1. Vietnamese people use “chào” when they meet each other.
Read the following chart, and keep in mind that the reference age for the reader is 25 years old. Practice the appropriate greetings for each age group and gender.
|Approximate Age Group||Male||Female|
|Over 65||Chào ông||Chào bà|
|40 – 60||Chào bác / Chào chú / Chào cậu||Chào bác / Chào cô / Chào dì|
|25 – 40||Chào anh||Chào chị|
|Under 25||Chào em||Chào con / Chào cháu|
2. When the name / nickname was known, we can mention it also.
Chào ông Hải.
Chào bà Dung.
Chào bác Nam.
Chào chú Hiền.
Chào cô Lý.
Chào Xuân Bắc.
- The Vietnamese pronoun system is very complex, having hundreds of pronouns, since Vietnamese generally address each other, including in greetings, according to age, familial/social role and gender.
- It’s is polite to address a person as if he (she) is older person. Say “chị Trang”, “anh Thắng” instead of just “Trang” or “Thang” even though that person is of the same age. Only in close acquaintance, then we can address another person by name.
- As for the answer, we should say: “Tên tôi là Trang”, not “Tên tôi là chị Trang”, or "Tên tôi là Thắng", not "Tên tôi là anh Thắng"
- Thus, Vietnamese often ask for your age soon after greeting you, in order to determine how to address you appropriately. Don’t misconstrue this behavior as rudeness.