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How far can the duolingo Vietnamese course take you?

I imagine that the course does not teach how to pronounce tones. That seems something which requires a live tutor. However, what I am concerned with is how well I will be able to read viet after finishing? If it were not for the fact that I am obsessed with German right not, I would jump right in. By the way, my wife is Vietnamese, which is why I am interested. Thanks for creating the course.

June 18, 2017



You wife won't necessarily speak the same dialect of Vietnamese as the course teaches—why not ask her to try out the course first and tell you what she thinks?
The course puts almost no effort into teaching the tones, so I'd suggest you familiarise yourself with the tones and general phonology first. Considering Vietnamese is pretty phonetic, getting the pronunciation correct early on will expedite your reading ability.


I'm not too far in the tree, but i thinks it's pretty helpful.
Of course, as you probably already know, the course cannot make you fluent but its definitely a good resource for getting a grasp on the language. I have had basic conversations with native speakers.

You're correct, It doesn't teach you how to pronounce the tones, unfortunately.
Only 50% (Roughly, i believe) has audio. Something i find rather ridiculous for a Tonal language.


The google's engine for Vietnamese pronunciation works pretty well. But in case you need more advice from a native speaker, I will be very glad to help.


If your wife is Vietnamese that should be a help. No Duolingo course will teach you everything, but it is still useful. It is helping me to understand a lot but the long sentences make it hard and no slow voice means it is hard to practice pronunciation. If you complete the tree then with practice your reading skills should improve just start with simple things. Hope that helps.


Thanks for the answer. By the way, you are a language animal. How many trees have you completed? Also, what portion of the course contains audio? Without that, the course seems of little value.


I think I have completed about 13 or 14 trees but I am not sure, my goal is usually to get to 25 in every language rather than just complete the trees. I think it is around about 50 percent that has audio, so not much. If I need to hear audio I usually cut and paste into other sites like google translate, just ignore the translations and listen to the robot voice.


I think you are right, this vietnamese course is missing one part, that's pronunciation. As I am learning chinese on another application, it is similar to duolingo but just has chinese. The first thing I have learnt is the alphabet, the way to pronounce the alphabets, and vowels, silence.... after the pronunciations of all the possible combinations of the alphabets....Like this the course will be more complete.

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