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Lesson Transcript

Jason: Welcome back to VietnamesePod101.com. This is All About, Lesson 5 - Top 5 Must-Know Phrases for Learning Vietnamese
Giang: Yes. In this lesson, we'll introduce you to five phrases that will help you every day!

Lesson focus

Jason: Yes, these are phrases that you will be really glad you learned. We'll teach you not only the phrases, but when and where to use them. In this lesson, we are going to give you the phrase, pause for you to repeat it, explain it and give some examples if necessary, and then jump to the next phrase. Giang, what’s the first one?
Giang: "Xin chào." (Pause) The most practical phrase in Vietnamese is "Xin chào"
Jason: Yes. It is used like English “hello,” or “hi”. But you can use this greeting in both formal and informal situations, and at any time of the day.
Giang: When someone greets you with this word, you simply respond with…"Xin chào!"
Giang: In daily conversation, Vietnamese people use only the word “chào” together with a personal pronoun addressing the other person when greeting each other. For example to greet a slightly older man. you say “Chào anh”
Jason: Now the next phrase...
Giang: "Cảm ơn" (Pause)
Jason: It means “thank you”. A well-placed and sincere "thank you" will always be appreciated when someone gives you a plate of food, a drink, or even a compliment.
Giang: Again, it’s "Cảm ơn" (pause). “Cảm” is the mid-dipping falling tone and “ơn” is the flat tone.
Jason: Now, let’s say “thank you” in a formal way.
Giang: Xin cảm ơn. Simply add “xin”, which means “please” before cảm ơn. It literally means “let me give my thanks”.
Jason: Our next phrase is “please”
Giang: "Xin" (pause)
Jason: Again, it means “please” or “be so kind” and it is a useful phrase to be used when you want to ask somebody for help.
Giang: Yes, but Vietnamese people don’t use “xin” alone. You should use “Xin” with the phrase “giúp tôi”, which means “for me”. So all together, you can say “xin” then what you need and add “giúp tôi” at the end.
Jason: Now, let’s say “Please show me the direction”.
Giang: “Xin chỉ đường giúp tôi” . So to mean “Please show me the direction”, first you say “xin” meaning “please”, then the phrase “chỉ đường” which means “show the direction.”, then finally say “giúp tôi”, meaning “for me”.
Jason: The next phrase is “Excuse me”.
Giang: There are two Vietnamese equivalents of “Excuse me”. When you want to ask something, you say “Xin hỏi” which means “let me ask”, then ask your question.
Jason: Excuse me, what time is it?
Giang: Xin hỏi, mấy giờ rồi?
Jason: Then in other situations, for example, to request something, to order food or drink, to squeeze by someone etc.
Giang: You use “Xin lỗi”.
Jason: How would you say “Excuse me, can I borrow your pen?”
Giang: Xin lỗi, cho tôi mượn cái bút được không?
Giang: But “xin lỗi” also means “sorry”.
Jason: And that’s the last phrase we’re going to learn in this lesson. This is the phrase that can be used when you really want to apologize.
Giang: In that case, say “Xin lỗi” meaning “sorry” or “Tôi xin lỗi” meaning “I’m sorry”. “Tôi xin lỗi” is more formal and sounds more sincere.


Jason: So we’ve covered the 5 most practical phrases in Vietnamese. Knowing these phrases will take you a long way.
Giang: You'll probably use each of them every day!
Jason: So keep these phrases in mind and we'll see you next time!


Please to leave a comment.
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VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 12:00 PM
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Hi everyone!

Do you remenber the 5 phrases learned?

VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Monday at 12:16 PM
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Hello Beesew,

Thank you very much for your comment.

Regarding your first question, I have sent it to our team and we will answer you soon.

About the Vietnamese keyboard, maybe you can try installing Unikey in your computer. Besides, you also can try some online Vietnamese keyboard websites. Please let us know if you have difficulties in searching for these keyboards.

About your final question, "thank you" = "cảm ơn" = "cám ơn".

There is no difference in meaning, just a small difference in pronunciation of two expressions. Maybe some people find it difficult to pronounce "cảm", then they say "cám" instead. You can use either of them.

Please let us know if you have further question.

Best regards,

Nguyet Nguyen

Team VietnamesePod101.com

Wednesday at 01:14 AM
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I am still trying to learn how to maneuver my through the sight. For example I am studying the top 5 must know phrases. But I am only on the first phrase and when I click the forward it takes me to a lesson 6. If is different from when I access the same lesson on my phone. It gives me a Dialogue and Vocabulary and different dialog. What I am doing wrong. I am trying to access the lessons in sequence.

How do you load the Vietnamese keyboard for a computer running Windows 10. Can anyone give me the best keyboard to use for the lessons to write the Vietnamese exercises?

Another question is: Why is there 2 different spelling for thank you when it is used differently. ?

VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Monday at 08:08 PM
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Hi Guy,

Thank you for posting.

The Premium account allows access to all audio&video lessons in the course.

Could you please try to log in with a different browser?

You can also try downloading the audio file and listening to it with an audio player on your device.

If you still have problems, please send us an email at contactus@VietnamesePod101.com so that we can take a look at the issue closely.:wink:



Team VietnamesePod101.com

Guy Hardin
Friday at 07:51 AM
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Hello Cristiane,

My current subscription is the premium. The next upgrade does not show any additional audio files....so what audio files am I not able to see that i would get from the Premium PLUS subscription?

Thank you.

VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 04:11 AM
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Hi Guy Hardin, and welcome to VietnamesePod101.com!

Our website consists of free material, which is available to all users, as well as premium material, which is available to our members once they upgrade their account. Please note that not all our lessons include free audio files. This is why you cannot see the free audio file in this lesson.

If you are enjoying our free lessons and want to improve your Vietnamese skills even more, then we recommend you to upgrade your account so that you will have access to more audio files!

If you have any more questions, please let us know! We will be glad to assist you!

Best Regards,


Team VietnamesePod101.com

Guy Hardin
Tuesday at 03:51 AM
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Why do some of the lessons have audio files available and others don"t?

VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 05:04 PM
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Hello Duges,

Thank you for posting and helping gtc.

Let us know if there's any further questions.



Team VietnamesePod101.com

Tuesday at 09:17 PM
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gtc, look above the title of the lesson and you should see DOWNLOAD PDF's. Download the Lesson Transcript and voila there is the text.

Thursday at 06:34 AM
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There are different ways to learn. I find this audio very difficult without seeing the words said. I cannot make notes when I cannot visualize or spell the words spoken. It would be better to use the audio in combination with the spoken word.

VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Monday at 12:45 PM
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Hi Colin,

Thank you for your question.

"Chào em" is used to greet a younger person. The pronoun "em" means "you" and is to call someone who is younger than you (either male or female). So "chào em" already means "hi (you)" and a name is not necessary here, but adding a name is still grammatically correct. Your friend may find it funny because she is close to you and saying both "em + her name" is not necessary. In other words, using "chào + pronoun + name" is not wrong, but Vietnamese usually use "chào + pronoun" or "chào + name" to greet someone they know well ("chào + name" is only to greet someone younger or of the same age).

In case you don't know which pronoun to use, you can ask the other person directly or just say "xin chào" (formal) or "chào" (informal).

I hope you have had fun studying Vietnamese.

Cảm ơn.


Team VietnamesePod101.com.