Tiếng Việt

My goal is to read and write in Vietnamese, understand native speakers, and speak well enough to have meaningful conversations with native speakers.
[ Progress Log ]

Những Việc Cần Làm

+ currently deferring study
+ pronunciation
+ Tiếng Việt numbers

Khuyến Nghịm

These are approaches that I have found the most useful, and would recommend to anyone learning Vietnamese.

1. Study for 1100 hours.

According to research, you’ll do well after 1100 hours of immersive study in Vietnamese. If you average one-hour of immersive study per day, then it should take 3 years. At three hours per day, then it should take one year. If only ten minutes per day, then it will take 18 years.

This can be broken down, e.g.,
250 hours, Learn new words and concepts (20 per hour, ~5000 words)
250 hours, Practice recall to automaticity (400 words per-hour)
300 hours, Reading and Writing
300 hours, Conversation

This assumes the goal is to achieve basic fluency, in other words, to have a meaningful conversation with a native speaker. I recommend keeping a Progress Log to keep track of your learning (as it’s easy to get overwhelmed).

2. Learn to read and pronounce.

Fortunately, modern Vietnamese uses a phonetic writing system, using the latin alphabet with diacritics. This means that you’ll be able to read out loud before you even know what you’re saying. Unfortunately, Vietnamese pronunciation is extremely difficult, and rather unforgiving to minor mistakes. You can learn to write and type easily, although the phonemes and tones will take a lot practice.

I recommend practicing reading to a native speaker until you can be understood (even if you don’t know what you’re reading).

Useful Resources

+ happyhanoi.com, by far the best resource available for pronunciation.
+ Learn Vietnamese with Annie
+ TVO, a bit heavy on English and self-promotion, but some useful videos.

Không Được Khuyến Khích

These are resources that I tried, but either didn’t enjoy or didn’t find useful.

+ duolingo, not very useful, the complexities of Vietnamese are not well captured with duolingo.
+ anki, too much accidental complexity to be useful.
+ https://123vietnamese.com/, poor quality, bad audio