1. Basic Vietnamese Phrases for Travel - Daily Conversation

vietnamese phrases for travel daily convesation
Break the ice with a simple Vietnamese phrase and experience the warmth of Vietnamese hospitality. | Source: laodong.vn

To start us off, here are some basic words that you can learn and practice when talking with the locals. Your pronunciation might not be perfect, but the locals love it when you try speaking their language, so don’t be afraid to practice - and remember to do it with a smile! 

So without further ado, here are a few of the most popular and useful phrases for you to use when greeting someone:

Vietnamese PhrasesApproximate English Pronunciation
English Phrases
Xin chàoSin chowHello
Tạm biệtTam by - etGoodbye
Cảm ơnGam ernThank you
Làm ơnLam ernPlease
Xin lỗiSin loyExcuse me/Sorry
DạYahYes (when you talk with someone older to show respect)
CóGorrYes 
Không combNo
 Bạn khoẻ không?ban kwen kongHow are you?
Rất vui được gặp bạnRut vui dook gap banNice to meet you
Không có gìkong cor zeeNo problem
Kế bên…khe bendNext to… 
Tôi tên là…toi ten la…My name is…

2. Common Vietnamese Phrases for Getting Around

Common Vietnamese Phrases for travel when getting around
Fact: Vietnamese people are willing to go with you if you ask for directions to a complicated destination because they're afraid you'll get lost! | Source: Quang Dinh - cafebiz.vn

Navigating through the busy streets can be a hassle, especially in big cities like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. Sometimes the map cannot be reliable when you are out and about without any good internet connection or data, so it is much wiser to ask for directions from the locals when you are lost. 
Here are some useful terms that can be helpful to get you around town:

Vietnamese PhrasesApproximate English Pronunciation
English Phrases
Tôi muốn đi đến...Toi mu-on dee den... I want to go to...
Ở đâu?Er dowWhere?
Địa chỉ này ở đâu?dear chi nath er dowWhere is this address? 
Đi thẳngDee thangGo straight
Rẽ trái/phảiRay trai/faiTurn left/right
Gần không? Gang kong
Is it near?
Gần đâygang dayNearby here
Xa không?Sa kongIs it far?
 Xa lắmSa lambVery far
Bên đó bend dooOver there
Bên này bend nathOver here
Kế bên…khe bendNext to… 
 Đối diện…doyenOpposite side of…
Quận mấy?Wand mayWhich district?

3. Vietnamese Phrases Related to Accommodation

vietnamese phrases for travel related to accommodation
In less touristy areas of Vietnam, hotel receptionists may have limited English proficiency, making a Vietnamese phrase guide essential for smooth communication. | Source: Le Pavillon Hoi An Boutique Hotel & Spa.

Nowadays, accommodation is usually booked online in advance before traveling. However, you might have some questions regarding the facilities or, in some cases, need to book a room if you haven’t done so already. In those cases, here are some Vietnamese phrases for tourists related to accommodation that will come in handy when speaking with the hotel staff:

Vietnamese PhrasesApproximate English Pronunciation
English Phrases
Tôi muốn thuê phòngToi mu-on tway fomI want to rent a room
 Phòng đơn/đôiFom don/doySingle/double room
Bao nhiêu một đêm?Bow new mot themHow much per night?
Có Wi - Fi không?Gorr Wi - Fi kongIs there Wi - Fi?
 Có bao gồm ăn sáng không?Gorr bao gum ang sang kongDoes the room include breakfast?
Có hồ bơi không?Gorr hold boy kongIs there swimming pool?
Tôi có đặt phòng rồiToi gorr that fom royI have a reservation already
Chìa khoá phòng tôi đâu?Cheer khoa fom toi dowWhere is my room key?
 Tôi muốn ở…đêmToi mu-on er…themI want to stay…night
Tôi sẽ đến lúc…Toi seer den lukeI will arrive at…
Tôi sẽ đi lúc…Toi seer dee lukeI will leave at…

4. Vietnamese Phrases for Eating Out

vietnamese phrases for travel eatting out
Let's talk more about Vietnamese food on our Saigon Night Food Tour led by local Women Drivers, who know all the best spots! | Source: Kisstour.com

Vietnam's thriving food culture is something that every tourist ought to experience!
Acquainting yourself with some typical Vietnamese terms for dining out can be especially useful, whether you're browsing the busy street food booths, dining in a local restaurant, or ordering your favorite specialty. You can express your preferences and guarantee a wonderful eating experience by using the following phrases:

Vietnamese PhrasesApproximate English Pronunciation
English Phrases
  Cho tôi thực đơnCho toi took dernMenu, please
Tôi muốn gọi món...Toi mu-on goy mond...I'd like to order…
Tôi bị dị ứng…Toi nor royI’m full
 Tôi no rồiDee thangGo straight
Ngon quá!Gone qwaDelicious!
Tính tiềnTin teenCheck, please
 Bao nhiêu?Bow newHow much?
 Nước suốiKnot sueyWater
Nước camKnot camOrange juice
RượuRoodWine
Thịt bòDid bohBeef
Thịt heoDid hellPork
Thịt gàDid gahChicken
  Tôi ăn chayToi ang jayI’m vegan
Ít đườngEat du-ongLess sugar
Không thịtKong didNo meat
Không rau mùiKong round moyNo cilantro
Không cayKong cayNo spicy
 Một, Hai, Ba, Dzô!Muht hi bah zoh1, 2, 3, Cheers!

5. Essential Vietnamese Phrases for Travelers When Shopping and Bargaining

Essential Vietnamese Phrases for Travelers When Shopping and Bargaining
A friendly smile is your bargaining secret weapon in Vietnam! | Source: laodong.vn

Bargaining is a unique culture of Vietnam and an interesting experience for travelers. By familiarizing yourself with some basic Vietnamese words for negotiating, you can get the most out of your shopping experience and interact with the locals. The following is a collection of typical Vietnamese words that you might use when haggling and shopping: 

Vietnamese PhrasesApproximate English Pronunciation
English Phrases
 Bao nhiêu?Bow newHow much?
Xài tốt không?Sigh tod kongDoes it good to use?
Mắc quáMake qwaToo expensive
 Giảm giá đizam zar deeDiscount for me
Bớt được không?Bod dook kongCan you make it cheaper?
 Tôi muốn kiểm traToi mu-on kim chaI want to exam
Tôi muốn mua thêm…Toi mu-on moor themI want to buy more…
 Tôi sẽ trả...Toi ser cha...I will pay...
Cái nàyGai kneeThis one
Cái kiaGai keerThat one
Tôi sẽ lấy nótoy seer lay norI'll take it

6. Vietnamese Phrases for Payment and Cash Withdrawal

vietnamese phrases for payment and cash withdrawal
Make payments and withdrawals a breeze in Vietnam. | Source: Trần Việt/TTXVN.

Speaking a few key Vietnamese words can help to ensure that all of your payments and cash withdrawal transactions go smoothly when you're traveling around Vietnam. These words will come in handy whether you're paying the bill at a restaurant, making a purchase at a store, or getting cash out of an ATM. Let's look at some essential Vietnamese terms for making payments and withdrawing cash:

Vietnamese PhrasesApproximate English Pronunciation
English Phrases
Thẻ tín dụngTeh tin zoongCredit card
Tiền mặtTee - en matCash
Tôi không có đủ tiềnToi kong gorr do teenI don’t have enough money
Giúp tôi với máy rút tiền được không?Zob toi voi may root teen dook kongCan you help me with the ATM please?
Tôi muốn rút tiềnToi mu-on root teenI want to withdraw money
Tôi cần biên laiToi kan been laiI need receipt
Tôi muốn đổi tiềnToi mu-on doi teenI want to exchange money

7. Vietnamese Phrases for Complimenting

vietnamese phrases for travel complimenting
To Mr. Oliver Fuegen, Vietnamese people are always friendly and hospitable | Source: Mr. Oliver Fuegen - thanhnien.vn

Giving compliments to someone is a great approach to establish connection and express gratitude, and in Vietnam, it’s no different. It might make a good impression to provide polite words and praises in their own tongue language, as Vietnamese people value such things. The following are some Vietnamese expressions of gratitude that you can use:

Vietnamese PhrasesApproximate English Pronunciation
English Phrases
Đẹp quá!Depth qwaSo beautiful! (Can use for object)
Đẹp traiDepth chaiHandsome (Note: for male)
Đẹp gáiDepth guidePretty (Note: for female)
Đáng yêuDang ewCute (Can be for person or object)
Bạn rất hài hướcBan rut hi hutYou are very funny
Bạn có nụ cười đẹpBan gorr nude coin depthYou have a pretty smile
Tôi thích...Toi thick...I like...
Bạn nói tiếng Việt giỏi quáBan noy teeng vet zoy qwaYour Vietnamese is really good
Tôi cần biên laiToi kan been laiI need receipt
Bạn rất thông minhBan rut thong minkYou are very smart

8. Vietnamese Phrases Related to Dates and Time

In order to plan and communicate effectively in Vietnam, it is necessary to know and understand the dates and times in Vietnamese when traveling here. The following are some expressions in Vietnamese that refer to times and dates:

Vietnamese PhrasesApproximate English Pronunciation
English Phrases
SángsangMorning
TrưaEr dowNoon
Chiềudear chi nath er dowAfternoon
TốiDee thangEvening
Hôm nayRay trai/faiToday
Hôm quaGang kong
Yesterday
Ngày maigang dayTomorrow
Khi nào?Sa kongWhen
Bây giờSa lambNow
Trễbend dooLate
Sớmbend nathEarly
Mấy giờ?khe bendWhat time?
GiờdoyenHour
PhútWand mayMinute

9. Vietnamese Phrases for Making Complaints

Vietnamese Phrases for travel when making complaints
Saying 'No' the Vietnamese Way - polite phrases for when things don't fit. | Source: hanoimoi.vn

After all the time and effort put into planning your trip, you hope and pray that it all goes to plan. However, sometimes things do unfortunately go wrong and you need to voice a complaint or dissatisfaction. So here are some Vietnamese expressions that you may find helpful when you want to make complaints: 


Vietnamese PhrasesApproximate English Pronunciation
English Phrases
Cái này bị hỏngGai knee bee hongThis is broken
Tôi muốn trả lại món nàyToi mu-on cha lai mond nath I want to return this item
Tôi không thích cái nàyToi kong thick gai kneeI don't like this
Tôi không hài lòng với…Toi kong hi long voiI’m not satisfied with…
Tôi muốn báo cáoToi mu-on bao cowI want to report
Tôi gặp vấn đề với…Toi gap van dee voiI have trouble with… (Use for products/services)
Tôi muốn yêu cầu hoàn tiềnToi mu-on ew cow wang teenI want to request a refund
Tôi muốn gặp quản lýToi mu-on gap kwan leeI want to speak to the manager

10. Essential Vietnamese Phrases for Emergencies

Essential Vietnamese Phrases for travel in Emergencies situations.
It's not excessive if you can remember these phrases in case of emergency. | Source: Hoàng Nam - vnexpress.net

If you ever find yourself in an emergency situation, it's important to stay calm and seek immediate assistance from local authorities or emergency services. The first thing you need to know are Vietnam's emergency phone numbers: 115 for ambulance, 114 for fire and 113 for police. 
If you find yourself in a situation where you can't call the emergency hotline, being familiar with these Vietnamese emergency terms can help you to communicate with the locals and enable them to assist you:

Vietnamese PhrasesApproximate English Pronunciation
English Phrases
Tôi cần giúp đỡToi kan zob dohI need help
Cứu tôi vớiCub toi voiHelp me!
Bác sĩBad seeDoctor
Lính cứu hoảJay royFirefighter
Tôi bị lạcToi bi ladI'm lost
Tôi bị mất hành lýToi bi mug hang leeI’ve lost my luggage
Cháy rồi!Toi mu-on bao cowFire!
Gọi cấp cứuGoy cap cubCall an ambulance
Tôi bị cướpToi bi coupI was robbed
Tôi bị tai nạnToi bi tide nanI’ve had an accident

11. Helpful Translation Apps for Foreign Tourists

Having a translation tool on your smartphone may be quite helpful for communicating and navigating new circumstances when visiting a foreign nation, such as Vietnam. Here are some popular apps that will assist foreign tourists in translating Vietnamese phrases during their travels, along with their pros and cons, so that you can decide which app is the most suitable for your preferences:

Google Translate

Pros Cons
Supports more than 100 languages, including Vietnamese Might have inaccurate or nonsense translations, especially for complex or nuanced phrases
Offers text translation, voice input, and output, conversation style Focuses on word-for-word translation, which may sound awkward or inappropriate in certain contexts
Provides real-time translation (read signs, menus, short phrases with camera taking) Has limited contextual understanding, can provide incorrect translations without considering the overall meaning
Offers offline translation, including Vietnamese Not suitable for complex texts
Provides Vietnamese pronunciation when translating Vietnamese is not a common language so pronunciation accuracy can vary

Microsoft Translator

Pros Cons
Support more than 70 languages, including Vietnamese Harder to use than Google Translate app
Conversation mode - allows real-time multilingual communication Limitations on the length of text that can be translated at once
Offers simple controls for text input, voice input and output Has limited contextual understanding, can provide incorrect translations without considering overall meaning
Offers offline translation, including Vietnamese Voice recognition accuracy can vary
Provides Vietnamese pronunciation assistance when translating Offline translation is available, but the full range of features and languages requires internet connection

iTranslate

Pros Cons
Supports more than 100 languages, including Vietnamese Offers a free version - some advanced features and language options may be available only in the paid Pro version
Provides real-time translation (can read signs, menus, and short phrases with camera) Might have inaccurate or nonsense translations, especially for complex or nuanced phrases
Offers “Phrasebook” feature to save common phrases for quick access Has limited contextual understanding, can provide incorrect translations without considering overall meaning
Offers offline translation, including Vietnamese Offline translation is available, but the full range of features and languages requires internet connection
Voice input and output are more advanced compared to the other apps above Vietnamese is not a common language, so pronunciation accuracy can vary

SayHi Translate

Pros Cons
Supports more than 60 languages, including Vietnamese There are fewer language options than the other apps
Real-time voice translation feature is the most standout feature Doesn't support real-time translation for reading signs, menus, or documents like the other apps
Offers text translation, voice input and output, and conversation style Has limited contextual understanding, can provide incorrect translations without considering overall meaning
Offers offline translation, including Vietnamese Offers a free version, some advanced features or additional languages may require in-app purchases
Includes a pronunciation aid feature Offline translation is available, but the full range of features and languages requires internet connection
Read more: Top Vietnam Travel Apps Every Explorer Needs
These Vietnamese phrases for travel are more than just words; they are your gateway to richer interactions and unforgettable moments in Vietnam. Start practicing today and empower your adventure with local language skills.
Author: Vy

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