Expat-Friendly Vietnamese Language Learning Apps

At Jobinvietnam.net, we know how important it is for expats living and working in Vietnam to learn the local language. Speaking Vietnamese opens doors, both professionally and personally. It allows you to connect with colleagues, navigate daily life with ease, and truly immerse yourself in the rich culture here.

Learning Vietnamese on the go: Expat using a user-friendly Vietnamese language learning app on their smartphone.

Fortunately, thanks to technology, it’s never been easier to start learning Vietnamese, no matter how busy your schedule is. There are now many fantastic language learning apps designed with expats in mind. They let you study anytime, anywhere, right from your smartphone. Here are some of the best:


One of the most popular language apps globally, Duolingo has an excellent Vietnamese course for beginners. The app takes a gamified approach, turning language acquisition into an engaging and addictive experience.

Learning Vietnamese with Duolingo: Expat using the Duolingo app to take a Vietnamese language lesson.

What sets Duolingo apart is its focus on practical vocabulary and phrases that you’ll actually use in real life. Instead of dry grammar drills, you’ll learn by doing – matching words to pictures, translating simple sentences, and even speaking into the app to check your pronunciation.

The course is thoughtfully structured, gradually building up your skills. And the bite-sized lessons make it easy to squeeze in a little practice whenever you have a few minutes free.

So if you’re just starting out with Vietnamese, give Duolingo a try. It’s the perfect low-pressure introduction to this beautiful but challenging language. Before you know it, you’ll be ordering your cà phê sữa đá like a local!


For visual learners, Drops is a dream come true. This unique app eschews traditional textbook-style teaching entirely in favor of crisp, colorful graphics and fast-paced mini-games.

From the first time you open Drops, you’ll be struck by its gorgeous design and intuitive interface. Each Vietnamese word is represented by a minimalist illustration, making meanings immediately clear and memorable.

This app replaces textbooks with engaging graphics and games, making learning Vietnamese fun and effective for visual learners.

The app then quizzes you in a variety of clever ways – from rapid-fire matching to putting words in the correct order. It’s amazing how quickly you can pick up vocabulary with this highly visual approach.

Another stand-out feature of Drops is its use of spaced repetition. Words you struggle with will come up more frequently, while those you’ve mastered are shown less often. This maximizes the efficiency of your learning.

Since the sessions are capped at just 5 minutes, it’s easy to make Drops a daily habit. And with 100+ topics to explore, from food to transportation to sports, you’ll never run out of useful words to learn.


For a more comprehensive and structured approach, Pimsleur is hard to beat. This venerable language learning system has been around for decades, and its audio-focused method has helped countless students reach conversational fluency.

The app’s structured audio lessons allow expats to concentrate on improving their Vietnamese speaking skills.

Pimsleur is built around its signature 30-minute audio lessons. Each one is a carefully crafted mix of new vocabulary, clear explanations, and plenty of practice time. You’ll participate in realistic conversations from the very beginning, actively using what you’ve learned.

What’s remarkable is how naturally the language sticks in your long-term memory with Pimsleur. Its “graduated interval recall” method has you revisit words and phrases at the optimal times for retention.

The app also includes useful features like transcripts and flashcards to reinforce your audio learning. And cultural notes provide valuable insights into Vietnamese history, customs and etiquette.

While it requires more of a time commitment than some other apps, Pimsleur is a proven path to real proficiency. If your goal is to engage in free-flowing conversations with Vietnamese speakers, this is an excellent choice.

Learn Vietnamese with SVFF

Created by the non-profit Sơn Việt Friendship Foundation, this completely free app is a hidden gem for Vietnamese learners. It offers a wealth of practical lessons that go far beyond your typical “tourist Vietnamese” to cover everyday situations expats encounter.

Learning essential Vietnamese phrases for expats: The Son Viet app provides a collection of useful Vietnamese phrases for everyday life.

One of the app’s greatest strengths is its extensive collection of authentic dialogues. These cover a huge range of scenarios, from shopping at the market to discussing business with a colleague to visiting the doctor. The natural voice actors and helpful translations make these conversations very easy to follow along with.

The app also boasts thousands of interactive exercises and flashcards to help cement your knowledge. And the detailed cultural notes are a fantastic value-add, illuminating aspects of Vietnamese society that textbooks often gloss over.

While the app’s design is a bit less flashy than some commercial offerings, the sheer depth and quality of its content is remarkable. It’s an invaluable resource for expats serious about integrating into local life here.

Jobinvietnam.net – Your Partner in Vietnam

At Jobinvietnam.net, we’re passionate about helping expats thrive, both professionally and personally, in Vietnam. Beyond job opportunities, we know that language skills are key to success.

That’s why we’re proud to recommend these outstanding apps for learning Vietnamese. They’re convenient, effective, and yes – even fun! Whether you’re a total beginner or already have some basic skills, you’ll find an app here to help you reach the next level.

Of course, apps are just one piece of the language learning puzzle. Taking an in-person class can provide helpful structure and accountability. And in a vibrant city like Hanoi, you’ll find fantastic Vietnamese language classes for expats of all levels.

From intensive full-time courses to more relaxed evening or weekend classes, there are ample opportunities to learn in a group setting. You’ll benefit from the guidance of experienced teachers, plus the camaraderie and conversation practice with fellow expat students.

Want to learn more? Check out our article on Vietnamese language classes for expats in Hanoi. We cover the best schools, what to expect as a student, and tips for making the most of your language learning journey in the capital city.

And remember, whatever path you choose – whether an app, a class, or a combination – the key is to just start. Begin putting those Vietnamese skills into practice every chance you get. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Embrace the humorous misunderstandings and small victories. Every interaction is a step towards your goal.

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