Style guide

1. Writing Style

Language General Style

Sentence Structure

In many cases, English sentences should be re-structured or re-phrased when translating into Vietnamese so that they are more appropriate and natural to Vietnamese readers. Avoid using the passive voice and word-to-word translation, trying to express the source’s intention as if you’re writing the content yourself.




Not recommended

File %s was not found.

Không tìm thấy tập tin %s.

Tập tin %s không được tìm thấy.

Feel free to contact us if you have further questions.

Đừng ngần ngại liên hệ với chúng tôi nếu bạn có câu hỏi khác.

Hãy thoải mái liên hệ với chúng tôi nếu bạn có các câu hỏi khác.

Image save failed.

Không lưu được hình ảnh.

Lưu hình ảnh thất bại.

Use of Foreign Words

When there is a good Vietnamese word for something, use it! For example, in the context of UI/IT, “Display” is best translated as “Màn hình”, “file” is translated as “tập tin” or “tệp”, “download” is translated as “tải xuống” or “tải về”.

The English term can be used as is in case there is no Vietnamese equivalent or it’s required by the client or that term has been widely understood and used by Vietnamese people.

Examples: token, chip, video, game, ID, email, website

Numbered and Bulleted Lists

Numbered and Bulleted lists are often introduced by a main clause followed by a colon. The first word of each item should be capitalized. The appearance of punctuations at the end of each bullet may follow those used in the source language. Specifically, the bullets may end with no punctuation or a semi-colon or a period in case of complete sentences. In any case, the format used in the translation of numbered and bulleted lists should remain consistent.


Vui lòng thực hiện theo các bước sau đây:

  1. Tháo v trước và sau.
  2. Nâng công tc ngun lên như hướng dn trong hình.

2. Language Rules

Capitalization Rules

Unless there are different instructions from the client, please follow the Vietnamese prevailing capitalization rules. Capitalization shall be applied consistently throughout the project, with the following main rules:

  • Capitalize the first letter of the first syllable in a complete sentence or in a clause starting a new line.
  • Capitalize the first letter of all syllables in a Vietnamese proper nouns such as the names of persons and geographical places.

Examples: Nguyễn Du, Bác Hồ, Vua Hùng, Thành Cát Tư Hãn, Hà Nội, Hà Lan, Bắc Trung Bộ, Nam Bán Cầu, Bắc Cực.

  • Capitalize the first letter of the first syllable in the names of the following software interface elements: commands, dialog boxes, options, buttons, modes, and menus (unless otherwise stated).

Examples: Thoát, Tùy chọn, Tiếp theo.

  • For the names of dates, holidays, months and years:
  • Capitalize the first letter of all syllables in the name of a lunar year (e.g.: Mậu Tuất, Mậu Thân)
  • Capitalize the first letter of the first syllable in the name of a holiday (e.g.: tết Nguyên đán, tết Trung thu, lễ Phục sinh, lễ Phật đản)
  • Capitalize the first letter of the syllable indicating the date and the month (e.g.: thứ Hai, tháng Ba)
  • For other cases, please refer to the latest Vietnamese capitalization rules.

Numbers, Date and Time Formats


For Vietnamese, the decimal separator is a comma without a space and the thousands separator is a dot without a space. For numbers smaller than 1, you must always put 0 before the decimal comma.

Version numbers or part numbers must be kept the same way as in the source.





12.45 km

12.45 km

12,45 km

100,000 users

100,000 người dùng

100.000 người dùng

.5 cm

.5 cm

0,5 cm

Version 1.2

Phiên bản 1,2

Phiên bản 1.2

Windows 3.2

Windows 3,1

Windows 3.1

Section 3.1

Phần 3,1

Phần 3.1

Note: Do not start a sentence with numerals.

Standard Date Format
  • Order (normally use dd/mm/yy)
  • Separator (dd/mm/yy or dd-mm-yy or





October 13, 2022

13 tháng Mười, 2022


ngày 13 tháng 10 năm 2022




13 October 2022

13 tháng Mười 2022

Oct 13, 2022

13 tháng 10, 2022







Time Format

Both 12-hour and 24-hour clock systems can be used but consistency is required. “AM/PM” designators should be translated properly instead of using the abbreviated words “SA/CH” or leaving untranslated, unless otherwise instructed by the client. In case of limited spaces, the time can be converted to 24-hour clock system respectively.





8:00 AM

8:00 SA

8:00 AM

8:00 sáng

8 giờ sáng

12:00 PM

12:00 CH

12:00 PM

12:00 trưa

12 giờ trưa

4:00 PM

4:00 CH

4:00 PM

4:00 chiều

4 giờ chiều

7:30 PM

7:30 PM

7:30 CH

7:30 tối


Currency and Units of Measurement


The currency code for the Vietnamese Dong is “VND” and its symbol is “đ”, often placed after the figure with a space. In writing other currencies, the same way should be applied unless otherwise instructed by the client.

Example: 15.000 đng; 15.000 đ; 15.000 VND; 150 USD

Units of Measurement

Unless the client specifies that measurement conversions are required, please use the same measurements and units as the source.

There should be a non-breaking space between the value and the unit, except for the degrees (when not followed by C or F), angles and percentages.

Examples: 10 cm; 5’; 30%; 20°

Punctuation Rules

Follow Vietnamese punctuation rules. Do not use the same punctuation as the source if it is grammatically incorrect in Vietnamese language.

In typography, commas, periods, colons, semicolons, exclamation points, question marks and ellipsis immediately follow the word and are not preceded by a blank space. Periods and any other punctuation mark are followed by one space, not two.


Tin nhn đa phương tin có th cha văn bn, hình nh và chuông đa âm điu (Note: No comma is used before the word “and” in this case.)


Make sure to use commas in accordance with Vietnamese grammar. Commas are required to separate the components and the clauses in a sentence.





We have a party by the end of December every year.

Hàng năm chúng tôi đều tổ chức một bữa tiệc vào cuối tháng 12.

Hàng năm, chúng tôi đều tổ chức một bữa tiệc vào cuối tháng 12.

In the future man will work just 3 hours a day.

Trong tương lai con người chỉ làm việc 3 giờ mỗi ngày.

Trong tương lai, con người chỉ làm việc 3 giờ mỗi ngày.

Quotation Marks

In Vietnamese, double quotation marks (“…”) are used instead of single quotation marks (‘…’). There’s no space between the quotation marks (both open and close) and the text inside the marks. In case of quoting a speech, the quotation is introduced by a colon. The period normally goes outside the quotation marks but can be placed inside if the text quoted is a complete sentence.




Make sure that the program has been set to “Work Offline”.

Hãy đảm bảo rằng bạn đã đặt chương trình này ở chế độ “Làm việc ngoại tuyến”.

He added, “I have a very good memory.”

Ông ấy nói thêm: “Tôi có trí nhớ rất tốt.”

Parentheses and Brackets

Similarly, there’s no space between the parentheses/brackets (both open and close) and the text inside them. Normally, the period is placed outside the parentheses/brackets. Example:

(…) và mt bài viết khuyên làm cho đuôi tp tin hin rõ đ xác đnh các tp tin nguy him đang được ngy trang thành tp tin an toàn trong mc Th thut Internet. (Xem PC World VN 6/2002, trang 92 và trang 96).

Nhn OK, sau đó Cancel (tr phi bn đang mun t đng đnh dng văn bn).

Hyphen, En Dash, Em Dash

Hyphens are not widely used in Vietnamese. Most hyphens are used in foreign-rooted words or to connect the figures in a date. There are no spaces before or after hyphens. Examples: cát-xét, xy-lanh, ăng-ten, Lê-nin, ngày 31-1-2012.

The em dash (—) is not used in Vietnamese and should be replaced with the comma when translating from English language.




Dark, leafy greens—such as spinach, kale, and chard—are an important part of a healthy diet.

Các loại rau có lá xanh đậm, chẳng hạn như cải bó xôi, cải kale và cải cầu vồng, là một phần quan trọng của chế độ ăn uống lành mạnh.

The en dash (–) is used in English to mark ranges. When translating into Vietnamese, a space should be added before and after the dash




October 12–20, 2018

12 – 20 tháng 10 năm 2018

We should have a 10–30 minute rest during the day.

Chúng ta nên nghỉ ngơi 10 – 30 phút trong ngày.

Abbreviations and acronyms

Abbreviations and acronyms are not commonly used in Vietnamese. Make sure to use them only if it’s really necessary or commonly understood by Vietnamese people. There should be no space between the capitalized constituent initials. Normally, the acronyms should first appear in parentheses after the full words.

Some common abbreviated words and acronyms:









IT (Information Technology)




MOET (Ministry of Education and Training)


3. References

Client Style Guides – please refer to the specific instructions of the project, which should contain information on how to obtain client-specific style guides for the target language.