Vietnamese Folk Speech

Tags: Folk Speech, Dites, Folk Sayings, Vietnamese


“Biết chết liền”

“If I knew, I’d die”

Informant Info

Race/Ethnicity: Vietnamese

Age: 56

Occupation: Business Owner

Residence: Northwest Arkansas, USA

Date of Performance: February 2024

Primary Language:Vietnamese

Other Language(s): English

Relationship: Stepfather


ND, the informant, was born in the South of Vietnam. He often uses this phrase when talking to his other Vietnamese friends about a piece of gossip.


“Biết chết liền” is another way of saying that “if I’d known, I would have died.” It is also a Vietnamese way of saying that you didn’t know about something. Vietnamese people have a very unique way of expressing themselves: their speech is typically lighthearted, dramatic, and wonderfully eccentric. Oftentimes when speaking amongst friends/ethnic familiars, they use dramatic and funny phrases to communicate.