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Language and communication

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
12 posts
4 reviews
Language and communication

Travelling to Hanoi and Hoi An soon. Wondering about communication with locals in restaurants, markets etc. Do they speak much French or English there?

9 replies to this topic
Hanoi, Vietnam
Level Contributor
206 posts
1. Re: Language and communication

English is fine, you can use Eng for basic communication at big cities in Vietnam. French is not used by majority of Vietnamese people

Hanoi, Vietnam
Level Contributor
1,691 posts
94 reviews
2. Re: Language and communication

English is more popular in Vietnam or most of restaurants have English menu so you can order food. People in local markets may not know well English but it is easy to order if you can show them a picture of what you want to buy.

Ho Chi Minh City...
Destination Expert
for Ho Chi Minh City
Level Contributor
10,893 posts
241 reviews
3. Re: Language and communication

The language of Vietnam is Tieng Viet.

In tourist areas of Hanoi and Hoi An you will find people will speak limited English enough to be able to serve you food and drinks and sell you clothes or souvenirs. Those bookung tours etc will have a higher degree of English due to their job requiring a higher understanding of English. French tends to be more limited to people who may have got their education in France and the very elderly who were alive during colonial times. You may find French spoken in a French restaurant in Hanoi but less likely in Hoi An.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
12 posts
4 reviews
4. Re: Language and communication

Thank you all for your help.

Hanoi, Vietnam
Level Contributor
15,137 posts
74 reviews
5. Re: Language and communication

English education is a major industry in VN and all of Indochina - the young are especially eager to use English.

Portsmouth, United...
Level Contributor
2,049 posts
41 reviews
6. Re: Language and communication

It's a good idea to learn some basic words and phrases in Vietnamese. (Plenty of videos on YouTube). It will get you plenty of respect from locals for having the courtesy to have a go.

Level Contributor
2 posts
7 reviews
7. Re: Language and communication

If they don't know english you can try on your phone. use google translate from english to vietnamese. i sure it will help.

Hanoi, Vietnam
Level Contributor
56 posts
16 reviews
8. Re: Language and communication

Restaurants' staffs speak English well (maybe it's requirement for applying for customer service job)

In local markets, English communication is limited. Maybe you ask locals who are fluent in English go with you. University students are open and happy to show you their cities

Hong Kong, China
2 posts
9. Re: Language and communication

You can úe english in a big restaurant but the small one or far from the center the staff speak Vietnamese only.

Best regards

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