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Vowels Phoneme English equivalent sounds
a /aː/ fat
ă /a/ cut
â /ə/ person
e /ɛ/ pet
ê /e/ may
i or y /i/ bee
o /ɔ/ saw
ô /o/ spoke
ơ /ə:/ hurt
u /u/ boo
ư /ɨ/ good

Detailed example

  • a like 'a' in "father": ba, cha
  • ă like 'a' in "father", except said very quickly: chăn
  • â like 'u' in "hut", except shorter: sân, chân
  • e like 'eah' in "yeah": che, me
  • ê like the Canadian English "eh": cà phê, cá chê
  • i like 'ee' in "see" or "deed": pin, xin
  • o like "awwwww...", but not quite as long: lý do, quả nho
  • ô like the first component of the diphthong 'ow' in "low": á-lô, cái ô
  • ơ like â, except longer: bơ, bài thơ
  • u like 'oo' in "hoop": Na Uy, Mùa Thu
  • ư like 'oo' in "book", with a hint of the 'i' in "lick": lá thư, giống như