Indonesian is not the second official language of Vietnam

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Copyright AFP 2017-2021. All rights reserved.

An infographic shared in several posts on Twitter and Facebook claims that Indonesian has been recognized as Vietnam’s second official language. This claim is false: Vietnamese is the only official language in Vietnam.

The image was shared on October 7, 2021 on Twitter here, where it has been retweeted over 700 times and liked over 3,000 times.

Screenshot of the misleading message, taken on October 26, 2021

Translated into English, the Indonesian-language tweet reads: “FYI: * Indonesian * has been recognized as the second official language in Vietnam. So if you are in Hanoi just try to greet the locals with “Selamat pagi… apa kabar? Semoga kita semua selalu sehat dan Bahagia … ‘”

The Indonesian greeting translates into English as: “Hello … how are you? Hope we are all still healthy and happy.”

The text of the infographic states: “In December 2007, the local government of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam announced that Indonesian had been recognized as the second official language.

He adds that Indonesian is “at the level of English, French and Japanese in Vietnam” and that some universities are opening study programs in Indonesian.

The image also appeared in October 2021 on Twitter here, receiving nearly a thousand likes, and on Facebook here, here and here.

The allegation has been circulating since at least 2009, after the publication by the Indonesian newspaper Kompas.com this report, and has been published several times over the years since, for example here, here, here and here.

However, the claim is false.

According to the Vietnamese constitution, the English version of which is available on the website of the state daily Viet Nam News here, the only “national language” of the country is Vietnamese.

“The national language is Vietnamese. Each ethnic group has the right to use its own spoken and written language to preserve its own identity and promote its good customs, practices, traditions and culture ”, states article 5 point 3 of the constitution. In the document, there is no mention of a second official language in Vietnam, including Indonesian.

An AFP Vietnamese journalist in Hanoi confirmed: “So far there has been no official second language in Ho Chi Minh City or Vietnam.”

Indonesian newspaper Kompas.com published a fact-checking report in October 2021, which concludes that the claim that Indonesian has become a second official language in Vietnam is “not true”.


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