Tag Archives: vietnamese

What We Talk About When We Talk About the Weather


My students requested “weather talk” after the “food talk”, so here it goes.

Trời nắng

Trời nhiều mây

Trời mưa

Trời u ám

Trời đẹp

Trời xấu

Trởi gió

Trời có tuyết rơi

Khí hậu – climate

Thời tiết – weather

Mùa xuân

Mùa hè, mùa hạ

Mùa thu

Mùa đông


Hôm nay

thời tiết

như thế nào?

Hôm nay













Ngày mai







Ngày mai





dự báo










Hôm qua



hy vọng

hôm nay




hôm qua






To talk about the weather, you can use

  1. Trời + a weather adjective / description. Do NOT use thời tiết or khí hậu

  2. The time (hôm nay, tuần trước, tháng sau, etc.) + a weather adjective / description.

Ối trời ơi! Trời ơi là trời!

Exercise: Ask and answer

The weather in America, how is it?____________________________________________

Spring’s weather in New York, how is it? ____________________________________________

Is it going to rain today? ____________________________________________

How was the weather yesterday? ____________________________________________

1. Trời đang mưa – it is raining

2. Trời sắp mưa – going to rain

3. Trời lại mưa rồi – it is raining again (complaint)

4. Trời mới mưa – it just rained

20,000 Miles Under the Sea


The caption for this photo is “Việt Nam đã có tàu ngầm rồi! Để so sánh với các nước trên thế giới!”
(Vietnam finally has submarine! To compare with other countries in the world)
The countries being compared to are
Mỹ: United States
Nga: Russia
Anh: Britain
Đức: Germany
Trung Quốc: China


Oh that’s too much! Quá lắm rồi đó!


A few things someone (you) may want to exclaim in Vietnamese:

1. buồn ngủ quá! (say this before going to bed or drinking extra large coffee) (I’m) very sleepy
2. buồn tè quá! I really want to pee. Nhà vệ sinh ở đâu? where’s the restroom?
3. đói quá! (I’m) very hungry
4. khát quá! (I’m) very thirsty
5. lạnh quá! Too cold!
6. nóng quá! Too hot!
7. mệt quá! (I’m) very tired / it’s so tiring
8. đau quá! Ouch! I’m hurt!
9. say / xỉn quá (rồi)! (you) are drunk!
10. mắc / đắt quá! Too expensive!
11. rẻ quá! So cheap!
12. ngon quá! So tasty!
13. dở quá! So bad! (food, music, clothes, person with bad personality, etc.)
14. bẩn quá! So dirty!
15. quá! So strange / weird / ridiculous!

On a happier note:
16. vui quá! So happy!
17. mừng quá! So happy!
18. may quá! Whew, lucky!
19. giỏi quá! Good job! Well done!
20. hay quá! Good one! Well-played!
21. tốt quá! Good one! Lucky!

Here quá means “very”, “too”, or “so”
Sometimes people add “đi” after “quá“, it means the same thing.

22. Quá đáng! You bully!
23. Quá lắm rồi đó! – that’s too much (I’m not gonna take that any more!)
(then you quit your job and walk out the door :))

What do you think this guy wants to say?


Beauty, the Beast, and the Laundry List – Part 2/2


From this point on, we will venture into territory that no Vietnamese textbook ever dare touch in a 100 years: How to say bad things about people, and how to say things about bad people.
Let’s get started.

Click to play audio

The Beast

1. Xấu – ugly
2. Xấu trai – ugly (for men)
3.Lùn, thấp – short
4. Béo, mập, tròn – fat, chubby
5. Ngu, đần – dumb, stupid, stupid-looking

Personality / Characteristics
1. Dữ – aggressive (Dữ như cọp – fierce like a tiger)
2. Xấu tính – nasty character
3. Khó tính – difficult (to get along with)
4. Kỹ tính – OCD obsessive
5. Nóng tính – hot-tempered
6. Ích kỷ – selfish
7. Keo kiệt, keo bẩn – stingy, penny pinching
8. Lười – lazy
9. Dễ giận – easily offended
10. Dễ dỗi – easily offended
11. Kiêu căng – arrogant
12. Tinh vi – know-it-all show-off
13. Đanh đá – aggressive, in your face
14. Tọc mạch – nosy
15. Chậm, chậm chạp – slow (in this day and age, slowness is considered a bad thing)
16. Đồng bóng – prissy (most likely used to describe a difficult to please gay guy)
17. Vũ phu – violent (for men; this is the wife-beater)
18. Ác, độc ác – mean, nasty, evil

People in this category include the stepmothers of Cinderella, Snow White, and Aurora.
Can you think of anyone else who has nothing but bad quality?

Nhắn tin – Text Message


Đen: Ê mày, mai nhớ đem trả tao cuốn truyện
Nâu: Ờ. Mà tao hay quên. Mày nhắn tin nhắc tao đi!
Đen: Cũng được. Khoảng mấy giờ?
Nâu: Hai giờ chiều!
Đen: Ok. Vậy một giờ chiều mai mày nhắn tin nhắc tao nhắn mày nha 😀
Nâu: ….

In this short story, the 2 people are using the pronoun “mày” for you, and “tao” for I. “Mày” and “tao” are extremely casual pronouns between close friends. Do not use them when talking to strangers, and definitely not to your sweetheart unless you guys are in a fight.

Đen means Black. Nâu means brown.

Ê mày mai nhớ đem trả tao cuốn truyện
Hey you, tomorrow remember (to) bring return me the (story) book

First person: Hey you, tomorrow remember to bring the book and return it to me!

Ờ. tao hay quên. Mày nhắn tin nhắc tao đi!
Oh. But I often forget. You text message to remind me (please)

Second person: Oh. But I often forget. Text to remind me please!

Cũng được. Khoảng mấy giờ?
Ok. About what time?

First person: Ok. What time (should I text you)?

Hai giờ chiều!
2 o’clock afternoon

Second person: 2 pm

Ok. Vậy một giờ chiều mai mày nhắn tin nhắc tao nhắc mày nha
Then 1 o’clock afternoon tomorrow you text message to remind me to remind you (please)

First person: Ok. Then at 1 pm tomorrow, text me to remind me to text you.
The points to remember from this story?

  • a new pair of pronouns “mày” (you) and “tao” (I)
  • how to “nhắn tin” (text message) someone
  • how to “nhắc” (remind) people to do something/about something
  • asking the time “mấy giờ?” and answering “hai giờ chiều” (2 o’clock in the afternoon, 2 pm), “một giờ chiều mai” (1 pm tomorrow)

Story from TruyenCuoi.vn

What does that taste like?


Vietnamese food name? Can’t help you there. You gotta eat it to remember the name.
Head over to a Viet food blog like Wandering Chopsticks or Miss Adventure at Home for your eye candy (and maybe idea for your next culinary adventure).

How to describe the taste of what you just ate? That I can help you with.
1. ngon tasty, delicious. Compliment your Vietnamese host profusely with ngon quá! if you’re invited to a home cooked meal. Ví dụ (example of food ): phở, bánh mì
2. dở not tasty, bad. Ví dụ: ???
3. mặn salty. Ví dụ: nước mắm Viet fish sauce (people use it to season almost anything Viet food), muối salt , xì dầu soy sauce
4. ngọt sweet. Ví dụ: kẹo candy , đường sugar , nước ngọt carbonated beverage like Coke, pepsi, bánh ngọt cake
5. chua sour . Ví dụ: chanh lemon / lime, dấm vinegar
6. cay spicy. Ví dụ: ớt chili , tương ớt chili sauce, hạt tiêu pepper, bún bò Huế
7. đắng bitter . Ví dụ: cà phê coffee, dưa đắng / quả khổ qua bitter melon

8. nóng hot. Food that you eat hot: phở
9. lạnh cold. Food that you eat cold . Ví dụ: kem ice cream
10. nguội cooled down, cold food. Ví dụ: bánh mì Viet sandwich

Cooked or raw food:
11. chín cooked
12. chưa chín food that is not fully cooked yet, not finished cooking yet.
13. sống raw, fresh. Sushi!
14. tươi fresh (as opposed to food gone bad)

Food gone bad:
15. hỏng rồi (already)!
16. thiu rồi!

To say that a food has a lot of this taste, use food name + taste (adjective) + quá!
To say that it doesn’t have this taste: food name + không + taste (adjective)
To say that the taste is weak: food name + thiếu (lack) + taste (adjective)

Suppose you know what trứng vịt lộn tastes like, how would you describe it?
Ăn trứng vịt lộn có ngon không?

oẹ is the sound of someone throwing up in Vietnamese and is the burping sound. Neither is considered polite in Vietnam 🙂


Vietnamese Fairy Dust – Part 2


The instruction is the same as before: carefully sprinkle this fairy dust in your conversation and everyone will think that you’re a Vietnamese language expert.
Be careful of overdose.

1. nhập gia tuỳ tục
When in Rome do as the Romans do

2. xa mặt cách lòng
Out of sight, out of mind

3. trên đe dưới búa (on the anvil, under the hammer)
Between a rock and a hard place

4. gieo nhân nào gặt quả ấy
You reap what you sow

5. thời gian là tiền bạc
Time is money

6. chưa học bò đã lo học chạy
Learn to walk before learning to run

7. tri thức là sức mạnh
Knowledge is power

8. một nụ cười bằng mười thang thuốc bổ (one laughter equals ten dose of medicine)
Laughter is the best medicine

9. đàn ông xây nhà, đàn bà xây tổ ấm
Man makes the house, woman makes the home

10. chiếc áo không làm nên thầy tu (the shirt doesn’t make the priest)
Clothes don’t make the man