Photo by Laura Ockel
Valentine’s Day is coming in a few days, so its time to learn some romantic phrases in Vietnamese…
If you truly wish to surprise your date in Vietnam, try saying to her Hôn anh đi! –such a level of assertiveness is not very common in traditional Vietnamese dating culture, and could be a boss move.
The way to translate “kiss me!” into Vietnamese differs slightly for men and women:
- Hôn anh đi – Kiss me! (for a man to speaking to a woman)
- Hôn em đi – KIss me! (for a woman speaking to a man)
The word-for-word literal translation is:
- Hôn – kiss
- anh/em – me (lit. brother/sibling)
- đi – go
Note about Vietnamese: The words anh and em serve the same role as “me”, but the words literally mean “older brother” and “younger sibling”, respectively. This is because the Vietnamese use familial designations for all 1st-, 2nd- and 3rd-person pronouns — these words differ by who is speaking to whom. If this sounds confusing, read our posts about how to say you and how to say he/she in Vietnamese.
Pronunciation in Vietnamese: Cute Talk
When a Vietnamese girl says Hôn em đi, she will often pronounce the hôn and hun. Such alterations are common when someone wants to sound cute and playful, or do “baby talk”, like the English intonation called the ‘caregiver register’.
The origin of the hun intonation is due to the difficulty of young children to properly pronounce the ô sound, which naturally slips into a u sound.
How to say “I want to kiss you” in Vietnamese?
“I want to kiss you” translates to Anh muốn hôn em, when said by a man to a woman; or Em muốn hôn anh when said by a woman to a man. It is a slightly less aggressively way to say Hôn anh/em đi.
Romantic Phrases in Vietnamese
To say “You have beautiful eyes” in Vietnamese is Em có đôi mắt đẹp quá (said by a man to a woman). To ask “Do you want to go to dinner?” is Em có muốn dùng bữa tối với anh không?
To learn more romantic phrases in Vietnamese, including audio and lessons in pronunciation, see our post How to Flirt in Vietnamese.