The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Vietnamese language pronunciations in Wikipedia articles. For a guide to adding IPA characters to Wikipedia articles, see {{IPA-vi}} and Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Pronunciation § Entering IPA characters.

There are two major standards: one of Hanoi and one of Ho Chi Minh City. Each makes distinctions that the other does not; neither standard is preferred over the other at Wikipedia. The central dialects, which make the distinctions of both, are generally represented in articles here, except if a local pronunciation is clearly more relevant.

See Vietnamese phonology for a more thorough look at the sounds of Vietnamese.

Initial consonants
H C S Examples English approximation
ʔ anh (unwritten, occurs before initial vowels) uh-oh; informal British button
ɓ ba bee with a gulp
ɗ đi day with a gulp
f ph fight, photo
ɣ ga; ghế Spanish: amigo
h hàng high
k cô, kem [1] quốc scan, kid
w quanh[2] wow
x khô loch
l là low
m mai my
n nam no
ɲ nhà hang you, Spanish: señorita
ŋ ngâm; nghe singer
p pin[3] sport
s s xa so
ʂ sáu show, but with tongue curled
t tây stop
thầy top
t͡ɕ ~ c chè town
t͡ɕ ~ ʈ tra trend
v j v[4] van
z/ ɟ j da, danh yellow
z già, giết zero
r ra, rồi similar to red; variably pronounced as a fricative, flap or trill
Medial glide
ʷ oanh; quốc quick
Final consonants
j i, tay[5][6] boy
m thêm pom
n ŋ ban pin
ŋ trứng long
n n n,n (after i, ê)[7] hen
ŋ̟ nh[7][5] onion (various pronunciations)
n ŋm bốn[8], bún (after u, ô) pen
ŋm chúng (after u, ô, o)[9] like long, but with an 'm' after the 'ng'
p tiếp clasp
t k xuất pit
k ác pick
t t chít (after i, ê)[7] hit
ch[7][5] technical (various pronunciations)
t kp một (after u, ô) cut
kp học (after u, ô, o)[9] backpack
w tao, triệu[9],đau how
IPA Examples English approximation
a ăn cart
ba father
e v roughly like hay
ɛ xe set
ə ân balance
əː bơ hurt
i khi; quy seat
ɨ or ɯ tư similar to glasses; Russian ты, it's as you read the letter "i" and your mouth has to "smile" then you say the "i" but don't stick your tongue out. When pronouncing it, the breath will sound lighter than "i". And it must vibrate the vocal cords
o cô roughly like bowl
ɔː có; xoong[10]; cau off
u ru rule
vn, bia beer but don't curl your tongue up
ɨə xương, chưa near
uống, mua influence
IPA Examples Hanoi Saigon
ā ə̄ a [˧] [˧]
à ə̀ à [˨˩] [˨˩]
ǎ ə̌ á, ấc[11] [˧˥] [˧˥]
â ə̂ [12] [˧˩] [˧˩˧]
ǎˀ ə̌ˀ ã [˧ˀ˥] [˧˩˧]
âˀ ə̂ˀ ạ, ậc[11] [˧ˀ˩] [˨˧]


  1. ^ [k] as "qu" appears only in northern dialects.
  2. ^ [w] as "qu" appears only in southern dialects.
  3. ^ [p] appears only in loanwords, and is often replaced by [ɓ].
  4. ^ [v] may be used as a spelling pronunciation in southern dialects.
  5. ^ a b c In northern dialects, when the velar finals /k, ŋ/ follow the front vowels /i, e, ɛ/, the consonant becomes pre-velar [k̟, ŋ̟], and the vowels /e, ɛ/ become [əj, aj].
  6. ^ "ai"read as [aːj]; "ay"read as [aj]
  7. ^ a b c d In southern dialects, the vowels /i, e, ɛ/ become [ɨ, ə, a] before the alveolar consonants [t, n].
  8. ^ bốn /oːŋ͡m/ vs. bống /ăwŋ͡m/ in Saigon Vietnamese
  9. ^ a b c In most dialects, when the velar finals /k, ŋ/ follow the round vowels /u, o, ɔ/, the consonant is strongly labialized [kʷ, ŋʷ] or doubly-articulated [k͡p, ŋ͡m], and the vowels /o, ɔ/ become [əw, aw].
  10. ^ [ɔ] appears only in loanwords, and is often replaced by [ɔː].
  11. ^ a b Before a final /p, t, k/, the six tones of Vietnamese are reduced to two.
  12. ^ In isolation, this can be a dipping tone. The usual IPA diacritic for dipping tone is [a᷉ ə᷉], which differs from the nasalization mark [ ˜ ] only in being angular in shape, and is not widely supported by fonts.