Memrise is a cool, free website (and app) that can help you memorize anything (in this case, Vietnamese vocabulary) in a fun, and sometimes competitive way.

There are quite a few Vietnamese vocabulary courses on Memrise.  Before you study them you should check with a native speaker to make sure they are from the dialect of Vietnamese that you are interested in learning.  Most of the vocabulary on Memrise is the southern dialect, so if you use it in the north you are going to get funny looks from people.

You can make your own levels to help remember your own vocabulary.  I made a level in Memrise with a lot of Vietnamese words.

Check it out!

Vietnamese I’ve Heard



I have personally used 3 books that I would recommend.  There are lots of resources out there and you can waste time learning from books that have irrelevant or inaccurate material.

The first one is Elementary Vietnamese by Ninh Nhu Ngo.  This is a good starting point.  The first 8 lessons are about pronunciation and then grammar and vocabulary is covered.  This book was used to teach Vietnamese at Harvard University.  Get the audio that accompanies the book.  I self studied this book and asked friends to check my assignments when I finished them.

There is a sequel to this book, Continuing Vietnamese.  I studied some of it but I found it to be a bit dry and the vocabulary was not very usable.

Elem VN

The second book, Vietnamese Advanced Reading Comprehension for Foreigners, has great information about history, culture and lifestyle in North Vietnam.  There are vocabulary building and comprehension questions that are great.

After reading this book  you can have conversations with locals about a variety of subjects from Vietnamese cities to the culture of tea and the history of bia hơi (Vietnamese beer in a keg).

Bài Đọc Tiếng VIệt Nâng Cao The third book, Intermediate Vietnamese for Non-Native Speakers, is pretty good.  There are some mistakes with the layout and content, but overall I think it was worthwhile.  There are lots of discussion sections so you need someone to study with you.  I hired a Vietnamese university student to come to my house a few times a week to check my work and do the discussion activities.

There several other books in this series but I haven’t personally used them.

Tiếng Việt Nâng Cao