Vietnamese has about 66 million native speakers with a further 10 million who speak it as a second language. As well as in Vietnam itself, it is also spoken in Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. It belongs to the Mon-Khmer branch of the Austroasiatic language family.
Vietnamese is a tonal language like Chinese. It was originally written in Chinese characters, with lots of vocabulary and grammar borrowed from Chinese. After the French colonisation, the Latin script was adopted instead.
The language has a subject-verb-object word order, and like Chinese it has no gender and no verb suffixes to indicate tenses.
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