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Lesson Transcript

Becky: Hi everyone. I’m Becky. Welcome back to VietnamesePod101.com This is the Absolute Beginner series, Season 1, Lesson 11 - Bargaining At A Vietnamese Market.
Huyen: Xin chào! I’m Huyen.
Becky: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to ask about prices. The conversation takes place at the market and is between Mai and the seller. They’re using daily conversational language.
Huyen: Right, because that’s the language used in outdoor markets in Vietnam.
Becky: Ok, let’s listen to the conversation.
Mai: Xin hỏi, cái này bao nhiêu tiền?
Seller: 30 nghìn.
Mai: Đắt quá. Giảm giá chút đi! 20 nghìn được không?
Seller: Thôi cũng được.
Mai: Vậy cho tôi lấy cái này.
Mai: Excuse me, how much is this?
Seller: Thirty thousand dong.
Mai: So expensive. Can you lower the price a little bit? What about twenty thousand dong?
Seller: That's fine.
Mai: Ok, I'll take this.
Becky: Let’s talk about going shopping in Vietnam.
When you go shopping in Vietnam, it’s very common to bargain, especially in the market.
How much should we ask to lower prices?
Huyen: Well, there is no specific rule because it depends on the items you are buying.
Becky: Foreigners are more likely to buy things at higher prices than the value.
Huyen: True, but not all Vietnamese people are good at bargaining. Some shops charge much higher prices than the true value, and others just increase the price a little.
Becky: So it would be better if you check the average price of the item you want to buy, before going shopping so that you won’t pay a huge amount for a truly inexpensive item.
Huyen: Right, and if you’re not into bargaining, you can go to the supermarkets.
Becky: Yeah, I guess that’s where all products have price tags. Okay, now let’s move on to the vocab.
Becky: Let’s take a closer look at some of the words and phrases from this lesson. First we have...
Huyen: ...quá...
Becky: “too”, “so”, or “very”. This adverb is added after an adjective or another adverb to enhance their meaning. It can express a compliment or a criticism. Huyen, can you give an example of a compliment?
Huyen: Sure. Bức tranh này đẹp quá.
Becky: “This painting is so beautiful.” And criticism?
Huyen: Canh này mặn quá.
Becky: “This soup is too salty.” And what’s the next word?
Huyen: chút
Becky: “A little”
Huyen: You can say Chút or một chút...
Becky: ...both mean the same thing. They are commonly used in daily conversation. For example...
Huyen: ...Cho hỏi chút.
Becky: “Can I ask you a little question?”
Huyen: Ăn một chút đi!
Becky: “Eat a little, please.”
Huyen: Nghỉ một chút.
Becky: “Relax a little.” Okay, now onto the grammar.
Becky: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to ask the question “How much is this?”
Huyen: Cái này bao nhiêu tiền?
Becky: When you want to ask about the price of an item, say the item at the beginning of the sentence, then add...
Huyen: ...Bao nhiêu tiền...
Becky: ...which literally means “how much money?” If you point at something and ask its price, you can say...
Huyen: ...cái này…
Becky: ...meaning “this”, or…
Huyen: ...cái kia…
Becky: ...meaning “that”, then add…
Huyen: ...bao nhiêu tiền.
Becky: Can you give us some examples?
Huyen: Cái này bao nhiêu tiền?
Becky: “How much is this?”
Huyen: Cái kia bao nhiêu tiền?
Becky: “How much is that?” The currency in Vietnam is “dong”, and a “thousand dong”, is
Huyen: nghìn đồng.
Becky: So you can use this word to answer about the price. But in most cases, people just say…
Huyen: ...nghìn…
Becky: ...and it can also be understood easily. Let’s hear some more examples.
Huyen: Cái kia bao nhiêu tiền?
Becky: “How much is that?”
Huyen: Ba mươi nghìn.
Becky: “Thirty thousand dong.”
Huyen: Quyển sách này bao nhiêu tiền?
Becky: “How much is this book?”
Huyen: Hai mươi nghìn.
Becky: “Twenty thousand dong.”
Huyen: Cái bút kia bao nhiêu tiền?
Becky: “How much is that pen?”
Huyen: Mười nghìn.
Becky: “Ten thousand dong.” Alright, are you ready to go shopping in Vietnam? Don’t forget to practice this question when you have a chance!


Becky: Okay, that’s it for this lesson. For a review of this lesson, check the lesson notes. Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time.
Huyen: Tạm biệt!


Please to leave a comment.
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VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Hello Listeners! Would you bargain at a Vietnamese Market during your visit to Vietnam?

Vietnamesepod101.com Verified
Monday at 03:35 PM
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Hi Alberto,

Are you referring the phrase '20 nghìn được không' as a short form of "Cái này/ cái kia 20 nghìn được không?" when bargaining a price of something? If so, "được" is a part of "được không?" which is the questioning word "ok" of this question: "Is it/ that 20 thousands ok?". I hope this explanation helps and let me know if you have any other questions.



Team Vietnamesepod101.com

Vietnamesepod101.com Verified
Monday at 03:29 PM
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Hi John Thompson,

Thank you for your comment. Your recommendation of spelling out numbers is appreciated and we'll consider to edit it. And please note that "30 nghìn" = "ba mươi nghìn", not "ba mười nghìn" although the number ""30 nghìn" literally means "3 tens" and 10 is "mười" in Vietnamese but in spoken and written forms of tens, "mươi" is used instead of "mười".

We are also aware of the audio issue and working on it. Please check again later. Thank you again and let us know if you have any other questions!



Team Vietnamesepod101.com

Tuesday at 11:31 PM
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Xin Chao,

In the sentence '20 nghìn được không', what is the meaning of the word 'được'?

I have tried to looked in web dictionaries, but every dictionary gives me a different meaning!

John Thompson
Thursday at 04:27 AM
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Please spell out numbers. I.e. instead of "30 nghìn", write "ba mười nghìn" so we get practice with spelling numbers. (I had to look up "mười".)

I second the comment about fixing the audio for the vocabulary words. Several of the audio files are wrong in the vocabulary section of this and many other lessons, as well as in the dictionary.



VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Monday at 03:04 AM
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Hello Jen,

Thank you for posting.

We're sorry for the inconvenience.

We're aware of the issue and trying to fix it as soon as possible.

Please stay tuned.

Let us know if you have any question.



Team VietnamesePod101.com

Tuesday at 08:21 PM
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Hi - the lessons are nice, but the audio is really messed up for the vocabulary words. In this lesson, if I go to the vocabulary words, half of them have the wrong audio attached. For example, I want to hear the word "nhieu" but I hear the words "cay nay." I hope you will fix this soon.

VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Thursday at 10:01 PM
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Chào bạn Kn,

You can say both:

Mấy hôm nay, giá vàng đang hạ xuống.

Dạo này, giá vàng đang hạ xuống.

They all mean: The price of gold is going down these days.

"Mấy hôm nay" is constructed with "mấy" (plural for noun) and "hôm nay" (means "today"), which make it feels like closer to "today", to the present and is more specific. "Dạo này" sounds more like saying in general: "recently".



Team VietnamesePod101.com

Thursday at 04:03 PM
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Xin Chao,

Question about: Mấy hôm nay giá vàng đang hạ xuống. ("The price of gold is going down these


gold price = giá vàng

is going down = đang hạ xuống

In the previous lesson, lesson10 - catching up with an old friend, we learnt:

these days = Dạo này

e.g. Dạo này thế nào (How are things these days)

So, how about:

Dạo này giá vàng mấy đang hạ xuống

Chào bạn, (we can use this to conclude spoken/written conversation, đúng?)

Vậy hẹn gặp lại sau nhé

VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 06:10 PM
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Hi Lawrence,

"cho" here means "to give". "Cho tôi lấy cái này" literally means "give me this" (This. please)

It can be used when you buy something.

1. Cho tôi hai cái bánh mì. (Two loaves of bread, please)

2. Cho tôi một cân thịt bò. (1 kg of beef, please)



Team VietnamesePod101.com

Friday at 04:48 PM
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Hi Giang,

regarding to "vay cho toi lay cai nay", what does cho mean here?