Cal Poly Pomona

Vietnamese Names

Helpful Hints

  • Words and names are monosyllabic.
  • The only consonant blends are ng and nh. There are no consonant blends at the ends of words such as "sk," "bl," "rg," etc.
  • There are only five final consonants: m, n, p, t, and c.
  • Vietnamese is a tonal language. The six tones used will change the pronunciation and consequently the meaning of words. Four examples are:
    • ma~ --> means horse
    • ma. --> means rice seeding
    • ma' --> means mother
    • ma --> means ghost
  • There are six accent marks which can also change the pronunciation and therefore the meaning of a word. Two examples are:
    • ma^'t --> means lost
    • ma't --> means fresh, cool
  • There are what appears to be inconsistent pronunciations of some vowels, e.g., a' and a should be different because of the accent mark but many sound the same as a result of the context of sounds surrounding the vowels. Some names may appear to be spelled with the same vowel but be pronounced differently. Nam can be heard as nahm and Pham can be heard as fan.

You can learn more about Vietnamese names at Wikipedia.

First Names Pronunciation Last Names Pronunciation
Chi chee Bui boy
Cuc kuk Do doh
Diem yeeyim Doan dohan
Duc duk Duong yung
Dung yuhng Ho hoh
Duong yoong Hoang hwang
Hanh hahn Le lay
Ho hoh Ly lee
Hoa hwa Ngo nwo
Hong howng Nguyen nwen
Hung huhng Pham faam
Lan lahn Phan fan
Liem leeyim Ta taah
Lien leeyin Tang tahng
Loc lowk To toh
Nam nahm Tran truhn
Nga nga Truong truhng
Nguyet nwyit Vo vah
Mai mah-ee Vu vu
Minh min Vuong vwuhng
Pham fam    
Phu foo    
Thi tee    
Thien teeyen    
Tho toy or tahoo    
Thuy twee    
Tuan twahn, twuhn    
Tuyet tweeyit    
Viet wee-et    
Xuan swuhn    

Thanks to Truc Nguyen for improving the accuracy of this page!

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updated May 24, 2006

May 24, 2006May 24, 2006