Everyone learning Vietnamese wants to learn ‘how people really talk’. But how do Vietnamese people ‘really talk’?

Understanding real speech is not always easy. In the dialogues that we create for our lessons, the speakers always express themselves clearly. But in spontaneous real-life speech, native speakers often fail to reach that standard! Under the pressure of real-time speech production, they produce imperfect language. They make false starts (i.e. they begin a sentence twice or more before getting it right), they choose words that don’t quite fit, and they make little grammatical errors. (Not that Vietnamese speakers are unique in this – speakers of your native language do the same thing.)

All this can be difficult for a learner to navigate. So for our lessons featuring authentic examples of spoken Vietnamese, we choose very carefully. The excerpts (from talk shows, interviews, and movies) are kept quite short – usually around one minute long. We also choose speakers we consider to be reasonably articulate. And we choose excerpts where the ideas being expressed are relatively clear.

We break down the language used in the excerpt, review some of the vocabulary and structures used, and explain any aspects that may be tricky. To consolidate what you learn, we provide a vocabulary review and a comprehension quiz after each lesson.


Topics can vary from the everyday – for example, a girl talking about her experience of changing jobs multiple times – to the more specialized – for example, an architect concerned about the destruction of significant historical buildings.

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