While traveling in Vietnam, I heard a few Vietnamese words that sound very similar to Thai words. This similarity is interesting since the two languages have different roots. Here are some words I’ve found.

English Vietnamese Thai phonetic Thai
Left trái Ŝāy ซ้าย
Right phải K̄hwā ขวา
Noodle soup1 hủ tiếu Ǩwy teī̌yw ก๋วยเตี๋ยว
Noodle2 mì H̄mī̀ หมี่
Rice cơm K̄ĥāw ข้าว
Squid3 mực ống Plāh̄ mụk ปลาหมึก
To do làm Thảm ทำ
To arrive đến T̄hụng ถึง
Chicken Gaị̀ ไก่
Cloud mây Meḳh เมฆ
Back lưng H̄lạng หลัง


  1. Phở is the generic word for noodle soup in Vietnamese. The word hủ tiếu refers to a specific type of noodle soup. In Thailand, the word ก๋วยเตี๋ยว (Ǩwy teī̌yw) is the generic word for noodle soup.
  2. หมี่ (H̄mī̀) in Thai and Vietnamese both refer to yellow rice noodle specifically.
  3. In both Thai and Vietnamese, muc refers to the ink that squids have.


Categories: Personal Lesson


Thai and Vietnamese words that are similar

  1. Many more examples: co (neck), vai (shoulder) , bung (stomach), ngu (stupid) , xui (unlucky) , cao (scratch), nang (lady), di (imperative particle eg:lam di means do it) com means cooked rice but rice grains are called gao, same as thai kao…

Leave a Reply