How to Say Thank You in Vietnamese

In Vietnamese culture, expressing gratitude is highly valued and considered an important aspect of social interaction. Whether you’re traveling to Vietnam, meeting Vietnamese friends, or conducting business in the country, knowing how to say thank you in Vietnamese is essential. This article will guide you through the different ways to express gratitude in Vietnamese, including basic phrases, situational expressions, and cultural considerations.

Understanding Vietnamese Culture

Before delving into the specifics of saying thank you in Vietnamese, it’s crucial to understand the cultural context. Vietnamese culture places great emphasis on respect, politeness, and showing appreciation. Expressing gratitude is not only seen as good manners but also reflects a deep appreciation for others’ help and kindness. Taking the time to learn and use Vietnamese phrases for thank you will not only make a positive impression but also enhance your cultural understanding.

Importance of Saying Thank You

Saying thank you is a universal gesture of appreciation and acknowledgment. In Vietnamese culture, it holds even greater significance. When you say thank you in Vietnamese, you convey gratitude and respect, strengthening the bond between individuals. It shows that you value the other person’s time, effort, and assistance. Whether it’s a small favor or a significant act of kindness, expressing gratitude is highly appreciated and reciprocated in Vietnamese society.

Basic Phrases to Say Thank You in Vietnamese

  1. “Cảm ơn” – This is the most common and versatile way to say thank you in Vietnamese. It can be used in various situations, from casual to formal.
  2. “Xin cảm ơn” – This phrase adds politeness and formality to your expression of gratitude. It is suitable for formal situations or when expressing thanks to someone of higher status.
  3. “Rất cảm ơn” – This phrase translates to “thank you very much” and is used to express deep appreciation and sincere gratitude.

Expressing Gratitude in Different Situations

In Vietnamese, the way you say thank you may vary depending on the situation. Here are a few examples:

  1. When receiving a gift: “Cảm ơn bạn đã tặng quà” (Thank you for the gift).
  2. When someone helps you: “Cảm ơn bạn đã giúp đỡ” (Thank you for your help).
  3. When expressing appreciation for a delicious meal: “Cảm ơn bữa ăn ngon” (Thank you for the delicious meal).

Polite and Formal Ways to Say Thank You

Vietnamese culture places importance on politeness, especially when expressing gratitude. Here are some phrases you can use to convey politeness while saying thank you:

  1. “Xin chân thành cảm ơn” – This phrase means “sincerely thank you” and is suitable for formal occasions or expressing deep gratitude.
  2. “Xin chân thành cảm ơn sự giúp đỡ của bạn” – This phrase translates to “sincerely thank you for your help” and is used to express gratitude for significant assistance.

Non-Verbal Ways of Showing Appreciation

While verbal expressions of gratitude are common, non-verbal gestures can also convey appreciation in Vietnamese culture. Here are a few non-verbal ways to show your gratitude:

  1. Bowing slightly while saying thank you demonstrates respect and appreciation.
  2. Offering a small gift or token of appreciation is a thoughtful gesture to express gratitude.

Thank You Etiquette in Vietnam

In Vietnamese culture, there are a few etiquette tips to keep in mind when saying thank you:

  1. Use both hands when handing or receiving objects, especially when expressing gratitude.
  2. Avoid excessive displays of gratitude, as it may be seen as insincere or exaggerated.
  3. Maintain a humble and modest demeanor when receiving thanks.

Cultural Considerations

It’s essential to be aware of cultural differences when expressing gratitude in Vietnamese. Here are a few considerations:

  1. Vietnamese people appreciate genuine gratitude, so always express your thanks sincerely.
  2. Be aware of the level of formality required in different situations and adjust your language accordingly.


Knowing how to say thank you in Vietnamese is a valuable skill that will enhance your cultural understanding and foster meaningful connections. By using the appropriate phrases and understanding the cultural context, you can express gratitude in a way that resonates with Vietnamese people. Remember to be sincere, respectful, and considerate when expressing thanks in Vietnamese.


  1. Q: Are there any other ways to say thank you in Vietnamese? A: Yes, aside from the basic phrases mentioned, you can also say “Rất cảm kích” (Very grateful) or “Cảm ơn nhiều” (Many thanks) to express gratitude.
  2. Q: Is it common to exchange gifts when expressing thanks in Vietnamese culture? A: While not mandatory, offering a small gift or token of appreciation is a thoughtful gesture and is often appreciated in Vietnamese culture.
  3. Q: How important is it to be polite when saying thank you in Vietnamese? A: Politeness is highly valued in Vietnamese culture. Using polite phrases and gestures when expressing gratitude will be well-received and show respect.
  4. Q: Are there any situations where it’s appropriate to bow while saying thank you in Vietnam? A: Yes, bowing slightly while saying thank you can be appropriate when expressing deep gratitude or showing respect to someone of higher status.
  5. Q: Can I use English to say thank you in Vietnam? A: While it’s appreciated when foreigners make an effort to say thank you in Vietnamese, many Vietnamese people understand English and will also appreciate gratitude expressed in English.

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