Vietnam Travel Information

i Tour Vietnam | Top-rated private Ho Chi Minh City tours and Vietnam travel guides.

Popular Second Languages in Vietnam


Although there has not been any official second language in Vietnam yet, the government are now aiming at English and has conducted plans to make it become a compulsory course for all students, while many schools are now also teaching French, Chinese, and Japanese as first foreign language. They are all the popular second languages in Vietnam, as more and more parents have realized the essential role of being fluent in a foreign language to their children’s future.

English Is The Most Popular

English has gained its popularity all around the world, and Vietnam is not an exception. Due to globalization, many international firms, as well as tourists, have considered Vietnam as a potential destination. Therefore, English has inevitably become a tool to satisfy increasing needs.

In big cities like the Capital of Vietnam - Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, it is normal for many kids to have English classes after their compulsory studying time at school. However, in some rural areas, lots of students struggle with the totally opposite situation, mostly because of the lack of teachers. For tertiary education, English also plays a key role. Many universities require their students to achieve certain English certificates to qualify for graduating. As reported by the Ministry of Education and Training Vietnam (published on Vietnamnet newspaper), English is taught in all the provinces and municipalities of Vietnam, taught in 60% of primary schools and in 100% of secondary schools, registering 99% of students with a foreign language subject in their curriculum.

second languages in vietnam english

Learning English is a crucial part in the study plan of any Vietnamese student

For foreigners who can speak English, traveling to Vietnam would be much enjoyable. Street vendors in many places are capable of using broken English, which would be good enough for you to understand. In the downtown districts of Ho Chi Minh such as District 1, District 3, when confused, ask for help from a student or a young person, there are high chances that they could give you proper support.

Other Popular Second Languages in Vietnam

(with figures recorded from primary and secondary schools in Vietnam, reported by Vietnamnet newspaper)


The popularity of French could be a consequence of the colonization period. Among the second languages in Vietnam, French is the second most common, registering about 40,000 students.

second languages in vietnam french

A French class in Ho Chi Minh City


The opportunity for Japanese-speaking jobs is said to be one of the reasons that make this language enter the list of popular second languages in Vietnam. The culture of the cherry blossom country is also appealing to young people. Registered 25,000 students.

second languages in vietnam japanese

Japanese is another language that can be taught for students at very young ages


China has a strong influence on Vietnamese culture and language. The Chinese Vietnamese community are a major ethnic group among the 54 Vietnamese ethnicities. More and more people are keen on studying this language with similar reasons for Japanese: familiar culture and job opportunity. There are more than 40 schools all over Vietnam teaching it as the first foreign language for their students.

second languages in vietnam chinese

Chinese Vietnamese people help preserve the beauty of Chinese culture and language across the country


German is a hard language to learn, but it has gained its popularity in recent years. For now, it has been taught in three large cities: Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and Da Nang.


Although Russian is getting less popular than the several decades ago (for Vietnamese born in the 60s and 70s, it was the main second language taught in schools), it is still being taught in 10 provinces of Vietnam with over 1000 students. 


There has been an increase in the number of Korean expats in Vietnam, which means that Vietnamese people would need to work with more and more Korean colleagues. Because of that, together with the effects of the Hallyu wave, Korean has gained its popularity in recent years.

To have fun trips in Ho Chi Minh City, check out our authentic motorbike tours with professional local guides!

family outing in ho chi minh city motorcycle


Summary of Popular Second Languages in Vietnam

English, French, Japanese, and Chinese are several second languages that are widely spoken in Vietnam. However, the percentage of people who know how to use English, both inarticulately and fluently, is quite dominant compared to the rest.

Get the world-leading travel insurance for your adventures in Vietnam:


For more interesting information about Vietnam such as culture and cuisine, visit our blog. And don’t forget to check out our tours for the authentic experience of this country with qualified English-speaking local guides.


© Written by Mai Bui for

Stay Informed

When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.



Guest - Chris Stewart on Saturday, 26 October 2019 14:01

Lots of people in Ho Chi Minh can speak English and Chinese

Lots of people in Ho Chi Minh can speak English and Chinese
Already Registered? Login Here
Wednesday, 31 May 2023

Captcha Image


This Vietnam travel information page is written by a team of professional tour guides in Vietnam. More about us or visit home page

Vietnam Travel Information

Check out the necessary information for traveling to Vietnam

First Time in Vietnam

To Pack List for Vietnam

Major Cities in Vietnam

Family & Elderly Travel

LGBT Travel

Vietnam Festivals and Holidays

Best Vietnamese Dishes

UNESCO World Heritage in Vietnam

Vietnamese Culture

Religions in Vietnam

Ethnicities in Vietnam

Tipping in Vietnam

Best Dishes to Try in Vietnam

20 Must-try Vietnamese Dishes

Unusual Foods to Try in Vietnam

Street Food in Vietnam

Vietnamese Grilled Dishes

Rice Dishes in Vietnam

Pho Dishes in Vietnam

Traveling to and within Vietnam

Airport Arrival Tips at Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh)

Airport Arrival Tips at Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi)

Major Airports in Vietnam

Taking Trains in Vietnam

Bringing Your Own Vehicles to Vietnam

Bringing Your Pets to Vietnam

How to Take Motorbike Taxis

Taking a Ferry in Vietnam

Renting a Car in Vietnam

Vietnam Visa, SIM Cards, and WiFi

Visa Info & Where to Buy Sim Cards

Traveling with Wifi in Vietnam

Vietnam Travel Safety Tips

Travel Insurance

Is it Safe to Drink Tap Water?

How to Avoid Mosquitoes

Food Safety in Vietnam

Getting Vaccinations

Wearing Face Masks in Vietnam

Can Tourists Drive in Vietnam?

How to Avoid Scams

Travel Safety Tips

Find the best hotels to stay in Vietnam:

Powered by 12Go Asia system