Everything You Need To Learn Vietnamese
Vietnamese is part of the Vietic branch within the Austroasiatic language family. It is the native language of the Vietnamese people, as well as a first or second language for the many ethnic minorities of Vietnam. The number of speakers of Vietnamese is estimated to be 75 million.
As with other languages in the region, Vietnamese vocabulary has been heavily influenced by Chinese and French, the latter of which has had a profound impact on Vietnamese in terms of loan words and names. It is said that more than half of Vietnamese vocabulary is of Chinese origin.
In recent years, Vietnamese has been influenced by English as well, especially in the realm of business and technology. The language is written using a Latin-based script called Quốc ngữ.
Below you’ll find a list of some of the most useful learning materials available for those interested in learning Vietnamese.
Vietnamese Language Learning Books
Studying using a comprehensive Vietnamese course book is as good a place to start your language journey as any. Vietnamese language textbooks teach you the basics of Vietnamese grammar, pronunciation and syntax, as well as introduce you to new, useful vocabulary. The best among them even include audio CDs/links to help with pronunciation.
A concise English-Vietnamese dictionary will get you far in your studies, as you’ll constantly be looking up new words you encounter, and wanting more interesting ways to express yourself. Vietnamese picture dictionaries are also available for visual learners.
Consider getting yourself a Vietnamese phrasebook as well. While they’re not comprehensive, phrasebooks do include the most basic phrases and expressions you’ll need to get by in Vietnam.
Vietnamese Children’s Books
Reading children’s books in Vietnamese aren’t just for kids. Beginners will find these titles most useful for easing them into native material. The vocabulary used in Vietnamese kids’ books is simple and straightforward, and the illustrations will help you figure out what the text is conveying.
What’s great about many of the books on this list is that they’re bilingual English-Vietnamese stories. They include both language texts on each page, so you can use the English version to help you as you read the Vietnamese version.
Other Vietnamese Books
Besides children’s books, there are also Vietnamese books for older readers available. These books are especially helpful for advanced learners, and those looking to advance their reading comprehension.
The vocabulary and sentence structure is more complex and presents more of a challenge, thereby allowing you to beef up your overall Vietnamese skills.
Vietnamese Movies & TV Shows
A good Vietnamese-language movie, or a movie with Vietnamese dubbing, is probably the best way to get exposed to natural, native-level Vietnamese.
You’ll have access to authentic vocabulary and nuanced language that will be difficult to pick up elsewhere. You’ll pick up Vietnamese slang, colloquialisms and idioms without even realizing it.
Vietnamese Digital Courses
Another way to learn the language is by using a Vietnamese e-course. These often come in the form of audio or video lessons, the former focused on building your listening and speaking skills specifically, while the latter aims to nurture your general Vietnamese skills. They’re perfect for those who don’t learn as effectively with books.
Udemy offers an affordable, comprehensive Vietnamese course that includes an impressive 14 hours of video lessons, full lifetime access across any smart device, and access to the lively online learners’ forum, where you can socialize with others also taking the course.
VIETNAMESE UDEMY COURSES
VIETNAMESE AUDIO COURSES
In terms of audio-only courses, Pimsleur’s Basic Vietnamese and Conversational Vietnamese courses are some of the best out there. They both offer hours of audio lessons, and aim to get you speaking conversational Vietnamese in no time, without you ever having to pick up a pen or book.
Pimsleur Basic Vietnamese: Complete Audio Course for Beginners
Pimsleur Conversational Vietnamese: Audio Course for Beginners
Learning Vietnamese isn’t limited to using books and courses, you can find products that will also aid you in your journey to fluency.
For example, Vietnamese flash card kits that include not only flash cards but audio CDs and games, will help you memorize new vocabulary and phrases, and teach you the correct Vietnamese pronunciation.
Let's Learn Vietnamese: A Complete Language Learning Kit for Kids (64 Flashcards, Audio CD, Games)
Vietnamese Flash Cards Kit: The Complete Language Learning Kit (200 Flash Cards, Audio)