Phonetic Annotation - Legend

Phonetic annotation is used on this website to offer an alternative description of pronunciations besides Quốc Ngữ. While learning Chữ nôm you can use this method to record the pronunciation of a character without immediately revealing it as Quốc ngữ would do. That way you can put it directly on a flash card without having to cover the pronunciation while learning it.

A brief explanation

A syllable is split into four components: initial, nucleus, final, tone. For example thuyền is split into: TH, UYÊ, N, and the huyền tone. For each component you can lookup the corresponding shape in the table below.


  • Initial symbols usually stand for a sound that they have in Chữ hán, e.g. 又 has the Chữ hán pronunciation hựu, therefore it stands for initial sound h
  • The finals are all numeric characters and stand for the final sound they have in Chữ hán, e.g. has the Chữ hán pronunciation tam, therefore it stands for final sound m
  • There are no symbols for the finals nh and ch. Instead you use symbols for ng and c.
  • Words ending in anh, ách or ạch are transcribed as if they were written ơng, ớc or ợc
  • The tone marks are the same as in Quốc ngữ, except that the "dot below" is written above instead

Font download

To use annotation offline, download this font file.


buýtbóc uy buy nhất buýt卜一

kemcổn e ke tam kem亅三

bơmbóc ơ tam bơm卜三


Choose a deck to practice the symbols.

  • Vowels I
  • Vowels II
  • Tones
  • Consonants I
  • Consonants II
  • Consonants III
  • Consonants IV

    Brushed version


    Bbóc Ccổn Chchuy Đđại
    Ddẫn Phphiết Ghghế Gi
    Hhựu Khkhư Llập Mmộc
    Nnải Ngnghệ Nhnhân Lriêu
    Ssam Ttịch Ththốn Trtruy
    V Xxích


    Ê Ô A U I Ơ Ư
    E O Ă Ua Ia  Ưa
    OA UY
    OE UYA


    Nthiên Mtam Pthập Clục Tnhất
    NGkhông NHlinh CHbách U/Ocửu I/Ynhi


    ́sắc ̀huyền
    ̉hỏi ̃ngã

    Light version