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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 the phrase Xin hỏi, bạn có biết nói tiếng Anh không? "Excuse me, do you speak English?" We mentioned the word xin hỏi, which means "excuse me" in Vietnamese.
In this lesson we’re going to learn how to use xin hỏi and other words when apologizing in Vietnamese.
There are two equivalents to “Excuse me” in Vietnamese. Which one to use depends on certain circumstances.
When asking a question, we use Xin hỏi:
(slowly) Xin hỏi
Xin hỏi, cái này bao nhiêu tiền? (“Excuse me, how much is this?”)
In other situations, we use Xin lỗi.
(slowly) Xin lỗi
To request something:
Xin lỗi, cho tôi mượn cái bút. (“Excuse me, can I borrow your pen?”)
To order food or drink:
Xin lỗi, cho tôi một bát phở. (“Excuse me, one bowl of pho, please.”)
To ask someone to repeat what he or she said:
Xin lỗi, bạn vừa nói gì vậy? (“Excuse me, what did you say?”)
To squeeze by someone:
Just say Xin lỗi, then go ahead.
When asking a question, to make it more formal you can say Xin lỗi cho tôi hỏi instead of xin hỏi. The longer expression can literally be translated as “Excuse me, let me ask~”.
Xin lỗi cho tôi hỏi, cái này bao nhiêu tiền? (“Excuse me, how much is this?”)
(Slowly) Xin lỗi cho tôi hỏi, cái này bao nhiêu tiền?
When you really want to apologize for something, you use Xin lỗi (“Sorry”) or Tôi xin lỗi (“I’m sorry”). Tôi xin lỗi is more formal and sounds more sincere.
Now it’s time for Giang’s Insights.
Sometimes, Vietnamese people add an object pronoun after xin lỗi to indicate the person to whom they want to apologize. And again, the pronoun used depends on that person’s gender, age, and how close a relationship they have with the speaker.
Xin lỗi bạn (Literally, “I’m sorry to you”): when apologizing to your friends
Xin lỗi anh: when apologizing to a man (not much older than you)
Xin lỗi chị: when apologizing to a woman (not much older than you)
However, using such pronouns is not necessary, and it is safer to use xin lỗi or tôi xin lỗi in any situation.
Well, we’ve finished the first five Vietnamese lessons, and now you’re able to say some basic Vietnamese phrases. How do you feel about Vietnamese? Are you getting more confident about travelling to Vietnam now? I hope you all find it interesting, and I look forward to seeing you again. Tạm biệt, hẹn gặp lại nhé!