Vietnamese is an Austroasiatic language spoken in Vietnam. Another well-known language in this group is Cambodian.
Vietnamese is the national language of Vietnam and also has been officially recognized as a minority language in the Czech Republic, which provides the Vietnamese community there the right to use Vietnamese with public authorities anywhere in the country. In the USA, it is the 6th most spoken language.
Initially, Vietnamese was written with two Chinese scripts. The influence of Chinese meant that some 30-60% of Vietnamese vocabulary has been naturalized from Chinese. Today Vietnamese uses the Latin script with additional diacritics and digraphs.
It is a tonal language, like Chinese, where the meaning of the word changes depending on the tone. Furthermore, each syllable is written separately as if it was a separate word (i.e. in English it would be written: wri-ting-sys-tem”).