Vietnamese Alphabet
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Vietnamese Alphabet
Vietnamese Latin Alphabet
ch? Qu?c ng?
Script type
CreatorPortuguese Jesuits,[1][2][3] Alexandre de Rhodes
LanguagesVietnamese, other indigenous languages of Vietnam
Related scripts
Parent systems

The Vietnamese alphabet (Vietnamese: ch? Qu?c ng?, "script of the national language") is the modern Latin writing script or writing system for Vietnamese. It uses the Latin script based on Romance languages[4] originally developed by Portuguese missionaries.[1]

The Vietnamese alphabet contains 29 letters, including nine with diacritics, five of which are used to designate a tone (a, à, á, ?, ã, and ?) and the other four used for other letters of the alphabet (?, â/ê/ô, ?, ?).

The large number of letters with diacritics, which can even stack twice on the same letter (e.g. nh?t -- "first"), makes it recognizable among Latin scripts with its complex vowel system.[5]

Letter names and pronunciation

Handwritten Vietnamese Alphabet
Vietnamese alphabet[6]
Letter Name (when pronounced) IPA Name when

used in spelling

Hà N?i Sài Gòn
A a a /a:?/ /a:?/
? ? á /a:/ /a:/
 â ? /?:/ /?:/
B b /?e?/ /?e?/ b? /:/
C c /se?/ /se?/ c? /k?:/
D d /ze?/ /je?/ d? /z?:/
? ? /?e?/ /?e?/ /:/
E e e // //
Ê ê ê /e?/ /e?/
G g giê /?e?/ /?e?, ?e?/ g? /:/
H h hát, h?t /ha:t/ /hak/ h? /h?:/
I i i ng?n /i? ?an/ /?i ?a/[7] i /i?/


K k ca /ka:?/ /ka:?/ c? /k?:/
L l en l? /?n? l?:/ / l?:/ l? /l?:/
M m em m? /?m? m?:/ /?m? m?:/ m? /m?:/
N n en n?, anh n? /?n? n?:/ /an? n?:/ n? /n?:/
O o o // //
Ô ô ô /o?/ /o?/
? ? ? /?:?/ /?:?/
P p pê, bê ph? /pe?/ /pe?/ p? /p?:/
Q q quy /ku?, kwi?/ /kwi?/ qu?




R r e r? / r?:/ / :/ r? /r?:/
S s ét xì, ét x? /?t si/ /?t, ?:t (s)/ s? /:/
T t /te?/ /te?/ t? /t?:/
U u u /u?/ /?u/[7]
? ? ? // //[7]
V v /ve?/ /ve?/ v? /v?:?/
X x ích xì /ik si/ /t (si)/ x? /s?:/
Y y y dài /i? za:j/ /?i ja:j/[7] y /i?/


There are six tones, each with a separate diacritic, which are marked in the IPA as suprasegmentals following the phonemic value. It uses all 22 letters of the ISO basic Latin alphabet plus 6 additional "letters" where 4 letters are with the other 3 diacritics/?, Â/â, Ê/ê, Ô/ô, ?/?, ?/? and the letter ?/? except for F/f, J/j, W/w and Z/z. The aforementioned 4 letters are only used to write loanwords, languages of other ethnic groups in the country based on Vietnamese phonetics to differentiate the meanings or even Vietnamese dialects, for example: dz or z for Northern Vietnamese pronunciation of "gi" in standard Vietnamese, or to distinguish the from the Vietnamese D (pronounced y/j or dz/z) and from ? (pronounced D like in English).


  • Pronouncing b as bê or bò and p as pê or p? is to avoid confusion in some contexts, the same for s s? m?nh (n?ng - heavy) and x as x? (nh?-light), i as i (ng?n-short) and y as y (dài-long).
  • Q, q is always followed by u in every word and phrase in Vietnamese, e.g. qu?n (trousers), quy?n r? (to attract), etc.
  • The name i-c?-rét for y is from the French name for the letter: i grec (Greek I),[8] referring to the letter's origin from the Greek letter upsilon. The other obsolete French pronunciations include e /?:?/ and u /wi?/.


The alphabet is largely derived from Portuguese with major influence from French, although the usage of gh and gi was borrowed from Italian (compare ghetto, Giuseppe) and that for c/k/qu from Greek and Latin (compare canis, kinesis, qu? v?dis), mirroring the English usage of these letters (compare cat, kite, queen).

Grapheme Word-Initial (IPA) Word-Final Notes
Northern Southern Northern Southern
B b
C c ⟨k⟩ is used instead when preceding ⟨i y e ê⟩. K is also used before U in the Vietnamese city Pleiku.
⟨qu⟩ is used instead of ⟨co cu⟩ if a /w/ on-glide exists.
Realized as in word-final position following rounded vowels ⟨u ô o⟩.
Ch ch /?k/ Multiple phonemic analyses of final ⟨ch⟩ have been proposed (main article).
D d In Middle Vietnamese, ⟨d⟩ represented . ⟨d⟩ was used to write native Vietnamese words and ⟨gi⟩ was used to write words of Chinese origin.
? ?
G g
Gh gh Spelling used ⟨gh⟩ instead of ⟨g⟩ before ⟨i e ê⟩, seemingly to follow the Italian convention. ⟨g⟩ is not allowed in these environments.
Gi gi In Middle Vietnamese, ⟨gi⟩ represented . The distinction between ⟨d⟩ and ⟨gi⟩ is now purely etymological (and is the only one) in most modern dialects. Realized as [?] in Northern spelling pronunciation. Spelled ⟨g⟩ before another ⟨i⟩.[a]
H h
K k Spelling used instead of ⟨c⟩ before ⟨i y e ê⟩ to follow the European tradition. ⟨c⟩ is not allowed in these environments.
Kh kh In Middle Vietnamese, ⟨kh⟩ was pronounced
L l
M m
N n In Southern Vietnamese, word-final ⟨n⟩ is realized as if not following ⟨i ê⟩.
Ng ng Realized as [m] in word-final position following rounded vowels ⟨u ô o⟩.
Ngh ngh Spelling used instead of ⟨ng⟩ before ⟨i e ê⟩ in accordance with ⟨gh⟩.
Nh nh // Multiple phonemic analyses of final ⟨nh⟩ have been proposed (main article).
P p Only occurs initially in loanwords. Some Vietnamese pronounce it as a "b" sound instead (as in Arabic).
Ph ph In Middle Vietnamese, ⟨ph⟩ was pronounced
Qu qu Spelling used in place of ⟨co cu⟩ if a /w/ on-glide exists.
R r Variably pronounced as a fricative , approximant , flap or trill in Southern speech.
S s Realized as [?] in Northern spelling pronunciation.
T t In Southern Vietnamese, word-final ⟨t⟩ is realized as if not following ⟨i ê⟩.
Th th
Tr tr Realized as [t?] in Northern spelling pronunciation.
V v In Middle Vietnamese, it was represented by a b with flourish?⟩ and was pronounced .
Can be realized as in Southern speech through spelling pronunciation and in loanwords.
X x In Middle Vietnamese, ⟨x⟩ was pronounced .
  1. ^ This causes some ambiguity with the diphthong ia/, for example gia could be either gi+a [za ~ ja] or gi+ia [zi ~ ji]. If there is a tone mark the ambiguity is resolved: giá is gi+á and gía is gi+ía.



The correspondence between the orthography and pronunciation is somewhat complicated. In some cases, the same letter may represent several different sounds, and different letters may represent the same sound. This is because the orthography was designed centuries ago and the spoken language has changed, as shown in the chart directly above that contrasts the difference between Middle and Modern Vietnamese.

The letters y and i are mostly equivalent, and there is no concrete rule that says when to use one or the other, except in sequences like ay and uy (i.e. tay ("arm, hand") is read /tj/ while tai ("ear") is read /t?j/). There have been attempts since the late 20th century to standardize the orthography by replacing all the vowel uses of y with i, the latest being a decision from the Vietnamese Ministry of Education in 1984. These efforts seem to have had limited effect. In textbooks published by Nhà Xu?t b?n Giáo d?c ("Publishing House of Education"), y is used to represent /i/ only in Sino-Vietnamese words that are written with one letter y alone (diacritics can still be added, as in ý, ?), at the beginning of a syllable when followed by ê (as in y?m, y?t), after u and in the sequence ay; therefore such forms as *lý and *k? are not "standard", though they are much preferred elsewhere. Most people and the popular media continue to use the spelling that they are most accustomed to.

Spelling and pronunciation in Vietnamese
Spelling Sound
a  /a/ ([æ] in some dialects) except as below
 /?/ in au /?w/ and ay /?j/ (but /a/ in ao /aw/ and ai /aj/)
 /?j/ before syllable-final nh /?/ and ch /k/, see
 Vietnamese phonology#Analysis of final ch, nh
 // in ?a //, ia /i/ and ya /i/
 // in ua except after q[note 1]
?  /?/
â  //
e  /?/
ê  /e/ except as below
 /j/ before syllable-final nh /?/ and ch /k/, see
 Vietnamese phonology#Analysis of final ch, nh
 // in /i/ and /i/
i  /i/ except as below
 /j/ after any vowel letter
o  /?/ except as below
 /?w/ before ng and c[note 2]
 /w/ after any vowel letter (= after a or e)
 /w/ before any vowel letter except i (= before ?, a or e)
ô  /o/ except as below
 /w/ before ng and c except after a u that is not preceded by a q[note 3]
 // in except after q[note 4]
?  /?/ except as below
 // in //
u  /u/ except as below
 /w/ after q or any vowel letter
 /w/ before any vowel letter except a, ô and i
 Before a, ô and i: /w/ if preceded by q, /u/ otherwise
?  /?/
y  /i/ except as below
 /j/ after any vowel letter except u (= after â and a)
  1. ^ qua is pronounced /kwa/ except in quay, where it is pronounced /kw?/. When not preceded by q, ua is pronounced /u/.
  2. ^ However, oong and ooc are pronounced // and /?k/.
  3. ^ uông and uôc are pronounced /u/ and /uk/ when not preceded by a q.
  4. ^ quô is pronounced /kwo/ except in quông and quôc, where it is pronounced /kww/. When not preceded by q, is pronounced /u/.

The uses of the letters i and y to represent the phoneme /i/ can be categorized as "standard" (as used in textbooks published by Nhà Xu?t b?n Giáo d?c) and "non-standard" as follows.

Standard spellings in Vietnamese
Context "Standard" "Non-standard"
In one-lettered non-Sino-Vietnamese syllables i (e.g.: i t?, í ?i, ì ?ch, ? ôi, ?i ?)
In one-lettered Sino-Vietnamese syllables y (e.g.: y h?c, ý ki?n, ? l?i)
Syllable-initial, not followed by ê i (e.g.a ?ái, im l?ng, ích l?i, ?u xìu)
Syllable-initial, followed by ê y (e.g.: y?u ?t, y?m dãi, y?t h?u)
After u y (e.g.: uy l?c, huy hoàng, khuya kho?t, tuy?n m?, khuy?t t?t, khu?u tay, huýt sáo, khuynh hng)
After qu, not followed by ê, nh y (e.g.: quý giá, qu?n quýt) i (e.g.: quí giá, qu?n quít)
After qu, followed by ê, nh y (e.g.: quyên góp, x?o quy?t, m?ng quýnh, hoa qu?nh)
After b, d, ?, r, x i (e.g.: b?a t, diêm dúa, ch th?, r? r?, tri?u i, xinh x?n)
After g, not followed by a, ?, â, e, ê, o, ô, ?, u, ? i (e.g.: cái gì?, gi? gìn)
After h, k, l, m, t, not followed by any letter, in non-Sino-Vietnamese syllables i (e.g.: ti hí, kì c?, lí nhí, mí m?t, tí xíu)
After h, k, l, m, t, not followed by any letter, in Sino-Vietnamese syllables i (e.g.: hi v?ng, kì thú, lí lu?n, m? thu?t, gi? Tí) y (e.g.: hy v?ng, k? thú, lý lu?n, m? thu?t, gi? Tý)
After ch, gh, kh, nh, ph, th i (e.g.: chíp hôi, ghi nh?, ý ngh?a, khiêu khích, nhí nh?, phi?n ?á, bu?n thiu)
After n, s, v, not followed by any letter, in non-proper-noun syllables i (e.g.: ni cô, si tình, vi khu?n)
After n, s, v, not followed by any letter, in proper nouns i (e.g.: Ni, Thu? S?, Vi) y (e.g.: Ny, Th?y S?, Vy)
After h, k, l, m, n, s, t, v, followed by a letter i (e.g.: thng hi?u, kiên trì, b?i li?t, ngôi mi?u, n?ng n?u, siêu ng, m?n ti?p, c vi?c)
In Vietnamese personal names, after a consonant i either i or y, depending on personal preference

This "standard" set by Nhà Xu?t b?n Giáo d?c is not definite. It is unknown why the literature books use while the history books use .


Vowel nuclei

The table below matches the vowels of Hanoi Vietnamese (written in the IPA) and their respective orthographic symbols used in the writing system.

Front Central Back
Sound Spelling Sound Spelling Sound Spelling
Centering /i/ iê/ia* // /?a* /u/ uô/ua*
Close /i/ i, y /?/ ? /u/ u
/e/ ê /?/ ? /o/ ô
// â
/?/ e /a/ a /?/ o
/?/ ?


  • The vowel /i/ is:
    • usually written i: /s/ = s? (A suffix indicating profession, similar to the English suffix -er).
    • sometimes written y after h, k, l, m, n, s, t, v, x: /m/ = M? (America)
      • It is always written y when:
  1. preceded by an orthographic vowel: /xwn/ = khuyên 'to advise';
  2. at the beginning of a word derived from Chinese (written as i otherwise): /?w/ = yêu 'to love'.
  • The vowel /?/ is written oo before c or ng (since o in that position represents /?w/): /k/ = oóc 'organ (musical)'; /k k/ = kính coong. This generally only occurs in recent loanwords or when representing dialectal pronunciation.
  • Similarly, the vowel /o/ is written ôô before c or ng: // = ôông (Ngh? An/Hà T?nh variant of ông /?w?/). But unlike oo being frequently used in onomatopoeia, transcriptions from other languages and words "borrowed" from Ngh? An/Hà T?nh dialects (such as vo?c), ôô seems to be used solely to convey the feel of the Ngh? An/Hà T?nh accents. In transcriptions, ô is preferred (e.g. các-tông 'cardboard', ?c-coóc-?ê-ông 'accordion').

Diphthongs and triphthongs

Rising Vowels Rising-Falling Vowels Falling Vowels
nucleus (V) /w/ on-glides /w/ + V + off-glide /j/ off-glides /w/ off-glides
front e /w?/ oe/(q)ue* /w?w/ oeo/(q)ueo* /?w/ eo
ê /we/ /ew/ êu
i /wi/ uy /wiw/ uyu /iw/ iu
ia/iê/yê* /wi/ uyê/uya* /iw/ iêu/yêu*
central a /wa/ oa/(q)ua* /waj/ oai/(q)uai, /waw/ oao/(q)uao* /aj/ ai /aw/ ao
? /w?/ o?/(q)u?* /w?j/ oay/(q)uay* /?j/ ay /?w/ au
â /w/ /wj/ uây /j/ ây /w/ âu
? /w?/ u? /?j/ ?i /?w/ ?u
? /?j/ ?i /?w/ ?u
?a/* /j/ i /w/ u
back o /?j/ oi
ô /oj/ ôi
u /uj/ ui
ua/uô* /uj/ uôi


The glide /w/ is written:

  • u after /k/ (spelled q in this instance)
  • o in front of a, ?, or e except after q
  • o following a and e
  • u in all other cases; note that /?w/ is written as au instead of *?u (cf. ao /aw/), and that /i/ is written as y after u

The off-glide /j/ is written as i except after â and ?, where it is written as y; note that /?j/ is written as ay instead of *?y (cf. ai /aj/) .

The diphthong /i/ is written:

  • ia at the end of a syllable: /m/ = mía 'sugar cane'
  • before a consonant or off-glide: /m?/ = mi?ng 'piece'; /sw/ = xiêu 'to slope, slant'
Note that the i of the diphthong changes to y after u:
  • ya: /xw/ = khuya 'late at night'
  • : /xwn/ = khuyên 'to advise'
changes to at the beginning of a syllable (ia does not change):
  • /n/ = yên 'calm'; /w/ y?u' 'weak, feeble'

The diphthong /u/ is written:

  • ua at the end of a syllable: /m/ = mua 'to buy'
  • before a consonant or off-glide: /mn/ = muôn 'ten thousand'; /sj/ = xuôi 'down'

The diphthong // is written:

  • ?a at the end of a syllable: /m?/ = m?a 'to rain'
  • before a consonant or off-glide: /m/ = mng 'irrigation canal'; /t?j/ = ti 'to water, irrigate, sprinkle'

Tone marks

Vietnamese is a tonal language, i.e. the meaning of each word depends on the pitch (basically a specific tone and glottalization pattern) in which it is pronounced. There are six distinct tones (including no tone) in the standard northern dialect. In the south, there is a merging of the h?i and ngã tones, in effect leaving five tones. The first one ("level tone") is not marked and the other five are indicated by diacritics applied to the vowel part of the syllable. The tone names are chosen such that the name of each tone is spoken in the tone it identifies.

Diacritic Symbol Name Contour Vowels with diacritic
unmarked N/A Ngang mid level, ? A/a, ?/?, Â/â, E/e, Ê/ê, I/i, O/o, Ô/ô, ?/?, U/u, ?/?, Y/y
grave accent à Huy?n low falling, À/à, ?/?, ?/?, È/è, ?/?, Ì/ì, Ò/ò, ?/?, ?/?, Ù/ù, ?/?, ?/?
hook above ? H?i mid falling, (Northern); dipping, (Southern) ?/?, ?/?, ?/?, ?/?, ?/?, ?/?, ?/?, ?/?, ?/?, ?/?, ?/?, ?/?
tilde ã Ngã glottalized rising, (Northern); slightly lengthened D?u H?i tone (Southern) Ã/ã, ?/?, ?/?, ?/?, ?/?, ?/?, Õ/õ, ?/?, ?/?, ?/?, ?/?, ?/?
acute accent á S?c high rising, Á/á, ?/?, ?/?, É/é, ?/?, Í/í, Ó/ó, ?/?, ?/?, Ú/ú, ?/?, Ý/ý
dot below
A with x on the bottom.png
? or
N?ng glottalized falling, (Northern); low rising, (Southern) ?/?, ?/?, ?/?, ?/?, ?/?, ?/?, ?/?, ?/?, ?/?, ?/?, ?/?, ?/?
  • Unmarked vowels are pronounced with a level voice, in the middle of the speaking range.
  • The grave accent indicates that the speaker should start somewhat low and drop slightly in tone, with the voice becoming increasingly breathy.
  • The hook indicates in Northern Vietnamese that the speaker should start in the middle range and fall, but in Southern Vietnamese that the speaker should start somewhat low and fall, then rise (as when asking a question in English).
  • In the North, a tilde indicates that the speaker should start mid, break off (with a glottal stop), then start again and rise like a question in tone. In the South, it is realized identically to the H?i tone.
  • The acute accent indicates that the speaker should start mid and rise sharply in tone.
  • The dot or cross signifies in Northern Vietnamese that the speaker starts low and fall lower in tone, with the voice becoming increasingly creaky and ending in a glottal stop

In syllables where the vowel part consists of more than one vowel (such as diphthongs and triphthongs), the placement of the tone is still a matter of debate. Generally, there are two methodologies, an "old style" and a "new style". While the "old style" emphasizes aesthetics by placing the tone mark as close as possible to the center of the word (by placing the tone mark on the last vowel if an ending consonant part exists and on the next-to-last vowel if the ending consonant doesn't exist, as in hóa, h?y), the "new style" emphasizes linguistic principles and tries to apply the tone mark on the main vowel (as in hoá, hu?). In both styles, when one vowel already has a quality diacritic on it, the tone mark must be applied to it as well, regardless of where it appears in the syllable (thus thu? is acceptable while thúê is not). In the case of the diphthong, the mark is placed on the ?. The u in qu is considered part of the consonant. Currently, the new style is usually used in textbooks published by Nhà Xu?t b?n Giáo d?c, while most people still prefer the old style in casual uses. Among Overseas Vietnamese communities, the old style is predominant for all purposes.

In lexical ordering, differences in letters are treated as primary, differences in tone markings as secondary and differences in case as tertiary differences. (Letters include for instance A and ? but not ?. Older dictionaries also treated digraphs and trigraphs like CH and NGH as base letters.[9]) Ordering according to primary and secondary differences proceeds syllable by syllable. According to this principle, a dictionary lists tuân th? before tu?n chay because the secondary difference in the first syllable takes precedence over the primary difference in the second syllable.


In the past, syllables in multisyllabic words were concatenated with hyphens, but this practice has died out and hyphenation is now reserved for word-borrowings from other languages. A written syllable consists of at most three parts, in the following order from left to right:

  1. An optional beginning consonant part
  2. A required vowel syllable nucleus and the tone mark, if needed, applied above or below it
  3. An ending consonant part, can only be one of the following: c, ch, m, n, ng, nh, p, t, or nothing.[10]


A page from Alexandre de Rhodes' 1651 dictionary

Since the beginning of the Chinese rule 111 BC, literature, government papers, scholarly works, and religious scripture were all written in classical Chinese (ch? Hán) while indigenous writing in chu han started around the ninth century.[11] Since the 12th century, several Vietnamese words started to be written in ch? Nôm, using variant Chinese characters, each of them representing one word. The system was based on ch? Hán, but was also supplemented with Vietnamese-invented characters (ch? thu?n nôm, proper Nôm characters) to represent native Vietnamese words.

Creation of ch? Qu?c ng?

As early as 1620, with the work of Francisco de Pina, Portuguese, and Italian Jesuit missionaries in Vietnam began using Latin script to transcribe the Vietnamese language as an assistance for learning the language.[1][3] The work was continued by the Avignonese Alexandre de Rhodes. Building on previous dictionaries by Gaspar do Amaral and Antonio Barbosa, Rhodes compiled the Dictionarium Annamiticum Lusitanum et Latinum, a Vietnamese–Portuguese–Latin dictionary, which was later printed in Rome in 1651, using their spelling system.[1][12] These efforts led eventually to the development of the present Vietnamese alphabet. For 200 years, ch? Qu?c ng? was used within the Catholic community.[13][14]

Colonial period

In 1910, the French colonial administration enforced ch? Qu?c ng?.[15] The Latin alphabet then became a means to publish Vietnamese popular literature, which was disparaged as vulgar by the Chinese-educated imperial elites.[16] Historian Pamela A. Pears asserted that by instituting the Latin alphabet in Vietnam, the French cut the Vietnamese from their traditional Hán Nôm literature.[17] Since the 1920s, the Vietnamese mostly use ch? Qu?c ng?, and new Vietnamese terms for new items or words are often calqued from Hán Nôm. Some French had originally planned to replace Vietnamese with French, but this never was a serious project, given the small number of French settlers compared with the native population. The French had to reluctantly accept the use of ch? Qu?c ng? to write Vietnamese since this writing system, created by Portuguese missionaries, is based on Portuguese orthography, not French.[18]

Mass Education

Between 1907 and 1908, the short-lived Tonkin Free School promulgated ch? qu?c ng? and taught French language to the general population.

In 1917, the French system suppressed Vietnam's Confucian examination system, viewed as an aristocratic system linked with the "ancient regime", thereby forcing Vietnamese elites to educate their offspring in the French language education system. Emperor Kh?i nh declared the traditional writing system abolished in 1918.[16] While traditional nationalists favoured the Confucian examination system and the use of ch? Hán, Vietnamese revolutionaries, progressive nationalists, and pro-French elites viewed the French education system as a means to "liberate" the Vietnamese from old Chinese domination and the unsatisfactory "outdated" Confucian examination system, to "democratize" education and to help link Vietnamese to European philosophies.

The French colonial system then set up another educational system, teaching Vietnamese as a first language using ch? qu?c ng? in primary school and then the French language (taught in ch? qu?c ng?). Hundreds of thosands of textbooks for primary education began to be published in ch? qu?c ng?, with the unintentional result of turning the script into the popular medium for the expression for Vietnamese culture.[19]

Late 20th century to present

Typesetting and printing Vietnamese has been challenging due to its number of accents/diacritics.[20][21][22] Contemporary Vietnamese texts sometimes include words which have not been adapted to modern Vietnamese orthography, especially for documents written in Chinese characters. The Vietnamese language itself has been likened to a system akin to "ruby characters" elsewhere in Asia. See Vietnamese language and computers for usage on computers and the internet.

Typing Vietnamese (computer support)

Different ways in which tone marks can be presented on letters that already have diacritic e.g. (`) on letter ê when computerising Vietnamese.

The universal character set Unicode has full support for the Latin Vietnamese writing system, although it does not have a separate segment for it. The required characters that other languages use are scattered throughout the Basic Latin, Latin-1 Supplement, Latin Extended-A and Latin Extended-B blocks; those that remain (such as the letters with more than one diacritic) are placed in the Latin Extended Additional block. An ASCII-based writing convention, Vietnamese Quoted Readable and several byte-based encodings including VSCII (TCVN), VNI, VISCII and Windows-1258 were widely used before Unicode became popular. Most new documents now exclusively use the Unicode format UTF-8.

Unicode allows the user to choose between precomposed characters and combining characters in inputting Vietnamese. Because in the past some fonts implemented combining characters in a nonstandard way (see Verdana font), most people use precomposed characters when composing Vietnamese-language documents (except on Windows where Windows-1258 used combining characters).

Most keyboards on phones and computers used by Vietnamese-language users do not support direct input of diacritics by default.[] Software may be built into the operating system or various free software such as Unikey on computers or Laban Key for phones that act as keyboard drivers exist. They support most input methods, such as Telex, VNI, VIQR and its variants.

See also


  • Gregerson, Kenneth J. (1969). A study of Middle Vietnamese phonology. Bulletin de la Société des Etudes Indochinoises, 44, 135-193. (Published version of the author's MA thesis, University of Washington). (Reprinted 1981, Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics).
  • Haudricourt, André-Georges (1949). "Origine des particularités de l'alphabet vietnamien (English translation as: The origin of the peculiarities of the Vietnamese alphabet)" (PDF). Dân Vi?t-Nam. 3: 61-68.
  • Healy, Dana.(2003). Teach Yourself Vietnamese, Hodder Education, London.
  • Kornicki, Peter (2017), "Sino-Vietnamese literature", in Li, Wai-yee; Denecke, Wiebke; Tian, Xiaofen (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Classical Chinese Literature (1000 BCE-900 CE), Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 568-578, ISBN 978-0-199-35659-1
  • Li, Yu (2020). The Chinese Writing System in Asia: An Interdisciplinary Perspective. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-00-069906-7.
  • Nguyen, ?ang Liêm. (1970). Vietnamese pronunciation. PALI language texts: Southeast Asia. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 0-87022-462-X
  • Nguy?n, ?ình-Hoà. (1955). Qu?c-ng?: The modern writing system in Vietnam. Washington, D. C.: Author.
  • Nguy?n, ?ình-Hoà (1992). "Vietnamese phonology and graphemic borrowings from Chinese: The Book of 3,000 Characters revisited". Mon-Khmer Studies. 20: 163-182.
  • Nguy?n, ?ình-Hoà. (1996). Vietnamese. In P. T. Daniels, & W. Bright (Eds.), The world's writing systems, (pp. 691-699). New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-507993-0.
  • Nguy?n, ?ình-Hoà. (1997). Vietnamese: Ti?ng Vi?t không son ph?n. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. ISBN 1-55619-733-0.
  • Pham, Andrea Hoa. (2003). Vietnamese tone: A new analysis. Outstanding dissertations in linguistics. New York: Routledge. (Published version of author's 2001 PhD dissertation, University of Florida: Hoa, Pham. Vietnamese tone: Tone is not pitch). ISBN 0-415-96762-7.
  • Sassoon, Rosemary (1995). The Acquisition of a Second Writing System (illustrated, reprint ed.). Intellect Books. ISBN 1871516439. Retrieved 2014.
  • Thompson, Laurence E. (1991). A Vietnamese reference grammar. Seattle: University of Washington Press. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 0-8248-1117-8. (Original work published 1965).
  • Wellisch, Hans H. (1978). The conversion of scripts, its nature, history and utilization. Information sciences series (illustrated ed.). Wiley. ISBN 0471016209. Retrieved 2014.
  • Language Monthly, Issues 40-57. Praetorius. 1987. Retrieved 2014.

Further reading

  • Nguyen, A. M. (2006). Let's learn the Vietnamese alphabet. Las Vegas: Viet Baby. ISBN 0-9776482-0-6
  • Shih, Virginia Jing-yi. Quoc Ngu Revolution: A Weapon of Nationalism in Vietnam. 1991.


  1. ^ a b c d Jacques, Roland (2002). Portuguese Pioneers of Vietnamese Linguistics Prior to 1650 - Pionniers Portugais de la Linguistique Vietnamienne Jusqu'en 1650 (in English and French). Bangkok, Thailand: Orchid Press. ISBN 974-8304-77-9.
  2. ^ Jacques, Roland (2004). "B? ?ào Nha và công trình sáng ch? ch? qu?c ng?: Ph?i ch?ng c?n vi?t l?i l?ch s" Translated by Nguy?n ng Trúc. In Các nhà truy?n giáo B? ?ào Nha và th?i k? u c?a Giáo h?i Công giáo Vi?t Nam (Quy?n 1) - Les missionnaires portugais et les débuts de l'Eglise catholique au Viêt-nam (Tome 1) (in Vietnamese & French). Reichstett, France?nh Hng Tùng Th?. ISBN 2-912554-26-8.
  3. ^ a b Tr?n, Qu?c Anh; Ph?m, Th? Ki?u Ly (October 2019). T? Nc M?n n Roma: Nh?ng ?óng góp c?a các giáo s? Dòng Tên trong quá trình La tinh hoá ti?ng Vi?t ? th? k? 17. Conference 400 n?m hình thành và phát tri?n ch? Qu?c ng? trong l?ch s? loan báo Tin M?ng t?i Vi?t Nam. Ho Chi Minh Cityy ban V?n hóa, Catholic Bishops' Conference of Vietnam.
  4. ^ Haudricourt, André-Georges. 2010. "The Origin of the Peculiarities of the Vietnamese Alphabet." Mon-Khmer Studies 39: 89-104. Translated from: Haudricourt, André-Georges. 1949. "L'origine Des Particularités de L'alphabet Vietnamien." Dân Viêt-Nam 3: 61-68.
  5. ^ Jakob Rupert Friederichsen Opening Up Knowledge Production Through Participatory Research? Frankfurt 2009 [6.1 History of Science and Research in Vietnam] Page 126 "6.1.2 French colonial science in Vietnam: With the colonial era, deep changes took place in education, communication, and ... French colonizers installed a modern European system of education to replace the literary and Confucianism-based model, they promoted a romanized Vietnamese script (Qu?c Ng?) to replace the Sino-Vietnamese characters (Hán Nôm)"
  6. ^ "Vietnam Alphabet". vietnamesetypography.
  7. ^ a b c d The close vowels /i, ?, u/ are diphthongized [?i?, ?, ?u?].
  8. ^ "Do you know How to pronounce Igrec?". Retrieved .
  9. ^ See for example Lê Bá Khanh; Lê Bá Kông (1998) [1975]. Vietnamese-English/English-Vietnamese Dictionary (7th ed.). New York City: Hippocrene Books. ISBN 0-87052-924-2.
  10. ^ "vietnamese Alphabet". 2014.
  11. ^ Kornicki 2017, p. 568.
  12. ^ Tran, Anh Q. (October 2018). "The Historiography of the Jesuits in Vietnam: 1615-1773 and 1957-2007". Jesuit Historiography Online. Brill.
  13. ^ Li 2020, p. 106.
  14. ^ Ostrowski, Brian Eugene (2010). "The Rise of Christian Nôm Literature in Seventeenth-Century Vietnam: Fusing European Content and Local Expression". In Wilcox, Wynn (ed.). Vietnam and the West: New Approaches. Ithaca, New York: SEAP Publications, Cornell university Press. pp. 23, 38. ISBN 9780877277828.
  15. ^ "Quoc-ngu | Vietnamese writing system". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved .
  16. ^ a b Nguyên Tùng, "Langues, écritures et littératures au Viêt-nam", Aséanie, Sciences humaines en Asie du Sud-Est, Vol. 2000/5, pp. 135-149.
  17. ^ Pamela A. Pears (2006). Remnants of Empire in Algeria and Vietnam: Women, Words and War. Lexington Books. p. 18. ISBN 0-7391-2022-0. Retrieved .
  18. ^ Tr?n Bích San. "Thi c? và giáo d?c Vi?t Nam di th?i thu?c Pháp" (in Vietnamese). Note 3. "The French had to accept reluctantly the existence of ch? qu?c ng?. The propagation of ch? qu?c ng? in Cochinchina was, in fact, not without resistance [by French authority or pro-French Vietnamese elite] [...] Ch? qu?c ng? was created by Portuguese missionaries according to the phonemic orthography of Portuguese language. The Vietnamese could not use ch? qu?c ng? to learn French script. The French would mispronounce ch? qu?c ng? in French orthography, particularly people's names and place names. Thus, the French constantly disparaged ch? qu?c ng? because of its uselessness in helping with the propagation of French script."
  19. ^ Anderson, Benedict. 1991. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso. pp. 127-128.
  20. ^ Wellisch 1978, p. 94.
  21. ^ "Language Monthly, Issues 40-57" 1987, p. 20.
  22. ^ Sassoon 1995, p. 123.

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