Texting in Vietnamese: Common Abbreviations

Texting in VietnameseMaybe you want to use your đtdd (phone) to nhắn tin (send a message) a friend in Vietnamese. Or maybe you’re lazy to type out full words in a chat. Here’s a starter guide to Vietnamese SMS abbreviations.

Most phones don’t do accents, or they’re arduous to use so people don’t bother, so you’ll be reading Vietnamese without the tones. Vietnamese words are short anyway, so the list of common abbreviations isn’t as extensive as other languages.

ko = không
dc = được
a = anh
e = em
ng = người
wa = quá (this may be southern)

-ng → g
For example, nhug = nhưng. dag, xog and cug are also common (= đang, xong, cũng).

i → j
For example, dj = đi, bjet or bjt = biết. Some may write gì as ji or j.
hjhj is also common as showing laughter.

If you’re talking about a friend, you may shorten their name to their initial (eg. if you were talking about me you’d write T for Thảo).

And of course VN is Việt Nam!

These are the most common abbreviations for texting in Vietnamese that I’ve come across, though young people may use more than this!

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  1. Rab Barsamian

    Ruth Elizabeth (Thao),

    For the life of me, I am trying to understand what the symbol ^^ means when texted to me from a Vietnamese friend, but too shy to ask. Can you help? Is there more that one meaning?

    thanks.

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