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Vietnamese phrasebook

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Vietnamese phrasebook

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Vietnamese is one of the most-spoken languages in the world, with around 90 millions native speakers. It is the official language in Vietnam and also widely spoken in places where the Vietnamese have immigrated such as the United States and Australia. Vietnamese grammar is very simple: nouns and adjectives don't have genders, and verbs aren't conjugated. Vietnamese is a tonal language; the meaning of a word depends on how high or low your voice is. Vietnamese is not related to Chinese, though it contains many loan words from Chinese due to centuries of Chinese rule in Vietnam, and even used Chinese-like characters as its writing system until Vietnam was colonised by the French.

Pronunciation guide

Vietnamese spelling is more or less phonetic, and generally similar to Portuguese (which it is based on). Once you figure out how to pronounce each letter and tone, you have a pretty good idea of how to pronounce Vietnamese, which has very few exceptions compared to English.

Unless otherwise indicated, pronunciation throughout this phrasebook is for Southern (Saigon) Vietnamese, which is quite different from Northern (Hanoi), North Central (Vinh) or Central (Hue) Vietnamese.

Vowels

a
like 'a' in "father": ba.
ă
like 'a' in "father", except said very quickly: chăn.
â
like 'u' in "hut", except shorter: sân.
e
like 'eah' in "yeah": che.
ê
like the Canadian English "eh": cà phê.
i
like 'ee' in "see" or "deed": pin.
o
like "awwwww...", but not quite as long: lý do.
ô
like the first component of the diphthong 'ow' in "low": á-lô.
ơ
like â, except longer: .
u
like 'oo' in "hoop": Na Uy.
ư
like 'oo' in "book", with a hint of the 'i' in "lick": thư.

Consonants

like 'b' in "bed".
like 'c' in "cat", with a hint of the 'g' in "gone".
in the South (Ho Chi Minh City), like 'y' in "yes"; in the North (Hanoi), like 'z' in "zip".
đ 
like 'd' in "dog".
like 'g' in "go".
like 'h' in "help".
like 'c' in "cat", with a hint of the 'g' in "gone".
like 'l' in "love". Used only at the beginning of a syllable.
like 'm' in "mother".
like 'n' in "nice".
like 'p' in "pig". Used only at the end of a syllable.
like 'r' in "row", or like 'tt' in "butter" (when said quickly in the American accent).
like 'ss' in "hiss".
like 't' in "time", with a hint of the 'd' in "dog".
like 'v' in "victory".
like 's' in "kicks".
like 'y' in "yes".
ch 
at the beginning of a syllable, like 'ch' in "touch"; at the end, like 'ck' in "sick" (but it is never enunciated).
gh 
like 'g' in "go".
kh 
somewhat like 'c' in "cat" (enunciated). Identical to the "ach-Laut" sound in German.
ng, ngh 
like 'ng' in "sing-along": Nga.
ph 
like 'ph' in "phone".
th 
like 'th' in "think". Used only at the beginning of a syllable.
tr 
in the South (Ho Chi Minh City), like 'tr' in "tree"; in the North (Hanoi), like 'ch' in "chat". Used only at the beginning of a syllable.

Other combinations

gi 
in the South (Ho Chi Minh City), like 'y' in "yes"; in the North (Hanoi), like 'z' in "zip".
qu 
like 'qu' in "quest"
uy 
like 'wi' in "win".

Tones

In Vietnamese, syllables can have six different tones, with five of them indicated by tone marks applied to the syllable's main vowel. Tone marks can be combined with the other diacritics.

flat
á 
high rising; example: đấy, like saying "day?"
à 
low
ã 
creaky
ả 
falling, then rising
ạ 
a low "a'ah"

Grammar

One important difference between Vietnamese and Western languages is that Vietnamese has no equivalent of the second-person pronoun, "you." Strange as it might sound, conversational Vietnamese takes place almost entirely in the third person. To Western ears, talking in the third person sounds stilted and pretentious, though to Vietnamese ears, it is natural. Vietnamese has a word for "I", toi, but Vietnamese would use it only in abstract or formal situations (such as public speaking, addressing a television camera, or writing in a book.) Only foreigners use toi in conversation, which sounds stilted to Vietnamese, but they understand whyit is done and come to expect it.

In conversational Vietnamese, the proper way to refer to yourself and others depends on a hierarchy of age and sex. Many of the terms have a literal meaning of family relationships, though they are used for all people on all occasions. Options include:

  • Con (child, pronounced "cong", and – parents will be amused – also means animal)
  • Em (younger sibling, male or female – refers to anyone younger than you but older than a child; also to a woman of the same age or your girlfriend if you are a man)
  • Anh (older brother – man older than you by up to 20 years or so, or man of the same age or your boyfriend if you are a woman)
  • Chi (older sister – woman older than you by up to 20 years or so)
  • Chú (uncle, father's younger brother – man older than you by more than 20 years)
  • (aunt – woman older than you by more than 20 years, or a female teacher)
  • Bac (aunt or uncle, father's older sibling – refers to an elderly person, 60+ years old, who is not the oldest person on the scene)
  • Ông (grandfather – refers to an elderly man, 60+ years old)
  • (grandmother – refers to an elderly woman, 60+ years old)

Choose one from the list to represent yourself, and one to represent the person you are talking to, depending on sex and relative age. For example, to get the attention of a waiter or waitress in a restaurant, say em/anh/chi oi (oi being the ubiquitous Vietnamese term for "hey"). If you listen closely, when people address you or talk about you in Vietnamese, they will be using these terms. They will be very impressed if you can master this! The one time it gets awkward is when speaking to someone of the same sex and, as far as you can tell, about the same age.

For simplicity, however, many phrases below are are translated without the relevant terms for you and/or your listener: For example, "How are you" is literally translated as "Healthy or not?" It is generally impolite to speak to a person without directly addressing them unless they're a subordinate, but Vietnamese usually don't take offense when foreigners omit this. Wherever you see toi below, you can substitute one of the words above according to the circumstance.

Phrase list

The following are very commonly-used phrases. They are listed in a general order of importance:

Basics

Hello. 
Chào. (jow)
Hello. (on the phone
Á-lô. (AH-loh)
How are you? (Are you healthy?) 
Khỏe không? (kweah kohng?)
Fine, thank you. (I am healthy, thank you.) 
Khoẻ, cảm ơn. (kweah, gam uhhn)
What is your name? (formal, to an older man
Ông tên là gì? (ohng theyn la yi)
What is your name? (formal, to an older woman
Bà tên là gì? (ba theyn la yi)
What is your name? (very informal, to a man
Anh tên là gì? (ayng theyn la yi)
What is your name? (very informal, to a woman
Cô tên là gì? (goh theyn la yi)
My name is ______ . 
Tôi tên là ______ . (Thoye theyn la _____ .)
Please. 
Làm ơn. (lam uhhn)
Thank you. 
Cảm ơn. (gam uhhn)
You're welcome. 
Không sao đâu. (kohng sao doh)
Yes. 
Vâng (affirmative). (vuhng); Dạ (affirmative, respectful) (ya'a) ; Đúng (correct) (duhn)
No. 
Không. (kohng)
I'm sorry. 
Xin lỗi. (seen loh'EE)
Goodbye 
Chào. (jow), Tambiet
I can't speak Vietnamese [well]. 
Tôi không biết nói tiếng Việt [giỏi lắm]. (thoy kohng bee-IT noh-Y thee-IHNG vee'it [yi-oh-i lahm])
Do you speak English? 
Biết nói tiếng Anh không? (bee-IT noh-Y thee-IHNG ayng kohng)
Is there someone here who speaks English? 
Có ai đây biết nói tiếng Anh không? (GAW ai dey bee-IT noh-Y thee-IHNG ayng kohng)
Help! 
Cứu (tôi) với! (gih-OO (thoy) vuh-y!) Thoi cang nguoi giup toi.
Look out! 
Cẩn thận! (guhn tuh'n!)
I don't understand. 
Tôi không hiểu. (thoy kohng hee-oh)
Where is the toilet? 
Cầu tiêu ở đâu? (goh thee-oh uh duh-oh) (this phrase may be considered impolite)
Be back soon 
Sẽ quay lại sớm

Problems

Leave me alone. 
Đừng làm phiền tôi. (DUHung LAHm fien Thoy) (beware that "Thoi" with a fat and long sounding "T" translates to "enough!" in standard Vietnamese)
Don't touch me! 
Đừng đụng tôi! (DUHung DUHooung Thoy)
I'll call the police. 
Tôi sẽ gọi cảnh sát./Tôi sẽ gọi công an. (Thoy seEh GAWoy Kanh Sat/ Thoy seEH GAWoy Kong aanh)
Police! 
Công an!/Cảnh sát! (Kong aanh!/Kanh Sat)
Stop! Thief! 
Ngừng lại! Ăn trộm! (GNoong LAai! Anh Chom!)
I need your help. 
Cần (second person pronoun) giúp cho tôi. (Khan yip CHo Thoy)
It's an emergency. 
Việc này khẩn cấp. (VAHech nuhay Khan gup)
I'm lost. 
Tôi bị lạc. (Thoi bee lack)
I lost my bag. 
Tôi bị mất cái giỏ. (Thoi bee mUHtt kai yah)
I lost my wallet. 
Tôi bị mất cái ví. (Thoi bee mUHtt kai veee)
I'm sick. 
Tôi bị bệnh. (Thoi bee binh)
I've been injured. 
Tôi đã bị thương. (Thoi DAH bee Tahuung)
I need a doctor. 
Tôi cần một bác sĩ. (Thoi Khan moat back see)
Can I use your phone? 
Tôi dùng điện thoại của (second person pronoun) được không? (Thoi young dean tahoaI KOOa DUHuc KHAong)

Numbers

(Phonetic approximations are in italics, and English words that sound very similar are in quotes.) When giving your age, it is common to say just the digits, e.g., "three-one" instead of "thirty-one".

cê-rô (seh roh)/không (kumm, kowm, humm, or howm depending on the speaker and adjacent words)
một (mo'oht, though most of the time comes out "moke" with a very slight swallowing of the final "k" sound)
hai ("high")
ba (bah)
bốn ("bone")
năm ("nahm")
sáu (sao)
bảy (bai-ee, almost like "buy" in English)
tám (tahm)
chín ("chean")
10 
mười (meui)
11 
mười một (muh-uh-ee mo'oht)
12 
mười hai (muh-uh-ee hai)
13 
mười ba (muh-uh-ee bah)
14 
mười bốn (muh-uh-ee bohn?)
15 
mười lăm (muh-uh-ee lahm)
16 
mười sáu (muh-uh-ee sao?)
17 
mười bảy (muh-uh-ee buh-ee)
18 
mười tám (muh-uh-ee thahm?)
19 
mười chín (muh-uh-ee jeen?)
20 
hai mươi (hai muh-uh-ee)
21 
hai mươi mốt (hai muh-uh-ee moht?)
22 
hai mươi hai (hai muh-uh-ee hai)
23 
hai mươi ba (hai muh-uh-ee bah)
30 
ba mươi (bah muh-uh-ee)
40 
bốn mươi (bohn? muh-uh-ee)
50 
năm mươi (nahm muh-uh-ee)
60 
sáu mươi (sao? muh-uh-ee)
70 
bảy mươi (buh-ee muh-uh-ee)
80 
tám mươi (thahm? muh-uh-ee)
90 
chín mươi (jeen? muh-uh-ee)
100 
một trăm (moht cham or often just "cham")
200 
hai trăm (hai cham)
300 
ba trăm (bah cham)
1000 
một ngàn/nghìn (mo'oht ngang/ngeen...)
2000 
hai ngàn/nghìn (hai ngang/ngeen...)
1,000,000 
một triệu (mo'oht chee'ou)
1,000,000,000 
một tỹ/tỷ (mo'oht thee'ee?)
1,000,000,000,000 
một ngàn/nghìn tỹ/tỷ
number _____ (train, bus, etc.
số _____ ("so?")
half 
nửa (neu-uh?)
less 
ít hơn (eet huhhhn)
more 
hơn (huhhhn), thêm (tehm)

Time

now 
bây giờ (bee yuh...)(northern dialect example: 'buy zaa')
later 
lát nữa (laht? neu'uh?)
before 
trước (jyeuck?)(northern dialect example: 'Tchuck')
morning 
sáng (sahng?)
afternoon 
chiều (jee-oh)(northern dialect example: hard 'ch', like TR down tone)
evening, night 
tối (thoh-ee), đêm (dehm)

Clock time

one o'clock AM 
một giờ sáng (moht. yuh sahng?)
two o'clock AM 
hai giờ sáng (hai yuh sahng?)
noon 
trưa (jyeu-uh)
one o'clock PM 
một giờ chiều (moht. yuh jee-oh)
two o'clock PM 
hai giờ chiều (hai yuh jee-oh)
midnight 
nửa đêm (neu-uh dehm)

Duration

_____ minute(s) 
_____ phút (foodt)
_____ hour(s) 
_____ tiếng (thee-uhng?)
_____ day(s) 
_____ ngày (ngai)
_____ week(s) 
_____ tuần (thoo-uhn)
_____ month(s) 
_____ tháng (tahng?)
_____ year(s) 
_____ năm (nahm)

Days

today 
hôm nay ("home nye")
yesterday 
hôm qua (hohm gwah)
tomorrow 
mai ("my")
this week 
tuần nay (thoo-uhn nai)
last week 
tuần qua (thoo-uhn gwah)
next week 
tuần sau (thoo-uhn sao)

The days of the week are simply numbered, with the exception of Sunday:

Sunday 
chủ nhật (joo nyuht.)
Monday 
thứ hai (teu? hai)
Tuesday 
thứ ba (teu? ba)
Wednesday 
thứ tư (teu? theu)
Thursday 
thứ năm (teu? nahm!)
Friday 
thứ sáu (teu? sao?!)
Saturday 
thứ bảy (teu? buh-ee?)

Months

Vietnamese does not have special names for each month. Instead, the months are simply numbered. Take the word tháng and add the month's number (see #Numbers above). For example:

March
tháng 3 / tháng ba (tahng? ba)

Writing time and date

Friday, December 17, 2004
Thứ sáu, ngày 17 tháng 12 năm 2004
12/17/2004
17/12/2004
2:36 AM
Hai giờ 36 sáng
2:36 PM
Hai giờ 36 chiều
Two in the morning
Hai giờ sáng
Two in the afternoon
Hai giờ chiều
Ten in the evening
Mười giờ đêm
Half past two
Hai giờ rưỡi
Noon
Trưa; 12 giờ trưa
Evening
Nửa đêm; 12 giờ đêm

Colors

When describing the color of an object etc., use the word below. When referring to the color itself, use màu or mầu followed by the word below.

black 
đen ("Dan")
white 
trắng (chahng?!)
gray 
xám (sahm?)
red 
đỏ (daw... aw?)
blue 
xanh nước (sahyng neu-uhk?)
yellow 
vàng (vahng...)
green 
xanh (lá cây) (sahyng lah? kay)
orange 
cam (kahm)
purple 
tím ("just as it is written, tim' but long 'i'")
brown 
nâu ("know")

Transportation

Bus and train

How much is a ticket to _____? 
Một vé đến _____ là bao nhiêu? (mo'oht veah? dehn? _____ lah... bao nyee-oh)
One ticket to _____, please. 
Xin cho tôi một vé đến _____. (seen jyaw thoh-ee mo'oht veah? dehn? _____)
Where does this train/bus go? 
Tàu/xe này đi đâu? (thoe.../seah nay...! dee doh)
Where is the train/bus to _____? 
Tàu/xe đi đến _____ ở đâu? (thoe.../seah dee dehn _____ uh...uh? doh)
Does this train/bus stop in _____? 
Tàu/xe này có ngừng tại _____ không? (thoe.../seah nay...! goh? ngeung... thah'ee _____ kohng)
When does the train/bus for _____ leave? 
Tàu/xe đi _____ chạy lúc nào? (thoe.../seah dee _____ jyah'ee loohk? nahh-oh...)
When will this train/bus arrive in _____? 
Khi nào tàu/xe này xẽ đến _____? (kee nahh-oh thoe.../seah nay...! seah'uh? dehn? _____)

Directions

How do I get to _____ ? 
Làm sao tôi đến _____ ? (...)
...the train station? 
...nhà ga? (...)
...the bus station? 
...trạm xe buýt? (...)
...the airport? 
...phi trường (fee cheu-uhng...); ...sân bay? (...)
...downtown? 
...thành phố? (...)
Xuống phố làm sao? (Soo-uhng? foh? lahm... sao)
...the youth hostel? 
...nhà trọ cho khách du lịch? (...)
...the _____ hotel? 
...khách sạn _____? (...)
...the American/Canadian/Australian/British consulate? 
...tòa lãnh sự Mỹ/Canada/Australia/Anh? (...)
Where are there a lot of... 
Nơi nào có nhiều... (...)
...hotels? 
...khách sạn? (...)
...restaurants? 
...nhà hàng? (...)
...bars? 
...quán rượu? (...)
...sites to see? 
...thắng cảnh? (...)
Can you show me on the map? 
Chỉ trên bản đồ cho tôi được không? (...)
street 
đường(...)
Turn left. 
Quẹo trái. (...)
Turn right. 
Quẹo phải. (...)
left 
trái(...)
right 
phải (...)
straight ahead 
trước mặt (...)
towards the _____ 
tiến đến _____ (...)
past the _____ 
qua _____ (...)
before the _____ 
trước _____ (...)
Watch for the _____. 
Canh chừng _____. (...)
intersection 
ngã ba/tư/năm/sáu/bảy (3/4/5/6/7-way intersection) (...)
north 
bắc (...)
south 
nam (...)
east 
đông (...)
west 
tây (...)
uphill 
lên dốc (...)
downhill 
xuống dốc (...)

Taxi

Taxi! 
Taxi! (tha? see)
Take me to _____, please. 
Take me to _____, please. (...)
How much does it cost to get to _____? 
How much does it cost to

get to _____? (...)

Take me there, please. 
Take me there, please. (...)

Lodging

Do you have any rooms available? 
Có còn phòng không? (...)
How much is a room for one person/two people? 
Giá phòng cho một/hai người là bao nhiêu? (...)
Does the room come with... 
Trong phòng có ... không? (...)
...bedsheets? 
...ga trải gường? (...)
...a bathroom? 
...phòng vệ sinh? (...); ...phòng cầu tiêu (...)
...a telephone? 
...phôn ("phone"); ...điện thoại? (...)
...a TV? 
...TV? (thee vee)
May I see the room first? 
Tôi xem phòng trước có được không? (...)
Do you have anything quieter? 
Có phòng nào yên tĩnh hơn không? (...)
...bigger? 
...lớn hơn không? (...)
...cleaner? 
...sạch hơn không? (...)
...cheaper? 
...rẻ hơn không? (...)
OK, I'll take it. 
OK, tôi lấy phòng này. (...)
I will stay for _____ night(s). 
Tôi sẽ ở _____ đêm. (...)
Can you suggest another hotel? 
Có thể giới thiệu cho tôi một khách sạn khác được không? (...)
Do you have a safe? 
Có két an toàn không? (...)
...lockers? 
... tủ gửi đồ? (...)
Is breakfast/supper included? 
Có kèm theo bữa sáng/tối không? (...)
What time is breakfast/supper? 
Ăn sáng/tối lúc mấy giờ? (...)
Please clean my room. 
Xin hãy dọn phòng tôi. (...)
Can you wake me at _____? | Xin đánh thức tôi dậy lúc _____? (...)
I want to check out. 
Tôi muốn check out. (...)

Money

Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars? 
Có lấy đô la Mỹ/Úc/Canada không? (...)
Do you accept British pounds? 
Có lấy bảng Anh không? (...)
Do you accept credit cards? 
Có nhận thẻ tín dụng không? (...)
Can you change money for me? 
Đổi tiền cho tôi được không? (...)
Where can I get money changed? 
Tôi có thể đi đổi tiền ở đâu? (...)
Can you change a traveler's check for me? 
Có thể đổi séc du lịch cho tôi được không? (...)
Where can I get a traveler's check changed? 
Tôi có thể đổi séc du lịch ở đâu? (...)
What is the exchange rate? 
Tỷ giá là bao nhiêu? (...)
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)? 
Máy rút tiền (ATM) ở đâu? (...)

Eating

A table for one person/two people, please. 
Cho tôi một bàn cho một/hai người. (...)
Can I look at the menu, please? 
Cho tôi xem menu? (...)
Can I look in the kitchen? 
Cho tôi xem nhà bếp được không? (...)
Is there a house specialty? 
Quán ăn này có món đặc sản nào không? (...)
Is there a local specialty? 
Ở vùng này có món đặc sản nào không? (...)
I'm a vegetarian. 
Tôi ăn chay. (...)
I don't eat pork. 
Tôi không ăn thịt heo. (...)
I don't eat beef. 
Tôi không ăn thịt bò. (...)
I eat only kosher food. 
I eat only kosher food. (...)
Can you make it "lite", please? (less oil/butter/lard
Can you make it "lite", please? (...)
fixed-price meal 
fixed-price meal (...)
à la carte 
gọi theo món (...)
breakfast 
bữa sáng (boo... ee? sahng?)
lunch 
bữa trưa (boo... ee? cheu-uh)
tea (meal
nước trà (...)
supper 
bữa chiều (boo... ee? chee-oh...)
I want _____. 
Xin _____. ("seen")
I want a dish containing _____. 
Xin một đĩa có _____. (...)
chicken 
(thịt) gà (teet. gah...)
beef 
(thịt) bò (teet. baw...)
fish 
cá (gah?)
ham 
jambon (zhahm bawn)
sausage 
xúc xích (sook? seek?)
cheese 
phó mát (faw? maht?)
eggs 
trứng (cheung?)
salad 
xà lách (sah... layk?)
(fresh) vegetables 
rau (tươi) (rao theu-uh-ee)
(fresh) fruit 
trái cây (tươi) (chai? gai)
bread 
bánh mì ("ba'in me...")
toast 
bánh mì nướng (bain mee... neu-uhng?)
noodles 
mì ("me...")
rice (cooked; as a dish) 
cơm (guhm)
rice (uncooked) 
gạo ("gah-ow.")
beans (like mung beans) 
đậu (duh-oh.)
beans (like coffee beans) 
hột (hoht.)
May I have a glass of _____? 
Xin một ly _____? (...)
May I have a cup of _____? 
Xin một ly _____? (...)
May I have a bottle of _____? 
Xin một chai _____? (...)
coffee 
cà phê (ga... fey)
tea (drink
nước trà (neu-uk? chah...)
_____ juice 
nước _____ (neu-uk?)
bubbly water 
nước ngọt (neu-uk? ngawt.)
water 
nước (neu-uk?)
beer 
rượu (rih-oh.), bia (pronounce "beer" with a British accent)
red/white wine 
rượu đỏ/trắng (rih-oh. daw... aw? / chahng?!)
May I have some _____? 
Xin _____? ("seen")
salt 
muối (moo-ee?)
black pepper 
hạt tiêu (haht. thee-oh)
butter 
bơ (buh)
Excuse me, waiter? (getting attention of server)
Em ơi! Làm ơn... (...)
I'm finished. 
Xong rồi. (sah-ohng roh-ee...)
It was delicious. 
Ngon lắm. (nong lum)
Please clear the plates. 
Xin hãy dọn đĩa đi. (...)
The check, please. 
Thanh toán tiền. (...)

Bars

Do you serve alcohol? 
Có rượu ở đây không? (...)
Is there table service? 
Is there table service? (...)
A beer/two beers, please. 
Xin một/hai ly rượu. (...)
A glass of red/white wine, please. 
Xin một ly rượu đỏ/trắng. (...)
A pint, please. 
A pint, please. (...)
A bottle, please. 
Xin một chai. (...)
_____ (hard liquor) and _____ (mixer), please. 
_____ and _____, please. (...)
whiskey 
whiskey (...)
vodka 
vodka (...)
rum 
rum (...)
water 
nước (neu-uhck?)
soda pop 
nước ngọt (neu-uhck? ngawt.)
club soda 
club soda (...)
tonic water 
tonic water (...)
orange juice 
nước cam (neu-uhck? gam)
Coke (soda
Côcá-Côla (koh-kah? koh-la)
Do you have any bar snacks? 
Do you have any bar snacks? (...)
One more, please. 
Xin một ly/chai nữa. (...)
Another round, please. 
Another round, please. (...)
When is closing time? 
Bao giờ đóng cửa? (bow yuh... downg? geu-uh?)

Shopping

Do you have this in my size? 
Do you have this in my size? (...)
How much (money) is this? 
Bao nhiêu (tiền)? (bahw nyee-oh thee-uhn...)
That's too expensive. 
Đắt quá. (daht?! kwahh?)
Would you take _____? 
Lấy _____ được không? (ley? _____ deu'uhk kohng)
expensive 
đắt (daht?!)
cheap 
rẻ (reah...uh?)
I can't afford it. 
Tôi không có đủ tiền mua. (thoh-ee kohng kaw? doo...oo? thee-uhn... moo-uh)
I don't want it. 
Tôi không muốn. (thoh-ee kohng moo-uhn?)
You're cheating me. 
You're cheating me. (...)
I'm not interested. 
I'm not interested. (..)
OK, I'll take it. 
OK, I'll take it. (...)
Can I have a bag? 
Có bao không? (kaw? bahw kohng)
Do you ship (overseas)? 
Có thể gởi đồ (ngoài nước) không? (...)
I need... 
Tôi cần... (thoh-ee cuhn...)
...toothpaste. 
...kem đánh răng. (keahm dayng? rahng)
...a toothbrush. 
...bàn chải đánh răng. (bahn... chah-ee? dayng? rahng)
...tampons. 
...tampons. (...)
...soap. 
...xà bông. (sah... bohng)
...shampoo. 
...dầu gội. (...)
...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen
...thuốc giảm đau. (too-uhc? yah...ahm? dahw!)
...cold medicine. 
...thuốc cảm. (...)
...stomach medicine. 
...thuốc đau bụng. (...)
...a razor. 
...dao cạo râu. (yahw kah'oh ruh-oo)
...an umbrella. 
...dù. ("you...")
...sunblock lotion. 
...sunblock lotion. (...)
...a postcard. 
...bưu thiếp. (...)
...postage stamps. 
...tem. ("tham")
...batteries. 
...pin. ("bean")
...writing paper. 
...giấy. ("yay?!")
...a pen. 
...bút mực. ("boot?!")
...a pencil. 
...bút chì. ("boot?! chee...")
...English-language books. 
...sách Anh ngữ. (...)
...English-language magazines. 
...tạp chí Anh ngữ. (thuh'p chee? ayng-eu'eu?)
...an English-language newspaper. 
...báo Anh ngữ. (bahw? ayng-eu'eu?)
...an English-English dictionary. 
...từ điển Anh-Anh. (theu... dee-n? ayng-ayng)

Driving

I want to rent a car. 
Tôi muốn mượn xe. (thoh-ee moo-uhn? meu'n seah)
Can I get insurance? 
Có bảo hiểm cho tôi không? (koh? bah...oo hee...m? chaw thoh-ee khohng)
stop (on a street sign
ngừng (...)
one way 
một chiều (...)
yield 
yield (...)
no parking 
đừng đậu xe (...)
speed limit 
speed limit (...)
gas (petrol) station 
cây xăng (keh-ee sahng!)
petrol 
xăng (sahng!)
diesel 
diesel (...)

Authority

Justin. 
Tôi chưa làm gì sai. (thoh-ee cheu-uh lam zee sai?)
It was a misunderstanding. 
Chỉ là hiểu lầm thôi. (chee...ee? lah... hee...oh? luhm... toh-ee)
Where are you taking me? 
Ông đang dẫn tôi đi đâu? (ohng dahng yuh'n? thoh-ee dee duhw)
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. 
Tôi là công dân Mỹ/Australia/Anh/Canada. (toh-ee lah... kohng yuhn mee'ee? / australia / ayng / kah-nah-dah)
I want to talk to the (American/Australian/British/Canadian) (embassy/consulate). 
Tôi cần phải nói chuyện với (đại sứ quán/lãnh sự) (Mỹ/Australia/Anh/Canada). (thoh-ee kuhn... fah...ee? naw-ee? cheu-ee'n vuh-ee? (dah'i seu? kwahn?/lay'ng? seu'eu) (mee'ee?/australia/ayng/kah-nah-dah)
I want to talk to a lawyer. 
Tôi muốn nói chuyện với luật sư. (...)
Can I just pay a fine now? 
Tôi chỉ trả tiền phạt thôi được không? (...)

Learning more

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!