So Aligator and Crocodile are the same in Vietnamese or is there a technical term for one or the other?
I did not know there exists two terms for cá sấu in English until I learned it so the answer is yes.
There must be different words for the two types of reptiles, right? They are completely different animals.
Any Vietnamese speaking biologists out there who can chime in?
Biologists would use the Latin names, so I doubt that would help you any. English having separate words probably comes from America being one of very few countries with both animals.
Not necessarily. The Japanese also have only one word for these two: "wani".
Also I am Hungarian, and we use "krokodil" in everyday life. We do have the word "aligátor" but if you ask an average Hungarian they would say those two words are synonyms. As we only see these animals in the zoo, no-one really notices if they differ somewhat. Of course in those countries where you can run into these reptiles in the wild, you would pay more attention and give them a different name.
alligator is cá sấu mõm ngắn, literally short-muzzled crocodile. cá sau is loosely applied to all members of the order Crocodilia, so you don't really have to distinguish them.
I'm not sure. It does sound like "xấu". So growing up, I always thought of an alligator as an "ugly" creature. I would always remember what they're called in Vietnamese haha!