Ethnologue > Web version > Country index > Asia > Viet Nam > Vietnamese


A language of Viet Nam

ISO 639-3vie

Population  65,800,000 in Viet Nam (1999 census). Population total all countries: 68,634,000.
Region  Widespread. Also in Australia, Cambodia, Canada, China, Côte d’Ivoire, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Laos, Martinique, Netherlands, New Caledonia, Norway, Philippines, Russian Federation (Asia), Senegal, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States, Vanuatu.
Language maps  Northern Viet Nam, reference number 97
Northern Viet Nam, reference number 97
Northwestern Viet Nam, reference number 97
Southern Viet Nam, reference number 97
Alternate names   Annamese, Ching, Gin, Jing, Kinh, Viet
Dialects  Northern Vietnamese (Tonkinese, Hanoi), Central Vietnamese (Hue), Southern Vietnamese. Numerous dialects.
Classification  Austro-Asiatic, Mon-Khmer, Viet-Muong, Vietnamese
Language use  Official language.
Language development  Literacy rate in L1: 65%. Literacy rate in L2: 80%. Fully developed. Bible: 1916–1994.
Writing system  Latin script.
Comments  People called ‘Kinh’. SVO; prepositions; classifiers and numerals precede noun heads; possessor noun phrases and adjectives follow noun heads. Buddhist, Christian.

Also spoken in:


Language name   Vietnamese
Population  393,000 in Cambodia (2000).


Language name   Vietnamese
Population  7,200 in China (1999 J. Ouyang).
Region  South coast of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous region, on Shanxin, Wanwei, and Wutou peninsulas (the “three peninsulas”), Fangcheng Pan-Nationality Autonomous County; Jiangping region.
Language map  Southern China, reference number 52
Alternate names  Annamese, Ching, Gin, Jing, Kinh
Language use  Moderately vigorous. A few Chinese living in the area speak Vietnamese as L2. In parts of Fangcheng County most shifting to Yue Chinese [yue]. Due to increased commerce and contact with Viet Nam since mid 1990s, the language could revive in China. Most domains in the “three peninsulas”, although interchangeably with Yue Chinese; only restricted domains elsewhere. All ages. Most also use Yue Chinese of Guangxi. A few also use Yue or Mandarin Chinese [cmn].
Language development  Literacy rate in L2: 92%.
Comments  Ethnic Vietnamese are classified in an official nationality, called Jing or Gin. Fishermen; agriculturalists; aquatic breeding; small businessmen. Christian, Daoist.