Dolphin in Vietnamese is a Pig Fish

How do you say “fish” in Vietnamese?

Fish – cá (pronounced ga; up-tone)

Fish is “cá” (ga) in Vietnamese. You will see a lot of adorning restaurants signs in coastal cities like Quy Nhon or Phú Quốc. Tourist should learn a few useful phrases and types of fish while browsing the seafood districts, such as “what kind of fish is this?” – “Đây là loại cá gì vậy?”

Kinds of Fish in Vietnam

  • cá tuyết – cod
  • cá rô phi – tilapia
  • cá trê – cat fish
  • cá rô – perch
  • cá mòi – sardines
  • cá trích – herring
  • cá thu – mackerel
  • cá ngừ – tuna
  • cá hồi – salmon
  • cá đối – mullet
  • cá đuối – stingray
  • cá koi – koi fish
  • cá kho tộ – braised fish

Cá is “All Things with Fins”

If you are piscivore vegetarian, you’ll need to work a little harder to ensure you aren’t eating anything strange. This is because “cá” also includes some marine mammals, such as:

  • cá heo – dolphin (literally “pig fish”)
  • cá voi – whale (literally “elephant fish”)

However, Vietnamese regards crustaceans, echinoderms, cephalopods and mollucks to taxonomically different to fish:

  • tôm hùm – lobster
  • con tôm – shrimp
  • con hải đởm – sea urhin
  • bạch tuộc – octopus
  • mực ống – squid
  • ngao – clams

How to say “I don’t want to eat clams?”

Here are some helpful expressions to order or avoid different types of seafood, such as expressing allergies or dietary restrictions.

  • Bring me the salmon – Cho tôi cá hồi
  • I want to eat clams – Tôi muốn ăn ngao
  • I don’t want to eat clams – Tôi không muốn ăn ngao
  • I want to eat shrimp – Tôi muốn ăn tôm
  • I am allergic to shrimp – Tôi bị dị ứng với tôm
  • I am vegetarian – Tôi ăn chay

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