A "ward" is an administrative sector in a city. Wards are part of a 'district.". Districts are the major administrative sectors of the large cities in Vietnam. So in this case, "ward" is the better translation, because "district" is a specific term which covers a larger area than a "ward" does.
I'm an American and I think the official translation of "phường" is "ward", I think "quận" is more like "district"; they're not quite synonyms.
I suspect the use of wards is a result of French influence. E.g. New Orleans https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wards_of_New_Orleans
i think it depends on the the region and maybe even the city. some city councils have all the members elected from the whole population, while others have council members elected only from a certain ward or district of the city. still others have a mix of the two. places with wards/districts are more likely to say ward.
i live in austin tx, a city that only recently adopted the ward/district system. here we say district. but i recall in the campaign against adopting the ward/district system, people warned of the dangers of "ward politics".
I'm from the United States, and while districts are more common, there are a few cities that use Wards, such as New Orleans and Chicago. so it's a technical term used in certain contexts.
I don't know why the districts in Vietnamese cities have come to be called Wards in English, but they have been, so I think that that is the right word to use, again as a technical term. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ward_%28Vietnam%29
The words are strange. I'm vietnamese and I speak it well but i'm using it to basically solidify my spelling and to learn northern vietnamese. what i think these people who designed the vietnamese portion is trying to do is to teach tone...but man it is using the weirdest words and the most senseless phrases.
From what I understand, major cities in Vietnam are divided into "districts", based on a similar system in France. This took place when Vietnam was a French colony. Then those "districts" are sub-divided into "wards." So the term in question refers to a an administrative section of a city ( a "ward"), which is smaller than and is a part of a 'district.".
Is it possible that quận would be 郡 （qwan6 in Cantonese）?? https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commandery_(China) Their meaning and pronunciation are so similar. If yes, this helps me a lot to have an easier way to learn Vietnamese