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Public-images-osm logo.svg name:vi
Bình Minh Lẩu Dê 2, San Jose, California.jpg
Vietnamese name in Latin alphabet; use name:vi-hani for demotic name Edit or translate this description.
Group: Names
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesmay be used on waysmay be used on areasmay be used on relations
Useful combination
Status: de facto


This key specifies the feature's Vietnamese name in the modern Latin alphabet (quốc ngữ).

How to map

Spell the name as posted on signs or according to common local usage, respecting capitalization, tone mark placement, and -i/-y. You can optionally provide other orthographic styles in alt_name:vi=* for the convenience of search engines that do not perform Vietnamese-specific diacritic folding. For example:

  • A school in Vietnam: name:vi=Trung học Phổ thông Hoà Mĩ alt_name:vi=Trung học Phổ thông Hòa Mỹ
  • A community center in the United States: name:vi=Trung Tâm Văn Hóa Việt-Mỹ alt_name:vi=Trung tâm Văn hoá Việt-Mĩ

Always include diacritics when known, even if they do not appear on a sign. Diacritics are essential to the meaning of a Vietnamese word, much more so than in other languages that use the Latin alphabet.

If Vietnamese is the local language, also set name=* to the same name as name:vi=*. Vietnamese is the predominant language in much of Vietnam, as well as in a number of ethnic enclaves around the world, but do not assume that every POI or road in a Little Saigon is written in Vietnamese.

Use name:vi-Hani=* for the name in demotic characters (chữ Nôm) or name:lzh=* for the name in classical Chinese characters. There is no need to transcribe a mundane feature's name into demotic or classical Chinese characters, but these transcriptions may be relevant if signposted, which may be the case at a restaurant or place of worship for example. After all, there is no one-to-one correspondence between a quốc ngữ word and chữ Nôm character.

Tips for non-Vietnamese speakers

Vietnamese has a distinctive alphabet that can be easy to recognize based on the presence of certain diacritics and spelling patterns. See Wikipedia's language recognition guide for details.

Make sure to enter Vietnamese characters and not lookalikes, for example "Đ", not the Icelandic letter "Ð". Common Vietnamese typefaces and handwriting styles shape and place some diacritics differently than in European languages. For example, what appears to be "Ba'nh Bō No'ng Hôỉ" is actually "Bánh Bò Nóng Hổi".


Implementation notes

Like speakers of other languages, Vietnamese speakers may enter words without diacritics when searching, so search engines need to perform diacritic folding to ensure high-quality results. However, the common, language-agnostic approach of stripping all diacritics from words is detrimental to Vietnamese speakers. The Vietnamese alphabet distinguishes two kinds of diacritics: those that are part of the base letter and tone marks. A base letter such as "â" should not be conflated with another base letter such as "a" or "ă". Otherwise, there is a high potential for false positives. Moreover, priority should be given to matching tone marks over mismatching tone marks. For example, searching for "Thanh Hóa" should return "Thanh Hóa", "Thanh Hoá", and "Thành Hóa" before "Thánh Hòa" or "Thánh Hoà".

Because diacritics are fundamental to the meaning of a word in Vietnamese, renderers should choose fonts in which the diacritics are easily discernible. Common problems include being unable to distinguish "ò", "ỏ", and "ó"; "ỵ" and "y"; "Tì" and "Ti"; "Tồ" and "Tô"; "ẳ" and "ẵ"; and "ơn", "ón", and "on". Vietnamese specialty fonts tend to exaggerate tone marks far more than pan-Latin fonts.

External links