of Vietnamese text slang words that you can apply immediately:

  • Kb (không biết): Don’t know.

A Screenshot of Text Messages

(-  Có BTVN không?
– KB)

  • ntn (như thế nào): How?

  • k (không): No.

  • bb: Bye-bye.

  • uhm/uh (): Yes.

  • ls (là sao/làm sao): Why? / What?

  • đc k (được không): Is that okay?

  • đc (được): Okay, it’s good.

  • Có gì alo: Call you later. / Catch you later.

  • toang: To break up with somebody.

  • Tuesday (Thứ ba): The third person who interferes in a relationship.

  • Trà xanh: Green tea. It also means the third person who interferes in a relationship.

  • ĐLGT (Đang làm gì thế): What are you doing?

  • Cẩu lương: Dog’s food. It refers to the intimate and sweet actions of couples in love in the eyes of single people. 

Perhaps we should change the way we see slang because, as mentioned above, most of them sound pretty cute to me. Vietnamese internet and text slang, therefore, happens to be surprisingly useful when learning the language, especially if you want to sound like a local.

Using Vietnamese slang terms is enjoyable and can show you many things about Vietnamese culture. Although countless Vietnamese natives use it on a daily basis, I recommend that you only use Vietnamese slang in informal contexts with your family, friends, coworkers, or other people you know well. When speaking in a professional setting, it is preferable to utilize formal terms to express yourself directly.

If you want to learn more Vietnamese phrases, visit VietnamesePod101.com and get access to your free lifetime account right now. And see you in the next article. Bb!

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10 Best Vietnamese TV Shows for Learners to Watch

Thumbnails

Watching TV shows is a great way to learn a language. There are countless English TV programs or podcasts, but when it comes to Vietnamese TV shows, would it be limited to finding your favorite one? Absolutely not! 

Although not all Vietnamese shows have foreign language subtitles, it is considered a good way to reduce “laziness” and stop you from just translating to your native language in your head. Learning a language through TV shows, therefore, appears to be extremely beneficial yet interesting because you will learn a lot of sentences repeated continuously while watching the show.

Today I’ll share with you ways to turn what could be a boring study of Vietnamese into a fascinating activity by watching the top 10 most popular TV shows in Vietnam. Also, you’ll be provided with several websites to watch Vietnamese TV shows and dramas for free so that you can be surrounded by Vietnamese and really learn the language by immersion.

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  1. Người ấy là ai (Who is single Vietnam)
  2. Chơi là chạy (Play is run – Running man Vietnam)
  3. Vua tiếng Việt (King of Vietnamese)
  4. Giọng ải giọng ai (Hidden voices)
  5. Thương vụ bạc tỷ (Shark Tank)
  6. Ơn giời, cậu đây rồi! (Thank God, you are here)
  7. Siêu trí tuệ Việt Nam (The Brain Vietnam)
  8. Vợ chồng son (The new married couples)
  9. Rap Việt (Rap Vietnam)
  10. Thách thức danh hài (Challenge the comedians)
  11. Websites to watch Vietnamese dramas and series for free

1. Người ấy là ai (Who is single Vietnam)

Người ấy là ai – the most popular Vietnamese TV show in 2020, is an original copyrighted show from Thailand. The show’s success was partly because of the 2 hosts that are Trấn Thành, who is one of the best Vietnamese MCs, and Huong Giang, who is a singer and Miss International Queen Pageant 2018. 

Participants in each show are 5 mysterious men and a beautiful single girl. The men have to prove that they’re single by showing actions or using pick-up lines so that the girl will choose them, while the girl has to guess and eliminate those who are taken (either he’s in a relationship or married) or LGBT. Each episode has an advisory board that includes guests who are celebrities to help the girl choose the right guy. 

You’ll hear repeated words or sentences that will help you when learning languages on every Tv show. In Người ấy là ai, there will be several keywords that appear a lot, and it’s very easy to remember after an episode only. 

  • Màu xanh : Độc thân
    (Green : Single)
  • Màu đỏ : Đã có chủ
    (Red : Taken)
  • Màu tím : LGBT 
    (Purple : LGBT)

In each round, the advisory board will raise a board of color that indicates the men’s status to help the girl eliminate one who they think is unsuitable for her. The funny thing is the advisory board can be wrong many times, and it’s not helping the girl at all. Nevertheless, what makes Người ấy là ai special is that she can find the right guy without any help sometimes. That’s what true love is about, isn’t it?

One of Người ấy là ai’s slogans that is used in every episode before it begins is : 

  • Bạn đã sẵn sàng để bước vào thế giới của Người ấy là ai chưa?
    (Are you ready to enter the world of Người ấy là ai?)

This is the sign for the start of the show after the introduction and ice-breaking. Now, bạn đã sẵn sàng để bước vào thế giới của người ấy là ai chưa? Let’s enjoy the first episode of the most recent season by clicking the link below.

A video of Episode 1 – Who is single Vietnam Season 3

You can access the playlist of Người ấy là ai for more videos as well. Vie Channel HTV2 also provides a lot of interesting Vietnamese shows and dramas that you can watch for free. 

2. Chơi là chạy (Play is run – Running man Vietnam)

Needless to say, Chơi là chạy (Play is run) – the Vietnamese version of the famous Korean reality TV show Running Man, is one of the most viewed shows on Vietnam television. 

Similarly to the original version, Chơi là chạy also includes different physical activities or sports games to find clues or collect numbers to serve the final challenge Tear the nametag – the one that decides the winner of each episode. Participants are divided into 2 teams or allowed to play individually. All of them are celebrities with a good sense of humor who can attract viewers, which is the main key to the show’s success. 

Let’s learn some Vietnamese words that you will probably hear a lot while enjoying the show. 

  • Luật chơi 
    (Playing rules)
  • Xé bảng tên
    (Tear the nametag)
  • Bị loại 
    (Being eliminated)
  • Đội chơi 
    (Teams)
  • Địa điểm của trò chơi
    (Game location)
  • Khách mời 
    (Guest)
  • Chơi ăn gian
    (Cheating)

After the first season, some of the most spoken sentences are : 

  • Tiêu diệt Trấn Thành
    (Defeat Tran Thanh)

It is because Tran Thanh MC is a very strong player that he tends to win in any episode. As a result, everybody wants to “defeat” him to make sure that he won’t win so that people will have a chance to be the winner. Poor Tran Thanh, he had a lot of enemies on the show. 

  • Thánh chơi dơ 
    (Legend of cheating)

BB Tran is called for this prize as he’s always cheating in most episodes. “Dơ” means dirty; therefore, “Thánh chơi dơ” means “the legend of playing dirty,” which is cheating all the time. What’s funny is this nickname has followed BB Tran for a long time, even after season 1 has finished. 

3. Vua tiếng Việt (King of Vietnamese)

Vua tiếng Việt is a made-in-Vietnam TV game show with the desire to create a playground that combines entertainment and knowledge so that players and viewers can learn and overcome all the challenges of the Vietnamese language at the same time.

To become Vua tiếng Việt, players will have to go through 4 rounds.

  • Vòng thi thứ nhất – Vòng phản xạ (The first round – Reflection): Players have to recognize nouns (danh từ), verbs (động từ), adjectives (tính từ) or spell difficult words correctly (đánh vần từ khó chính xác)
  • Vòng thi thứ hai – Vòng giải nghĩa (The second round – Interpretation) : Players will find ways to interpret the words (diễn giải các từ) in the Vietnamese dictionary. The faster they answer, the higher their chances of scoring. 

Through each round, the player with the lowest score will be eliminated.

  • Vòng thi thứ ba – Vòng xâu chuỗi (The third round – String), the remaining two players win the right to press the bell to answer 9 questions, which are 9 strings of words that have been reversed. The person who strings the chain quickly and answers correctly will enter the final round.
  • In the final round – Soán ngôi (Usurpation), players have to write a poem (bài thơ) every 3 steps they walk according to the theme given. This is, of course, very challenging for any player since Vietnamese has tones, and it’s not easy at all to write poems in minutes that way. 

Now let’s take a look at the trailer to see how interesting and challenging this Vietnamese Tv program is.

King of Vietnamese trailer

4. Giọng ải giọng ai (Hidden voices)

Giọng ải giọng ai is based on the original Korean version of “I Can See Your Voice”, with the participation of many artists (nghệ sĩ), KOLs (người có tầm ảnh hưởng)  and mysterious vocalists (những giọng ca bí ẩn) to entertain audience. 

Each episode features 2 teams. Each team has a team leader and 2 guests who are a singer and a supporter, along with 7 mysterious voices, including those who have good vocals and those who don’t. There are three rounds: Vòng Hóa thân (Incarnation), Vòng Siêu diễn (Super performance), Vòng Lộ diện (Reveal), and each team eliminates one or two of the vocalists after each round. The goal is to weed out the poor vocalists based on limited evidence of their identity and singing ability while leaving the good vocalists. At the end, whichever team chooses the good remaining vocalist to sing wins the prize. 

In Giọng ải giọng ai, MC Đại Nghĩa usually announces these two sentences at the beginning and the end of the show:

  • Giải thưởng là 50 triệu đồng tiền mặt 
    (The prize is 50 million Vietnam Dong in cash)
  • Chương trình được phát sóng trên kênh HTV7 vào các tối Chủ nhật hàng tuần 
    (The show is broadcast on channel HTV7 every Sunday evening)

Regularly, the audience will enjoy the show a lot until the bad vocal appears. Some of them have really good appearances and performing ability BUT the voice, which is very funny; here’s why:

Episode 9 – The most viewed episode of Giọng ải giọng ai.

5. Thương vụ bạc tỷ (Shark Tank)

Thương vụ bạc tỷ – Shark Tank Vietnam is a reality television show copyrighted by Sony Pictures. Shark Tank is very successful in many countries around the world, such as the UK, Canada, and the US. The show also won the Primetime Emmy Award twice for the category of Best Reality Television Program.

When selected for the recording round, the start-up entrepreneurs coming to the show to call for investment will stand in front of investors (Sharks) and present their products. Here, we will learn a few business terms that are regularly used in Vietnam: 

  • Gọi vốn 
    (Literally, it means “Calling for capital” or “Call for investment”)
  • Nhà đầu tư 
    (Investor)
  • Doanh nhân 
    (Entrepreneur)
  • Khởi nghiệp
    (Start-up)
  • Đàm phán
    (To negotiate)

Apparently, they will have to go through 3 parts:

  • Phần 1: Giới thiệu thông tin về sản phẩm 
    (Introduce general information about the product)
  • Phần 2: Người kêu gọi đầu tư và các nhà đầu tư thương thuyết về số vốn đầu tư hoặc số lợi nhuận được trả lại 
    (Callers and investors negotiate the amount of capital invested or the amount of profit to be returned)
  • Phần 3: Quyết định đầu tư hoặc không đầu tư sau phần thương thuyết 
    (To decide to invest or not after negotiation)

Thương vụ bạc tỷ is super popular in Vietnam not only for its interesting format but also for the knowledge and styles of the Sharks, who are extremely successful entrepreneurs and investors. Viewers get to learn a lot of business experience from them through the show, and it makes the show unique. 

6. Ơn giời, cậu đây rồi! (Thank God, you are here)

Ơn giời, cậu đây rồi! is a situational comedy program produced by the Vietnam Television Film Production Center, Vietnam Television. The show’s format is based on the popular Australian comedy show Thank God You’re Here!

Ơn giời cậu đây rồi is for artists to show their improvisation on stage when they have to participate in a play without the script. The only thing they know in advance is the costumes and props they will use (if any), which are provided to them before going to their room on the stage only.

It’s time to learn some Vietnamese vocabulary about performing from Ơn giời, cậu đây rồi! 

  • Vở kịch 
    (A play)
  • Khả năng diễn xuất 
    (Performing ability)
  • Nhập vai
    (Role-playing)
  • Hoá thân thành thân vật …
    (To transform into the character …)
  • Khả năng ứng biến
    (Improvisation ability)
  • Sân khấu 
    (Stage)
  • Khán giả 
    (Audience)

Also, some the most spoken sayings that you will probably hear from MC Xuân Bắc are : 

  • Hãy dành một tràng pháo tay để chào đón các trưởng phòng 
    (Please give a round of applause to the rooms’ leaders)
  • Đây là đạo cụ dành cho bạn 
    (These are your properties)
  • Hãy mở cửa 
    (Please open the door)
  • Mời bạn vào phòng 
    (Please enter the room)

Now, let’s also take a look at one of the most viewed episodes of Ơn giời, cậu đây rồi!

Episode 7 – Thank God, you’re here!

7. Siêu trí tuệ Việt Nam (The Brain Vietnam)

Siêu trí tuệ Việt Nam – the Vietnamese version of The Brain series that originated in Germany and has gone through a series of countries such as Spain, Ukraine, France, and especially China – is the most successful version of this program. The show attracts contestants with a variety of superhuman powers and intelligence. The challenge is to overcome obstacles in memory, Rubik’s cube, algebra, and observation… 

There are three rounds in each season:

  • Lộ diện
    (Reveal)
  • Tuyên chiến
    (Declare war)
  • Giao hữu quốc tế 
    (International Friendly Match)

Talking about talents shows, these are some relevant vocabulary that appears a lot throughout the show: 

  • Giải thưởng toán học : 
    (Math prize)
  • Thử thách 
    (Challenge)
  • Đề bài 
    (Thread)
  • Câu đố 
    (Riddle)
  • Năng lực 
    (Capacity)
  • Năng lực tưởng tượng không gian 
    (Spatial imagination ability)

In addition, what the audience also wants to know before every performance is how difficult the judges think the challenge is. The question is:

  • Xin mời giám khảo cho điểm dự đoán về độ khó của đề bài 
    (Please give your score for the difficulty level of the test)

8. Vợ chồng son (The new married couples)

Two newly married couples are invited to each show. The talk consists of 2 parts:

  • In the first part, the two MCs ask the couple to share their marriage stories, from the moment they first met to the time they lived together. This part is completely unaffected by the director’s intentions. Therefore, couples can freely share their feelings and true stories in the most honest way. 
  • Part two is the Lucky Draw, with 4 prizes in 4 boxes. The couple will randomly draw to receive valuable prizes from the Organizing board.

Vợ chồng son is a reality TV talk show that is broadcast every Sunday on channel HTV7. The program is based on the famous 40-year-old format of Asahi Television and is one of the most popular TV programs in Japan.

Since we’re talking about a marriage-life show, why don’t we mention some regular vocabulary picked from Vợ chồng son?

  • Chuyện tình yêu
    (Love story)
  • Cặp vợ chồng : 
    (A married couple)
  • Cưới/kết hôn
    (To get married)
  • Lần gặp đầu tiên
    (The first met)

Also, the couples will probably be asked :

  • Hai bạn gặp nhau như thế nào? 
    (How did you guys first meet)
  • Hai bạn cưới nhau được bao lâu rồi 
    (How long have you been married)
  • Điều gì bạn ghét nhất ở chồng bạn? 
    (What do you hate the most about your husband?)
  • Bạn có muốn chia sẻ điều gì với chồng bạn không? 
    (Do you want to say anything to your husband now?)

9. Rap Việt (Rap Vietnam)

Rap Viet is a rap talent search program licensed from Workpoint TV’s The Rapper program, produced by Ho Chi Minh City Television in collaboration with Vie Channel.

Contestants will choose an idea from Vietnam culture or Vietnamese daily life to remake with their rap lyrics to convince the coaches. The coaches select potential and suitable candidates (ứng viên) for their team by activating the pedal in front of the hot seat (ghế nóng)

In the event that two or more coaches choose a contestant at the same time, the other judges will be the ones to decide that the contestant will join the team with the coach they feel is suitable. When the judges disagree on which team to choose, the contestant will be the final decision maker (người quyết định)

If you want to know what someone thinks about a performance, you can use this sentence structure from the host:

  • Ban giám khảo nghĩ sao về tiết mục vừa rồi? 
    (What do you think about the performance?)

Here Ban giám khảo plays a role as a subject which means you can replace it with any other subject such as bạn(you) or anh/chị(you).

If you want to call for votings, you can also use : 

  • Nếu các bạn yêu thích tiết mục này, hãy bình chọn ngay cho anh ấy 
    (If you like this performance, please vote for him immediately)

By the way, are you wondering how to use conditional sentences in Vietnamese correctly? Visit this video on VietnamesePod101 for further instructions.

Top 12 best performances of Rap Viet

10. Thách thức danh hài (Challenge the comedians)

Thách thức danh hài (Crack Them Up Vietnam) is a Vietnamese television game co-produced by Ho Chi Minh City Television and Dien Quan Media & Entertainment Company.

This is an interactive program between contestants and the judges; in each contest, contestants will have one minute to make the two judges laugh and win cash prizes corresponding to each round. There are 5 rounds in total, and the difficulty level increases with the judges trying-not-to-laugh. Thách thức danh hài is a truly entertaining show that has brought a lot of both laughs and tears to the audience. 

There have been only 3 seasons, and the organizing board hasn’t seemed to produce the fourth season yet. Nevertheless, Thách thức danh hài is still one of the best comedy shows so far, and it’s worth it to watch every episode. 

Now let’s learn how to welcome someone:

  • Hãy cùng chào đón 2 vị danh hài là 2 giám khảo quen thuộc của chúng ta 
    (Please welcome the 2 comedians that are our 2 familiar judges)

11. Websites to watch Vietnamese dramas and series for free

It’s been a lot for today, but it’s not done yet. I still have a few things to share with you. In case you want to be surrounded by the Vietnamese language, check these out right now for free Vietnamese dramas, game shows, and TV series.

1. VTV Giải trí & xem TV trực tuyến (VTV entertainment and watch TV online) : 

Here are a few simple steps for you to sign up:

  • Step 2: Click Đăng nhập (Sign in)

Màn Hình Trang Chủ

Step 3: Click Đăng ký (Sign up)

Màn Hình Dăng Ký
  • Step 4: Provide your email and create a password by filling in the blanks

    • Email 

      Mật khẩu (Password)

      Xác nhận mật khẩu (Confirm password)

Màn Hình Dăng Ký
  • Step 5: Click Đăng ký (Sign up)
  • Step 6: Enjoy Vietnamese movies world
Màn Hình Trang Chủ

2. VTV Go

Not only can you read the latest news, but also watch Vietnamese movies and live news for free on VTV Go. What better things do you need to learn Vietnamese, folks?

VTV Go is even simpler than VTV Giải trí because it doesn’t require an account. All you need to do is to choose what interests you and enjoy it. Sadly, not many things on official Vietnamese websites and channels have English subtitles, but I think it should be considered a great deal for you to improve your reading and listening as well. 

Don’t forget that you can also find plenty of flashcards, videos, and thousands of Vietnamese lessons and access your free lifetime account anytime on VietnamesePod101. Once you set a clear goal for your language learning, you will absolutely achieve it soon.

See you in the very next article. Guess what’s coming next? 

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How To Find a Job in Vietnam

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Four years ago I went to the Philippines to travel for the first time. I was so in love with the country that I couldn’t help but try to find a job there. I thought it was a nice country to live in and work in. A year later I got selected to join a short project in the Philippines for six months and, at the same time, that was when I started working for VietnamesePod101 as well. 

If you visit Vietnam and decide to stay for an extended period, you should research how to find a job in Vietnam. Unless you’re a freelancer working remotely most of the time, you must somehow find a job or do something for a living when being abroad. 

An expats satisfaction survey conducted in January 2021 shows that Vietnam is one of the top 10 countries where foreigners are happiest with both work and personal lives in 2021. Vietnam has become an extremely expat-friendly country in terms of job security and a stable local economy. It is surprisingly easy to find a job, especially when you’re a native English speaker, even with or without a degree. 

In this article, I’m going to reveal all the job possibilities and the other non-teaching jobs that you can take into consideration in Vietnam based on my four year-experience using English as the second language in my work. There will also be some conditions such as a Vietnamese visa and other requirements which need to be fulfilled and hopefully, you will have a clear idea of what fits you most before deciding to move to Vietnam.

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  1. The job market in Vietnam overview
  2. Regular Hiring Procedure
  3. Language Teaching Jobs
  4. Blue-collar Jobs
  5. Office Jobs
  6. Health, science, and technology-related jobs:
  7. Start your own business
  8. Conclusion

1. The job market in Vietnam overview

Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Danang, and Binh Duong are some of the cities that attract native English speakers most for their varieties of jobs. There are foreign companies or companies with foreign capital based in these cities as well. Therefore, the very first target if you aim for a chance of finding jobs in Vietnam should be in these places. The second city level that provides job options as well might be cities like Quang Ninh, Bac Ninh, Hue, Dong Nai, Vung Tau, and so on. The salary range can be smaller due to the smaller size of the city, but benefits are as good as in big cities since they want to attract strong candidates.

A Picture of Hanoi from Above

Due to great economic growth in recent years, Vietnam has opened up many diverse professions for not only locals but also expatriates. Aside from the very common teaching jobs in Vietnam, there are foreigners working as IT engineers, digital marketers, chefs, or managerial roles in big corporations. Accordingly, numerous job search websites have been launched to help candidates reach employers easier. Here is a list of websites and pages that you can absolutely take a look at when thinking of searching for a job in Vietnam. 

  • TopCV: Top CV was initially a website that provides resume templates. Later on, they connected with a wide network of employers and are currently recruiting tons of people and become one of the leading websites in the industry. 
  • Vietnamworks: There are thousands of jobs with attractive incomes from top companies in Vietnamworks. It’s easy to apply, jobs are of a good standard with high salaries, and there are attractive benefits. It’s also constantly updated with new work every day.
  • Timviecnhanh: A partner of over 500,000 businesses, bringing many chances of getting a job for job seekers, Timviecnhanh has been a prestigious recruitment site in Vietnam and it’s very easy to sign up also.
  • MyWork: Among job search websites in Vietnam, MyWork is a trusted, effective and prestigious job search page for candidates and employers. They also provide a hotline with a free consultation.
  • CareerLink: CareerLink is Top 10 E-commerce enterprises in 2015 with over 22,000 attractive jobs.
  • LinkedIn: a social network that focuses on businesses or professional individuals who need to connect for finding jobs and currently recruiting. A social networking site designed for the business community, LinkedIn’s goal is to allow users to network with people they know professionally.
  • Facebook: Last but not least, there are a few big Facebook Groups in Vietnam where you can find job opportunities such as Hanoi Massive Job or Saigon Massive where you can ask anything related to the city. 

2. Regular Hiring Procedure

Submitting a resume until getting a job can take approximately a week to a month. The usual hiring process in Vietnam is similar to everywhere else in the world, depending on the complexity of the job. It includes: 

  • Step 1 : Duyệt hồ sơ (Screen resume)
  • Step 2 : Liên hệ phỏng vấn (Contact for an interview)
  • Step 3 : Phỏng vấn với nhà tuyển dụng (Interview with employer)
  • Step 4 : Nhận thư mời làm việc (Receive offer letter)
  • Step 5 : Ký thoả thuận thử việc (Sign probation agreement)
  • Step 6 : Ký hợp đồng chính thức (Sign official contract)

The probation period in Vietnam usually takes 2 months for regular positions and 1 month for managerial positions due to the lack of strong candidates. Employees who are on probation period are entitled to a wage. It may, however, equal 75-80% of a regular employee’s compensation and may not include any bonuses or benefits. 

Volunteers can get paid sometimes depending on the project and organization. I may share with you more details about volunteering jobs in another article but within the framework of this one, I’m going to mostly discuss jobs that you officially get paid for.

A Resume

3. Language Teaching Jobs

Vietnam’s education industry has been one of the leading markets in Asia for its potential and growth over the past years. Due to the high expectation of Vietnamese parents for their children’s English skills, as well as the requirement of adults’ English ability for many jobs, thousands of English centers were opened to meet the need for language learning.

Being an English teacher, therefore, has become the number one chance of getting a great life in Vietnam for native English speakers these days. Some of the most popular English centers throughout Vietnam are Apolo, Apax, Wall Street English, Language Link, VUS, Ames, ILA, CEC, Ocean Edu, and Amslink. The regular hourly rate that you might have seen ranges from $15 to $40 depending on the center and class type. Basic requirements include native English speakers with TESOL, TEFL, CELTA, or BA. English speakers that come from countries using English as the second language can possibly find a job in Vietnam as an English, math or science teacher in local schools as well. Benefits vary from business visas, work permits, health insurance, to paid holidays.

A Teacher Pointing at the Blackboard

A regular hiring process usually includes 3 steps

  • Interview with the Human Resource Department
  • Interview with the Academic Department
  • Demo class

Teaching experience is highly recommended but not a must when looking for teaching jobs in Vietnam. The training system in Vietnam is not flush with fancy video training or materials but it’s enough to provide you with the necessary tools and teaching techniques. At big and reputed English centers, the academic manager is often a native English speaker. However, in some smaller centers, this responsibility can be taken by a Vietnamese speaker. 

To find a job in Vietnam as an English teacher, there is a chance of finding available positions in the English center that you’ve targeted directly, so you can avoid commission from agencies. On the other hand, some people may prefer working through agencies (Ex: New Way) because all the procedures and paperwork such as getting a Vietnamese visa can be fully taken care of. Another tip to get a teaching job in Vietnam is doing research beforehand because it will help when negotiating salaries with employers.

Knowing basic Vietnamese will help you understand the main difficulties of Vietnamese students, letting you make better teaching strategies. Bear in mind that teaching in public schools can be a little tiring due to the high student number as opposed to teaching in private English centers. Plus, you might be requested to do office hours or admin tasks in both environments which is perfectly common in Vietnam. 

4. Blue-collar Jobs

Nhân viên bán hàng (sales person), giao hàng (delivery guy), bảo vệ (security guard), phụ bếp (kitchen assistant), or tài xế (driver) are considered blue-collar jobs in Vietnam.

Although the job title is not prestigious, blue-collar jobs in Vietnam contain a few advantages that are relatively suitable for people who don’t have a good deal of expertise:

  • Dễ dàng tìm kiếm (Easy to search)
  • Không yêu cầu bằng cấp và kinh nghiệm (Does not require qualifications and experience)
  • Không đòi hỏi tay nghề cao (Does not require high skills)
  • Không cần biết ngoại ngữ (Does not need to foreign languages)

However, there are undoubtedly several cons that blue-collar workers might face such as: 

  • Không phù hợp với người nước ngoài (Not suitable for foreigners)
  • Lương thấp (Low salary)
  • Không có cơ hội thăng tiến (No promotion opportunities)

Aside from the websites mentioned above, ViecLamTot is one of Vietnam’s first job-posting platforms specializing in blue-collar labor. In addition, ChoTot, Grab, Beamin, Shopee are platforms and marketplaces that provide numerous job opportunities in Vietnam for this group of workers as well. Blue-collar jobs require a lot of Vietnamese speaking and working under poor conditions. As a result, it’s not a good option for native English speakers in this case. 

5. Office Jobs

Office jobs are often common everywhere in the world due to their stability and commitment. In Vietnam, some of the regular office jobs that you may see are: 

  • Lễ tân khách sạn (Receptionist)
  • Trợ lý văn phòng (Office assistant)
  • Nhân viên hành chính (Admin staff)
  • Kế toán (Accountant)
  • Giám đốc vận hành (Operations Manager)
  • Trưởng phòng nhân sự (HR Manager)
  • Nhân viên chăm sóc khách hàng (Customer Service Officer)
  • Quản trị viên bán hàng (Sales admin)

Being an expat can be a huge advantage as an office worker due to the low percentage of Vietnamese adults who are proficient in English. Besides, the pros seem to be attractive for people who don’t have high demands in terms of work conditions. 

  • Nói tiếng Anh là một lợi thế (English speaking is an advantage)
  • Công việc ổn định (Stable job)
  • Thời gian làm việc cố định (Fixed working time)
  • Phúc lợi tốt (Good benefits)
  • Có cơ hội thăng tiến (Promotion opportunity)

On the other hand, there are a few cons that might make you consider learning Vietnamese and improving your speaking skills before applying for this kind of job, because it will help you adapt better to the environment. 

  • Mức lương trung bình (Average salary)
  • Sử dụng nhiều tiếng Việt (Using a lot of Vietnamese)
  • Ưu tiên người VIệt Nam với các vị trí thấp (Priority is given to Vietnamese in low positions)
  • Các vị trí cấp cao ở các công ty nước ngoài thường ưu tiên tuyển dụng người nước ngoài (Senior positions in foreign companies often prioritize recruiting foreigners)

6. Health, science, and technology-related jobs:

6 People in Different Professions

If none of the jobs mentioned above seems to interest you, here is the list of occupations in other fields that you can also consider when looking for a job in Vietnam.

  • Thiết kế (Designer)
  • Chuyên viên y tế công cộng (Public Health Specialist)
  • Giáo viên môn khoa học (Science Teacher)
  • Kỹ sư dữ liệu (Data Engineer)
  • Kỹ sư công nghệ thông tin (IT engineer)
  • Người thử nghiệm (Tester)
  • Bác sĩ (Doctor)
  • Y tá (Nurse)
  • Công việt viết lách (Writing job)

The medical industry always has a shortage of professors and doctors due to the high level of expertise and great work pressure. It happens in science, technology, and other specialized industries as well. Since these kinds of jobs require more experience than others especially in special areas, there are certain advantages in the industry such as:

  • Lương cao (High salary)
  • Phúc lợi tốt (Good benefits)
  • Môi trường làm việc chuyên nghiệp (Professional working environment)
  • Cơ hội thăng tiến rõ ràng (Clear promotion opportunities)
  • Mở rộng mạng lưới chuyên môn (Potential to expand professional network)

However, based on the complexity of the work, challenges may exist:

  • Yêu cầu kinh nghiệm và kiến thức chuyên môn (Requires experience and professional knowledge)
  • Áp lực cao (High pressure)
  • Trách nhiệm lớn (Great responsibility)
  • Yêu cầu đảm bảo tiến độ (Requirement to ensure progress)

The fact is, there are a large number of experts and specialists working in these fields in Vietnam and achieving a lot of success. Working with head-hunting companies such as HR Channels, Navigos Group, Man Power, or HR2B can also be a good option in this case because they have a wide connection with different big companies and corporations where they don’t often use regular job search platforms to post available important positions.

7. Start your own business

Ribbon Cutting

There are two ways to legally start a business in Vietnam as an expat, which are through direct and indirect foreign investment. Direct foreign investment entails forming a joint venture or a 100% foreign-owned company with a Vietnamese partner. Indirect foreign investment, on the other hand, entails purchasing shares in Vietnamese corporations.

Either way of investment, the four types of taxes to be aware of are:

  • Thuế thu nhập doanh nghiệp (Corporate Income Tax) – CIT : 20%
  • Thuế thu nhập cá nhân (Personal Income Tax) –  PIT : 5-35%
  • Thuế VAT (Value Added Tax) : 0-10%
  • Thuế nhà thầu nước ngoài (Foreign Contractor Tax) – FCT: varies according to the business sector

For many company areas, a beginning capital of $10,000 USD is a good place to start before investing in Vietnam. However, choosing the right market and your partners can also be challenging due to cultural differences. There was an English teacher that I know in Hanoi who is now having a very successful business. He shared with me that he started by joining a small capital with one of his acquaintances for a small bar in the old quarter. Getting more experience in running businesses in Vietnam, he now owns a few other bars and pubs with similar concepts that attract a lot of young people. “Choosing the right partner is the key” – he said. And I believe it’s true in every situation. 

8. Conclusion

You now have a basic understanding of the working environment in Vietnam, and it’s up to you to decide what to do next.

Working in other countries can be challenging initially, but it will be a lifetime experience for people who want to explore the world. Vietnam, fortunately, is an amazing country where lots of expats have already built successful careers. Nevertheless, learning about the culture or etiquette before traveling to Vietnam is essential and I will share it more with you in a near-future article.

On top of that, learning the Vietnamese language gives you many chances of getting good jobs in Vietnam not only to improve your career but also your personal life when living here. Are you ready to work in Vietnam? Don’t forget to check out VietnamesePod101 before applying for a job. We provide you with tons of lessons, audio files, vocabulary lists, or flashcards and you can also sign up for a free lifetime account to master your language.

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Are you currently debating whether or not to learn Vietnamese?

You aren’t alone. Learning a new language requires a huge investment of time, and often money as well. That’s why so many people are hesitant to spend the amount of effort required to become fluent in another language. However, learning a new language can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life and there are a number of reasons why you should start studying one… and start studying now!

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More Opportunities
That’s right. It’s not rocket science. A new language can open up many new doors. You’re able to work in countries other than your own, leading to a world of new opportunities. It can also qualify you for many new jobs in your home country as well! There are tons of employers who look to hire multilingual professionals every year!

Meeting New People
This may be one of the most rewarding parts of learning a new language. You’ll be able to get to know speakers of other languages on a more personal level. Meeting people from around the world is one of the main reasons people begin to study a language, so don’t ever feel like making new friends isn’t a good enough reason to start studying!

Exploring A Different Culture
Whether you decide to live abroad, or you’re just taking a vacation, knowing the local language will give you the ability to better understand the people and culture of a different country. This can open your eyes to not only their country, but your country as well! You can understand how people see your home from their perspective.

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Good news! Studying a new language actually comes with health benefits! Studying a new language helps keep your brain sharp! By studying every day, you’re helping your mind fight off the old age and stay fresh!

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When it comes down to it, learning a new language is just plain fun! There’s always something new to learn and the rewards are endless! Whether your goal is to meet new people or to get a job in a new country, language learning is something that is actually enjoyable!

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