Hello in Vietnamese: Learn Vietnamese Greetings

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”.

Tips: Check out these useful Vietnamese phrases and words for your trip to Vietnam.

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”PronounHow to say hello/hi
Old manÔngChào ông
Subject “I”Chào bà
Man (Slightly older)AnhChào anh
Woman (Slightly older)ChịChào chị
Same ageBạnChào bạn
Younger personEmChào em
How to say hello in Vietnamese.

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”.

Hello in Vietnamese in Ha Giang, Vietnam.

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.

For example:

  • 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

  1. Smile: Just like in any culture, a warm, genuine smile goes a long way when greeting in Vietnamese.
  2. 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.
  3. Watch and Learn: Observing how locals interact is a great way to understand the subtle nuances of Vietnamese greetings.
  4. 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)!

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