If you want to learn Vietnamese in a short amount of time, here are the 14 best ways, so put away your books and notes.
14 quick-fire tips for learning Vietnamese fast
1. Have a desire to learn
To learn Vietnamese quickly, start with a genuine will or interest in learning it. It’s just like any other skill, if you don’t have the will to learn it, you probably won’t.
2. Set yourself goals
Establish short-term and long-term goals based on what you want to achieve by studying Vietnamese. For example, let’s say your goal is to get a score of 60% or higher in Vietnam’s university admission test (Or go on to study Vietnamese in your university of choice, whatever you like). You can break that down into smaller goals like making it through the first 3 years of Vietnamese within 2 years. Come up with some achievable goals and work on getting them done one at a time.
3. Find yourself an accountability buddy
Make sure you have someone who’s committed to helping you achieve your goals. You can use apps like Find My Friend or ask a friend to do it with you. This way, they can encourage and motivate you along the way.
4. Focus on the right things
There are many ways to learn Vietnamese fast, but not all of them work well for everyone, so find what suits your learning style best. Are you more of an auditory learner? Maybe look into apps that feature audio recordings of native speakers speaking dialogue in Vietnamese (like this one ). If reading is your thing, check out these books . Are you focusing too much on one aspect at the expense of another? That’s okay too, as long as you’re making progress somehow. But you should work within your strengths.
5. Practise speaking Vietnamese
When compared to writing or reading, speaking is the fastest way to get good at Vietnamese, so screw exams and language tests for now (unless they’re part of your goals), focus on improving your spoken fluency instead! Your pronunciation will never be great if you don’t use it! It’s like trying to build big muscles without ever having lifted any weights. You need practice to become fluent in Vietnamese. I recommend either finding a study partner who’s learning Vietnamese as well (or already knows it) OR try using apps like HelloTalk . They can connect you with native speakers all over the world who are learning other languages too, like this guy below:
6. Watch Vietnamese TV shows, music videos and movies
A common misconception is that you can’t learn Vietnamese from TV shows because it’s too advanced for you. I beg to differ. Listen to how the actors pronounce their lines with perfect pronunciation, even if they have heavy accents or are speaking quickly etc. If you want to watch something easier, check out this list of YouTube channels set up by Vietnamese learners or this playlist on YouTube . Another great way to practise is watching music videos online (but they’re only fun if you understand what they’re singing about). You’ll have a lot more motivation to study hard when there are visuals involved!
7. Make learning relevant
For example, if your goal is to work in Vietnam, learn how to introduce yourself in Vietnamese. If you’re just visiting family or friends there for a short period of time, learn some basic phrases that’ll come in handy when you see them.
8. Practice your listening skills
Listening is the most important part of learning any language so dedicate at least 50% of your study time on improving your ability to listen to Vietnamese speakers. For example, here are 5 podcasts dedicated entirely to learning Vietnamese . Or find videos with subtitles on YouTube and practise by taking notes as you watch them (like I did here ).
9. Repeat what native speakers say
Simply repeating after someone doesn’t count because it won’t help you speak fluently like a local . Listen closely to whatever it is that’s being said to you and then try rephrasing it back exactly the way they said it, so you can practise pronunciation. It shows them you’re listening closely and respecting what they have to say!
10. Find Vietnamese tutors or language partners
You can easily find people very near you who are studying Vietnamese on apps like HelloTalk . Try asking them questions about their culture too. If someone asks you where in Australia/America/England you’re from, tell them a little bit about your city i.e., “Anh/Chị em ở Sydney xin chào!” (My name is John). You could also find an online tutor if there are any available in your country i.e., via iTalki .
11. Find great study materials
The internet is filled with free tools that can help you learn Vietnamese, you just have to look . But when it comes down to which ones are best for you, download trial versions of everything and try them out! You may even find ways to make the most out of what you already have in your house or at your school library. And don’t forget about these books ! I also recommend checking out apps like Memrise for learning vocab faster , Lingvist for improving your reading speed etc., Duolingo for brushing up on sentence structures etc., Tandem to practise speaking skills with native speakers, Google Translate if you want a translator app , and read books on Vietnamese culture to learn about the people .
12. Go out and live like a local
I don’t know about you but I learn best when I’m 100% invested in what’s happening around me. So try spending some time at one of these language cafes if you have limited exposure to native speakers i.e., if you’re learning by yourself at home. Or if there are Vietnamese communities near you , attend their events! Meetup is a good website to find them on, as well as Facebook . And if you have any friends or relatives of the same language level who are studying with you, go out for meals together and practise speaking in public!