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Lesson Transcript

Xin chào, tôi là Giang. Hi everybody! I’m Giang.
Welcome to VietnamesePod101.com’s “3 phút học tiếng Việt”. The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn Vietnamese.
In the last lesson, we learned how to talk about locations in Vietnamese.
In this lesson, we are going to learn one more common question in daily conversation - “How old are you?”
It’s normal for people in Vietnam to ask each other’s age. Because it is very important in Vietnam to know which personal pronoun to address the other person with, people usually ask about age when they first meet.
If someone asks you Bạn bao nhiêu tuổi? just know that it means “How old are you?” in informal Vietnamese.
[slowly] Bạn bao nhiêu tuổi?
In formal situations, we don’t use the pronoun bạn. Instead, we would use anh for a man and chị for a woman. The whole question is longer - Xin hỏi anh bao nhiêu tuổi? for a man.
or Xin hỏi chị bao nhiêu tuổi? for a woman
This literally means “May I ask how old you are?”
[slowly] Xin hỏi anh bao nhiêu tuổi?
[slowly] Xin hỏi chị bao nhiêu tuổi?
Now you have to answer with your age! In Vietnamese, you start with Tôi meaning “I”, then add the number for your age, and finally add tuổi. In informal Vietnamese, you just need to say Tôi and the number.
Here are some examples.
“I am 18” - Tôi mười tám tuổi or tôi mười tám.
“I am 20” - Tôi hai mươi tuổi or tôi hai mươi
“I am 25” - Tôi hai lăm tuổi or tôi hai lăm
“I am 40” - Tôi bốn mươi tuổi or tôi bốn mươi.
Now let’s combine the question and answer.
In daily conversation-
Bạn bao nhiêu tuổi? “How old are you?”
Tôi hai mươi. “I’m twenty”
In formal situations -
Xin hỏi anh bao nhiêu tuổi? or Xin hỏi chị bao nhiêu tuổi?“ May I ask how old you are?”
Tôi ba mươi tuổi. “I’m thirty”.
Note that in both the questions and the answers, you don’t need to add any verbs.
Sometimes Vietnamese people won’t ask your age directly, but instead, will ask your birth year.
So you might hear this question in an informal situation -
Bạn sinh năm bao nhiêu?
This literally means “In which year were you born?”
[slowly] Bạn sinh năm bao nhiêu?
You just have to answer using the last two digits of your birth year-
For example, Tôi sinh năm tám bảy “I was born in 87.” sin năm means “to be born in … year”
Now it’s time for Giang’s Insights.
Were you born in the year 2000? Sorry, you can’t say that you are “of zero-zero”. You have to say the entire year. Tôi sinh năm hai nghìn. hai nghìn means “two thousand”
One more thing, be careful when asking older people about their age. By "older" I mean someone around your father’s age or older. Vietnamese people do ask older people sometimes, but you should do this with extreme caution.
In this lesson, we learned how to talk about your age and birthyear. Next time, we’ll learn how to talk about possessions in Vietnamese.
I'll be waiting for you in the next 3 phút học tiếng Việt lesson.
Tạm biệt!


Please to leave a comment.
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VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Friday at 06:30 PM
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Hi listeners! How old are you?

VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Monday at 11:23 AM
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Hello Xinh Xinh Trinh,

Thank you for your comment.

Hope you enjoy our lessons.

Best regards,

Nguyet Nguyen

Team VietnamesePod101.com

Xinh Xinh Trinh
Wednesday at 09:12 AM
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Tôi tám tuổi.:smile::smile:

VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 09:17 PM
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Chào bạn Jano,

I would say option (b) is more correct. But the most natural one would be : " Tôi sinh năm hai nghìn linh hai." or "Tôi sinh năm hai nghìn lẻ hai".

So in Vietnamese, in the more-than-3-digit-numbers, the zero which is place at the second digit from the right to the left will be read as "linh" or "lẻ". For example:

104: một trăm lẻ bốn.

1906: một nghìn chín trăm linh sáu



Team VietnamesePod101.com

Thursday at 02:33 AM
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Xin chào, VietnamesePod101,

I have a question for you. If I was born in 2002, which one should I say?

a) Tôi sinh năm hai nghìn hai.


b) Tôi sinh năm hai nghìn không hai.

Cảm ơn!


VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 05:49 PM
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Hi Jen,

"Bạn sinh năm nào?" is fine too. You can use it interchangeably with "bạn sinh năm bao nhiêu?"



Team VietnamesePod101.com

Saturday at 07:02 AM
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Would be it wrong to say: Bạn sinh năm na\o ?

instead of: Bạn sinh năm bao nhiêu?

VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Sunday at 10:22 PM
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Hi Ken,

It is totally fine if you don't tell your age. But you need to tell the other speaker what pronoun you would like him/her to use to address you.

In Vietnam, asking about someone's age in the first meeting is common because we need to depend on that to choose an appropriate pronoun. It is not that we are really curious about how old you are. So if you say beforehand that you would like to be called this way or that way, it is totally fine, and you won't have to tell other people about your age.



Team VietnamesePod101.com

Friday at 09:26 AM
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Would it be rude if I didn't answer the; How old are you question?

Or would it anger them if I gave a wrong answer, a real young age?