(classifier cái, thứ) tiếng ‎()

  1. voice
    tắt tiếng
    to lose one's voice
  2. language
    nói ba thứ tiếng
    to speak three languages
  3. sound
    tiếng súng
    (sound of a) gunshot
    tiếng sủa
    bark (of a dog)
  4. (linguistics) syllable
  5. (linguistics, colloquial) dialect
  6. (linguistics, prosody, colloquial) accent
    Thằng cha đó nói tiếng Quảng Ngãi tao không nghe được.
    He speaks the Quãng Ngãi accent and I can't make sense of it.
  7. (colloquial) hour
    Nó ngồi đọc truyện suốt năm tiếng.
    He's been sitting there reading manga for five hours.

Usage notesEdit

  • tiếng meaning "language" is often used in compound words (eg. tiếng Anh "English") rather than as a free morpheme, similar to the the Chinese (SV: văn) and (SV: ngữ). The latter two are sometimes used in a Sino-Vietnamese manner (eg. Pháp văn "French", Hoa ngữ "Chinese"). If one wishes to refer to "language" as a standalone term in formal contexts, ngôn ngữ is used instead. In informal contexts, one may use for instance ba thứ tiếng to mean "three languages".
  • The word âm is used instead of tiếng to mean a sound made by a television set, a radio, or another device that imitates or reproduces the sounds of other objects. Âm is also used in phonetics.
  • tiếng meaning "hour" is used in casual speech to refer to a duration, to avoid confusion with giờ. giờ is used to refer to either a duration or a time in formal context (for example, năm giờ means either "five hours" or "five o'clock"). One may also use tiếng đồng hồ or giờ đồng hồ to refer to a duration.


Derived termsEdit

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