If you are a parent who wants to teach your children a bit of Vietnamese but aren’t sure where to start, we have found lots of great books, apps, language learning systems and some free games that will help your kids learn a bit of Vietnamese in a fun and stress-free way.
Since Vietnamese has six different tones it can be a bit difficult to learn, so the more material that you can expose your kids to, all the better. Unfortunately, there aren’t as many resources for Vietnamese as some of the other languages that we have covered, but there is still lots of great stuff that can help parents at home.
On the positive side, Vietnamese is based on the Roman alphabet (like English) so some people consider it one of the easier Asian languages to learn.
The Best DVDs to Teach Kids Vietnamese
If you are looking for a DVD based language learning system you can try Dino Lingo Vietnamese for Kids. This set has cartoon dinosaur characters that introduce the most common 200 words and phrases in Vietnamese. You can view a preview of the Dino Lingos DVD to get idea of what it is all about.
Basically the 5 DVDs are broken down into different subject matter (counting, eating, playing, action, learning). Dino Lingo DVDs are generally very popular and well-reviewed. Since there isn’t really a lot of choice as far as language systems for kids in Vietnamese, this is definitely material worth considering for kids ages 1-7.
For total immersion DVDs Mandy’s Moon has a great selection of Vietnamese DVDs for children.
Vietnamese Kids Books
When teaching your children a new language at home you should invest in a good picture dictionary like 1000 First Words Vietnamese or the Words 1 Vietnamese/English Children’s Bilingual Picture Book (there are two other books from the same publisher in this series one about the body and another covering shapes and colors.) It’s great for kids to have a reference book that they can go back to if they are wondering about a particular word.
Listening to songs in another language is an easy way to get kids to learn basic vocabulary and pronunciation. A good resource with songs in Vietnamese is Sing ‘n Learn Vietnamese Book with Audio CD. This set has 14 songs and melodies that children will enjoy listening to.
Another way to help children become familiar with a new language is to find stories or books that your child already knows and read them in another language. Language Lizard is a site that offers dual language books for popular titles like Dear Zoo or The Wheels on the Bus, which just means that each page of the book includes Vietnamese and English text on the page.
The publishing company Milet has a huge series of bilingual books in English – Vietnamese with subjects like sports, numbers, music, opposites, animals, fruit, vegetables, home, jobs, colors and more. Most of the books are available on Amazon or directly through their website. On the Milet website you can purchase a 10 book set, which would probably be pretty handy.
Free Online Games to Help Teach Vietnamese
- Digital Dialects has games for learning numbers, colours and vocabulary in Vietnamese.
- Hello World This site is a little confusing to use, but it does have some good material including conversations, songs, a dictionary, games and lots of other things.
- Vuontre is a cool Vietnamese children’s web site. Not for beginners.
Best Apps to Help Kids Learn Vietnamese
Apps are a fun and easy way to help kids learn a new language without them realizing they are learning something useful. Luckily there are some apps designed for kids that will teach them a bit of Vietnamese.
- Vietnamese-English Language for Kids has interactive audio flashcards and games in categories such as animals, basic human anatomy, colors, all with pronunciation from a native speaker.
- Gus on the Go has Gus visiting the cities of Hanoi, Da Nang, Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City and going over how to how to properly pronounce vocabulary words in the following categories: animals, food, transportation, clothes, numbers, colors, parts of the body, and shapes.
Free Online Lessons
I can’t find any free lessons to help teach kids Vietnamese, but there is lots of material for beginners that (with the help of an adult) are also okay for kids to use.
- Learn Vietnamese are some good online video lessons that are simple and short and cover most of the basics.
- VietnamesePod101 is a very slick website with lots of audio and visual lessons as well as well flashcards and lots more.
- Vietnamese for Beginners has free online videos that cover the Vietnamese alphabet, pronunciation, tones, basic grammar and vocabulary.
Let us know if you have any Vietnamese resources that you use with your own family, we would love to share them with others.