Vietnamese, formerly known under French colonization as Annamese, is the national and official language of Vietnam. It is the mother tongue of the Vietnamese people, and of about several million overseas Vietnamese, most of whom live in the United States. It is also spoken as a second language by many ethnic minorities of Vietnam. It is part of the Austroasiatic language family, of which it has the most speakers by a significant margin (several times larger than the other Austroasiatic languages put together).
Much vocabulary has been borrowed from Chinese, especially words that denote abstract ideas in the same way European languages borrow from Latin and Greek. It was formerly using the Chinese writing system in a modified format, but pronounced the Vietnamese way. The Vietnamese writing system in use today is an adapted version of the Latin alphabet, with added diacritics for tones and certain letters.
There are various regional dialects, the four main being: North, North-central, Central, and Southern. These dialect regions differ mostly in their sound systems, but there are also differences in vocabulary and grammar. Through time there has been some blending of the different dialects, but more of greater significance is that the Northern dialect has become more easily understood in the South, and vice versa.
|Vietnamese Language Alphabet|
Read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnamese_language