di di mau - lets go in Vietnamese

What does “Đi đi mau” mean in Vietnamese?

Photo credit: lamhuynhp

Đi đi mau translates to “go go, quickly!” in Vietnamese, like “Let’s go!” in English, or “Hurry up! Let’s move!”

“Let’s Go” in Vietnamese

  • In Spanish there is “Vamos!”
  • In Hindi there is “Chalo chalate!”
  • In Vietnamese, there is “Đi đi mau!”

Every language has a cordial way of encouraging your friends and teammates to hurry up and move out, like “Okay, let’s go!” In Vietnamese, the equivalent is đi đi mau.

Depending on the context, it can be either rude or neutral, so one must be careful say with an appropriate body language, and to add the appropriate honourifics for elders and high-status individuals.

Polite Way to Say “Let’s go!” in Vietnamese

If you need to hurry people along, you can say di đi mau freely among your friends, colleagues, and persons your age, without fear of seeming rude. It has a negative connotation if it is meant like “hurry out of my way!”, but this meaning is less common.

For elders and high-status individuals (like your boss), you must add some extra words to make the expression polite. Depending on the age and sex of the person, you need to add the proper pronoun. For example:

  • Chi ơi, di đi mau” – Dear Madam, let’s go (for women older than you).
  • Anh ơi, di đi mau” – Dear Sir, let’s go (for men your age or older).

In Vietnamese, politeness is a combination of adding the appropriate honorific/pronoun of the listener (Anh ơi or Chú ơi or others) and completing a sentence to its fullest, whereas truncating an expression to its bare minimum is seen as informal (and sometimes rude).

So long as you add the appropriate pronoun, you can say “Let’s go!” (nicely) to a superior.

However, it can be difficult for foreigners to know which pronoun to use. See our posts on Anh ơi and Chú ơi/Cô ơi and Em ơi. The appropriate pronoun depends on the sex and relative age-difference of the person you are speaking with. Vietnamese people use family members as an intuitive way to benchmark relative age differences. For example, a man who is the same age as your father’s younger brother would be Chú ơi, whereas a man who is between your age and an uncle would be Anh ơi.

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