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How To Addressing Vietnamese Correctly

Vietnamese name generally contains three parts: family name or surname, middle name and last name. Vietnamese family name comes first and then middle name and last name. For example Phan Van Khai, Phan is the family name, Khai is the first name and Van is the middle name.

It is always a good idea to ask a native speaker which name is the family name and which name you should call your partner. Vietnamese always say the first name when they want to mention someone.

For business purposes, it is traditionally acceptable to call a Vietnamese person by the surname, together with a title, such as “Director Pham” or “Chairman Nguyen.” If a person does not have a professional title, you can address a person using his or her first name, such as Mr. Khai or Ms. Thu, but always remember to say the first name with a title like “Anh” or “Chi”.

Refer the table below to get the idea. Formality is a sign of respect, and it is advisable to clarify how you will address someone very early in a relationship, generally during your first meeting.

If you are a Communist you can refer to someone as a comrade.

YouAnh (m) when addressing people the same age, formalang
Chị (f) when addressing a woman who is slightly older than youchee
Em (m or f) when addressing some youngerem
Ông(m),Bà(f) when addressing an elderly man(ong) or woman(ba)ong/ba
Cháu ( m or f) when addressing a childchow

A married Vietnamese woman always retains her maiden name; she will use her husband’s last name on occasions for formal addressing only.

Address people using official titles such as “General” “Committee Member”, or “Doctor” whenever possible. It is customary to address the deputies by skipping the word ‘deputy,’ such as, ‘Chief’ for ‘Deputy Chief,’ ‘Chairman’ for ‘Vice Chairman’ ‘General Manager’ for ‘Assistant General Manager’.