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1. Grammar and Spelling
2. Punctuation
3. Measurements and Abbreviations
4. Hyphenation
5. Miscellaneous Peculiarities
6. Geographic Distribution
7. Character Set

Section One - Grammar and Spelling

Vietnamese grammar, compared with English grammar, is really quite simple. There are no verb conjugations, no plurals, no articles, and at an elementary level it has a sentence order similar to English. 

Source: Vietnamese online:

Section Two . Punctuation

1. Speech marks: Vietnamese punctuation is quite similar to English punctuation. However, in direct speech, it is punctuated in a different way.

For example:

"Give me more work!", shouted Chloe - Chloe hét lên: "Hãy giao thêm việc cho tôi!"

"Would anyone like some tea?", asked George - George hỏi: "Có ai muõn dùng trà không?"

"I'm bored - can I go home now?", Michala said - Michala nói: "Tôi cảm thãy chán. Bây giờ tôi có thế về nhà không?"

2. Apostrophe: the apostrophe is not used in Vietnamese. 

3. Capitalisation: For capitalisation, Vietnamese has the following two rules:

- Capitalise the first letter of each word in headings, proper names and product names. E.g.: "Nguyễn Văn A" (proper name), "Bí Quyết Thành Công" (headings), etc.

- Titles are written entirely in upper case. E.g.: "THÔNG BÁO TUYẾN DỤNG" .

Section Three . Measurements and Abbreviations

1. Measurements: In general, Vietnamese uses the metric system for measurements. However, some, such as computer monitors, inner diameters of pipes/tubes, nautical miles and sizes of computer disks are given as imperial measurements.

In numbers, Vietnamese uses the comma (,) to denote decimals and the period (.) to separate thousands in 4-digit numbers and numbers of more than 4 digits. I.e. the Vietnamese 4,5 cm / 4.000 / 50.000

Here are how the times and date are written in Vietnamese compared to English:

10.30 am → 10:30 sáng
4.30 pm → 4:30 chiều
20 February 2004 → Ngày 20 tháng 2 năm 2004
20th February 2004 → Ngày 20 tháng 2 năm 2004
20/02/2004 → 20/02/2004
February 20 → 20 tháng 2

There should always be a space between a figure and a measurement abbreviation, but no space before %, and oC.

Currency symbols are usually written as following:
£230 / 230 pounds sterling → 230 bảng Anh
€45 / 45 euro → 45 Euro
$98 billion / 98 billion Dollars → 98 tỉ đô la
$USD1,250.50 → 1.250,50 USD

2. Abbreviations:

VD (for e.g.)
m (for metre)
cm (for centimetre)
g (for gram)
km (for kilometre) 

Section Four - Hyphenation

In Vietnamese, hyphens are normally used in the following cases:

  • Combination of two words which have the same root such as động -
    thực vật, điện - điện tự, ...
  • Direct speech
    E.g.: "Give me more work!", shouted Chloe 
    Chloe hét lên: 
         - Hãy giao thêm việc cho tôi!
  • Explanation clause
    E.g.: Anh Lê Văn A - chồng chị B - đã tự trần.

Section Five - Miscellaneous Peculiarities

In Vietnamese, surnames normally given before the first name. Sometimes, full names are written all in upper case such as NGUYỄN THỊ C.

Section Six - Geographic Distribution

Vietnamese is spoken throughout Vietnam by over 70 million people. Its linguistic affiliation is uncertain, and though it is sometimes thought to be distantly related to Chinese, this remains to be proven. Like Chinese, Vietnamese is a tonal language and it has borrowed nearly half of its vocabulary from the Chinese.

The Vietnamese alphabet was devised in the 17th century by Catholic missionaries. It contains a complex system of diacritical marks, some distinguishing certain vowel sounds, others indicating tone. 

Vietnamese is spoken/used not only in Vietnam, but also in many countries all over the world where Vietnamese communities are living, such as Cambodia, Laos, United States of America, Australia, Canada, etc. 

Language Family
Family: Independent 

Source: - Copyright © Kenneth Katzner, The Languages of the World, Published by Routledge. 

Section Seven - Character Set

[ ] = Alt key codes

a ă â [0226]  A Ă Â [0194]
b B
c ch  C CH
d đ  D Đ
e ê [0234]  E Ê [0202]
g gi gh  G Gi Gh
h H
i I
k kh  K Kh
l L
m M
n ng nh ngh  N Ng Nh Ngh
o ô [0244] ơ  O Ô [0212] Ơ
p ph P Ph p ph P Ph
q Q
r R
s S
t th tr  T Th Tr
u ư  U Ư
v V
x X
y Y



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