Let’s make this month “Vietnamese literacy” month by learning how to read Vietnamese (even if you don’t understand a thing you just read :))
Why? Because it is extremely easy to read Vietnamese.
Any Vietnamese sound is made up of a consonant and a vowel (and a tone mark).
1 Vietnamese sound = 1 consonant + 1 vowel (+ tone mark)
There are 2 types of consonants and 2 types of vowels.
Consonants: (1) basic ones like b, c, g, h, k and (2) clusters like ng (in Nguyễn), or ph (in phở)
Vowels: (1) basic vowels like a, ê, ô, ơ and (2) compound vowels – (a) vowels that has a consonant at the end like anh (a and nh), ông (ô and ng); (b) vowels at the end like áo (a and o); (c) both vowel and consonant at the end like uống (u, ô, and ng; to drink)
Most sounds make a word and have individual meaning. Combining two sounds/words make a new word that may or may not have similar meaning to the components.
|A a||Ă ă||Â â||E e||Ê ê||I i|
|O o||Ô ô||Ơ ơ||U u||Ư ư||Y y|
|B b||C c||D d||Đ đ||G g||H h|
|K k||L l||M m||N n||P p||Q q|
|R r||S s||T t||V v||X x|
There is no F f or W w in the Vietnamese alphabet. However, the sound F f is written as Ph in Vietnamese.
Vietnamese Consonant Clusters
Vietnamese Tone Marks
- Consonants: Basic or Clusters?
- Vowels: Basic or Compound?
- Tone marks?
- ngủ (to sleep) – consonant cluster ng, basic vowel u, tone mark dấu hỏi ?
- viết (to write) – basic consonant v, compound vowel iêt, tone mark dấu sắc ‘
- học (to learn)
- đọc (to read)
- cơm (cooked rice)
- ba (father; number 3)
- nướng (to grill, bake)
- người yêu (lover)
- tháng (month)