Chào các bạn! Hello, friends! If you’re curious about how to say hello in Vietnamese, you’re in the right place. As a Vietnamese native and a language lover, I’m happy to share with you the ins and outs of Vietnamese greetings.
How to Say Hi and Hello in Vietnamese
The most basic way to say Hello in Vietnamese is “Xin chào”.
Translated directly, “Xin” means please, and “Chào” means hello. When combined, it becomes a polite greeting you can use in most situations.
Pronounced “sin chow,” this greeting is your go-to phrase to start any conversation on a friendly note.
Remember, Vietnamese is a tonal language, so keep your tone flat when saying “Xin chào”.
Adding a Personal Touch: Using Vietnamese Pronouns
One main thing about the Vietnamese language is its emphasis on respect for age and status. That’s why we use different Vietnamese pronouns when addressing people.
For a friend or someone of a similar age, we use “Bạn”, so “Chào bạn”.
For an older man, it’s “Ông,” and for an older woman, it’s “Bà.”
Add these to “Chào” to create a more personal greeting. Trust me, your effort to show respect will be greatly appreciated.
|Subject “I”||Pronoun||How to say hello/hi|
|Old man||Ông||Chào ông|
|Subject “I”||Bà||Chào bà|
|Man (Slightly older)||Anh||Chào anh|
|Woman (Slightly older)||Chị||Chào chị|
|Same age||Bạn||Chào bạn|
|Younger person||Em||Chào em|
Vietnamese Greetings based on Time of Day
We Vietnamese love to greet based on the time of the day. Here is how you can do it.
Good Morning In Vietnamese
Start your morning with “Chào Buổi Sáng” (Good Morning).
Good Afternoon In Vietnamese
While “buổi chiều” means afternoon in Vietnamese, Vietnamese people don’t really say “Chào buổi chiều” (Good afternoon!) to each other. You can simply say “Xin chào”.
Good Evening In Vietnamese
You can say “Buổi tối vui vẻ” or “Chào buổi tối” to greet someone you saw in the evening.
Good Night In Vietnamese
To wish someone a good sleep, use “Chúc ngủ ngon” or “Ngủ ngon” as a shorter version. It means “Wish you a good sleep”.
Phone Etiquette: Saying Hello Over the Line
When picking up a phone call, Vietnamese people often start with a cheerful “Alo” which is akin to the English “Hello.”
The word “Alo,” borrowed from English, has now become a universal phrase in Vietnam.
Casual Callouts: Using “Ơi” – The Informal “Hey”
To catch someone’s attention in a casual context, you can use “Ơi,” much like “Hey” in English.
You can add the name of the person in front of the word “ơi”. Or use “ơi” with different pronouns.
This phrase “Ơi” is especially useful in restaurants, where you can call waiter/ waitress Anh ơi or Chị ơi.
- Hanna ơi!
- Anh ơi! (to call a man who is slightly older than you).
Beyond Words: Gestures shows Greetings in Vietnam
Let’s not forget that communication is not just about words. Body language plays a significant role in Vietnamese greetings.
When saying “Xin Chào,” you can give a respectful nod or a slight bow, particularly when greeting elders or in a formal setting.
Casual Vs. Formal: Adapting Your Greetings
In more casual settings, it’s perfectly okay to just say “Chào” followed by the person’s first name.
However, in formal situations, like a business meeting or when talking to someone significantly older, it’s better to stick to “Xin Chào” with the appropriate pronoun.
Parting Ways: How to Say Goodbye in Vietnamese
When it’s time to bid farewell, we say “Tạm biệt” or “Bái bai” (Bye bye) as a casual goodbye.
Just like with “Xin Chào,” you can personalize your goodbyes by adding pronouns, such as “Tạm biệt bạn” (Goodbye, friend).
Greeting a group of people in Vietnamese
If you’re addressing a group of people, feel free to say “Xin chào mọi người” or “Xin chào cả nhà,” both translating to “Hello, everyone.”
It’s a great way to start a gathering or a meeting on a friendly note.
How to say How are you in Vietnamese
To ask someone how they’re doing, you can say “Bạn khỏe không?”
It directly translates to “Are you well?” but it’s used just like “How are you?” in English.
More Tips for Greeting in Vietnamese
- Smile: Just like in any culture, a warm, genuine smile goes a long way when greeting in Vietnamese.
- Practice: Don’t worry if you fumble a bit initially. Practice makes perfect. The more you use these phrases, the more natural they will feel.
- Watch and Learn: Observing how locals interact is a great way to understand the subtle nuances of Vietnamese greetings.
- When in Doubt, Stay Polite: If you’re unsure which greeting to use, sticking to “Xin Chào” is a safe bet.
FAQs about Vietnamese greetings
Do Vietnamese hug as a greeting?
Hugging is not a common greeting in Vietnam, especially between non-family members or in public.
Do Vietnamese shake hands?
Absolutely, especially among men and in business scenarios.
Do Vietnamese bow as a greeting?
Yes, a slight bow or nod is seen as a mark of respect, especially when greeting elders.
How to say hello informally in Vietnamese
Informal greetings can be as simple as “Chào” followed by the person’s first name.
How to greet formally in Vietnamese
In formal situations, you can use the appropriate pronoun, like “Ông” or “Bà,” along with “Xin Chào.”
So, go ahead and practice these greeting phrases, surprise your Vietnamese friends, or prepare for your trip to Vietnam.
Thank you for reading, and hẹn gặp lại (see you again)!