Vietnamese translation services

Vietnamese translation services


Location: Vietnam, Indochina Peninsula, Southeast Asia

Population: 89 million

Language Family: Austro-Asiatic

Related Languages: Khmer, Mon, Chinese, French

Number of Global Speakers: 68 million native speakers and close to 100 million worldwide.

Our Clients: Medical Toxicology and Information Services Ltd, Simple Stats

Vietnamese (tiếng Việt) is the national and official language of Vietnam and the Vietnamese people (Kinh). The language belongs to the Austro-Asiatic family and its alphabet uses a modified Latin script; the name Austro-Asiatic coming from the Latin words for ‘south and ‘Asia’, hence ‘South Asia.’ The Latin script was used by European Catholic missionaries to spread their religion in Vietnam. 66 million people speak the language in Vietnam but through emigration, the language is also spoken in other parts of the world such as Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, South East Asia and the USA. In fact, there is a substantial community of over one million speakers in the United States of America where it is the seventh most spoken language (third in Texas). In France, it is the most spoken Asian language and the eighth most spoken immigrant language at home. In Australia it is the seventh most spoken language. It is also spoken as a second language by many ethnic minorities within Vietnam. In these countries where there is a large presence of immigrant Vietnamese speakers, Vietnamese is taught in educational institutes as a way of maintaining the cultural heritage of the community.

Due to former French colonial rule, Vietnamese does have various similarities to French and certainly in terms of diacritics for tones, plus certain consonants and vowels. For examples the French ‘café’ is

cà phê.’

Vietnamese is the main language for educational, governmental, media and publishing purposes.

Much of the Vietnamese lexicon has origins in Chinese as a result of 1,000 years of Chinese occupation in the country, hence why it is called ‘Sino-Vietnamese vocabulary’. Vietnamese uses modified Chinese characters in Latin script and almost two thirds of the language are words borrowed from Chinese.

Vietnamese has three dialect regions geographically divided into north, central and south. Difference in dialect is noted by tone, differences in basic vocabulary and grammar.

Vietnamese has a large number of vowels and these are distinguished by pronunciation and tone. These tones will vary in length, melody, height and phonation. There is no F, J, W or Z in Vietnamese.

Grammar in Vietnamese is communicated through word order. Nouns do not have a number, gender or case and classifiers are used to demonstrate what type of noun it is for example animate/inanimate. This follows a similar principle to Chinese. Verbs are described using particles instead of gender or number.

The Vietnamese have a strong principle for demonstrating respect to others in their language and it is for this reason that words such as ‘ong’ meaning ‘grandfather’ will be used in an introductory formal conversation. Whereas the word ‘termanh’ meaning ‘older brother’ is used informally.

Vietnamese loanwords:

The ever global community that we live in and the prevalence of technology in daily life means that Vietnamese has also started borrowing words from English and translating them into Vietnamese. For example, the English ‘software’ in Vietnamese is ‘phần mềm’ which back translated into English roughly means ‘soft part’.

Differences between Vietnamese and English:

As already mentioned, Vietnamese is a tonal language, unlike English, where the only times a difference in tone will be seen is when asking questions. The word order in Vietnamese is different to English, with adjectives coming after the noun, instead of before like in English. Verbs in Vietnamese don’t always require conjugating unlike English and tenses are indicated through markers.

Why choose Planet Veritas?

Planet Veritas is internationally renowned for being a provider of quality Vietnamese translation and interpreting services. All of our Vietnamese translation and interpreting services are carried out by native speakers who are qualified to degree level, have 5 years’ professional experience and are registered translators and interpreters.

Trust is a major factor. We trust our Vietnamese translators completely, and we know that you can trust them completely with your Vietnamese translation project too. It is likely that you do not speak Vietnamese yourself, and you may never have even dealt with a project of this nature before. You can be certain that you can put your trust in our Vietnamese translation services.