How to communicate to non-speaking English Vietnamese ?

we are making the research about language barrier? What is the way to communicate to local Vietnamese if they can not speak and understand English? I know lots of people can speak English well in some big cities like Saigon, Hanoi or at tourist places like Hoi An. However, the problem is when you discover a new and local place and stay in rural area ( not for tourist ), how can you express your ideal to local people?

Easy way is to bring a interpreter with you :D
Gestures will help a lot!

Google translate app, now supports translation with Vietnamese voice input.

You speak English into the app, it translates into Vietnamese text.  Show the text to the person, ask them to speak into the phone in Vietnamese, it will translate back to English.  Its not 100% correct but its better than nothing, and at least you can get your point across

So need to bring laptop with 3G USB stick or a smart phone :D
If cannot connect to the internet?

mikeymyke :

Google translate app, now supports translation with Vietnamese voice input.

You speak English into the app, it translates into Vietnamese text.  Show the text to the person, ask them to speak into the phone in Vietnamese, it will translate back to English.  Its not 100% correct but its better than nothing, and at least you can get your point across

charmavietnam :

So need to bring laptop with 3G USB stick or a smart phone :D
If cannot connect to the internet?

mikeymyke :

Google translate app, now supports translation with Vietnamese voice input.

You speak English into the app, it translates into Vietnamese text.  Show the text to the person, ask them to speak into the phone in Vietnamese, it will translate back to English.  Its not 100% correct but its better than nothing, and at least you can get your point across

Well, 3G internet is dirt cheap, and in tourist places like HCMC, Hanoi, Hoi An, they should have 3G readily available.  Using a smart phone is more convenient because of the compact size.

OP is talking about remote areas of Vietnam :D
How about network there?

mikeymyke :

Well, 3G internet is dirt cheap, and in tourist places like HCMC, Hanoi, Hoi An, they should have 3G readily available.  Using a smart phone is more convenient because of the compact size.

Oh didnt see that, well in that case, the OP should learn Vietnamese :D

OP IS Vietnamese :D

mikeymyke :

Oh didnt see that, well in that case, the OP should learn Vietnamese :D

Oh for god's sake, ok OP, to answer your question, WE JUST POINT AND GESTURE OK???!!!!

use a calculator if you wanna bargain for a price...or take out your notebook and use your pencil to draw what you wanna say to them :)

So we should bring a pencil and notebook always, right? :D

vyfunny :

use a calculator if you wanna bargain for a price...or take out your notebook and use your pencil to draw what you wanna say to them :)

Sure...we also need it for recording our travelling diary :)

wow, a lot of useful ideas. I think the best way is that we should have a bilingual friend who is willing help me. ^;^ i don't need to worry whether my smartphone works without wifi there. Just need a normal phone to call for help and dictionary , then go ^,^

I've tried several things, I always carry some chalk with me, then I can draw pictures on the concrete floors/footpaths, or a pen and paper is also handy , recently I bought a cheap Smart phone, ( 2mil ) 3G with Vinaphone seems to work almost anywhere, ( I live 18 kms NE of Quang Ngai, 1/2 way between Hanoi and Saigon ). I have Google Translate , but seldom use it. Many Cafe bars/Govt offices have wifi, even here, so can use my phone/Google close to them too.

:)) if you want to ask for where to go. You can show your map or talk to any pupil via English. Try to talk with some guy who look smart. :)). They can talk basic english.

Queenie Lai :

we are making the research about language barrier? What is the way to communicate to local Vietnamese if they can not speak and understand English? I know lots of people can speak English well in some big cities like Saigon, Hanoi or at tourist places like Hoi An. However, the problem is when you discover a new and local place and stay in rural area ( not for tourist ), how can you express your ideal to local people?

You mean like me?  I live in the rural area.  How can I express my "ideas" to local people?  Well, for starters, by speaking Vietnamese to them helps.  The language barrier would be me not speaking to the locals in their native tongue.  Why should rural people have to speak English to me?

mikeymyke :
charmavietnam :

So need to bring laptop with 3G USB stick or a smart phone :D
If cannot connect to the internet?

mikeymyke :

Google translate app, now supports translation with Vietnamese voice input.

You speak English into the app, it translates into Vietnamese text.  Show the text to the person, ask them to speak into the phone in Vietnamese, it will translate back to English.  Its not 100% correct but its better than nothing, and at least you can get your point across

Well, 3G internet is dirt cheap, and in tourist places like HCMC, Hanoi, Hoi An, they should have 3G readily available.  Using a smart phone is more convenient because of the compact size.

The price recently has been raised 20% from "dirt cheap" to just "beach sand cheap".  There's currently a scandal/investigation going on into price fixing since the three big telcos (all State owned) just happened to all raise their prices at the same time.

Whoops...just found a source and it's not 20%.  It's 40%...so maybe "just cheap".

http://vietnamnews.vn/society/246723/tr … rease.html

Viet Nam's three largest mobile providers, MobiFone, VinaPhone and Viettel, bumped up their 3G fee by 40 per cent on October 16.

I forgot that version :D
We have 2 Viettel 3G stick for sale.:D Just shift to SGT cable connection. Tired of high billing and poor download/upload speed!

Tran Hung Dao :
Queenie Lai :

we are making the research about language barrier? What is the way to communicate to local Vietnamese if they can not speak and understand English? I know lots of people can speak English well in some big cities like Saigon, Hanoi or at tourist places like Hoi An. However, the problem is when you discover a new and local place and stay in rural area ( not for tourist ), how can you express your ideal to local people?

You mean like me?  I live in the rural area.  How can I express my "ideas" to local people?  Well, for starters, by speaking Vietnamese to them helps.  The language barrier would be me not speaking to the locals in their native tongue.  Why should rural people have to speak English to me?

If it was only that easy to learn VN, I could just imagine a tourist on a 30 day visa learning VN, what about the different dialects from Minorities, etc, my 11 yr resident VN, French friend who is quite fluent in VN, can't understand the farmers around here, or even talk VN on the phone. 
  Queenie said only to visit, not live there.

Viet Nam's three largest mobile providers, MobiFone, VinaPhone and Viettel, bumped up their 3G fee by 40 per cent on October 16.

At the same time they cut the good package deals, now Vinaphone and Vietel only have 1.5 GB Data, for 120,000, ( previously 135,000 for 2.2GB ), but I'm looking at Vietnam Mobile, somehow have a 125,000 for 3GB, too good to be true?, probably, must find out more next week, ( probably changed by then, or there coverage is big cities only? ).

bluenz :
Tran Hung Dao :
Queenie Lai :

we are making the research about language barrier? What is the way to communicate to local Vietnamese if they can not speak and understand English? I know lots of people can speak English well in some big cities like Saigon, Hanoi or at tourist places like Hoi An. However, the problem is when you discover a new and local place and stay in rural area ( not for tourist ), how can you express your ideal to local people?

You mean like me?  I live in the rural area.  How can I express my "ideas" to local people?  Well, for starters, by speaking Vietnamese to them helps.  The language barrier would be me not speaking to the locals in their native tongue.  Why should rural people have to speak English to me?

If it was only that easy to learn VN, I could just imagine a tourist on a 30 day visa learning VN, what about the different dialects from Minorities, etc, my 11 yr resident VN, French friend who is quite fluent in VN, can't understand the farmers around here, or even talk VN on the phone. 
  Queenie said only to visit, not live there.

They have phrasebooks, tourist cheatsheets, Whatever.  My point is that we can't expect/demand the whole world to speak English.  Make some effort to learn the local language when you do visit.

charmavietnam :

OP is talking about remote areas of Vietnam :D
How about network there?

OP didn't use the term "remote" but seemed to refer to just about any place in Vietnam outside of the largest cities and tourist hubs were far fewer people speak Englsh.

My mobifone internet worked fine to and from the smallish city in the Mekong Delta region I visited this past weekend including a very rural area about 15 miles outside of the city which is not exactly a hotbed of tourism.

I have a friend who lives out on a farm and her 3G internet (one of those little "mifi" usb thingies) works fine most of the time too so Mikeymyke's suggestion is valid and I'm glad to hear about it as I was only previously aware of the good ole' text version (automated translations between Vietnamese and English are difficult, my advice is to choose your words carefully - try to pick ones with as few meanings as possible not necessarily the words you would use in everyday conversation - and keep things as simple as possible).

So it shouldn't be your only solutiuon but in most places where people are actually going to go it's a viable one. May be hit and miss in some of the more remote areas but can probably only be ruled out completely if you're planning on really getting into uncharted territory.

In that case I'd suggest bringing a dictionary.

hwanghuydo :

:) Try to talk with some guy who look smart. :)). They can talk basic english.

Lol. How does one "look smart"?

I know I'm always seeing women walking by and saying to my friends: 'Mane. Did you see the brains on her?? I'll bet she could do calculus in her sleep and wake up knowing the answers'. :)

Nam_ :
hwanghuydo :

:) Try to talk with some guy who look smart. :)). They can talk basic english.

Lol. How does one "look smart"?

I know I'm always seeing women walking by and saying to my friends: 'Mane. Did you see the brains on her?? I'll bet she could do calculus in her sleep and wake up knowing the answers'. :)

That would probably only work if she slept with the maths/physic's teacher.

Getting back to the Phone coverage, I use Vinaphone 3G, seems to work ok up in the hills 40--50 kms behind Quang Ngai, Central Highlands( at least the GPS did ), not so sure if what would happen if I went down the other side though.

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