How do you say hello to an elder in vietnamese?

To greet an elder in Vietnamese, you can say “Xin chào” which means “Hello” or “Chào ông/bà” which means “Hello sir/madam”.

To greet an elder in Vietnamese, you can use various phrases that show respect and politeness. The most common way to say hello to an elder is by using the phrase “Xin chào,” which translates to “Hello” in English. It is a general greeting that can be used for any age group but is particularly suitable for showing respect to elders.

Another way to greet an elder in Vietnamese is by specifically addressing them as “ông” for males and “bà” for females, followed by the word “chào.” This phrase, “Chào ông/bà,” translates to “Hello sir/madam” in English. Using these specific terms highlights the respect given to the older person.


“A respectful greeting is an important part of Vietnamese culture. It not only shows politeness but also demonstrates the values of reverence for elders.” – Unknown

Interesting facts about Vietnamese greetings:

  1. Vietnamese culture places great importance on respect, particularly towards elders. Respect for one’s elders is deeply ingrained in Vietnamese society.
  2. In Vietnamese culture, the concept of intergenerational respect is emphasized, where younger individuals are expected to demonstrate obedience, courtesy, and deference towards elders.
  3. Vietnamese greetings often involve a bow or a slight nod of the head while addressing the elder, which further indicates respect and humility.
  4. The Vietnamese language has specific pronouns and honorifics used when addressing individuals of different ages and hierarchical positions, highlighting the importance of showing respect through proper language and etiquette.
  5. In addition to verbal greetings, Vietnamese culture also values physical gestures such as offering a small bow, especially when meeting someone for the first time or during formal occasions.
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Here is a table depicting how to greet an elder in Vietnamese:

English Vietnamese Pronunciation
Hello Xin chào “Sin chow”
Hello sir/madam Chào ông/bà “Chow ohng/ba”

*Note: Pronunciations are a rough approximation of the Vietnamese sounds in English.

By using these respectful greetings, you can effectively convey your politeness and admiration towards elders in Vietnamese culture.

Response to your question in video format

In the video “Learn Vietnamese – Greetings,” Xiao Hua Zhou teaches viewers common greetings in Vietnamese. The main greeting is “Xin chào,” which can be used in formal and informal situations throughout the day. When saying goodbye, “Tạm biệt” is used. Other phrases like “Hẹn gặp lại” (see you soon) and “hẹn gặp lại nha” (see you soon, intimate tone) are also mentioned. Zhou explains the complexity of pronouns in Vietnamese, which vary based on gender, age, and relationship closeness. However, the safest and easiest way to greet someone is by using “Xin chào.”

Furthermore, people ask

How do you greet a Vietnamese elder?
The response is: Elders should be greeted especially respectfully. One can hold both their hands while greeting. If they do not extend their hand, a respectful bow should be made instead. It is expected that the gaze of the younger person be lowered from the elder’s eyes during the greeting.
How do you show respect to Vietnamese elders?
As an answer to this: It is most appropriate to slightly bow on greeting an elder and to shake hands if the elder extends his/her hand first. The most offensive disrespect is to touch an elder on the head, which is offensive in many other countries. Touching the heads of children is culturally allowed.
How do you say hello to an older woman in Vietnamese?
Response to this: Chào Chị
Chào – “Hi” (casual hello; only appropriate for people your age or younger) Chào Chị – “Hello, Madame” (formal, appropriate when speaking to older women)
How do you usually greet elderly people?
Greet the person.
If you already know the person, let them know you’re glad to see them by saying hello with a smile. Give them a hug if it’s appropriate. If you do not know the person, introduce yourself in a friendly tone of voice and offer a handshake.

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