Before visiting Vietnam this past August for sightseeing and to meet my partner's extended family, I wanted to learn a few key conversational phrases. I knew my pronunciation would be terrible, but I figured maybe if I drew these words in a variety of lettering styles, I could imprint these phrases into my brain, tones and all! Take a look, and if you are a Vietnamese speaker please correct any mistakes I may have made in my writing. If you are an English speaker visiting Vietnam I highly recommend this website to get started: http://www.vietnamesepod101.com.
""Xin Chào!" Here's the basic version of hello for when you can't guess a stranger's age and exactly how you should address them. There are many different ways to end this greeting depending on the age and gender of the addressee relative to yourself. (Chào anh, Chao Ban, Chào em). However, just "Xin Chào" by itself does ok in most situations.
Hen Gap Lai!, or "See you later!" In Vietnamese.
Chúc Súc Khoe is one way of saying "cheers!" in Vietnamese, or so I've been told. A more frat boy way to start drinking is "Mot, hai, ba, dzo!" which is similar to what our friend Sia once said "1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, drink!"
"Mùa mua" means rainy season (mòo-a muh-a) in Vietnamese. I visited at the tail end of rainy season so I packed my industrial strength umbrella.
"Thank You" in Vietnamese. Learn this if you learn nothing else before you visit!
Bao Nhiêu means "how much?" in Vietnamese. A simple, useful phrase for haggling at the marketplace. If you haven't mastered Vietnamese numbers & currency yet pull up your phone calculator so the merchant can type his/her response!
Bạn có khỏe không? means "How are you?" or more literally "Are you healthy?"