Vietnamese is a beautiful language with a rich culture and history. Unfortunately though, finding good reasons for learning Vietnamese is difficult. It’s not the most popular foreign language around, so companies aren’t quick to spend time and money to develop Vietnamese apps or courses.
It’s true that as a Vietnamese learner you may not have the lion’s share of options. Still there are some notable apps for learning the language that are effective and will help you on your journey to fluency.
Here’s our list of the best Vietnamese learning apps.
Vietnamesepod101 is the most popular app for learning Vietnamese, as well as the largest learning hub for all things related to the Vietnamese language. There are hundreds of podcast style audio lessons on Vietnamesepod101. The difficulty ranges from absolute beginner all the way up to advanced. Each podcast lesson features an actual conversation between Vietnamese speakers in a real life scenario. Each lesson (aka episode) also has two hosts who preface the dialogue. They guide you through lessons and explain important phrases, grammar, and even cultural observations. Transcripts are provided in Vietnamese as well as English.
While the podcast lessons make up the bulk of the content on Vietnamesepod101, there are a ton of other resources to check out as well. There’s a Vietnamese-English dictionary, an alphabet and pronunciation guide, grammar tutorials, ebooks, essential phrase lists (with audio), a blog on learning Vietnamese, and more.
The sheer volume of lessons and content on Vietnamesepod101 make it a great choice for anyone learning the Vietnamese language.
2) Pimsleur Vietnamese
Pimsleur Vietnamese is an audio course with a single objective: get you speaking and thinking in Vietnamese. Each lesson is thirty minutes long, and teaches you conversational phrases and questions. You learn each phrase word by word and syllable by syllable, repeating after the native speaker in the course. Once you learn the phrases you are prompted to answer and ask questions in Vietnamese in response to another person speaking Vietnamese to you via recording. You have a short amount of time to respond correctly before the correct response is given. Each lesson will mix and match the phrases you’ve learned. It’s hard to predict what phrase will be thrown at you. It’s this unique method that simulates a real conversation with a native speaker, and forces your brain to think in Vietnamese.
No other app I’m aware of teaches conversational Vietnamese as effectively as Pimsleur. The only drawback is that the app only offers one level. If you’re a beginner this isn’t a problem. If you’re an intermediate or advanced learner then Pimsleur might not be worth your time.
3) Learn Vietnamnese with Master Ling
Learn Vietnamese with Master Ling is a Vietnamese learning app somewhat comparable to Duolingo. It uses interactive mini games and exercises to help you learn Vietnamese. Some of the activities on the app include: Practice conversations with chatbots, recorded dialogues, flashcards, quizzes, writing practice, word to picture matching, and more. The app is designed for beginners with little to no experience in Vietnamese. The first two units of the app are free. To access to rest of the content you will
Italki is my personal favorite app on this list because it gives you the opportunity to learn Vietnamese with real people. Italki is essentially an online marketplace for language learners looking for personal teachers and tutors offering lessons through Skype. There are over 80 Vietnamese language teachers offering lessons on Italki at the time this article was written. Many teachers provide learning materials such as audio, pdf textbooks, and video content to teach Vietnamese. Methods and materials vary from teacher to teacher, so be sure to try out a couple before committing to more lessons.
In addition to Italki’s paid lessons, there are some awesome free features on the app as well. You can search the profiles of other language learners and connect with Vietnamese speakers who are learning English. This is a great way to set up a language exchange and help each other in your respective target languages. Italki also has a free public journal. You can write journal entries in Vietnamese and have them corrected by native speakers.
*With purchase of $20 or more. After you complete your first lesson 10 free Italki credits will be added to your account.
5) Duolingo Vietnamese
Duolingo’s Vietnamese app is great for learning foundational vocabulary and basic grammar. Duolingo’s gamified approach makes for an overall engaging learning experience. Through the app you will learn Vietnamese with listening comprehension exercises, reading exercises, sentence translation, fill in the blank, multiple choice questions, words matching, and more. The main version of the app is ad supported and free to use. You can also sign up from a premium account which removes ads, unlocks some premium features, and also for unlimited usage.
The downside of Duolingo is that it doesn't go in depth with grammar explanations. This is fine at first. As you work your way through the Vietnamese app and the phrases you work with become more complex and nuanced. Duolingo doesn’t always explain exactly what’s going on in a sentence and you’re left to do the guess work.
6) Drops Vietnamese
Drops is the most visually striking Vietnamese learning app on this list. It’s beautifully designed in a way that enhances the learning experience. Drops teaches phrases and vocabulary. Lessons are sorted by topic and you work through them almost like an interactive phrasebook. The audio features native Vietnamese speakers.
7) Simply Learn Vietnamese
Simply Learn Vietnamese is a free ad supported app that teaches you conversational Vietnamese. It’s basically a bonafide Vietnamese audio phrasebook made by native speakers. Simply Learn Vietnamese also features different exercises to help you remember and retain the phrases you learn such as quizzes, tests, and flashcards.