Top 100 Useful Vietnamese Words To Know Before Coming to Vietnam

In this glossary, you will find a comprehensive collection of essential and useful Vietnamese words that will greatly assist you in your journey through Vietnam. Whether you are planning to travel, live, or simply engage with the vibrant culture and people of Vietnam, having a basic understanding of these words will enhance your experience and facilitate smoother communication.

The glossary covers various categories, including greetings, food and beverages, places and transportation, time and greetings, traffic and transportation, travel and accommodation, geography and nature, and miscellaneous terms. Each entry includes the Vietnamese word, its English translation, and a brief definition to help you grasp its meaning.

We hope this glossary will serve as a valuable resource for anyone interested in exploring Vietnam’s rich language and culture. So, let’s dive in and expand our vocabulary to make the most of your time in this beautiful country!

List of top 100 useful Vietnamese words

Greetings and Polite Expressions

  1. Xin chào (sin chow) – Hello
    Definition: A common greeting used to say “hello” or “hi” in Vietnamese.
  2. Cám ơn (kahm uhn) – Thank you
    Definition: An expression of gratitude or appreciation in Vietnamese.
  3. Tạm biệt (tahm byeht) – Goodbye
    Definition: A phrase used to say “goodbye” or “see you later” in Vietnamese.
  4. Vui lòng (vooi luhng) – Please
    Definition: A polite term used to make a request or ask for something in Vietnamese.
  5. Không (kohng) – No
    Definition: A simple word used to express negation or refusal in Vietnamese.

Food and Beverage

  1. Đồ ăn (doh an) – Food
    Definition: Refers to any type of food or cuisine in Vietnamese.
  2. Nước (noo-uhk) – Water
    Definition: Denotes water or any type of beverage in Vietnamese.
  3. Cà phê (kah feh) – Coffee
    Definition: Refers to coffee, which is a popular beverage in Vietnam.
  4. Bia (bee-uh) – Beer
    Definition: Denotes beer, which is a widely consumed alcoholic beverage in Vietnam.
  5. Phở (fuh) – Pho
    Definition: A traditional Vietnamese noodle soup dish.

Places and Transportation

  1. Bạn (buhn) – Friend
    Definition: A term used to refer to a friend or a person of the same age in Vietnamese.
  2. Quán (kwan) – Restaurant
    Definition: Refers to a restaurant or an eating establishment in Vietnamese.
  3. Phòng (fuhng) – Room
    Definition: Denotes a room or living space in Vietnamese.
  4. Bến xe (behn seh) – Bus station
    Definition: Refers to a bus station or a bus stop in Vietnamese.
  5. Chợ (choh) – Market
    Definition: Denotes a market or a marketplace in Vietnamese.
  6. Bãi biển (bai byen) – Beach
    Definition: Refers to a beach or a coastal area in Vietnamese.
  7. Nhà vệ sinh (nah vuh sing) – Restroom
    Definition: Denotes a restroom or a toilet in Vietnamese.
  8. Sân bay (sahn bahy) – Airport
    Definition: Refers to an airport or an airfield in Vietnamese.
  9. Xe buýt (seh buht) – Bus
    Definition: Denotes a bus or a public transportation bus in Vietnamese.
  10. Điện thoại (dyen thwahy) – Telephone
    Definition: Refers to a telephone or a mobile phone in Vietnamese.
  11. Nhà hàng (nah hang) – Restaurant
    Definition: Denotes a restaurant or an eating place in Vietnamese.
  12. Đường (doong) – Street
    Definition: Refers to a street or a road in Vietnamese.
  13. Hướng dẫn viên (hoo-uhng daan vee-uhn) – Tour guide
    Definition: Denotes a tour guide or a person who provides guidance during tours in Vietnamese.
  14. Xe máy (seh mahy) – Motorbike
    Definition: Refers to a motorbike or scooter, which is a common mode of transportation in Vietnam.
  15. Xe taxi (seh tahk-see) – Taxi
    Definition: Denotes a taxi or a cab in Vietnamese.

Time and Greetings

  1. Chào buổi sáng (chow bwuoy sang) – Good morning
    Definition: A greeting used to say “good morning” in Vietnamese.
  2. Chào buổi tối (chow bwuoy toy) – Good evening
    Definition: A greeting used to say “good evening” in Vietnamese.
  3. Cảm ơn bạn (kahm uhn buhn) – Thank you
    Definition: A polite way to say “thank you” in Vietnamese.
  4. Đúng (doong) – Correct
    Definition: Denotes correctness or accuracy in Vietnamese.
  5. Sai (sahy) – Wrong
    Definition: Refers to something that is incorrect or mistaken in Vietnamese.

Traffic and Transportation

  1. Giao thông (gyow tohng) – Traffic
    Definition: Refers to traffic or the movement of vehicles in Vietnamese.
  2. Bảo vệ (bah-oh vuh) – Security guard
    Definition: Denotes a security guard or a person responsible for maintaining security in Vietnamese.
  3. Xe taxi (seh tahk-see) – Taxi
    Definition: Denotes a taxi or a cab in Vietnamese.

Travel and Accommodation

  1. Mua sắm (moo-uh sahm) – Shopping
    Definition: Refers to shopping or the act of buying goods in Vietnamese.
  2. Khách sạn (kahch sahn) – Hotel
    Definition: Denotes a hotel or an accommodation establishment in Vietnamese.
  3. Du lịch (doo lich) – Travel
    Definition: Refers to travel or the act of going on a trip in Vietnamese.
  4. Nhập cảnh (nyahp kahn) – Immigration
    Definition: Refers to immigration or the process of entering a country in Vietnamese.
  5. Học sinh (hohk sing) – Student
    Definition: Denotes a student or a learner in Vietnamese.
  6. Giáo viên (gyow vee-uhn) – Teacher
    Definition: Refers to a teacher or an educator in Vietnamese.
  7. Bệnh viện (behn vyen) – Hospital
    Definition: Denotes a hospital or a medical facility in Vietnamese.
  8. Dừng (doong) – Stop
    Definition: Refers to stopping or ceasing movement in Vietnamese.

Geography and Nature

  1. Cầu (kahw) – Bridge
    Definition: Refers to a bridge or a structure that connects two points over a body of water or other obstacles.
  2. Trung tâm (troong tahm) – Center
    Definition: Denotes a center or a central location in Vietnamese.
  3. Thị trấn (tee trahn) – Town
    Definition: Refers to a town or a small urban area in Vietnamese.
  4. Bến (behn) – Wharf
    Definition: Denotes a wharf or a landing place for boats or ships.
  5. Công viên (kohng vyen) – Park
    Definition: Refers to a park or a green space for recreational activities in Vietnamese.
  6. Đảo (dah-oh) – Island
    Definition: Denotes an island or a landmass surrounded by water.
  7. Biển (byen) – Sea
    Definition: Refers to the sea or a large body of saltwater in Vietnamese.
  8. Rừng (roong) – Forest
    Definition: Denotes a forest or a large area covered with trees and vegetation in Vietnamese.
  9. Thác nước (tahk noo-uhk) – Waterfall
    Definition: Refers to a waterfall or a cascade of water flowing over a steep edge in Vietnamese.
  10. Núi (nooi) – Mountain
    Definition: Denotes a mountain or a large natural elevation of the earth’s surface in Vietnamese.
  11. Bãi (bai) – Bay
    Definition: Refers to a bay or a body of water partially enclosed by land in Vietnamese.
  12. Vịnh (ving) – Gulf
    Definition: Denotes a gulf or a large inlet of the sea that extends into the land in Vietnamese.
  13. Hồ (hoh) – Lake
    Definition: Refers to a lake or a large body of water surrounded by land in Vietnamese.
  14. Sông (soong) – River
    Definition: Denotes a river or a large natural watercourse that flows towards an ocean, sea, or lake in Vietnamese.
  15. Rừng núi (roong nooi) – Mountainous forest
    Definition: Refers to a forest located in mountainous areas in Vietnamese.


  1. Máy bay (mahy bahy) – Airplane
    Definition: Denotes an airplane or an aircraft used for air travel in Vietnamese.
  2. Xe đạp (seh dap) – Bicycle
    Definition: Refers to a bicycle or a two-wheeled vehicle propelled by pedals in Vietnamese.
  3. Gương (goo-uhng) – Mirror
    Definition: Denotes a mirror or a reflective surface used for viewing oneself in Vietnamese.
  4. Đèn (den) – Light
    Definition: Refers to a light or a source of illumination in Vietnamese.
  5. Bàn (bahn) – Table
    Definition: Denotes a table or a piece of furniture with a flat top and legs used for various purposes in Vietnamese.
  6. Đi bộ (dee boh) – Walking
    Definition: Refers to walking or the act of traveling on foot in Vietnamese.
  7. Bảo tàng (bah-oh tahng) – Museum
    Definition: Denotes a museum or an institution that preserves and exhibits artifacts and cultural heritage in Vietnamese.
  8. Hội (hoy) – Association
    Definition: Refers to an association or a group of people with a common interest or purpose in Vietnamese.
  9. Sân vận động (sahn van dohng) – Stadium
    Definition: Denotes a stadium or a large sports arena where athletic events are held in Vietnamese.
  10. Tàu (tow) – Boat
    Definition: Refers to a boat or a watercraft used for transportation or leisure activities on water in Vietnamese.
  11. Nhà thờ (nah toh) – Church
    Definition: Denotes a church or a place of worship for Christians in Vietnamese.
  12. Chùa (choo-uh) – Pagoda
    Definition: Refers to a pagoda or a temple used for Buddhist worship and meditation in Vietnamese.
  13. Đền (den) – Temple
    Definition: Denotes a temple or a religious building used for worship and rituals in Vietnamese.
  14. Phòng trà (fuhng trah) – Tea house
    Definition: Refers to a tea house or a venue where tea is served and enjoyed in Vietnamese.
  15. Cầu thang (kahw tahng) – Stairs
    Definition: Denotes stairs or a series of steps used for ascending or descending in Vietnamese.
  16. Bể bơi (behp boy) – Swimming pool
    Definition: Refers to a swimming pool or a man-made basin filled with water for recreational swimming in Vietnamese.
  17. Sân golf (sahn golf) – Golf course
    Definition: Denotes a golf course or a designated area for playing golf in Vietnamese.
  18. Trường học (troong hohk) – School
    Definition: Refers to a school or an educational institution where students receive instruction in Vietnamese.
  19. Công viên nước (kohng vyen noo-uhk) – Water park
    Definition: Denotes a water park or a recreational area with water-based attractions and activities in Vietnamese.
  20. Khu vui chơi (koo vwee choy) – Amusement park
    Definition: Refers to an amusement park or a facility with various rides and entertainment options in Vietnamese.
  21. Chợ đêm (choh dem) – Night market
    Definition: Denotes a night market or a market that operates in the evening and offers a variety of goods and street food in Vietnamese.
  22. Bảo hiểm (bah-oh hee-uhm) – Insurance
    Definition: Refers to insurance or a contract that provides financial protection against certain risks or losses in Vietnamese.
  23. Tiền (tyen) – Money
    Definition: Denotes money or currency used for transactions and as a medium of exchange in Vietnamese.
  24. Thẻ tín dụng (theh teen duhng) – Credit card
    Definition: Refers to a credit card or a payment card issued by a financial institution in Vietnamese.
  25. Hàng hóa (hahng hoh-uh) – Merchandise
    Definition: Denotes merchandise or goods that are bought and sold in commerce in Vietnamese.

Congratulations! You have reached the end of our Vietnamese Vocabulary Glossary, which is designed to provide you with a solid foundation of essential words and expressions in Vietnamese. By familiarizing yourself with these words, you have taken an important step towards immersing yourself in the vibrant culture and daily life of Vietnam.

As you explore the country, whether it be navigating bustling markets, ordering delicious local cuisine, or conversing with friendly locals, this glossary will serve as a valuable resource to enhance your experiences and facilitate meaningful interactions. By understanding and using these words, you will not only be able to communicate more effectively, but you will also gain a deeper appreciation for the rich language and customs of Vietnam.

Remember, language learning is a journey, and this glossary is just the beginning. Embrace every opportunity to practice and expand your vocabulary, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes along the way. The more you immerse yourself in the language, the more confident and proficient you will become.

We hope this glossary has provided you with a solid foundation and inspired you to continue your exploration of the Vietnamese language. Whether you’re planning a trip, living in Vietnam, or simply have a passion for learning languages, we wish you all the best on your exciting language-learning journey.

Chúc may mắn! (Good luck!)

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