The ‘no’ tone is actually…

You might think that the so-called ‘no’ tone (known as ngang) is the easiest of Vietnamese’s 6 (or 5) tones, however I was having problems with it until a fellow learner gave me a gem of information…

The ‘no’ tone is flat, but it’s high.

If you look at this graph plotting the sound of the six Northern tones from Wikipedia, you’ll see that the ‘no’ tone starts higher than any of the other tones, but stays more or less flat.

Tone Chart

Well, there we are! Try taking words with this tone up a scale but keeping them flat. For example, đi.

Now try a sentence, keeping each word high but flat: Em đi ăn cơm. In natural speech the tones aren’t so defined but it’s good to get your voice used to making this high, flat sound.

Over to you: Have you had problems with the ‘no’ tone? Have you tried our suggestion and noticed a difference?

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