Your language-learning experience doesn’t have to be a very serious one, you can always venture through the humorous side of learning a new tongue. If you’re considering this recommendation, join us as we learn funny Vietnamese phrases that impress native speakers!
Have you ever cracked up when translating a sentence between two languages? When viewed from a different perspective, you’d find yourself laughing along these uniquely crafted phrases like a local as you learn Vietnamese.
These moments have no limits, and you’ll realize that this can invoke a good laugh in casual or informal situations. Hold tight as we dive into a journey filled with ticklish laughter and discover the most interesting yet funny Vietnamese phrases out there!
A Quick Guide To Funny Vietnamese Phrases
What are the funniest Vietnamese Phrases?
The Vietnamese language has its way of delivering phrases and triggering a burst of laughter from Vietnamese people. Just like the phrase, “Kick the bucket,” and “Barking up the wrong tree,” Vietnam’s lexicon has its own version. Come along as we uncover their culture, humor, and unique and funny slang words and idioms!
1. Travel A Day’s Journey, Learn A Bagful Of Wisdom – Đi một ngày đàng, học một sàng khôn
Have you ever heard of the Vietnamese proverb Đi một ngày đàng, học một sàng khôn? It means “Travel a day’s journey, learn a bagful of wisdom.” It may not sound funny when translated, but the humor comes from the imagery of someone traveling with a backpack filled with heavy knowledge. Like the big camping bags!
2. To Scratch The Tree That You Eat From – Ăn cây nào rào cây ấy
If you think about the funny Vietnamese phrases, you’d realize that you must take things literally to understand their humor. For instance, when a local says, “Ăn cây nào rào cây ấy,” know that it means, “To scratch the tree that you eat from.” This may not seem like a laugh-worthy phrase of the Vietnamese language, but if you imagine yourself doing it, then you might get a good laugh out of it.
3. Only When You Eat Well Can You Follow The Right Path – Có thực mới vực được đạo
Food is love! This next Vietnamese phrase that we have is an awesome way to justify your love for food! Có thực mới vực được đạo is a funny phrase that translates to, “Only when you eat well can you follow the right path.” This highlights the relevance of getting a good meal for clear thinking.
4. Near Ink, It’s Dark; Near Light, It’s Bright – Gần mực thì đen, gần đèn thì sáng
The phrase, “You’re known by the company you keep,” actually has a Vietnamese version which is gần mực thì đen, gần đèn thì sáng. It directly translates to, “If you’re near ink, you’ll be stained black; if you’re near light, you’ll shine.” This is typically used in different relationships, but we bet that you never thought of your friends as either ink stains or shining lights, did you?
5. Angry At Me, Hit Me – Giận mình đánh mặt mình
Have you ever had an experience wherein you just felt like punching yourself in the face? As brutal as it may sound, this is one of the many funny Vietnamese phrases out there. The literal translation is, “Angry at me, hit me.” It’s a hilarious way to describe how you feel, but of course, we wouldn’t want to actually get hurt in the process, would we?
6. Dying Gloriously Is Better Than Living Shamefully – Chết vinh còn hơn sống nhục
Well, this one isn’t particularly the funniest phrase in Vietnamese. Instead, this set of words may seem quite serious to you. Its literal meaning is: “Dying gloriously is better than living shamefully.” However, straightforwardly making a choice between glory and shame may crack some foreigners.
7. One Sick Horse Causes The Whole Stable To Starve – Một con ngựa đau cả tàu bỏ cỏ
Remember when your team captain suddenly had a bad sprain or a medical emergency? Well, at some point, you might have mumbled, “One sick horse causes the whole stable to starve.” The lighter and funnier perspective could be that the absence of a team member can lead to the downfall of the whole team.
8. F*cking Awesome – Vãi đái
Now heading to a more modern Vietnamese phrase journey, we have Vãi đái, which directly translates to, “F*cking Awesome.” This Vietnamese slang is commonly used by young Vietnamese people. This isn’t exactly a funny phrase, but it’s a fun phrase that you could throw around when you’re out drinking beer with your friends.
9. Leaving The Ladle Stuck In The Rice Cooker – Để đầu đũa cắm cơm
Vietnamese idioms can have an interesting way of attacking forgetful individuals like myself. The phrase Để đầu đũa cắm cơm literally means, “Leaving the ladle stuck in the rice cooker,” or “Let the head be a peg to hold the rice.” Does this phrase attack you as badly as it does to me? It’s a funny expression that’ll have you shaking your head in amusement.
But, this idiom actually has a profound meaning. It conveys the idea of sacrificing one’s well-being to provide for others, for example, food. A peg, used to hold something, is a metaphor in this phrase for enduring difficulties to benefit another person by providing them with a meal (rice).
10. Caught Off Guard / Catch The Shell – Hốt xác
A spine-chilling horror movie can easily put you on the edge of your seat. Hốt xác is an expression similar to the one that we use when we want to say we are scared to death. You can use it if you are astonished or caught off guard.
Nonetheless, it won’t be surprising to hear this in people’s daily conversation, and it’s also a hilarious way to convey what the speaker feels.
11. Go Storming / Let’s go party – Đi bão
Parties are something that you wouldn’t pass on if you like going out, especially if there’s good beer on offer. Here we have a slang phrase that’s a simple yet fun way to say, “Let’s go out and party.” Why is it seen as one of the many funny Vietnamese phrases? Because it literally means, “Let’s go storm-chasing.” Can you imagine yourself running after the storm? Well, I can’t!
The word “bão” means “storm,” but of course, in this phrase “storm” refers to a lively and fun atmosphere (like a party!).
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Many Vietnamese natives understand the humor behind these slang phrases. Vietnamese slang words and idioms have an interesting way of impressing foreigners, and it’s not surprising to learn that you’d want to enhance your knowledge about them too. So, how would you want to start your language-learning journey? Here’s a suggestion, begin your voyage with Ling today.
With the Ling app, you’ll never feel bored as you learn different words and phrases in a gamified manner. Here you have more than 60 languages to choose from! Spending 20 minutes of your time every day can help you remember lessons more effectively. You may even take different exercises and quizzes to test your knowledge. So, go and download Ling today on Play Store and App Store for FREE!