SVFF Teachers

Vietnamese cuisine has taken the world by storm, and at the heart of this culinary revolution is “Phở” – Vietnam’s soul-nourishing noodle soup. However, pronouncing “Phở” like a local, especially in the Saigonese dialect, can be a bit of a challenge for learners of Southern Vietnamese. Today, we’re here to demystify this for you with a simple, step-by-step guide to getting it just right.

Step 1: Understanding the Sounds

The first hurdle is the initial sound “ph.” In Vietnamese, this is pronounced like the English “f.” Next, tackle the vowel sounds which are crucial for the correct pronunciation. Here’s how you can practice:

  1. The “Ph” Sound: Start by pronouncing it as an “F.”
  2. The Vowel Sounds: The vowels in “Phở” need to be pronounced accurately to capture the essence of the word correctly.

Step 2: Mastering the Tone

Tone plays a vital role in Vietnamese, where a slight change can alter the meaning of a word entirely. “Phở” uses a unique low falling and rising tone, requiring you to lower your voice initially and then raise it. Practice by lowering your voice for “fơ,” and then raise your voice for “fơ.” Combine these two movements to say “Phở” correctly.

The Saigonese Twist

Saigonese, or Southern Vietnamese, has its nuances. Besides the standard pronunciation, locals often add a distinctive touch by moving their lower jaw slightly forward at the end of the sound, changing it from “ơơơơơ” to “ơơơơư.” Try saying “Phở” with this in mind, and you’ll sound more like a native in no time.

Tips for Practice

  • The Simple Way: Saying “Phở” with a straightforward approach is perfectly acceptable, and most people will understand you.
  • The Native Way: For those looking to impress, mastering the local pronunciation with the Saigonese twist will certainly earn you some points.

Enhance Your Pronunciation Skills

We’re excited to announce that we’re working on an online pronunciation course tailored specifically for learners of Southern Vietnamese. If you’re interested in perfecting your pronunciation beyond “Phở” and diving deeper into the nuances of the Saigon dialect, stay tuned for updates on our website.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel and turn on notifications to catch all our future videos, where we’ll continue to explore the rich tapestry of the Vietnamese language and culture.

Happy learning, and as we say in Vietnam, “Ăn Phở, hạnh phúc mỗi ngày!” (Eat Phở, happy every day!)

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