Flag of Vietnam

Vietnam forum

Phrase book LP or RG?

  • shoestringer

    Joined Travelfish
    15th January, 2011
    Posts: 18

    Im looking at getting myself a vietnamese phrase book for my trip to vietnam, which would you recomend lonely planet or rough guide?

    Any help much apreciated.

    thanks

    #1 Posted: 19/2/2011 - 01:40

  • Advertisement

  • 69bertie

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd December, 2009
    Posts: 90

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    Given the tonal nature of the language a CD might be more helpful than any book!
    Not an easy language at all to pick up from a book. There are some websites around that do spoken Vietnamese. Might be worth visiting. Make a mistake with the tones and most won't even understand what you are on about, even in the context of the situation. i.e (simply put) Ga... station. Gà ...chicken. Even such mundane words such as 'thank you'.. Cám ơn (Gahm uhn) seem to be pronounced 3 different ways!! I've settled on cam urn in Saigon!
    http://wikitravel.org/en/Vietnamese_phrasebook for a bit of insight. Have fun!
    Edit: For some reason TF doesn't like all forms of Vietnamese writing The 2nd word of Cám ơn has come out incorrect. You'll just have to have look it up onliine for the correct spelling.

    #2 Posted: 19/2/2011 - 15:26

  • shoestringer

    Joined Travelfish
    15th January, 2011
    Posts: 18

    Thanks for that ive had a quick look on the net and found a few good sights, there is also a CD available made by collins. I think these will be great for learning the basics which is all im really intersted in, as im only in vietnam for 1 month. Do you think a pictionary would be a good idea for any tricky questions, i.e. if i want to ask for a spoon, i could show them the picture. or is this abit obnoxious. what do you think?

    thanks

    #3 Posted: 19/2/2011 - 20:14

  • 69bertie

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd December, 2009
    Posts: 90

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    Unless you are really going off the beaten tourist trail the basics will be fine. Most people who work with tourists tend to know more than a fair smattering of English anyway.

    I've been here 15 months and the amount of Vietnamese I'm required to know or use is very small. It is a bit of a hindrance in some ways in that most of the people I know (mainly Vietnamese) want to improve their English skills...! They tend to speak English to me. My reading ability of the language is way in front of my spoken Vietnamese.

    Do not underestimate the part that tones play in the language. I have a friend who even after many years learning and actually living here for nearly 2 years now, still says his biggest problem with being understood has been tonal.

    Actually you're more liable to need a pictionary for a knife than a spoon as the concept of using a knife to cut meat is alien to the Vietnamese. Alongside any chopsticks provided usually you'll find a fork and a spoon next to them. At things like food stalls you might have problems but nothing that a bit of pointing usually cannot sort.

    #4 Posted: 20/2/2011 - 23:28

  • shoestringer

    Joined Travelfish
    15th January, 2011
    Posts: 18

    Great i will add knife to my list of words to learn.

    Thankyou

    #5 Posted: 22/2/2011 - 03:53

  • Hannett

    Joined Travelfish
    9th February, 2011
    Posts: 1

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    I've found travelling round asia the LP phrasebook has been ok. You get the jist and locals will correct you anyway. But a simple hello in the local language always goes down well as does a thank you.
    However, while the phrasebook is a good starting point asking people is usually taken well too and then you can hear the pronunciation too.
    Learing a new language is always fun, I do most on the bus journeys about the place.

    #6 Posted: 9/3/2011 - 13:55

Have questions? Jump to our menu of forum quicklinks

Add your reply

Your reply

Check this box if you want to be notified of replies.

Please be familiar with our user guidelines before you post. Thanks!

Businesses planning on plugging their guesthouse / hotel / karaoke bar should read our "Addition guidelines" very carefully.

You need to be logged in to answer an existing post on the Travelfish forums. Please login via the prompts just above and refresh this screen -- before writing your post -- and you'll be in business.