Hello, how are you?


Imagine the following situations

  • you discovered that you were part Vietnamese (or full Vietnamese and didn’t know the language),
  • you got a new job in Vietnam,
  • your girlfriend brought you to her Viet family (or worse, hang out with her Viet-speaking friends), or
  • somehow the Vietnamese just invaded your city and are now forcing their language and culture on all the residents.
  • you’re bored: go do something else. Vietnamese is not for the faint-hearted.

Anyway, for whatever reason, you have the need to speak Vietnamese, and fast.

Welcome to the party & Let’s get the fun started 🙂

Xin chào, (hello!)

Bạn khỏe không?
You have healthy or not?

yep, that’s the Vietnamese version of “how are you?” They ask if you have health. If you do, you say

Tôi khỏe Còn bạn?
I healthy How about you?

And just in case you are not well, you say

Tôi không khỏe lắm
I not healthy very

And here comes the quintessential “What’s your name?”

Bạn tên gì?
You name is what?
Tên bạn gì?
Name you is what?
They have at least 2 versions of asking you for your name, to which you have 2 choices of answering

Tên tôi (you-know-who)
Name I is [your name here]


Tôi (you-know-who :))
I am [your name here]

At this point, you may want to say

Rất vui được gặp bạn
very happy to get to meet you

Pleased to meet you.

Or not so pleased, if you happen to find Vietnamese impossibly difficult (and you intend to quit after these short phrases).

And if you’re still here, in which case I feel rất vui, here are a couple of other things that may come up in the conversation:

Bạn sống đâu? Tôi sống (you-know-where)
You live in where? I live in [your place, neighborhood, country, etc.]
Bạn làm nghề gì? Tôi (look up a dictionary like Vdict.com for your occupation)
You work job what? I am (dictionary :))

Có – Yes

Không – No

Xin lỗi (I’m sorry / Excuse me), I’m not being mean by not giving you a list of occupations in Vietnamese. Since there are so many occupations, it’s hopeless to try to cover everything. The next best thing, in my opinion, is a reliable Vietnamese-English dictionary.

I hope you had fun. Cảm ơn (thank you).

Rất vui được gặp bạn.

Tạm biệt hẹn gặp lại!
Goodbye and see you again!

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