12 common greetings in Vietnamese

Similar to English or other languages, greetings in Vietnamese are short sentences and easy to memorize. However, the most difficult part is caused by the fact that Vietnamese has many pronouns, so you have to select appropriate ones. 

In this article, Jellyfish will suggest some simple and easy to apply ways to say “Hello” in Vietnamese. Let’s check it out.

I. 12 simplest greetings in Vietnamese – How to say Hello in Vietnamese?

Here is a summary of how to say “hello” in Vietnamese as well as detailed instructions of the most common and easiest greetings in Vietnamese. Let’s follow us!

1. Hello in Vietnamese

Do you know how to say “hello” in Vietnamese? In the simplest form, “Hello” in Vietnamese means “Xin chào” or “Chào”, according to the dictionary. However, “Xin chào” tends to be more polite. 

  • “Hello” = “Xin chào” (sin chow)

This greeting is also prominent and easy to practice, you can use it in every circumstance. However, if you have a conversation with older people, – this way is considered rather impolite to use.

See more: How to pronounce Vietnamese?

2. “Chào” + the person who is greeted

This method is practiced frequently and it is not completely difficult if you know how to use the pronouns in Vietnamese. Basically, it is similar to “Hello you”, “Hello mom”, “Hello Nam” in English. 

how to say hello in vietnamese

  • Sample sentence: “Chào” + the person who is greeted

Examples:

  • Chào chị: If someone is a female and older than you.
  • Chào anh: If someone is a male and older than you.
  • Chào em: If someone is younger than you. 
  • Chào cô: If someone is the same age as your parents and is a female.
  • Chào ông: If someone is the same age as your grandparents and is a male. 
  • Chào Vân: If her name is Van (this way is used when someone is the same age or younger than you and you know her name).

3. How to greet an elderly person

In fact, consider sentence structure, this is the most formal greeting in Vietnamese. Nonetheless, Vietnamese people often use it to greet those who are older than them in polite circumstances and rarely greet younger people.

  • Subject (I) + Chào + the person who is greeted (you) + (ạ – honorific)

The honorific (ạ) should be used when talking to older people. 

how to say hello in vietnamese - greetings in vietnamese

Examples: 

  • Em chào anh ạ: If someone is older than you and is a male
  • Cháu chào chú ạ: If someone is the same age as your parents and is a male
  • Cháu chào ông ạ: If someone is the same age as you grandparents and is a male

4. Formal greetings in Vietnamese – Vietnamese greetings

Let’s apply these following suggestions in case you have to speak in front of a group of people (requires formality) or when welcoming customers. 

  • Kính chào quý vị/ông bà/anh chị/…: When you speak in front of a group of people or your performance also appears in some stages, or media platform. In the simplest form, it is similar to “Ladies and Gentlemen” in English. 
  • Kính chào quý khách: When welcoming customers. This greeting also appears on a bus, or when going to a big shopping store or to customer services when you welcome your customers, in general. 

5. How to say “I’m here” in Vietnamese

This is frequently used in some close circumstances. In Vietnamese, instead of saying “Hello”, many people say “Tôi đây/Tôi đến rồi” (I’m here/I’m here already).

Sample sentences:

  • Subject (I) + đây (i’m here)
  • Subject (I) đến rồi (I’m here already)

Examples:

  • Tôi đến rồi/Tôi đây: When you are older than/ the same age as the listener
  • Em đến rồi/Em đây: When you are younger than the listener. 

6. How to greet a group of people

Here are some sample Vietnamese greetings which applied when you have conversation with a group of people from diverse ranges 

Chào mọi người/Xin chào mọi người (Hello everyone)

Chào cả nhà/Xin chào cả nhà (Hello everyone) – When meeting a close person

Chào mừng các bạn (Welcome you all) – In some events, parties

7. How to greet by times of aday – Greetings in Vietnamese

What is “Good morning”, “Good afternoon” in Vietnamese? You can also use Vietnamese greetings in correspondence with times of a day. However, Vietnamese people  use this way infrequently.

  • Chào buổi sáng (Good morning)
  • Chào buổi chiều (Good Afternoon)
  • Chào buổi tối (Good evening)
  • Chúc ngủ ngon (Good night)

9. How to greet close friends

Vietnamese people, especially the young generation, have various ways to greet close friends. Some are:

  • Ê (Hey)
  • Mày ơi (Hey you)
  • Đang đâu đấy/Đang đâu (Where are you now?) 
  • Dạo này sao/Dạo này sao rồi/Dạo này thế nào? (How are you doing?)
  • Khỏe không? (How’s it going?)
  • Lâu lắm không gặp (Long time no see)

10. Hello (on the phone) in Vietnamese – A-lô

If in English, when answering the phone call, you say “Hello” first, Vietnamese people will say “Alo” (A-lô)

hello in Vietnamese - Vietnamese greetings

Examples:

  • Alo (A-lô)
  • Alo, tôi nghe (Hello, I am listening)
  • Alo, Ai đấy ạ (Hello, Who are you?)

11. How to say “Nice to meet you” in Vietnamese

There is also a phrase which is similar to “nice to meet you” in Vietnamese. This is generally used when meeting someone at the first time, or in social relations.

Sample sentence: (Subject – (I) + rất vui khi được gặp + listener (you)

Examples:

  • Rất vui khi được gặp bạn/ Tôi rất vui khi được gặp bạn
  • Rất vui khi được gặp em/Tôi rất vui khi được gặp em.

12. How to say “What’s your name?” in Vietnamese

In the first meeting, you will often be asked for your name, how to say “What’s your name?” in Vietnamese

Sample sentence: Tên của +người được hỏi (you) + là gì? 

                              Tên + người được hỏi (you) + là gì?

Examples:

  • Tên của em là gì?/Tên em là gì? What is your name
  • Tên của cháu là gì?/Tên cháu là gì? What is your name (the pronoun is changed in this example)

To answer, you can use this way:

Sample sentence: Tên + Pronoun of the speaker (I) + là + name

Example: Tên em là gì? – Tên em là Vân (I’m Vân)

See more: 

II. Answering questions in Vietnamese greetings

Unlike some countries in Asia including Japan, Korea,… Vietnamese people have no greeting rule and they are not too strict to this situation. 

These answers below are for some commonly asked questions from foreigners:

  • Do Vietnamese people bow when greeting like the Japanese? 

The answer is not really, in Vietnam, you are not forced to bow when greeting. Nonetheless, in fact, you can come across some Vietnamese people nodding instead of saying hello. This is regularly used when it is not convenient to talk, or when meeting on the street, or when an elderly person responds to a young person’s greeting. 

In addition, you can come across Vietnamese people bowing when greeting in case waiters or waitresses are welcoming them in as customers. 

  • Do Vietnamese people shake hands when greeting?

Yes. Although it is not too prominent, in many circumstances, Vietnamese people often shake hands as a greeting such as: in working relationships, meeting partners, being introduced to someone for the first time. Men tend to shake hands more than women. 

  • Do Vietnamese people hug to greet?

Usually not. Especially Vietnamese women. Only some young people who get used to Western lifestyle or used to live abroad use this greeting. 

Here are detailed instructions about 12 common greetings in Vietnamese as well as some notes on greeting habits of Vietnamese people. Hope this article provides you with useful information.

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