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The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Vietnamese language pronunciations in Wikipedia articles. 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[1] anh (unwritten, occurs before initial vowels) uh-oh; informal British button
ɓ ba almost like bee
ɗ đi almost like day but "swallowed"
f ph fight
ɣ ga; ghế Spanish: amigo
h[1] hàng high
k[1] cô, kem, quốc scan
x khô loch (H & C); can (S)
l là low
m mai my
n nam no
ɲ nhà French agneau, Spanish enseñar
ŋ[1] ngâm; nghe singer
p pin[2] sport
s s xa so
ʂ sáu almost like show
t tây stop
thầy top
chè cheese (unaspirated)
ʈʂ tra almost like choose (unaspirated)
v j v[3] van
z z già, giết zero
j da, danh yellow
ʐ ra, rồi similar to pleasure
Medial glide
ʷ [1] oanh; quốc quick
Final consonants
j i, tay[4] boy
m thêm pom
n min (/n/ after /i, e, ɛ/)[5] pin
n ŋ ban (/n/ after other vowels)
ŋ trứng ping
ŋm hồng[6]
ɲ n nh[5][4] onion (various pronunciations)
p tiếp hip
t chít (/t/ after /i, e, ɛ/)[5] pit
t k xuất (/t/ after other vowels)
k ác pick
kp học[6]
jk c t ch[5][4] technical (various pronunciations)
w tao, triệu[6] how
IPA Examples English approximation
a ăn; anh almost like cut
ba[7] between cat and father
e v almost like sit
ɛ xe set
ə ân; bênh person
əː bơ furry
i khi; quy see
ɨ tư similar to glasses
o cô similar to good
ɔ có; xoong law
u ru too
vn, bia beer (British English)
ɨə xương, chưa No English equivalent
uống, mua sure (British English)
IPA Examples Hanoi Ho Chi Minh City
ā ə̄ a [˧˧] [˧˧]
à ə̀ à [˨˩] [˨˩]
ǎ ə̌ á, ấc[8] [˧˥] [˧˥]
â ə̂ ,[9] ậc[8] [˧˩] [˧˩˧]
ǎˀ ə̌ˀ ã [˧ˀ˥] [˧˩˧]
âˀ ə̂ˀ [˧ˀ˩ʔ] [˨˧]


  1. ^ a b c d e In southern dialects, the clusters / hʷ, kʷ, ŋʷ, ʔʷ/ all merge into [w], and /ʷ/ is otherwise dropped.
  2. ^ [p] appears only in loanwords, and is often replaced by [ɓ].
  3. ^ [v] may be used as a spelling pronunciation in southern dialects.
  4. ^ a b c In northern dialects, the vowels /i, e, ɛ/ become [ij, əj, aj] before the velar finals /k, ŋ/.
  5. ^ a b c d In southern dialects, the vowels /i, e, ɛ/ become [ɨ, ə, a] before the alveolar consonants [t, n].
  6. ^ 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]).
  7. ^ /aː/ may be pronounced [æ].
  8. ^ a b Before a final /p, t, c, k/, the six tones of Vietnamese are reduced to two.
  9. ^ 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.