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Languages > Vietnamese
Most Popular Vietnamese Language Product Types
Baby - Kindergarten
WHERE'S THE BABY? board book in Vietnamese & English
Children's Books
Carrying (Vietnamese-English) (Paperback)
Pied Piper Children's Book in Vietnamese/English (Paperback)
Essential English to Vietnamese Dictionary (Paperback)
Vocabulearn Vietnamese Level 2 (Two cassettes)
Software - Mac
LaserVietnamese - for Mac for System 7
Bilingual Books - Vietnamese a Language Mapô in VIETNAMESE
All Vietnamese language product types

Language Information

Vietnamese is spoken in Vietnam by about 70 million people. Its linguistic affiliation has long been a matter of debate. It is now throught by most to belong to the Mon-Khmer family of languages which includes Khmer (Cambodian), but this is not entirely certain. The only language closely related to Vietnamese is Muong, spoken in northern Vietnam.

VIetnam was ruled by China until the middle of the 10th century. So many Chinese words entered the language that Vietnamese was long thought to be related to Chinese. It was written using the Chinese characters until the 17th century, when Catholic missionaries devised a Roman-based orthography. It contains a complex system of diacritical marks, some distinguishing certain vowel sounds, others indicating tone. As can be seen in some of the lines above, a letter may often contain two diacritical marks.

The Tale of Kieu, the Vietnamese national poem, was written by Nguyen Du in the early 19th century. It is 3,254 lines in length; educated Vietnamese know most of them by heart.

Vietnamese is spoken/used in the following countries:
Cambodia, Laos, United States of America, Vietnam.

Language Family
Family: Independent

Copyright © Kenneth Katzner, The Languages of the World, Published by Routledge.

Writing Sample

Writing Sample


The grass had grown all over the garden. Here and there reeds raised their slender stalks.
At the window from which she used to contemplate the room there was no one. The outer walls, beaten by the rain, had lost their paint.
Neither behind nor before was there trace of a living soul.
Yet a flowering peach branch, sole witness of the past, still smiled at the eastern breeze.
In the empty buildings the swallows fluttered.
The grass had grown up everywhere, the footprints were covered with moss.
The corners of the walls were overgrown with brambles and thorns.
This was the road which he traversed in days gone by.


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