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8+ Best Vietnamese Textbooks & Phrasebooks for Beginners

Looking for the best Vietnamese textbooks?

See, some people like learning with courses.

Others want language apps. And some people like learning with textbooks.

And Vietnamese textbooks are a simple way to learn Vietnamese. Why?

Books guide you from page 0, to page 1, to page 3… to page 100. From your first words to your first conversation. You learn tons of words and grammar rules along the way.

So, in this guide, you’ll find some of the best Vietnamese textbooks and phrasebooks.

By the way, if you want to HEAR real Vietnamese, check out this audio lesson while you browse the books. (3-Minute Vietnamese Lesson from VietnamesePod101.com)


best vietnamese textbooks


  • Be careful about getting books on Kindle. The formatting may differ from the print version.

1. Beginner’s Vietnamese with 2 Audio CDs

The big plus of this Vietnamese textbook is that it teaches both – the Southern and Northern dialects. And such, it lands on my list of best Vietnamese textbooks.

  • Pages: 256
  • By Hippocrenes

You’ll learn words (you’ll come away knowing 700+ words), grammar rules, and dialogues. You also get exercises and an answer key. Overall, a nice learning resource.

  • Strength: Good comprehensive textbook.
    • Extra bonus: Good for those that want to learn both dialects.

click here to learn more.

2. Vietnamese for Beginners – Second Edition Paperback

  • Dialect: South Vietnamese.

If you’re looking to learn just Southern Vietnamese, then this is the best Vietnamese textbook for you.

  • Pages: 307
  • By Paiboon

click here to learn more.

3. Southern Vietnamese for beginners

This is a bit of a small book but it teaches you 300 words and plenty of basic dialogues.

  • Pages: 135
  • By Independently Published

Across 20 chapters, you follow a young Vietnamese man and woman. Each chapter has a story with pictures, then a glossary section to teach you the new words presented, as well as language insights.

You can also get audio for this book.

  • Strength: Basic conversations
  • Focus: Southern Vietnamese

click here to learn more.

4. Easy Vietnamese: Learn to Speak Vietnamese Quickly!

This is another good open and probably one of the cheaper Vietnamese textbooks out there.

  • Pages: 224
  • By Tuttle

This is a more light, not-so-academic, beginner-friendly book.

You’ll learn basic conversations and a bit of grammar. Enough to speak daily Vietnamese. So, it’s good for “not so serious” beginners or someone who wants to get their feet wet, but it’s not a “complete” textbook as other ones.

  • Strength: Basic conversations
  • Focus: Southern Vietnamese

click here to learn more.

5. Vietnamese Stories for Language Learners: Traditional Folktales in Vietnamese and English Text

You know what’s a good way to learn Vietnamese… or anything?

Through stories!

  • Pages: 224
  • By Tuttle Publishing

So, how does this learn Vietnamese book work? You get 40 folk stories in total. First, Vietnamese. Then, the English version. After that, you get cultural notes and key vocabulary from the story you just read. Finally, there are some questions to test your comprehension. Your job is to read, re-read, review and re-read some more.

  • Strength: Stories, Vocabulary acquisition. Audio.
    • Folk stories get you in touch with your heritage if you’re of Vietnamese descent.

While it’s not a Vietnamese “textbook,” it can definitely be a useful supplement to whatever other textbooks you’re using. You learn stories, dialogues, words, boost your range of expression, and understanding… and get it all reinforced simply by reading and rereading.

click here to learn more.

6. Learn Vietnamese – Quick / Easy / Efficient: 2000 Key Vocabularies

You know what you need to speak a lot of Vietnamese?

A lot of words.

  • Pages: 84
  • By Createspace/Independently published

So, if you’re looking for a book that will load your brain up with words… try this one. Just 84 pages long.

  • Strength: Vocabulary acquisition.

The one thing to remember is… vocabulary teaching books are not fun to read for long periods of time. So, pace yourself. Otherwise, you’ll get tired.

click here to learn more.

7. Learn Vietnamese : In A Week! The Ultimate Vietnamese for Beginners Book:

Let’s say you’re NOT trying to learn the whole language.

Let’s say you just want to learn some Vietnamese for whatever reason — travel or curiosity — and you have a fear of commitment to big goals and big books. Or, you want a simple book to gift to someone interested in Vietnamese.

  • Pages: 104
  • By Createspace/Independently Published

Then, you’ll want to check out “Vietnamese in a Week.” A majority of this small, 104-page book is dedicated to must-know words and phrases for beginners and travelers. Then, you have a few pages just covering the basics of grammar and pronunciation.

Whether you’ll learn it all in a week or not is up for debate but you certainly won’t spend months on this book either.

click here to learn more.

8. Lonely Planet Vietnamese Phrasebook & Dictionary

If you’re learning Vietnamese, then you’ll want phrases.

Phrases get you speaking more right now.

You’ll also want a dictionary… just to load yourself up on more words.

  • Pages: 256
  • By Lonely Planet

That’s where this phrasebook/dictionary comes in, with over 3500 words inside. Plus, plenty of phrases for real-life situations. The phrasebook-dictionary hybrid is geared towards travelers but beginners can also make good use of it.

  • Strength: Phrases.

click here to learn more.

These are some of the best Vietnamese textbooks and books I’ve found so far.

But, if you want something a little more than a “book,” then I recommend VietnamesePod101.

VietnamesePod101 is a Vietnamese learning program. You get audio/video lessons made by real teachers. The lessons get you speaking in minutes and are just 3-15 minutes in length. Just press the play button below to check out a lesson.

So, if you want to HEAR real Vietnamese and learn faster with a program, I recommend them.

Click here to get a Free Lifetime Account at VietnamesePod101.com.

– The Main Junkie

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