Can North Vietnamese and South Vietnamese speakers understand each other?

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Can North Vietnamese and South Vietnamese speakers understand each other?

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13 Answers

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It’s a regional dialect/ accent.

If you want to compare Northern Vietnamese dialect and Southern Vietnamese dialect, try comparing the varieties of American dialects.

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To answer your question (relatively), can any American speakers understand each other???

Hopefully, if you do answer this then…

Congratulations, you just found the answer that would apply to the dialect differences from ANY countries outside of the U.S, which includes your question.

answered by
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There are two types of understanding you have to separate. The first one is acoustic understanding. Of course, North Vietnamese and South Vietnamese speakers can understand each other when they actively hear and talk like humans.

The second one is emotional and mental understanding. This one relates to emotional intelligence. Not everyone has highly emotional intelligence or tries to understand others kindly. Therefore, in General, North Vietnamese and South Vietnamese don't understand each other mentally and emotionally due to significantly different local customs and history. Many North Vietnamese consider the South Vietnamese to be sons and daughters of boat people and slaves of American invaders in the Vietnam war, or even cheap prostitutes of Americans. The North Vietnamese say that the South Vietnamese spend all money they earn for eating and playing without thinking of the future. On the other hand the South Vietnamese hate North Vietnamese and consider them to be communists, who are just loyal to China! The South Vietnamese look down on the North Vietnamese. I have a girl friend in the Northern province Hưng Yên, she said that her parents never allow her to marry a Southern man.

Vietnam is a splitted country. When the Covid-19 rises in the South, the North Vietnamese brutally blame the South Vietnamese on expanding of the pandemic. The Northern people say that the Southern people cannot be governed and are guilty and stupid.

Thus, the North Vietnamese and South Vietnamese don't understand each other in sense of a united folk. This is a failure of Vietnam.

answered by
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The north-south split was political. And many who served Saigon had been born in the north and moved south during a cease-fire that should have been resolved by an election.

The USA prevented the election, which Ho Chi Minh was expected to win.

There are regional dialects, but they can call understand each other.

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answered by
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People in the North, Central and South of Vietnam, in general, a language called Vietnamese, but each region they speak a different accent, similar to American English, Australian English... they can completely understand together.

answered by
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Yes, there are just some local words in different places but we can understand 99% (i have to say the Vietnamese education greatly erased the difference and teach us alot of local words in the textbook)

I think we can compare it with the US English and the UK English. We almost have no problem of understanding but we have different accent and some different local words

answered by
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Yes. My mom is from Saigon, and she can understand the northern dialect perfectly. I’ve only ever spoken Vietnamese at home (in the southern dialect, of course), and I can kind of understand northern Vietnamese - but I’m Vietnamese-American, anywho. I’d imagine that I’d understand it more proficiently if I met more people who spoke that dialect, since the accent is a bit strong for me personally.

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Of course, they are just accents, at most dialects and both are completely mutually intelligible.

However, I have to sometime re-ask some Northern Vietnamese sentences since sometime, the vocabularies of the two varies for a same word.

Central Vietnamese accents/dialects however are super hard for me and I have to closely listens to barely get it, I don’t even get most of their pronouns and vocabs, they are also much more diverse in quantities compare to North & South.

answered by
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That would be like asking if someone from Boston can understand someone from Los Angeles (and vice versa). In both cases, they speak the exact same language, but both also have regional nuances that might require clarification.

answered by
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Thank you for asking to answer.

Yes. Definitely. They do speak the same language after all. It's the question that asked and answered countless times on VietnamAnswer and many other forums, so I'm not going to repeat in details here. All I have to reply your request is that:

Asking “ Can North Vietnamese and South Vietnamese speakers understand each other?” is just like asking “ Can British English speakers and American English speakers understand each other?.

Best regards.

answered by
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No, they can't understand each other, especially when they meet for the first time, because the Northern accent is stronger and heavier than the Southern accent. Furthermore, some things have different names, such as:

Bowl: chén (South); bát (North)

Ladle: cái vá (south); cái môi or cái muôi (North)

A glass of ice: tẩy đá or ly đá (South); ly đá (North)

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