How Close Related Is Thai VS Vietnamese Language (2023)

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On February 9, 2021 / Language Translation, Localization, Translation

This post was last updated on April 6th, 2022 at 06:58 am

How Close Related Is Thai VS Vietnamese Language (1)

How Close Related Is Thai VS Vietnamese Language (2)

The Thai Language and Thai VS Vietnamese Language

The Thai Language and Thai VS Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt) Language Thai, also known as Siamese, is the national and official language of the people of Thailand. We will explain in this article about Thai VS Vietnamese Language.

All of the Central Thai people and most Thai Chinese speak it as their first language. It belongs to the Thai branch of the Kra-Dai family of languages. It is mutually intelligible to a certain degree with other Tai languages, including Lao and Isan. There are 36 million native speakers of the Thai language. Millions also speak it of people as a second language.

The Thai script is used for writing the Thai language. The alphabet has 44 consonants and 16 vowels. If you’ve recently started studying Thai, you probably have come across consonant clusters. If you teach yourself to read, write, or spell Thai words, you may also want to know the advanced rules to improve your Thai language in which consonant clusters play an important role.

Outside of Thailand, Thai is spoken in Malaysia, Myanmar, and Cambodia. A significant percentage of the vocabulary of Thai has been borrowed from Sanskrit, Pali, and Old Khmer. Hundreds of languages are spoken in Thailand, Malaysia, and Cambodia.

As a result, Thai has been influenced by various other languages and dialects over the years. The influence of China over the country’s culture has also affected the language. English and Mandarin are two of the foreign languages that have had the most influence on the Thai language but is also very important for Thai Translation Services.

How Close Related Is Thai VS Vietnamese Language (3)

How Close Related Is Thai VS Vietnamese Language (4)

(Video) Southeast Asia Pronunciation Differences!! Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia Part 2!!

The Vietnamese Language:

Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt) belong to the Austroasiatic language family. It originated in Vietnam, where it is the official and national language today. There are approximately 90 million native speakers of Vietnamese. It is recognized as a minority language in the Czech Republic.

Northern dialects, centered in Hanoi, are the basis for Vietnamese’s official form. Central Vietnamese, centered in Hue, and the Southern dialect, centered in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), differ from the Northern norm in having fewer tones and modifying certain consonants. Historically, the language was written in the Chữ Nôm, which was based on Chinese and locally invented characters.

But a modern Vietnamese alphabet was adopted after the French colonial rule. The contemporary script is based on the Latin alphabet. Accent marks are used in the alphabet for tones. If you have questions about Vietnamese Translation Services contact us.

How Closely Are Related to Thai and Vietnamese?

Despite their differences, the world’s people have many things in common. Whenever they come into contact with others, they influence them and get influenced by them. This is why nothing ever stays the same in the world. Our cultures and languages are constantly evolving. Even the languages that are not a part of the same group end up affecting each other. The popularity of a language increases its chances of affecting other tongues. English is the most prominent example of this. Regardless of where you live in the world, you would be familiar with a few English words at least.

But the extent to which languages affect each other varies. There is a lot that we still don’t know about them. For instance, we still don’t know if Japanese is related to any other language or not. One such question that linguists get asked a lot is the Thai Vs. Vietnamese language connection. Some people also think that Khmer is related to the two languages. However, Thai and Vietnamese have no direct connection at all. They belong to different language families and are spoken in different parts of the world. They also have different writing systems. But they have some similarities that can make people think that they are related to each other.

Phu Quoc, a Vietnamese island, lies in the Gulf of Thailand, which though, not directly join the two countries together but shares a connection that leads to so many similarities between the two as their cultures are related. The distance from Phu Quoc to Bangkok (capital of Thailand) is around 900 km by land.

Since ancient times, Thai and Vietnamese have been affecting each other. Both the languages have been heavily influenced by Chinese vocabulary so they may sound similar. Their shared history is why the two languages seem identical to most people.

How Close Related Is Thai VS Vietnamese Language (5)

Here are the similarities between Thai and Vietnamese:

(Video) Thai ไทย⇔Vietnamese Tiếng Việt - How much Shared Vocabulary? Speed up Learning New Words 粵語 越語 泰語

  • Analytic and Tonal:

Both Thai and Vietnamese are analytic languages. In logical language, helper words show the connection between words in a sentence. This is a feature that these two shares with other Asian languages like Mandarin. Like Mandarin, both Thai and Vietnamese are tonal languages. There are six Vietnamese tones, whereas Thai has five tones. Thai tones are a bit different than Vietnamese tones.

  • Sounds and Vowels:

The biggest reason people think Thai and Vietnamese are related is the fact that they sound similar to nonnatives. Especially the vowels of the two languages can sound very similar. The overall sound and tone of both languages are also very similar.

  • Vocabulary:

More than half of the Vietnamese vocabulary can be traced back to Chinese. Thai has also taken some loan words from the official language of China. This is why the two languages have shared vocabularies. There are plenty of terms that are the same in both languages. Although this does not make the two languages mutually intelligible, they look and sound pretty similar.

  • Word Order:

The word order of these languages makes them different from European languages. However, the word order of Thai and Vietnamese is the same in many cases, which is another considerable similarity between them. The comprehensive grammar of the two languages is also very similar.

  • Specific Pronouns:

Like other Asian languages, Thai and Vietnamese have specific pronouns for referring to people based on their age and gender. There are also different Thai and Vietnamese words for speaking to one’s child, parent, brother, and sister. The relationship you have with someone will decide the pronoun you should use for them.

How Close Related Is Thai VS Vietnamese Language (6)

How did the Americans Influence Vietnamese Culture?

It isn’t just the French colonialists who changed the foods and buildings of the Indochinese population. Everything from Vietnamese cuisine and the interior of restaurants to the official language and literature was also influenced by the Americans. Many literary movements started only because of colonialists. The foreign forces changed the everyday life of every citizen by influencing the staple food, buildings, fashion, and language, which in turn led to the country’s economic development. Unlike the French, the American influence is not openly accepted. It also inspired the natives to be more independent in their choices.

The views of the natives regarding the Americans have started changing. Many natives moved to the US over the years to improve their financial status and live a better life. This has brought the two cultures together.

A significant percentage of Asians live in the US today and continue to influence local culture, so it’s safe to say that Asian countries significantly impact US citizens. Asian cuisine is the most famous of it all, including various Vietnamese food Thai food like Pad Thai, which the Americans love. The number 1 reason Thai Food is so prevalent in America is its flavor. In New York City, Thai food was the default takeout for many and delivery orders. Thai restaurants in American cities and suburbs have suggested that it’s simply because Thai food tastes good or happens to hit the American palate in just the right way.


Vietnamese coffee is also widespread in America in many fancy cafes known as cà phê sữa đá, an iced coffee, and condensed milk drink more popularly known as ‘Vietnamese iced coffee.’ Today New York has some of the best Vietnamese food in America. Grilled chicken over rice is a dish made by chef Dennis. The initial inspiration came from a beloved version of ‘com gà’ from his parents’ hometown, Nha Trang: poached, shredded chicken and handfuls of rau ram sitting atop turmeric rice, laced with aioli. It was something he loved eating whenever he visited Vietnam.

‘Chowmein’ is a type of Chinese food in most restaurants in the US, and don’t forget about the ‘Feng Shui’ tradition, which also dramatically affects the US culture. Another influence the Vietnamese culture has on Americans is that they adapted their way of living. Vietnamese families live under the same roof with their maternal paternal relatives like uncles, aunts, and cousins; Americans adapted their nuclear pattern by maintaining close relations with their extended families.

According to a 2002 Census Bureau survey of Vietnamese American-owned firms, more than 50 percent of the businesses are services for personnel or repair and maintenance.

Erica J. Peters, author of “Appetites and Aspirations in Vietnam: Food and Drink in the Long 19th Centuries,” says, “The immigrant story is that you miss the foods from your home country when they’re not available, and you talk to each other a lot about, ‘Well, how can we make do? How can we recreate some of the flavors of what we had there?’

The French influence in Vietnam proves that it isn’t just the colonial influence that can change a country’s culture.

How Close Related Is Thai VS Vietnamese Language (7)

(Video) The Vietnamese Language


Is Vietnamese spoken in Thailand?

Though they are closely related, there is no direct link between them. However, there are many languages like ‘Phu Thai,’ ‘Tai Lue,’ and ‘Tai Dam,’ spoken in Vietnam and Thailand.

Which language is easier Thai or Vietnamese?

The Thai language is generally considered harder for English speakers, especially reading and writing. Thai is difficult to masterfully. On the other hand, Vietnamese pronunciation is more complex than Thai.

How different are Thai and Vietnamese?

They both have different tones. Vietnamese has six styles, and Thai has 5. Many words may sound similar, but they’ll have different meanings.

Is Thai or Vietnamese better?

(Video) Thai vs. Vietnamese Manners - Bradley Lum Comedy Time

Both languages are beautiful in their own ways.

If we can help you with any questions, please feel free to contact us



Is Vietnamese language similar to Thai? ›

To save some of the suspense, though, let me say that linguistically speaking, the languages are not similar because they belong to different language families. Thai belongs to the Tai language family, and Vietnamese belongs to Mon-Khmer. Whether you're learning Thai or Vietnamese, Ling is perfect for you.

What language is most similar to Thai? ›

Lao and Thai languages are very similar to each other. In fact, the two languages are linguistically similar, though their writing script varies a bit.

What language is closest to Vietnamese? ›

Once known as Annamese, Vietnamese is part of the huge Austro-Asiatic language tree. That means it comes from similar roots as Khmer in Cambodia and several other languages spoken by minority groups in the surrounding regions.

Which language is harder Thai or Vietnamese? ›

Vietnamese is easier than Thai. The use of the Latin alphabet is easier to learn and start reading. The pronunciation and grammar are similar and take an equal amount of time to learn. The Thai alphabet has a more significant learning curve and therefore takes longer.

Why do Thais sound like Vietnamese? ›

Since ancient times, Thai and Vietnamese have been affecting each other. Both the languages have been heavily influenced by Chinese vocabulary so they may sound similar. Their shared history is why the two languages seem identical to most people.

Is Pho Vietnamese or Thai? ›

The most popular Vietnamese dish is pho. Pho is a broth-based soup with rice noodles, meat, and herbs. The French influence shows in the popular banh mi sandwich.

Is Thai the hardest language to learn? ›

Although the Thai language isn't considered to be one of the easiest languages to learn for English speakers, that doesn't mean it's impossible. Many aspects make Thai a difficult language to learn, but if you are dedicated and you practice daily, it can also be really easy.

Do they speak Vietnamese in Thailand? ›

Sixty-two 'domestic' languages are officially recognized, and international languages spoken in Thailand, primarily by international workers, expatriates and business people, include Burmese, Karen, English, Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese, among others.

Is Thai a beautiful language? ›

Thai is one of the world's most beautiful languages. The phrases and sounds are so melodic you'll love to practice.

Who are the Vietnamese descended from? ›

According to Vietnamese legend The Tale the Hồng Bàng Clan (Hồng Bàng thị truyện) written in the 15th century, the first Vietnamese descended from the dragon lord Lạc Long Quân and the fairy Âu Cơ. They married and had one hundred eggs, from which hatched one hundred children. Their eldest son ruled as the Hùng king.

Should I learn Vietnamese or Thai? ›

If you live in Thailand, learn Thai. If you live in Vietnam, learn Vietnamese. If you're learning just for fun, choose the one that piques your curiosity more. Otherwise there's little point to learn either.

What is the longest word in Vietnamese? ›

nghiêng. This clearly isn't the longest word in the world, but this Vietnamese word at just seven letters long has the distinction of being the longest word in Vietnamese.

Which is the 2 toughest language in the world? ›

2. Arabic. Arabic is the queen of poetic languages, the 6th official language of the UN and second on our list of toughest languages to learn.

Which is the worlds toughest language? ›

Mandarin Chinese

Interestingly, the hardest language to learn is also the most widely spoken native language in the world. Mandarin Chinese is challenging for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the writing system is extremely difficult for English speakers (and anyone else) accustomed to the Latin alphabet.

What are the top 3 hardest languages to speak? ›

Let's explore the 10 hardest languages for English speakers to learn, and the challenges they deliver:
  1. Mandarin. Mandarin is spoken by 70% of the Chinese population, and is the most spoken language in the world. ...
  2. Arabic. ...
  3. 3. Japanese. ...
  4. Hungarian. ...
  5. Korean. ...
  6. Finnish. ...
  7. Basque. ...
  8. Navajo.
16 Sept 2022

What is considered rude in Thai culture? ›

Pointing at another person with one's index finger or feet is considered rude. The soles of one's feet should never be pointed at another person. One should sit in a way that avoids this. Feet should also not be rested on tables or pillows that people sleep on.

Are Thailand and Vietnam friends? ›

Thailand and Vietnam were major historical rivals in Mainland Southeast Asia and still have an intense rivalry with each other. However, they have since maintained peaceful bilateral relations, especially as since Vietnam integrated with the international community beginning in 1986.

Which country has the most Thais? ›

About 51–57 million live in Thailand alone, while large communities can also be found in the United States, China, Laos, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, Burma, South Korea, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Sweden, Norway, Libya, and the United Arab Emirates.

Is Vietnamese curry similar to Thai curry? ›

Vietnamese chicken curry is much thinner than Japanese or Thai curry. It tastes much closer to Japanese curry, but with a subtle sweetness from coconut milk that Thai curry has. There really is nothing better than dipping a toasty piece of bread into the rich broth!

Is Pad Thai a Vietnamese dish? ›

Pho is Vietnamese cuisine whereas Pad Thai is Thai cuisine. Pho is commonly seen as a beef or chicken broth based soup that includes noodles topped with fresh vegetables. Pad Thai is a stir fry noodle dish that melds together fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, and tamarind paste. What is this?

What cuisine is similar to Thai? ›

Thai & Vietnamese are similar with both using rice, noodles, garlic, ginger, and fresh herbs like cilantro and basil. However, Vietnamese food is lighter and milder. The French occupation of Vietnam also brought ingredients like potatoes, asparagus, & baguettes to further accentuate the differences.

Is Thai easier than Chinese? ›

The course focuses on everyday spoken Thai. Compared to other Asian languages it is easier than Chinese because it has an alphabet and easier than Vietnamese because it only has five tones. Thai and Chinese grammar are practically the same, so learning Thai will help if you want to learn Chinese later.

How long does it take to speak Thai fluently? ›

To become completely fluent in Thai, you'll need to put in a whopping 2,500 hours (100 weeks if you study 25 hours a week). Here's everything you should know about reaching the advanced level.

What are the top 4 hardest languages to learn? ›

Generally, if you're an English speaker with no exposure to other languages, here are some of the most challenging and difficult languages to learn: Mandarin Chinese. Arabic. Vietnamese.

Can you kiss in public in Thailand? ›

Thailand. Unless you're in the confines of your resort or hotel room, kissing in public is a major no-no in Thailand. In more cosmopolitan areas like Bangkok, hand holding is okay.

Which country is Thai Nguyen? ›

Thai Nguyen Province is the leading heavy industries hub in northern Vietnam with top state-owned Thai Nguyen Iron and Steel Company found in Thai Nguyen city. In addition to heavy industries, tourism is also a major earner for the province.

How long Vietnamese can stay in Thailand? ›

Citizens of Vietnam are permitted to stay up to 30 days under the Bilateral Agreement with Thailand if entering via international airport or through a land border checkpoint from a neighboring country, e.g., Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia.

Why do Thai say ka? ›

Thai women end sentences with “ka” while Thai men use “krub” as dictated by social etiquette. What's surprising is that many Thais still feel the need to say “ka” or “krub” even when they are not speaking or writing in Thai. “In Thai 'krub' and 'ka' are polite particles added to the end of a sentence.

What are the 3 most beautiful languages? ›

And the most beautiful languages in the world are…
  • FRENCH – MOST BEAUTIFUL SPOKEN LANGUAGE. If there is a language which draws a unanimous worldwide consent regarding its beauty, it is French. ...
18 Aug 2016

What does Jing Jing mean in Thai? ›

จริงๆ – Jing-jing

Meaning: This is used when you're being earnest. It is similar to “Really!” or “Seriously!” or “I'm telling the truth!” and you use it when you really mean something.

Are Vietnamese and Koreans related? ›

This means that Koreans' hereditary ancestors are closely related to both the ancient people of Vietnam and Taiwan in the south and the ancient people of the north.

What was Vietnam originally called? ›

During the Tang dynasty, Vietnam was called Annam until 866 AD. With its capital around modern Bắc Ninh, Annam became a flourishing trading outpost, receiving goods from the southern seas.

What is your ethnicity if you are from Vietnam? ›

Asian A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian Subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Is Vietnamese the world's hardest language? ›

Although all Asian languages are relatively harder for English native speakers to learn, Vietnamese is one of the easier one compared to Korean, Chinese, Japanese and so on. It is because Vietnamese adopts Latin alphabet and no plural forms and articles.

Is Vietnam or Thailand better expats? ›

Overall, the cost of living in Vietnam is lower than Thailand, even in a major city such as Ho Chi Minh City. As an expat, you can expect to pay about 20 to 30% less than you would in Thailand, although not everything will be more affordable.

What does Nguyen mean in Vietnam? ›

Updated on October 15, 2019. Nguyen is the most common surname in Vietnam and among the top 100 last names in the United States, Australia, and France. Meaning "musical instrument" and actually rooted in Chinese, Nguyen is an interesting name that you'll encounter throughout the world.

What does Dinky Dow mean in Vietnamese? ›

From the internets dictionary: An expression commonly used in Vietnam was, "boocoo dinky dow", spelled correctly would be "beaucoup dien cai dau" meaning much crazy in the head or perhaps as the Vietnamese may have said, crazy as a kicking rooster, much like the American expression, "mad as a wet hen."

What do Vietnamese call foreigners? ›

There are many words: Correct translations of “foreigner” are “người nước ngoài” (formal), “người nước bạn” (informal or comedic), “người ngoại quốc” (formal and rare). Foreigner is a general term in Vietnam, which indicates all non-Vietnamese people.

Do people from Thailand speak Vietnamese? ›

Sixty-two 'domestic' languages are officially recognized, and international languages spoken in Thailand, primarily by international workers, expatriates and business people, include Burmese, Karen, English, Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese, among others.

Is Vietnamese better than Thai? ›

Vietnamese food usually contains fresh, raw vegetables, whereas Thai food usually contains stir-fried vegetables. Vietnamese cuisine is considered one of the healthiest in the world, while Thai food is considered the spiciest. Peanuts are also commonly used in both cuisines.

Who are Thai people descended from? ›

Origin of the Thai

Based on genetic evidence, Jerold A. Edmondson suggests that the ancestors of the Tai-Kadai-speaking inhabitants migrated from India to Myanmar, and then to Yunnan (China) about 20,000 - 30,000 years ago.

What language did Thai evolve from? ›

The Thai language originates from the Tai language family. This language family is distributed throughout Southern China, Southeast Asia, and Northeast India. That's why Thai shares many similarities and words with other languages in these areas.

What country is Vietnam most similar to? ›

According to the Index, Laos is the most similar country to Vietnam.


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