Diphthongs & Triphthongs

Vietnamese diphthongs and triphthongs are sounds formed by the combination of two or more vowels in a single syllable. In the Northern Vietnamese Dialect, the sound usually begins as one vowel and then moves toward the sound of another vowel as listed below. However, diphthongs and triphthongs are pronounced quite differently in the Southern Vietnamese Dialect. Learn the Southern Vietnamese Diphthongs and Triphthongs in the Online Classroom (Course 2). The related textbook is included with the course.

Vietnamese Diphthongs & Triphthongs Graph

Diphthongs & Triphthongs

ai “ai” – like “I” or “eye” (Listen)
ao “ao” like ouch (more focus on a) (Listen)
au “au” like owl (more focus on u) (Listen)
ay “ay” like English I, E (Listen)
âu “âu” like oh, really (Listen)
ây “ây” like uh-ee (Listen)
eo “e” like egg, “o” like ouch (Listen)
êu “e” like egg, “u” like oops (Listen)
ia “i” like English E, “a” like ah (Listen)
“i” like English E, “e” like egg (Listen)
iêu “iê” like English E, “u” like oo (Listen)
oa “o” like awe, “a” like “I” (Listen)
oe “o” like awe, “e” like achoo! (Listen)
oi “oi” like boy (Listen)
ôi “ôi” like annoying (Listen)
ơi “ơi” like ugly (omit -gl) (Listen)
oai Aw-eye-ee (Listen)
“u” like cool, “ô” like oh yeah (Listen?)
ươ “ư” like ugh, yuck!

“ơ” like uuh, I’m not sure. (Listen)

ua “u” like cool, “a” like uh (Listen)
ưa “ư” like ugh, yuck! “a” like uh (Listen)
“u” like cool,” ê” like egg (Listen)
uy “u” like cool,” “y” like seed

(short u, long y) (Listen)

ui “u” like cool,” “i” like seed

(long u, short I) (Listen)

uôi “u” like cool

“ô” like oh yeah

“i” like seed (Listen)

ươi “ư” like ugh, yuck!

“ơ” like uuh, I’m not sure.

“i” like seed (Listen)