If you’re learning Vietnamese, chances are no one has taught you how to write an email or letter yet.
That’s because there aren’t many rules for email or letter writing that are specific to Vietnamese. You will be fine as long as you keep it concise.
However, if you need some help filling in that blank page, this comprehensive guide is a great place to start!
Before you start diving in, make sure you review Vietnamese pronouns, which you will use heavily while writing your email.
At the end of this guide you will find an example of an email written in Vietnamese.
You need a concise and to-the-point subject line to quickly convey the email’s topic to the reader.
The following Vietnamese words can be used in the subject line to clarify the type of email which is being sent:
If necessary, add these words in your subject line to indicate that you need a quick response from the recipients:
Once you have a clear and concise email subject line, the next step is to start writing the body of your Vietnamese email.
For most instances, whether formal or informal, the two most common ways to start a Vietnamese email or letter are:
This is completely similar to how you say «hello» in spoken Vietnamese. There are a lot of formalities in spoken Vietnamese already, so this format works in a formal context. On the other hand, its brevity also makes it easy to use in casually written exchanges.
The similarity to the spoken language means learning how to speak Vietnamese will make writing Vietnamese tenfold easier.
You can also start to see here the importance of pronouns. Vietnamese people never refer to someone just by name. Pronouns, which are dictated by age and gender, are crucial in both formal and informal exchanges.
In instances when you need a bit more poise, the following formal Vietnamese email opening lines can be used:
Both «Kính gửi» and «Thưa» correspond to the English word “Dear”.
These are the most formal ways to begin an email or letter in Vietnamese. You can commonly see them in official notices, correspondence from businesses to customers or shareholders, and correspondence containing important deliverables.
Save these opening lines for a job or school application or for writing to an important person.
Lastly, there are endless ways to start an informational written exchange in Vietnamese. Below are a few popular choices:
Yes, the English words. Since the advent of electronic mail, these words have made it into Vietnamese email and letter writing vernacular.
Vietnamese also frequently use the English versions of Internet terms like «email», «copy», «paste», or «cancel» for brevity’s sake. This is especially common for emails among friends or among office workers.
To sign off a formal Vietnamese email or letter, express gratitude to the reader, and express your wish to hear back from them as necessary.
Another way to end a formal email that’s been popularized by businesses is to wish the recipient well:
Lastly, wrap up by adding your usual email signature.
There are two phrases you can use to end pretty much any email in Vietnamese:
If you’re writing specifically to a loved one, whether a family member, friend, lover, or anyone you really care about, use:
There is no direct translation of the word «Thương» in English since it’s an expression of love unique to Vietnamese. However, you can see this as the equivalent of signing “Love, + [SENDER’S NAME]” in an English email.
Below are some common Vietnamese email phrases:
how to state the purpose of an email or letter:
how to let the recipient know about an email attachment
how to let the recipient know where to find information
Vietnamese people are big on gift-giving. On special occasions, gifts and bouquets are accompanied by a small card with brief well-wishes.
Thank you cards are common courtesy in Vietnamese culture, especially to those who have taught or mentored you.
Here are some phrases which can be used when writing a thank you card in Vietnamese:
In Vietnamese, birthday cards are often packed with wishes for the coming year. Start by saying:
Then follow up with one or a few of these well-wishes:
The last wish may come off as strange, but it’s common in Vietnamese culture to comment on a woman’s features. This birthday wish is commonly used among women and is viewed as a compliment toward the recipient’s physical beauty.
Vietnamese people don't write wedding cards. They write wedding envelopes instead.
Why? Because instead of giving gifts to newlyweds, Vietnamese people give them cash. Some even argue that this is way better than giving gifts!
Since there isn’t much space on an envelope, a one-liner should be enough:
Piecing together a few of the phrases above, you can craft a short Vietnamese email or letter in minutes.
In this example, an employee named An is writing to her supervisor, Phương, to ask for feedback on an important report.
With these common phrases, you are all set to write an email in Vietnamese. As you can see, most Vietnamese emails will begin and end in the same ways.
To save time, choose an email formula that works for you so you can get straight into writing the main content.
PS: If you are learning a language, you can use our free web application to record your vocabulary lists and phrase lists