In Vietnam, we have the famous saying “Struggling with storms is nothing compared to mastering Vietnamese grammar”. However, once you’ve overcome this language barrier, there is endless fun waiting to be explored. One of the fastest ways to get close to the language itself and of course, to the locals is to learn some fun and useful Vietnamese slangs, or reach out to professionals at writepaper for more language advcie. Here is our take on Vietnamese slangs and some common fun phrases to remember!
What’s in this blog?
What to Know about Vietnamese Slangs
- Vietnamese slangs are extraordinarily rich since there are different regions and different ethnic groups, and each province has its dialects.
- Vietnamese slangs are widely used within the community (mainly via social networks). You can easily see its appearance on TV Shows, in movies, on the streets, or even at the doorstep of your hotel.
- Vietnamese slangs are up-to-date since they are created daily, right from ordinary life. However, they do not have the best “life expectancy” since slang can be replaced in a very short period.
- The main users of slangs are the young generations.
Slang can be born from a normal conversation like this. For example, “tiền thối” is the changes that a shop owner gives back
Why You Should Learn Vietnamese Slangs
- Learning Vietnamese slang is the most exciting way to know more about Vietnamese culture since they are used every day and by various classes of people.
- Using slang can make you sound more natural since Vietnamese slangs are genuinely expressive.
- Proper use of Vietnamese slangs brings humor to your conversation and makes you less alienated.
You can also look at The History of the Vietnamese Alphabet
You can hear slangs everywhere in Vietnam
Check out our private motorbike tours with professional local guides
Some Fun and Useful Vietnamese Slangs to Learn
Slangs to Express Emotions
“Bó tay”: get stuck, “I have no solution” or “I’m speechless”
“Bó tay” literally means “My hands are tied”
“Quắc cần câu”: wasted
Example: “He is quắc cần câu” = He is wasted.
“GATO” or “Ghen ăn tức ở”: get jealous
“GATO” is the acronym of “Ghen ăn tức ở” and is used more often by youngsters. However, “gato” is also the Vietnamese version of “gateau”
“Kết”: have an interest in something or somebody
Example: “I kết this one” = “I like this one”
“Phết”: pretty, fairly
“Gắt”: very, hard
Slangs to Show Actions
“Thả thính” or “Cưa”: flirt with somebody
“Đổ”: fall in love (“đổ” literally means “to fall hard”)
“Dìm hàng”: defame somebody
These slangs are applicable in verbal communication or on social network platforms
“Quẩy”: party, go clubbing, and have fun
“Đu đưa”/ “Đi đu đưa đi”: Let’s hang out!/ Let’s go clubbing!
“Leo cây”: get stood up
Slangs to Indicate Characteristics
“Trẻ trâu”: youngsters that always tend to do crazy things
“Bánh bèo”: a girl who is overly girly, bland, (usually) weak, and dependent
“Bánh bèo” is a famous Vietnamese food. Because of its tenderness, the locals use the word to refer to weak and overly girly girls
“Công tử bột”: an over-protected man who comes from a decent family and is (often) weak-looking
“Soái ca”: a handsome gentleman
“Đào mỏ: a gold-digger
“Bà xã”: wife
“Ông xã”: husband
Tips for Applying Vietnamese Slangs to Our Lives
- Try to get the true meaning of Vietnamese slang from a local since slangs are often metaphorical and can be easily misinterpreted.
- Only use slangs once you have fully understood the appropriate context to use them.
- Never try to use slang in business meetings in Vietnam as you might appear unprofessional.
- If you are not a master of Vietnamese slangs, don’t worry! Just pay attention to the speaker’s non-verbal communication and remember some common Vietnamese phrases.
- English in Vietnam is the second most popular language so you can still use a few familiar English words to communicate.
Using slang is a great way to get close to the locals and make new friends
Our Take on Vietnamese Slangs
Vietnamese slangs are very fun to learn and use in our daily lives. Thanks to their extension of expression, we can indicate our feelings clearly and connect. So, why not start picking up this slang and having fun? If you know other useful Vietnamese slangs, share it with our readers in the comment section down below!
Get the world-leading travel insurance for your Vietnam adventure: