How to say first in Vietnamese

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Vietnamese names

In Vietnam, names consist of 3 parts: a family name (at the beginning), a middle name and a first name (at the end of Vietnamese names). The person you are talking to is addressed with "Mr. / Ms. (first name)", so that - in Vietnam as in Germany - the rule applies that the last name that appears on the business card is used for the salutation.

Example: A Mr. Nguyen (last name) Tan (middle name) Dung (first name) would be addressed as "Mr. Dung".

What else should you watch out for ...

The straight path in Vietnam is not the shortest and often the most unsuitable path to success. It is not customary to present your real concern immediately (not even in encrypted form).

Conversations are conducted in a calm tone. The most important questions in particular are carefully packaged, addressed without any urgency, as if they were a minor matter. It is therefore necessary to listen attentively throughout the conversation so as not to overhear what is most important.

Body language should be reserved. Vigorous gestures should be avoided as well as overly lively facial expressions. A calm, measured way of moving is most likely to instill confidence in the Vietnamese. The smile alone can be used as a "universal weapon" and is also used accordingly by the Vietnamese.

The clocks are going slower in Asia, this is not new. Getting used to the consequences of this is more problematic. It takes not only time, but also willpower to develop the composure and patience necessary for negotiations in Vietnam. It is not very promising to get the partners to pace faster than they themselves thought possible. As a rule, neither pressure nor pleading help.

To spare someone shame is the most human thing, said Friedrich Nietzsche. This is what is meant when it comes to not depriving one's counterpart of their dignity, but rather improving one's position by giving them face. Nothing is worse than cornering your partner, embarrassing them (e.g. by revealing their ignorance of certain questions) or humiliating them (by making disparaging remarks about conditions in Vietnam). As a result, the partners lose face, but the worst damage is caused by the perpetrator, as future cooperation is made difficult or impossible.

It is difficult for the Vietnamese to have to reject something or to use the word NO at all, especially in relation to higher-ranking people. It is dangerous for the desired consensus and carries the risk of losing face. Disagreement is taught in various ways, often indirectly, but always gently.

In Vietnam there are numerous rules of conduct and behavior that differ from ours. Vietnamese do not expect us to know or even imitate their way of life in detail. Violations of the rules will largely be looked after foreigners if it can be seen that they were not intentionally committed.