How to Say Sea in Vietnamese: A Comprehensive Guide

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to say “sea” in Vietnamese. Vietnamese is a beautifully diverse language that offers multiple ways to express concepts, depending on the formality and regional variations. In this guide, we will explore both formal and informal ways to say “sea” in Vietnamese, providing numerous tips and examples along the way. So let’s dive in!

Formal Ways to Say Sea

When it comes to formal language, Vietnamese provides two common ways to refer to the sea:

1. Biển

The most widely used formal term for “sea” in Vietnamese is “biển”. It encompasses the vastness and grandeur of the sea in a single word. This term is commonly used in written language, formal conversations, and official contexts. Here are a few examples of how to use “biển” in sentences:

Biển cả rất đẹp vào mùa hè. (The sea is very beautiful in summer.)

Tôi thích ngắm biển vào buổi chiều. (I like watching the sea in the afternoon.)

2. Đại dương

The second formal term for “sea” is “đại dương”. It specifically refers to the ocean, emphasizing its vastness and depth. This term is often used in scientific or technical contexts. Here are a couple of examples:

Đại dương Thái Bình Dương rất lớn. (The Pacific Ocean is very large.)

Tàu chở hàng chạy qua đại dương. (The cargo ship is sailing across the ocean.)

Informal Ways to Say Sea

When it comes to informal language, Vietnamese offers a variety of expressions to convey the concept of “sea”. These terms are commonly used in everyday conversations, especially among friends and family:

1. Biển cả

“Biển cả” is a more casual and poetic way to refer to the sea in Vietnamese. It evokes a sense of awe and admiration towards the vastness of the sea. Let’s take a look at some examples:

Chúng ta đi biển cả chơi nhé! (Let’s go to the seaside together!)

Bầu trời xanh kết hợp với màu biển cả tạo nên bức tranh tuyệt đẹp. (The blue sky combined with the color of the sea creates a stunning painting.)

2. Biển khơi

“Biển khơi” refers to the open sea or deep sea. It implies adventure and exploration, often associated with fishing or seafaring activities. Here are a few examples:

Ngư dân đã quen với cuộc sống trên biển khơi. (Fishermen are accustomed to life on the open sea.)

Anh ấy đi câu cá trên biển khơi của miền Trung. (He goes fishing in the deep sea of Central Vietnam.)

3. Vùng biển

“Vùng biển” literally translates to “coastal region” or “seaside area”. While it does not specifically mean “sea” on its own, it is frequently used to refer to areas near the sea. It can also be used more broadly to describe maritime zones. Let’s see a couple of examples:

Tôi sống ở vùng biển nên ăn hải sản rất thường xuyên. (I live in a coastal area, so I eat seafood regularly.)

Quảng Nam có vùng biển đẹp nên du khách thường ghé thăm. (Quang Nam has a beautiful coastline, so tourists often visit.)

Tips for Using the Terms

When using these terms to refer to the sea, it is important to pay attention to the context and adjust your language accordingly. Here are some general tips:

  • For more formal occasions, such as academic or professional settings, use “biển” or “đại dương”.
  • When talking with friends or in casual conversations, opt for “biển cả” or “biển khơi”.
  • If you want to refer to specific coastal areas or zones, “vùng biển” is a suitable term.
  • Remember that “biển” is the most common and versatile word for “sea” in Vietnamese.
  • Feel free to mix and match these terms based on your desired emphasis or variety in expression.

Regional Variations

While Vietnamese is primarily a homogeneous language, some regional variations exist. In certain dialects or accents, slight differences in pronunciation may occur. However, the vocabulary for “sea” remains consistent across regions. The terms discussed in this guide are commonly understood and used nationwide.


Learning how to say “sea” in Vietnamese opens up new possibilities for conversations and cultural exchanges. Whether you prefer formal or informal language, Vietnamese offers you a range of expressions to choose from. Remember to adapt your language based on the context and audience, and don’t hesitate to mix and match these terms to enrich your expression. So go ahead and dive into the beauty of the sea with confidence in the Vietnamese language!

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