How Close Related Is Thai VS Vietnamese Language

Thai vs Vietnamese Language
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The Thai Language and Thai VS Vietnamese Language

The Thai Language and Thai VS Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt) Language Thai, also known as Siamese, is the national and official language of the people of Thailand. We will explain in this article about Thai VS Vietnamese Language.

All of the Central Thai people and most Thai Chinese speak it as their first language. It belongs to the Thai branch of the Kra-Dai family of languages. It is mutually intelligible to a certain degree with other Tai languages, including Lao and Isan. There are 36 million native speakers of the Thai language. Millions also speak it of people as a second language.

The Thai script is used for writing the Thai language. The alphabet has 44 consonants and 16 vowels. If you’ve recently started studying Thai, you probably have come across consonant clusters. If you teach yourself to read, write, or spell Thai words, you may also want to know the advanced rules to improve your Thai language in which consonant clusters play an important role.

Outside of Thailand, Thai is spoken in Malaysia, Myanmar, and Cambodia. A significant percentage of the vocabulary of Thai has been borrowed from Sanskrit, Pali, and Old Khmer. Hundreds of languages are spoken in Thailand, Malaysia, and Cambodia.

As a result, Thai has been influenced by various other languages and dialects over the years. The influence of China over the country’s culture has also affected the language. English and Mandarin are two of the foreign languages that have had the most influence on the Thai language but is also very important for Thai Translation Services.

thai vs vietnamee language
thai vs cambodian

The Vietnamese Language:

Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt) belong to the Austroasiatic language family. It originated in Vietnam, where it is the official and national language today. There are approximately 90 million native speakers of Vietnamese. It is recognized as a minority language in the Czech Republic.

Northern dialects, centered in Hanoi, are the basis for Vietnamese’s official form. Central Vietnamese, centered in Hue, and the Southern dialect, centered in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), differ from the Northern norm in having fewer tones and modifying certain consonants. Historically, the language was written in the Chữ Nôm, which was based on Chinese and locally invented characters.

But a modern Vietnamese alphabet was adopted after the French colonial rule. The contemporary script is based on the Latin alphabet. Accent marks are used in the alphabet for tones. If you have questions about Vietnamese Translation Services contact us.

How Closely Are Related to Thai and Vietnamese?

Despite their differences, the world’s people have many things in common. Whenever they come into contact with others, they influence them and get influenced by them. This is why nothing ever stays the same in the world. Our cultures and languages are constantly evolving. Even the languages that are not a part of the same group end up affecting each other. The popularity of a language increases its chances of affecting other tongues. English is the most prominent example of this. Regardless of where you live in the world, you would be familiar with a few English words at least.

But the extent to which languages affect each other varies. There is a lot that we still don’t know about them. For instance, we still don’t know if Japanese is related to any other language or not. One such question that linguists get asked a lot is the Thai Vs. Vietnamese language connection. Some people also think that Khmer is related to the two languages. However, Thai and Vietnamese have no direct connection at all. They belong to different language families and are spoken in different parts of the world. They also have different writing systems. But they have some similarities that can make people think that they are related to each other.

Phu Quoc, a Vietnamese island, lies in the Gulf of Thailand, which though, not directly join the two countries together but shares a connection that leads to so many similarities between the two as their cultures are related. The distance from Phu Quoc to Bangkok (capital of Thailand) is around 900 km by land.

Since ancient times, Thai and Vietnamese have been affecting each other. Both the languages have been heavily influenced by Chinese vocabulary so they may sound similar. Their shared history is why the two languages seem identical to most people.

khmer vs thai language

Here are the similarities between Thai and Vietnamese:

  • Analytic and Tonal:

Both Thai and Vietnamese are analytic languages. In logical language, helper words show the connection between words in a sentence. This is a feature that these two shares with other Asian languages like Mandarin. Like Mandarin, both Thai and Vietnamese are tonal languages. There are six Vietnamese tones, whereas Thai has five tones. Thai tones are a bit different than Vietnamese tones.

  • Sounds and Vowels:

The biggest reason people think Thai and Vietnamese are related is the fact that they sound similar to nonnatives. Especially the vowels of the two languages can sound very similar. The overall sound and tone of both languages are also very similar.

  • Vocabulary:

More than half of the Vietnamese vocabulary can be traced back to Chinese. Thai has also taken some loan words from the official language of China. This is why the two languages have shared vocabularies. There are plenty of terms that are the same in both languages. Although this does not make the two languages mutually intelligible, they look and sound pretty similar.

  • Word Order:

The word order of these languages makes them different from European languages. However, the word order of Thai and Vietnamese is the same in many cases, which is another considerable similarity between them. The comprehensive grammar of the two languages is also very similar.

  • Specific Pronouns:

Like other Asian languages, Thai and Vietnamese have specific pronouns for referring to people based on their age and gender. There are also different Thai and Vietnamese words for speaking to one’s child, parent, brother, and sister. The relationship you have with someone will decide the pronoun you should use for them.

thai and cambodian

How did the Americans Influence Vietnamese Culture?

It isn’t just the French colonialists who changed the foods and buildings of the Indochinese population. Everything from Vietnamese cuisine and the interior of restaurants to the official language and literature was also influenced by the Americans. Many literary movements started only because of colonialists. The foreign forces changed the everyday life of every citizen by influencing the staple food, buildings, fashion, and language, which in turn led to the country’s economic development. Unlike the French, the American influence is not openly accepted. It also inspired the natives to be more independent in their choices.

The views of the natives regarding the Americans have started changing. Many natives moved to the US over the years to improve their financial status and live a better life. This has brought the two cultures together.

A significant percentage of Asians live in the US today and continue to influence local culture, so it’s safe to say that Asian countries significantly impact US citizens. Asian cuisine is the most famous of it all, including various Vietnamese food Thai food like Pad Thai, which the Americans love. The number 1 reason Thai Food is so prevalent in America is its flavor. In New York City, Thai food was the default takeout for many and delivery orders. Thai restaurants in American cities and suburbs have suggested that it’s simply because Thai food tastes good or happens to hit the American palate in just the right way.


Vietnamese coffee is also widespread in America in many fancy cafes known as cà phê sữa đá, an iced coffee, and condensed milk drink more popularly known as ‘Vietnamese iced coffee.’ Today New York has some of the best Vietnamese food in America. Grilled chicken over rice is a dish made by chef Dennis. The initial inspiration came from a beloved version of ‘com gà’ from his parents’ hometown, Nha Trang: poached, shredded chicken and handfuls of rau ram sitting atop turmeric rice, laced with aioli. It was something he loved eating whenever he visited Vietnam.

‘Chowmein’ is a type of Chinese food in most restaurants in the US, and don’t forget about the ‘Feng Shui’ tradition, which also dramatically affects the US culture. Another influence the Vietnamese culture has on Americans is that they adapted their way of living. Vietnamese families live under the same roof with their maternal paternal relatives like uncles, aunts, and cousins; Americans adapted their nuclear pattern by maintaining close relations with their extended families.

According to a 2002 Census Bureau survey of Vietnamese American-owned firms, more than 50 percent of the businesses are services for personnel or repair and maintenance.

Erica J. Peters, author of “Appetites and Aspirations in Vietnam: Food and Drink in the Long 19th Centuries,” says, “The immigrant story is that you miss the foods from your home country when they’re not available, and you talk to each other a lot about, ‘Well, how can we make do? How can we recreate some of the flavors of what we had there?’

The French influence in Vietnam proves that it isn’t just the colonial influence that can change a country’s culture.

kmhmer thai


Though they are closely related, there is no direct link between them. However, there are many languages like ‘Phu Thai,’ ‘Tai Lue,’ and ‘Tai Dam,’ spoken in Vietnam and Thailand.

The Thai language is generally considered harder for English speakers, especially reading and writing. Thai is difficult to masterfully. On the other hand, Vietnamese pronunciation is more complex than Thai.

They both have different tones. Vietnamese has six styles, and Thai has 5. Many words may sound similar, but they’ll have different meanings.

Both languages are beautiful in their own ways.

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