This Vietnamese Vocabulary 1 will cover all these topics based on Complete Vietnamese course – Basic level A1:
1. Greetings – Chào hỏi
2. Nationality – Quốc tịch
3. Occupation – Nghề nghiệp
4. Address – Địa chỉ
5. Time – Thời gian
6. Date – Ngày tháng
7. Giving direction – Chỉ đường
8. Means of transport – Phương tiện giao thông
9. Family – Gia đình
10. Order food – Gọi món
Everything is in Northern Dialect
In my opinion, the general terms “Northern” and “Southern” do not capture the many different accents and dialects of Vietnamese well enough. I once had a student who was linguistics. He studied the differences among Vietnamese accents from different provinces of Vietnam and created his own version of the Vietnam map of dialects comparing those differences. For a Vietnamese that had lived in Hanoi her whole life, back then, I was really taken aback by how little I knew about my own language. There’s no standard Northern Vietnamese – there’re just different Vietnamese dialects that change from North to South. I was born in Dong Anh – a town in the suburb of Hanoi. People here pronounce the letter “e” similar to “ie”. For example, “mẹ” (mom) would sound like “mịe”.
When I moved to the Saigon to live for 1.5 years, I learned that there’s no “standard” Southern Vietnamese either. People from the Mekong Delta area pronounce the letter “e” longer and pronounce “r” pretty much the same as how German and French pronounce their /r/. So “đi ra” (go out) would sound like “dee zaa” in Hanoi, “dee raa” in Saigon and “dee gaa” in Ben Tre for example.
And then there’s this north-southern mixed dialect that I’ve heard a lot in Saigon of people who speak with southern dấu sắc (up tone) but northern dấu ngã (wavy tone) and northern dấu nặng (dot tone). Most of those people that I know either have families from the north that moved to the south or are Viet Kieu (watch Paris By Night show and you’ll hear most of them speaking with this accent).
Central Vietnamese is the most difficult to define for me. The accent in Da Nang centre area is a lot similar to Saigon, but outside of this area and toward Hoi An, the accent has changed completely. I remember having no problem understanding people in Da Nang the first time I went there, but having a hard time communicating with people in Hoi An and Hue because I wasn’t familiar with the accents.
To decide which Vietnamese dialect to study, I believe you should examine the dialect’s popularity as well as the geographical places where it is spoken. The northern dialect is extensively spoken in Vietnam’s north, and it begins to shift considerably between Thanh Hoa and Vinh. Because it is the most similar to official Vietnamese, it is generally understood throughout Vietnam and other Vietnamese-speaking countries. Central Vietnamese dialects are more diverse in Vietnam’s central region. Southern Vietnamese is largely spoken in Vietnam’s south and among Vietnamese communities living outside of the country.