30 Aug 2013, 4:50pm
Life in Vietnam:


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  • The differences between Hanoi and Saigon (part 2)




    They call their lovers “anh yêu”, “em yêu”

    They use “ông xã”, “bà xã”.


    You will be considered a rich man when:

    You have a lot of money.

    You spend a lot of money.


    Choosing song, singing for joy, no problem if you get wrong tone.

    Try your best to sing, as good as possible.


    They are very expensive but not practical.

    Very convenient

    A place for relaxing at weekend

    Book store

    The seller is imperious.

    You can read book at the book store to find which book you want or like. If you don’t buy any book, it’s ok, don’t worry about that.


    It’s very quiet, you can have inner peace

    It’s very noisy

    “Chè” (a kind of sweet derrert)

    It’s often contained in a small glass or bowl.

    Contained in a small bag, often including coconut milk, you can bite a hole and suck.

    Cut a lemon

    Cross line cut

    Vertical cut

    Go out:

    Good motorcycle, beautiful dress, but maybe have no money.

    Don’t need to dress so beautiful, but when you ask for money, they will say: “How much do you need?”


    Remember not to haggle. In the morning, if you don’t want to receive  a hot look, and hear bad words

    They just say: “Thanks you, see you next time”


    Emphasizing on the words

    Emphasizing on the gesture

    Pay respects

    You have to address (his/her name) in a respectful way.

    You just need to bow

    Buying something, and you need them to pack faster

    If you want it to be faster, go to another store!

    Ok, I’ll do it now.


    It need to be polite and formal.

    As funny as possible.

    When talking about business

    They will ask you who your father is

    If they recognize your plan is feasible, they will agree.

    Developing a project

    They care about how many they can get from the Central Government.

    The people in Saigon just care about the way to make profit from that project, and how to do that.

    When you come to visit somebody:

    Hosts will invite you to drink tea.

    It’s often coffee or soft drink.

    Talking to friend:

    They use: “cậu” and “tớ”. When friends in Hanoi use “may, tao”, the relationship has become serious

    They use “mày” and “tao”

    Say thanks when given something:

    “Vâng, quý hoá quá”

    “Trời ơi dữ hông”

    Praising food

    “Ngon tuyệt cú mèo”

    “Ngon bá cháy bò chét.”

    Power, water cut

    Mất điện, mất nước

    Cúp điện, cúp nước

    About Girls

    Sun burnt skin, lovable in talking

    White skin, but cold.

    About Boys

    Sun burnt skin and humorous

    White skin and mannered dress.


    A bottle is poured around for all glasses

    Each person keep his own bottle.

    23 Aug 2013, 10:41pm
    Learn Vietnamese

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  • Shuffling words in a sentence

    As you know, Vietnamese is not so difficult if you use it normally by connecting word together, but to understand deep structures of wordplay in Vietnamese is a long journey for leaner. The way to put a “comma” in Vietnamese is very important and so the word mix-up. If you put a comma in a right place, it will completely change the meaning of the sentence.
    For example:
    Đàn bà không có đàn ông sẽ khủng hoảng.

    If you put a comma in the following positions:
    Đàn bà không có đàn ông, sẽ khủng hoảng.

    (If there are no men, women will be in crisis)
    Đàn bà không có, đàn ông sẽ khủng hoảng.

    (Without women, men will be in crisis)

    And just like the ‘comma’, of course,  when mixing up words in a sentence, its meaning will be completely changed or sometimes remain unchanged .
    There is an example below, the person A says to B:
    Mày đến sao không bảo?

    Let’s see the way of mixing up words as follow:

    Mày đến sao không bảo?  (A asks B, why did B come without telling A first?)

    Sao đến mày không bảo? (Synonymous of the above sentence)

    Không bảo sao mày đến?  (A asks B, A did not ask B to come, why did B come?)

    Mày không bảo sao đến?  (Synonymous of the above sentence)

    Không bảo sao đến mày? (Synonymous of the above sentence)

    Mày sao bảo không đến? (A asks B, B said B did not come, but why does B come now?

    Sao bảo mày không đến? (Synonymous of the above sentence)

    Bảo mày sao không đến? (A asks B, A asked B to come, but B did not come)

    You see, developing a sentence by mixing up words will provide many new meanings. Vietnamese’s wordplay is very popular and hardly has any rules. What I write here just so you can understand the wordplay of Vietnamese, and know more about Vietnamese. The important thing is that you need to learn much to be able to use it properly. Wish you luck.

    16 Aug 2013, 9:39pm
    Life in Vietnam:

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  • The differences between Hanoi and Saigon (part 1)

    When you study Vietnamese, you will meet some thing that is different between the South and the North of Vietnam.

    This topic will help you have an overview about that different.




    Like the disposition of girls in Hanoi – smoldering and tenaciousness

    Like the disposition of the girls in Saigon – Sour and scornful but easy to forget


    It’s easily to find a motorbike taxi driver working in vest.

    You can dress the shorts with plastic sandals and properly go into Rex (a luxury restaurant in Saigon).


    They call it a transportation with engine. Rarely to see an old or broken motorcycle on the street

    They call it a transportation with two wheels.  Some motorcycle seems to be borrowed from the museum running on the street.

    Mending a puncture at midnight:

    “It’s too late now, 100.000VNĐ and I will mend it for you.”

    “10.000 VND, please!”

    Passenger car:

    They will tell you: Move over, please!

    Each passenger have a particular seat, don’t get more if the car is full.

    Receive a phone call:

    Let’s stand at the crossroad when talking so that others will know who you are.

    If you don’t want your mobile phone wrenched away from you, you should park your motorcycle on the sidewalk for talking.


    Do not turn right when traffic light is red.

    Some places is even allow for turning left.

    When you get a light accident with the other who stops for traffic light

    You will receive an insult.

    They just look back to see who the perpetrator is, and … continue waiting.


    Men in Hanoi can wear shoe without stocking.

    Girls in Saigon can wear stocking without shoe.

    When two girls like the same things

    They said: “You and I buy it.”

    “You bough it, I will find another one.”


    And the formula is also different:

    Coffee shop is very cramped, sometime you can see that two couples are arranged in one table.

    Coffee + milk + two ice cube = ice milk coffee, named “nâu đá” (brown ice), if you want more water, it’s very difficult.

    Coffee shops have a lot of chairs arranged in line.

    A few coffee + a few milk + ice + ice +… + and ice = ice milk coffee. and  you also have a glass of ice tea or a pot of tea to drink for free

    Ice tea:

    You can buy a glass of ice tea with 2.000 VND.

    A glass of ice tea like that can make 4 glasses, but it’s free.

    Fork and dish. (nĩa – đĩa)

    When you say: “cho tôi thêm một cái dĩa”

    You will have a fork.

    They will give you a dish


    It’s very rare

    It is very usually when you here someone say: “thanks”

    Yes (Dạ and Vâng)

    When the elder invites you over for a meal:

    In Hanoi, you should say: “dạ, vâng”

    Just need one word, “dạ” or “vâng”

    Saying love:

    When you speak to a girl: “Thế em có yêu anh không?” (do you love me?)

    The girls in Hanoi will answer: “Nếu nói không thì sao?” (what if I say “no”?)

    The girls in Saigon will answer: “Tại sao lại không nhỉ!” (why not!)