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Drinking beer in Vietnam

Whether attending a wedding or eating snails, the Vietnamese are fond of a beer. Here’s some vocab that might come in handy if you find yourself drinking beer in Vietnam.

Drinking beer in Vietnam

Every time you take a sip of your beer, you must clink glasses with your companions.

Sometimes you just clink and drink, but often you’ll hear one of the following.

How to toast in Southern Vietnam:

một, hai, ba, vô! (always pronounce vô as /yo/)
= 1, 2, 3, cheers!

Northerners have adapted this toast into their own:

một, hai, ba, /zo/! (often written as dô)
hai, ba, /zo/
hai, ba, uống
= 1, 2, 3, cheers!
2, 3, cheers
2, 3, drink!

Somebody may well clink glasses (cạn ly) with you and say:

một trăm phần trăm
= 100% (they want you to down the glass)

You may be able to get away with:

năm mười phần trăm (= năm mười)
= 50% (they want you to drink half of your glass)

If you can’t or don’t want to drink:

[Anh/Chị/Em/…] không uống bia được.
= I can’t drink beer.

Eating goes hand in hand with food and snacks vary from peanuts to seafood. You’ll be encouraged to eat, or you can invite others’ to eat with:

ăn đi!
= eat!, please eat

Or if you spend too much time eating, you may be told to: uống đi!

Edited 8/3/14

Over to you: Have you ever drunk beer with Vietnamese people? Share your experiences in the comments!

Photo credit: dantri website