So, you’ve decided you want to learn Vietnamese? The good news is that nowadays it’s possible to learn a language by using online apps and courses! This means you can learn when and where is best for you, whether it’s cozy on your couch at home or on the bus during your morning commute.
Both Babbel and Busuu have become very popular with language learners, but unfortunately, there is not yet a Vietnamese Babbel course or a Vietnamese Busuu course. Until Babbel and Busuu remedy this, you can try out the following different – but equally awesome! – options.
One of the great things about Pimsleur is that it tries to instill the habit of daily language practice. Learning Vietnamese really will be much easier if you work at it every day instead of just sporadically. Each Pimsleur lesson takes about 30 minutes to complete; with some dedication, you should have no trouble squeezing that into your day.
Pimsleur is a great course for people who don’t like to spend too much time on grammar rules. Instead, Pimsleur focuses on listening and speaking skills. This is great news for beginners — grammar can sometimes be overwhelming when you are first learning a language.
The lessons take place in imagined scenarios such as meeting someone in front of a hotel. This allows you to put what you are learning into context and imagine how you might use Vietnamese in the real world!
VietnamesePod101 gives you a great overall look at the language. Grammar, culture, dialogue, conversation, and key vocabulary will all be covered in this course. It’s a great choice if you are looking for a course that will give you lots of listening practice.
VietnamesePod101 has a huge amount of useful information, but it is probably still best used in conjunction with other resources or courses. It’s not quite strong enough to be a standalone solution to learning Vietnamese.
The main reason for this is that it doesn’t follow an intuitive linear structure. So, you might find yourself ahead of the curve in some areas and way behind in others.
You can also use the code “ALLLANGUAGERESOURCES” to get a 25% discount on a VietnamesePod101 subscription.
Italki isn’t like the other options on this list. It isn’t an app or course but rather an online platform that will allow you to connect with a Vietnamese language tutor. Using Skype or another connection app such as FaceTime, you will be able to have a “face to face” tutoring session with a knowledgeable Vietnamese speaker.
Some of the tutors on italki are professional language teachers while others are just native Vietnamese speakers who do some tutoring on the side. Both can give you a great quality lesson – it just depends on what you’re looking for. You’ll notice that lessons with a professional teacher will likely be more expensive.
Italki provides a ton of useful information on the potential tutors right off the bat. You’ll get to see their hourly rate, their level of experience, a photo, the number of lessons they’ve taught, their rating, and their availability calendar! Italki makes it easy to choose the right tutor for your language needs.
The Duolingo Vietnamese course has not received the most positive reviews – and it is probably the least recommended option on this list. However, it is still a (free!) way to expose yourself to the Vietnamese language and, since each person learns differently, you might find that Duolingo actually works for you.
Anyway, it won’t cost you anything to download the app and give it a whirl. Duolingo courses are divided into mini-lessons on different topics. You must complete the lessons in order and only once you have completed all of the lessons in a section will you be able to move on to the next section.
Duolingo’s linear progression usually makes a lot of sense, but when it comes to the Vietnamese language course, you’ll encounter a lot of unrelated words and unnatural phrases that aren’t normally used. Yes, you will learn Vietnamese words, but you probably won’t learn how to communicate effectively.
Lingodeer is a great option for learning Vietnamese from the ground up. If you are unfamiliar with the Vietnamese alphabet, not to worry, Lingodeer has got you covered. You’ll be able to learn how to pronounce letters correctly by listening to recordings of each letter.
The course is then divided into topic-based mini-units. The units are made up of two to five short lessons and include grammar tips as well for those who like to know the rules. The great part about the lessons is that they aren’t all the same format.
Some lessons use fill-in-the-blank exercises while others use multiple choice. Lingodeer keeps things interesting by switching up the format of the exercises. You’ll frequently practice speaking, listening, and reading skills at the same time, meaning you’ll be fostering a well-rounded knowledge of Vietnamese.
Lingodeer, Pimsleur, VietnamesePod101, italki, and Duolingo are all great resources for learning Vietnamese. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, but they’re all worth considering.
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