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Here we have put together a quick guide on the most basic aspects of Vietnamese. Common phrases, numbers, the alphabet and a little pronunciation and information about Vietnamese tones. While only a small introduction to the language it should help you to get started.

 

This section of our online courses is currently free for personal use, but cannot be copied or used in a commercial setting. 

We also recommend that you find a way to use a Vietnamese keyboard. You can download and install a new language pack for Windows 10-11 using this method  here.  To swap between installed languages you can use the windows key (⊞) + spacebar. 

Or if you do not have Windows 10-11 you can download and use a separate application. We recommend UniKey, which you can find  here   To swap between languages you can press CTRL + SHIFT,

or you can change this setting to ALT + Z, which may be more convenient if you need to use SHIFT and CTRL a lot. 

To type in Vietnamese there are 2 main methods, although other options are available. You can use Telex, which is the default setting on UniKey, or VNI / Vietnamese Number Key Based. 

We recommend learning to use Telex, as with practice it is more comfortable to type on the keyboard, but may be more confusing to start with. To type in Vietnamese using Telex you add another character after the character you wish to alter to a Vietnamese language version. 

So:

                                                                                    as = á
                                                                                    af = à
                                                                                    ar = ả
                                                                                    ax = ã
                                                                                    aj = ạ
                                                                                    aa = â, oo = ô, ee = ê
                                                                                    uw = ư, ow = ơ
                                                                                    aw = ă
                                                                                    dd = đ

In order to write "Tiếng Việt" you would type "Tieengs Vieetj", although the special character doesn't have to be added immediately after the character you want to change, just in the same word. So you could also type "Tienges Vietej" and achieve the same result. 

To type using VNI you instead add a number after the character you wish to alter.

So:

                                                                                    a1 = á
                                                                                    a2 = à
                                                                                    a3 = ả
                                                                                    a4 = ã
                                                                                    a5 = ạ
                                                                                    a6 = â, o6 = ô, e6 = ê
                                                                                    u7 = ư, o7 = ơ
                                                                                    a8 = ă
                                                                                    d9 = đ

In order to write "Tiếng Việt" you would type "Tie6ng1 Vie6t5" or "Tieng61 Viet65". 

While it may be tempting to jump straight into learning common phrases or numbers first we recommend that you start with the alphabet and move onto tones next. Not as exciting perhaps, but Vietnamese is a tonal language very different to any Western language you may know. Learning to hear and pronounce tones can be very difficult for Western language speakers and should be tackled as soon as possible so that you can develop this skill as quickly as possible.