How US travelers connect with Vietnamese locals while visiting this country

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Imaging what would it be if you are traveling in Vietnam and don’t know anything about this country, therefore the first and the most important thing is language and communication as not every Vietnamese can speak English. Here are some ways to learn Vietnamese effectively for US learners.

1. The Vietnamese alphabet:

When we start learning a language, it will be a must start with the alphabet which contains 29 letters. Please be noticed that Vietnamese language does not have w and z, j, as in English.

- The vowel system: Vietnamese has nine single vowels: a, e, ê, i, o, ô, u, ơ, ư;

- Three vowel pairs: i, uo, ui and two short vowels: ă,

- Consonant system:

* Single consonant: b, c, d, đ, g, h, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, x

* Double consonant: gh, kh, nh, ph, th, tr, tr, ngh, ng

2. Vietnamese alphabet reading:

This is the first step to introduce to Vietnamese learners, as well as when we learn any language.

The purpose is to let the reader know how to pronounce the letters. For example when they see the letters "a", open the "a", combined with the consonant in the first. Just remember to pronounce the consonant and the vowel is able to read the exact Vietnamese words without knowing the meaning.

Vietnamese is a linguistic language so the syllables (or voices) are pronounced separately so there will be a syllable such as books, notebooks, etc. However, there are many words are composed of two syllables such as happy, funny, etc. Therefore, foreigners learning Vietnamese want to pronounce well first need to pronounce syllables, each syllable group well.

For example, thank you for pronouncing "cảm" and "ơn". The foreigners should speak slowly, clear each syllable and then speak quickly. This shows that pronunciation is very important in Vietnamese because if one word is wrong, the Vietnamese do not understand. Meanwhile, if they speak Vietnamese without grammar is still understandable.

This will help you to communicate with the local people properly with some of the simple daily words in greeting or thanks, etc.

After learning some simple Vietnamese communications, US citizens should notice on the differences between the communication in Vietnam and that in the US. The Vietnamese are quite cautious in communicating such as the way of greeting becomes more complex depending on the relationship. There are tons of greeting way in Vietnam so don’t be so surprised if people greet you with differently.

They show their respect for the values of the community. Vietnamese are humble when they often lower themselves to express themselves not too confident or arrogant. This is the reason why Vietnamese is friendly and hospitable in foreigners' eyes.

The following introduction about Vietnamese language and communication differences between the two nations will somehow help you to associate with the local people.

Nevertheless, if you are planning to visit Vietnam, don’t forget to check Vietnam visa requirements for US citizens. Until now, there are three main ways to apply for a Vietnam visa from USA including at the Embassy, Visa on arrival and Vietnam E-visa.

Getting visa at Vietnamese embassy may take at least 5 working days to have your visa processed in along with parting from original passport while visa on arrival and e-visa can be obtained online but please carefully check out before choosing the best method for you. Of all 3 ways, applying for a visa on arrival is a better way as besides the convenient and fast process, there are wide ranges of visa types for applicants to choose so it is highly recommended.

Vietnam and Vietnamese locals always warmly welcome tourists from all over the world come to visit. So it’s hoped that some language and other barriers won’t be the difficulty for travellers in general and US citizens in particular to enjoy their trip here in Vietnam.