Hello world!


Welcome to the Vietnamese course - the first language from Southeast Asia and probably the first tonal language (?) to be released on Duolingo.

I will create some sticky posts regarding grammar explanation and keyboard instruction later. It will be a bit challenging and the sentences are silly in the beginning but they are the basic units to help you get used to the structure of Vietnamese language.

Meanwhile, please help improving the course by providing your feedback and using the report button. I really appreciate your support in the beginning. It's the users like you that motivated us to create this course. Please keep being awesome!

If you have any immediate comments, feedback or question, feel free to post it here.

Happy learning!

April 21, 2016


Thank you for this wonderful language! My background language is Vietnamese, my parents know some Vietnamese, their parents know Vietnamese and I want to learn Vietnamese to connect more with my grandparents and their stories they tell. Thank you! THANK YOU!

Thank you as well! Learners like you are the motivation for us contributors! We truly hope to help connect Vietnamese generations together. Keep up the good work!

Thanks so much for the hard work you've done for Vietnamese, one thing is that one the select picture exercises there is never audio. Thanks again.

It might be a little bit spartan, but for the exercises without audio, you can copy the text and paste it into google translate (after selecting Vietnamese), then press the audio button. It's not perfect, but it's something.

I've been doing this too. You can also practice your speaking. I can get it to recognize some words that I say.

good idea, thank you

You'll have to give me a review of your studies with this language! haha

That's what I mentioned in my announcement. I estimated there are only about 55% - 60% of the materials that are covered with audio. That's the best I could do.

Got it. Thanks so much for everything you have done!

Will more audio files planned to be added in the future?

Probably not anytime soon, but everything with time.

I love it! Thank you so much.

I noticed that chuối has audio, but the picture selection screen did not. Does that mean that the picture selections will not have audio even if there is audio for the word by itself? (as in, not as part of a sentence)

Thanks for all of your work! We understand about the absence of complete audio. :)

That's correct. Sadly, all image sections will not have audio.

That's less optimal, but it's hard to be too disappointed when we have this whole course to explore!

Thanks for such a fast response!

Thank you, contributors!

2 weeks after the estimated date, we can learn the first Southeast Asian language on Duolingo. I wish after this course, more and more foreigners will have deeper knowledge not only about Vietnamese but also Vietnamese culture ;)).

I am always ready to answer your questions :D. And what about my coming post about introductions and travel tips of landscapes in Vietnam? If you want, I'll try my best to bring Vietnam to you closer.

No. Do not post it yet.

I've been waiting for this course since I first heard about it over a year ago. I've been studying Vietnamese on my own for 7 months now after I flew out there last year for my vacation. Beautiful country, very friendly people and such a wonderful language. Oh and the food is to die for! :D I've been bitten by the Viet bug. ;)

Thanks for getting things started ckhadung! Hopefully our feedback is helpful in turning this into a great course.

Thank you so much ckhadung and the whole team! This course is so fun!

You've been supporting the course for so long. May I ask why?

I was very lucky to spend a month in Vietnam about 10 years ago, and completely loved it. I went there for no particular reason except that it was there. I loved the language, the people, the different regions, and the geography from the mountains and the bay in the north, the beaches and the caves, the cities, all the way to the Mekong Delta in the south! Don't get me started on the food! Does that answer it? Haha!

I'm glad to hear. 10-year is a decade and you still keep up the passion you have for this faraway culture. I'm impressed.

Thank you! I've been looking forward to learning an Asian language in general. Vietnamese will be a good starting point for me in my interest for languages from Asia; it uses the alphabet I am most fimiliar to and it'll help me get used to tones.

I'm going to get to level three today! I simply can't wait!

Thank you for all your hard work in creating the Vietnamese course. :)

I really don't know how to thank you for this - But thank you, contributors, for your wonderful and thoughtful work together to finish - This amazing project! Well done : ) rushes off to finish Esperanto

You guys are so awesome omg i'm freaking out qwrhaodbufgesudvbouesvheus Thanks so much!

Hello! I don't plan on taking this course seriously by now (I'm focused on Russian), but I wish you all luck! 8D

Gioi. Thank you for putting this course together. I'm looking forward to learn Vietnamese with the help of it.

I must say I am a little disappointed about how the pronouns are treated though. The Vietnamese pronoun system is rather vital to using the language in daily life. I believe that should be addressed with the highest priority right now.

If it helps any, I made a memrise course here that teaches the pronouns.

Awesome! Thank you so much! :D

I plan to organize a post in Duolingo discussion forum to teach Vietnamese pronouns rather than bringing it into the course. It is technically impossible to include all possible pronouns for just one sentence.

I believe the sentences should always specify a context. This way only one combination of pronouns would be correct (or two for each gender).

Agree with @ckhadung. It would be way too difficult to take into account context-sensitive pronouns for every sentences. I don't know much about the Incubator Tree construction but I guess it is based on usual natural language processing (NLP) norms and definitions. So requiring a more advanced tree would need more research to be done first. Otherwise, maybe it would interesting to make a special bonus unit, called something like "Special Pronouns", to introduce the user with some usual pronouns that are not taught in the other units. Again, let me thank again the whole team for such a great work.

Yes, thank you for your comment and suggestion!

That's the limitation of Duolingo. We must cope with what we are given.

Maybe this should be brought to the higher management of duolingo so they can develop a new mechanism for this kind of situation.

What I'm trying to say is that this is such a crucial part of the language that without it the course is mostly a gimmick not bringing any real life use to it.

We understand your point :) I appreciate the fact that you pay attention and care about this unique aspect of Vietnamese language. However, as mentioned before, we hope to organize a post in Duolingo discussion forum to teach the pronouns. We may propose to Duolingo for alternative solutions but it's unlikely.

Thank for this course.

One question: When will Vietnamese be available on the Android app? Is that only for languages out of BETA?

No, the course will almost certainly become available on the app before it exits beta.

A bit of feedback, having just finished the course:

I think the early lessons were done well. Early progression moves smoothly and there is plenty of noticeable progress early on.

The number of lessons (and ration of lessons per skill) increases dramatically after the last checkpoint (if I recall my count, somewhere around 60% of the material is before the last checkpoint, and the remainder is after), which makes the final stretch feel longer and more difficult than earlier parts. The raw numbers to each checkpoint make this a bit more obvious: 25 lessons to checkpoint one, 41 lessons to checkpoint two, 53 lessons to checkpoint three, 51 lessons to checkpoint four, 150 lessons to completion. It might feel like an easier progression if the last part was broken into 3 more checkpoints and/or the later skills had less lessons per skill.

I agree, but I think this is how Duo works. In my french tree, it's the same. After the last check point, suddenly things become serious. I believe everything before the last checkpoint is A1 and everything after is A2, and it feels like they cramp a lot into a few lessons. All 12 french tenses are taught in this section. Duo definitely should break it down and stretch it out a lot more.

I agree. Somehow distributing it more evenly throughout the course would make it much less overwhelming and probably also help retention (I suppose both course retention and memory retention lol).

Hi, thanks for the feedback. I cannot control the placement of checkpoint. They are placed as default already but I'll see what I can do (I can move the skills between checkpoints).

Thank You So Much!! I have been waiting!!!!!!!!!! :P : P : P : P :P !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YAYAYAAYAYAAYA LOl

Major omission found - no mention of áo dài in the clothing section!

I intend not to add it. Since Oxford dictionary adds "ao dai" as an independent term now, I find it unnecessary to translate "áo dài" as "ao dai". Moreover, "áo" and "dài" each has separate meaning so I prefer not to confuse the hint system. "Phở" is a different story though.

Oh interesting, I had no idea it was added directly to Oxford as such.

I'm up to food. If I don't find pho, I will be very unhappy :P

Can't wait for the keyboard instruction. I think I have it down, but I've ran into some issues with typing in Duolingo. So far, it's been with adding the accent marks for ô, and I assume â and ê will probably need them too? The accents on every other letter seems to be working just fine, but they will just put a box after the letter instead of an accent. I've checked outside of Duolingo and it works fine there.

Not sure if it's something I'm doing wrong or a glitch in the course.

Keyboard instructions have been given by @ckhadung a few days ago on the Incubator page :

That may be the problem. I'm using the Vietnamese keyboard layout native to Windows rather than the TELEX input method. I'm not able to install third-party software on this computer, so I may just have to forget about using the course at all from this computer since Duolingo doesn't seem to want to type the accents on a few characters correctly.

I suggest you to use another third-party software called Vietkey (by Dang Minh Tuan). It's a lightweight tool that does not require any installation. Make sure to select TELEX as input method and Unicode as char set then it'll work the same as Unikey :

Many thanks! It's looking good so far :)

I don’t know how much control you have over this in the coming months and I know it was hard enough to get the amount of voice work you did for the audio, but these are the only things that have come to mind as possible improvements aside from individual sentences that I can just send a report for.

I like it when I can hear a word get repeated when I have my arrow over a word, so I can listen and repeat and better learn the vocabulary. This goes for multiple choice like in mobile versions where I hear a word after selecting it. I don't know how possible this is if it requires more audio recordings.

It’s not everything and I know it’s not an absolute document of whether I’m fluent or not, but I like it when courses have a percentage of fluency meter so I can mark my progress in some way to gauge how much more I learned.

If you get fortunate enough to add more audio in a year or so and do this, I would like it if you added audio from a female speaker. Preferably northern for consistency with the current audio. I listen and repeat any chance I get in other courses when I hear a female voice. It helps me better remember pronunciations attached to words, but it also helps my pronunciation because it’s similar to my vocal register unlike the deeper male voice. I have picked up accents as a result from other courses, which I think is part of speaking and learning a language. I can get by without this in Duolingo Vietnamese to English because I have other learning sources, but it would make the process more efficient for me or for someone else who learns this way.

I’m really liking the course so far. These are just things I would personally like as the beta matures further if any of them can happen.

I think much of that is in Duolingo's hands (rather than the team's). I did want to share that there are at least two audio sources you can use in the meantime. One is Forvo, which has native speakers; if you can't find a word or don't like the audio you can request it (if you have an account. Another source is Google's TTS; they recently changed the audio from a robotic sounding male voice to a much better female voice. You can access it at Google Translate.

Thank you so much. I know about Google Translate, but having the audio already there without searching certain words works better for me as far as long-term vocal training. I'm so glad it doesn't have that other voice now. I would sometimes jokingly say "xin chào" in a robot voice.

Trying to get these tones down is tough!


Indeed. You will like the classifier system in Vietnamese too.

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Either that, or he 懂 Google Translate. :-)


你好,我学过汉语了,觉得汉语和越语有很多相同,比如说:语法, 词汇,发音,等等。。。。。。也有好多类似成语。我认为中国人学越语一定有很多优势。加油!

I have a question, what about the south side of Vietnam's flag?

It gets really messy politically when talking about this topic. I would be fine with this flag as it represents the whole country of Vietnam.

Thank you, I understand. Have a great day!

And, I have a bug. When I practice Vietnamese, the I do not have any audio. I checked my sound and it was on. Is this normal? Or is it just because I can't hear it?

Only 55-60% of course materials covered with audio. The rest is not. Sorry for that.

It's okay, thank you for getting the course out just like snap!

I have never tried a tonal language before and there is no explanations for how it works on Duolingo. Of course, all that I have done is the first lesson. It made me incredibly frustrated. For now I am going to stick with Spanish. I will be at level 13 in less than a week. In about six months, I will try the Vietnamese again.

As a newb trying to get in touch with her roots, I love this course so thank you! My mother noticed that the audio is in the northern dialect. Are there any future plans to incorporate the southern dialect?

hello world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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