What You Need to Know About the Vietnamese Writing System

Vietnamese writing

Vietnamese and English Writing Style

The Vietnamese Alphabet is somehow associated with the English Alphabet since the vowels in the English Alphabet are similar to the Vietnamese Alphabet which is a, e, i, o, and u. There are also additions for some Vietnamese Alphabet like ă, â, e ê, ô, ơ, and ư.

Below is the basics of the Vietnamese language. If you’re interested, this guide will give you an idea as to how it’s done – whether it’s for cheap essay writing, public speaking, or you just simply would love to learn the language.

Another difference of the English Alphabet with the Vietnamese Alphabet is f, j, w, z; they are not a part of the Vietnamese Alphabet. Also, letter đ (d with a dash in the middle of the vertical line) is included in the Vietnamese Alphabet. If the English Alphabet consists of 26 letters, the Vietnamese Alphabet consists of 29. How did that happen? 26 (the number of letters in the English Alphabet) – 4 (f, j, w, z) + 1 (đ) + 6 (the additional letters that derived from the vowels).

Vietnamese Vowels

In Vietnamese Alphabet, there are 12 vowels – all 5 of the English vowels and their corresponding additions which was mentioned earlier and the letter y. Some vowels may be mixed with other vowels to make vowel clusters like ư + ơ + i to form the vowel cluster ươi. Vowel clusters can constitute of two or three vowels. A two-vowel group is called diphthong while a three-vowel is triphthong.

Vietnamese Consonants

Now, let’s talk about consonants. There are 17 Vietnamese consonants. Like vowels, there are some consonants that can be combined in order to create consonant clusters or groups. But, not all consonant combinations are valid just like not all vowel combinations are valid. If you chain a one-letter consonants’ sounds, the sound of consonant groups may be slightly different from one another.

In Vietnamese, a word is made up of an optional starting consonant. A mandatory vowel is then followed, and then an optional ending consonant. For instance, the word ưu in the adjective ưu tiên which means prioritize in the English language has only the vowel ưu with neither starting nor ending consonants. Vietnamese words’ structure only have a single vowel, making it monosyllabic. Because of this, Vietnamese words are shorter than English words.

Vietnamese Accent Marks

Accent marks, or what we also call diacritics, are a known part of the Vietnamese words since they show stresses for some syllables. For instance, dai and dài have the same set of letters, but these words have a different meaning. dai means tough while dài means long. There are five kinds of diacritics in Vietnamese and these are acute accentgravehooktilde, and dot.

These 5 gives off 5 different tones with the no-diacritic tone, giving 6 tones in Vietnamese. Using the word dai, the other 4 tonal variations are dái: acute accent, dải: hook, dãi: tilde, and dại: dot since grave is used earlier. All of the accent marks are mentioned above except for the dot which is written below. Also, it is suitable to put tone markers to vowel clusters.