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Some words too obscure for beginners?

First of all, I would like to say thank you for providing Vietnamese on duolingo, I've always wanted to learn but didn't really have the chance, so I am very grateful that the course exists, please don't take this as complaining in any way, just some feedback from a complete beginner.

The words in the first few lessons are a bit obscure in my opinion, does anyone else think so? For example, I don't think I would be using words like 'bat', 'mug', or 'bee', and especially sentences like 'the chicken ate the mug', 'The goat is at the ferris wheel' etc.

I'm quite a determined learner so I will power through this section (maybe later on there will be more common words) but it might put some beginners off since what they're learning is not immediately usable.

Perhaps it would be a good idea to review the first 5-10 lessons to include words that people would use if they were to visit the country, ie. I daresay a bit more 'touristy' language as people can see results immediately.

Thank you again for the course!

September 20, 2016



I agree with you! I think some words in Vietnamese course too obscure and I think I will not use it too much in communication!


Yes, I think so too. I can see you're at level 7 so it might not be better for a while, but I would like to see words such as common food/drink items that you see on the streets of Vietnam, common items you would buy, shopping etc.


I feel the need to point out that several of those...unusual words form minimal pairs with regard to tone (that is, words that are pronounced identically -except- for the tone), which is rather critical for any tonal language, much less one with as many tones as Vietnamese. Others may not be in a minimal pair, but contain a good spread of the sounds of Vietnamese. Given how different the phonology of Vietnamese is from English, that's pretty important.


Hi, thanks for the feedback. I'll try to improve the course content of course. However, I would like to point out that this Vietnamese course on Duolingo is not a phrasebook or that people should use this course to learn common phrases as other online tools. It is true that you can learn some, but due to the current limitation of Duolingo system, I (we) cannot cover everything with this learning method. Therefore, I'd advise to use this course to get to know the language, the tones and learn some vocabulary.


The mug is obviously introduced early to teach us distinguish between the tones: ca/cá; similarly „bee“ is similar to ông, and we learn to distinguish o/ô.

It's hard to remember them, but you can add Memrise to your practice. It helps much and there is the official course with Duolingo Vietnamese words — http://www.memrise.com/course/1070394/duolingo-vietnamese-vocabulary/

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