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Your Ultimate Vietnamese Pronunciation Guide

Knowing how to correctly pronounce words when you learn to speak a new language is crucial for speaking it well. It is no different with Vietnamese. At VietnamesePod101, we put a lot of emphasis on teaching and demonstrating correct pronunciation, as it is our aim to help you to speak like a native after a while!

According to Dictionary.com, ‘pronunciation’ is: the act or result of producing the sounds of speech, including articulation, stress, and intonation, often with reference to some standard of correctness or acceptability.

Paying attention to your Vietnamese pronunciation not your own essentially means you’re learning to ditch most of your foreign accent. This is very important if you want to be a successful communicator in any language. Getting Vietnamese pronunciation right may seem like a daunting task at the onset, but it need not be!

Download Your FREE Guide to Beginner Vietnamese!

If you want to master the Vietnamese language and become fluent, you must learn the Vietnamese alphabet letters first. And you need physical worksheets to practice on.

This eBook is a MUST-HAVE for all Vietnamese learning beginners!

FREE Vietnamese eBook

Download your FREE Vietnamese practice sheets PDF today and learn the Vietnamese language in no time!
This is a must-have guide for absolute beginners

1. Introduction to Vietnamese Pronunciation

Introduction

Vietnamese Pronunciation

When one hears the Vietnamese language spoken fluently, it has a fast pace and a singsong quality to it. Those wanting to learn the Vietnamese language may believe that learning proper pronunciation is going to be difficult, or even impossible, since they haven’t spent their lives learning and listening to the language. Fortunately, that’s not the case. Even though the sounds of the language might be a bit different from English, it is possible to learn proper Vietnamese pronunciation so you can speak like a native speaker in no time.

Sounds and Syllables

The Vietnamese alphabet is large and can seem cumbersome when one first tries to learn the language. You will have to learn consonants, consonant clusters, final consonants, and vowels, each of which has a specific pronunciation. One of the other things that you will need to know when you are learning Vietnamese pronunciation is that the dialect can change based on where you are in the country. This means that some of the words that you pronounce might sound a bit different when you speak in a different dialect. In addition, you have digraphs and trigraphs, which are groupings of letters.

Even though most speakers of the language in the country will be able to understand a different dialect, you have to be aware of the dialect changes when you are listening to speakers in the country so that you will be able to grasp their words. With practice and when it comes to Vietnamese grammar, you should be able to understand other dialects.

The letters “f”, “j”, “w”, and “z” are not a part of the Vietnamese alphabet, but you will find those letters in foreign loan words. In some cases, the letter “w” instead of “u” in abbreviations when you see someone write Vietnamese.

Tones

Vietnamese is a tonal language, and it has 6 separate tones within it. Understanding tones is another area that might seem difficult at first, but you can get the hang of it. Being able to understand the tones is going to help you understand the speakers much better. The six tones include ghost, cheek, but, tomb, horse, and rice seedling.

When you are learning Vietnamese pronunciation, it is in your best interest to take things slowly at first and to practice whenever you have the opportunity. Practice is going to help make sure that you have the right inflection and the right sound.

2. Why is Correct Pronunciation in Vietnamese Important?

Correct Pronunciation

Proper pronunciation is important, very important. Some say it’s even more important than getting the grammar perfectly correct! Why would this be?

1) Good Understanding

If communicating with native speakers matters to you when learning Vietnamese, you need to be understood when you talk, and you need to be able to understand the native speakers. After all, without understanding, the purpose of language is null and void! In order to be understood, you need to be able to speak the language in a way that is familiar to native speakers, or at least recognizable by them.

When learning to speak a new language, you will learn that the more you progress the more intricate it becomes! For instance, almost every language has vocabulary that may look the same in writing, but because the words are pronounced differently, they have very different meanings. This means that you may say a word in Vietnamese, and because of a slight change in pronunciation, the meaning of the word changes completely. Understandably, this can make for pretty embarrassing situations! At worst, your mispronounced Vietnamese will sound garbled to a native speaker.

Knowing the nuances of how a word or letter is pronounced will also help you to understand spoken Vietnamese better.

No worries if this feels hard; you’re learning, and with our help at VietnamesePod101, you will not have a problem with mispronunciation if you follow our advice and examples carefully.

2) Good Communication

Not pronouncing Vietnamese or any other language correctly can lead to a lot of frustration because you’re unable to express what you mean, and you will not be understood correctly. Even if you have total knowledge of Vietnamese grammar, and can write it like a native, not knowing how to speak it properly will only make for very frustrating communication all around.

3) A Good Impression

Even if you’re only a beginner, it is possible to speak any language correctly. This way, you are bound to make a good impression on native speakers, and when you’re more fluent, you will be likely to garner a lot more respect than a fumbling newbie speaker who doesn’t care much for correct pronunciation.

People often have a lot of patience for someone who learns to speak a new language, but native speakers are more likely to address you and engage with you in conversation if you work hard on your accent. This is simply because you’ll be able to understand one another! So, proficiency in pronunciation can mean the difference between having none or plenty of Vietnamese speaking friends. It will also serve you well in the workplace, and make you popular with your Vietnamese speaking managers and employers or employees.

Learning to speak Vietnamese properly is also a sign of respect for not only the language, but also the native speakers and their customs.

3. Secrets to Learning the Correct Vietnamese Pronunciation

Secrets to Learning

1) Use voice recording tools to perfect your pronunciation

VietnamesePod101 has plenty of resources to help you with your Vietnamese pronunciation, so be sure to make thorough use of our recordings with native Vietnamese speakers. These are available not only to demonstrate to you how you should pronounce Vietnamese vocabulary, but also sentences and dialogues. Watch and listen to these over and over again to train your ear, and watch the teacher’s mouth as she speaks in the video lessons. Then, copy the speech as best you can. Later, you can record yourself to hear if you sound like a native speaker and compare yourself with native speakers. Great for self-motivation.

2) Practice in front of the mirror.

And see that you’re copying the correct lip and mouth movements.

3) Use our VietnamesePod101 dictionary!

Use the Vietnamese dictionary provided by VietnamesePod101 to look up words and listen to the audio pronunciation. This will go a long way towards giving you an idea of how to pronounce a word or letter correctly.

4) Train your ear to the language!

Make an effort to often listen to Vietnamese music and recorded books, and watch plenty of Vietnamese movies and/or TV shows in Vietnamese. This will train your ear to the language, and you’ll be surprised how quickly you pick up the accent. Remember, this is the way we learned to speak when we were young - mostly by listening to the adults talking, and repeating what they say!

5) Practice, practice, practice…

Repetition of the same thing may be boring, but in learning a new language, you’re creating new pathways in your brain. For these to remain and become habitual, you will need to repeat the correct pronunciation often.

6) Make friends with a native Vietnamese speaker.

Don’t be shy to address them in Vietnamese! Ask them to correct you when you make a pronunciation mistake - this is a wonderful way to practice and learn the language first-hand, and also to make new friends.

7) Practice your pronunciation with your Vietnamese teacher!

If you’re a serious student and don’t know where to meet native Vietnamese speakers, consider investing in VietnamesePod101’s Premium PLUS plan. This means you will have your own native Vietnamese teacher available to practice your pronunciation with, and much more! Send recordings of yourself speaking Vietnamese and get feedback from your Vietnamese teacher.

4. How to Download Your Free Guide to Beginner Vietnamese

Download Your FREE Guide to Beginner Vietnamese!

If you want to master the Vietnamese language and become fluent, you must learn the Vietnamese alphabet letters first. And you need physical worksheets to practice on.

This eBook is a MUST-HAVE for all Vietnamese learning beginners!

FREE Vietnamese eBook

Download your FREE Vietnamese practice sheets PDF today and learn the Vietnamese language in no time!
This is a must-have guide for absolute beginners

Log in with Your Free Lifetime Account and we’ll give you a bundle of PDF cheat sheet including Survival Phrases, Romantic Lines, Learning Tips… — absolutely FREE!

3 Reasons to Learn Vietnamese Through PDF Lessons

Let’s now take a closer look at how studying Vietnamese lessons in PDF format can help you reach your dream in up to half the time of normal video or audio lessons!

① Saves Minutes on Your Data Plan

Learning Vietnamese through PDF lessons can dramatically reduce your data use. Once a lesson or tool is downloaded, you can then access it offline via your computer or smartphone any time or place regardless of Internet access. And once you’ve downloaded the Vietnamese lessons in PDF format, you can actually access them faster than logging in and trying to do so via a live site. So not only will learning Vietnamese using PDF lessons save minutes on your data plan—it will save you some significant time as well as the lessons add up!

② Print and Take All Vietnamese Lessons and PDF Tools With You Anywhere

Sometimes, a tiny smartphone screen just isn’t adequate, especially when you are trying to learn something new. The great thing about PDF lessons, tools or files is that they can be quickly printed and taken anywhere after you download them. In fact, printing out Vietnamese lessons in PDF format can actually save you time when compared to going through the material on a smartphone with a small screen—even with the extra printing time!

③ Great Study Tool to Boost Retention and Mastery

Studying video or audio lessons online is a great way to learn a language because students can play and rewind sections as many times as needed until the lesson is mastered. But when you review the same Vietnamese lessons again in PDF format, an incredible thing happens: your retention dramatically improves! Thanks to Time Spaced Repetition, seeing the information again in written format helps reinforce the information in your mind and improves both retention and recall. The benefits of learning Vietnamese using PDF lessons quickly add up to significant time savings for you, your data plan, and your dream of learning a new language!

Why are we giving it away?

Learning to read and write is a must for all beginners. Although you get video lessons on how to write in Vietnamese at VietnamesePod101, you’ll still need physical worksheets to practice on. That’s why you’re getting this printable tutorial PDFs as a gift.

5. Related Lessons

How to Say Hello in Vietnamese
Do you know how to say hello in Vietnamese? It’s the most basic phrase that you’ll need to say and hear in everyday life. If you don’t know yet, learn 15 ways to say hello and greet others in Vietnamese. Why 15? The more variations you know, the more you can speak and the more fluent you become!
How to Introduce Yourself in Vietnamese
Can you introduce yourself in Vietnamese? Don’t worry! Check out the 10 Vietnamese Lines You Need To Introduce Yourself with this free Review Sheet. From “My name is…“ and “I live in…” down to “My hobbies are…” Just review the 10 lines. It will only take you 2 minutes. Then, introduce yourself in the comment section below!
Vietnamese Alphabet
Learn everything you need to know about the Vietnamese alphabet. At VietnamesePod101, we introduce you to Vietnamese writing in simple, easy-to-follow steps, and you can ask for advice or help anywhere along the way. It is important to master the Vietnamese alphabet completely from the start.
How to Say Thank You in Vietnamese
Has anyone thanked you today? We will. Thank you for reading this article and learning with us! In fact, today, you’ll learn the many different ways to say “Thank You” in Vietnamese. It’s one of the most important Vietnamese phrases. Check it out and watch the video too to practice your pronunciation.

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