Vietnam Academy Of Social Sciences
Name: Institute of Linguistics
Phone: 84-4-3825 3548
Fax: 84-4-825 0385
Address: No.9A Kim Ma Thuong Street, Hanoi

Giới thiệu Viện Ngôn ngữ học

The institute of Linguistics is scientific research organization under the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, established under Decree No. 59/CP, March 14th 1968 by the Government Council.

During the last 45 years, the Institute of Linguistics has been not only striving and expanding in the number of officials but also performing excellent all tasks and functions. These consists of studying the basic issues of theoretical and applied linguistics in studying Vietnamese, languages of ethnic minorities in Vietnam, other languages in the region and around the world; providing scientific foundations for planning linguistic policy of the Party and State; applying scientific research results in real life; consulting and postgraduate training on linguistics, contributing to the development of national human resources.


  1. Scientific research

Since the beginning, the Institute of Linguistics had developed basic research on various aspects of Vietnamese and ethnic minority languages such as phonetics, vocabulary – semantics, grammar, dictionary, Vietnamese history, characteristics, social linguistic issues of Vietnamese and ethnic minority languages; research on theoretical issues; organizing the compilation of quality works to meet the practical needs of the country.

Dozens of researches in different fields of Vietnamese and ethnic minorities languages, and other book packages were published. Many of those are valuable; assert reputation and esteem of the Institute in current society. Many researches were accorded national awards for science and technology in 2005, for example: Vietnamese Dictionary (first published in 1988, several editions), English – Vietnamese Dictionary (Le Kha Ke), Vietnamese Spelling (Hoang Phe), Ensemble of Vietnamese Grammar (Hoang Tue), and Vietnamese Grammar (Nguyen Kim Than). Moreover, the Institute edited and published selected philological dictionaries, terminology dictionaries, bilingual dictionaries which are greatly appreciated, such as: Vietnamese Dictionary, English – Vietnamese Dictionary, Ensemble of Vietnamese Grammar, Common Chinese – Vietnamese Elements Dictionary, Chinese – Vietnamese Idioms and Proverbs Dictionary, Vietnamese Proverbs Dictionary, Russian – Vietnamese Linguistics Dictionary, French – Vietnamese Art Dictionary, Vietnamese – Hmong Dictionary, Tày – Nùng – Vietnamese Dictionary…

Groups and individual scientists of the Institute of Linguistics also published other basic theoretical researches in different levels of languages, consisting phonetics, grammar, vocabulary – semantics: The Phonetics of Vietnamese and Selected Ethnic Languages (2000), Vietnamese Grammar (1983) – A national research of the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, Vietnamese Lingoes (2001), Vietnamese Synonyms (2006, 2010), Foreign words in Vietnamese (2007)…

New interdisciplinary studies in the field of psychology linguistics and communication theory, social linguistics, many foundation researches had been published, such as: Learning cultural – ethnic characteristics and thinking in Vietnam (2002), Vietnamese in administrative communication (2000), Language Planning – Macro social linguistics (2003), Advertising language in the scope of communication theory (2005)…

While researching theoretical issues, the Institute of Linguistics always associates its works with practical needs, such as the problems of standardized spelling and terminology, capitalizing proper names, reading and writing foreign names…Especially, keeping the purity of Vietnamese has risen to a crucial issue.

2. Practical functions

Keeping the purity of Vietnamese is a complex issue, which covers all theoretical and practical issues in terms of Vietnamese. This content has been researched and discussed by the Institute through workshops, scientific reports, and especially in valuable works such as Training words (1996), Word using handbook (1980), Language and social–cultural life (1996), From common words to language of  arts (2000)…

Researching and proposing policy related to language issues: On the basis of the research results, the Institute had some suggestions that the government approved and issued Decision 53/CP on 22 Feb 1980 about policy for the letters of ethnic minorities. This Decision had been enforced in bringing voice and written languages of ethnic minorities to their life.

The Institute of Linguistics has launched many surveys to collect the basic idea to propose Vietnamese linguistic policy in different developing periods of the country, such as: The general survey of ethnic minorities languages in Vietnam; surveying Vietnamese usage on mass media; surveying the development of Vietnamese vocabulary on the development of technology, science, socio-economy from 1975 to now; General survey on Vietnamese language in Vietnam from 1998 to 2000…Many theoretical and practical studies were published such as: Situation and linguistic policy in multi-ethnic countries (1997), Situation and linguistic policy in Vietnam (2000).

From 2009 to 2012, the government assigned the Institute of Linguistics to execute two researches: The first research (2009 – 2010) is titled The basic issues of Vietnamese language to 2020; The second research (2011 – 2012) is titled Scientific arguments in setting up Linguistic Law in Vietnam.

 Identifying ethnic composition in Vietnam: Language is an important issue to identify ethnic people. Through the Survey of ethnic minorities’ languages in Vietnam (1994-2000 and 2000-2005) with many researches, descriptions, comparisons, classification of ethnic minorities’ languages, the Institute of Linguistics had important contributions in identifying ethnic composition.

Building written languages for ethnic minorities: By Decision 53/CP on 22nd Feb 1980 on the guidelines for written languages of ethnic minorities, an important mission of the Institute of Linguistics cooperating with ministries and departments is guiding locals to compile and improve written languages for ethnic minorities, such as: Pa Koh – Ta Ôih, Bru – Vân Kiều, Raglai, Katu, Chăm, Hroi, Hre; compile new Thái’s letters, Latinize Thái’s written language, Mường’s written language, suggest new Mông’s written language.

Promoting culture and education development of the country, particular in ethnic minorities: Besides programs mentioned above, the Institute of Linguistics also did a series of topics in order to study theoretical and practical languages issues regarding Vietnamese and languages of ethnic minorities in Vietnam for education function. The Institute conducted many survey on Vietnamese in school and published many researches such as: Vietnamese in schools (4 volumes), Theory of language activity and Vietnamese teaching in secondary schools (1998), Selected theoretical issues and Vietnamese teaching–learning methods  in schools (2003)…

In a multi-ethnic and multi-language country like Vietnam, the development of bilingual and multilingual forms is the best way for coexistence and development of languages, avoiding conflicts not only of ethnicity but also in language. Therefore, the Institute of Linguistics has edited selected books to spread Vietnamese. Besides bilingual dictionaries of ethnic minorities’ languages and Vietnamese, the Institute also edited other books on learning ethnic languages, and learning Vietnamese for ethnicities.

Furthermore, many researches in other practical fields of linguistics timely meets the demand of society, such as: Restoring language for disabled people; Analyzing characteristics of sound, speech recognition, and speech synthesizer; Vietnamese teaching book for foreigners, Rules and dictionary of writing and reading foreign names in administration documents,...

Especially, in 2000, the Institute of Linguistics was assigned to perform a national project: Scientific foundations in editing Vietnamese dictionary. To facilitate the preparation stage of the dictionary, the Institute developed and put into use the pilot of Vietnamese data bank coupled with a system of specialized programs to utilize the data bank, manage, utilize available Vietnamese dictionaries, and edit dictionary in the Internet.

3. Journal publishing

Linguistic Journal is the messenger of the Institute of Linguistics. It is also the scientific forum for linguistics and enthusiasts who love linguistics. The Journal is appreciated for reputation and scientific quality. For 44 years, the Journal has strongly developed both quality and quantity: 289 issues has been published. The Journal changed from quarterly (in 1968) to monthly (in 1997). The Linguistic Journal was awarded the Labor Medal - Second Class (1986), the Labor Medal - First Class (2000), Excellent Banner of Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (2012).

4. International cooperation

In the 80s -90s of the twentieth century, the Institute of Linguistics together with The Institute of Oriental Studies and The Institute of Linguistics, formerly of USSR Academy of Sciences and currently Russian Academy of Sciences, conducted many surveys of ethnic minorities’ languages in Vietnam. More than 30 ethnic languages in Vietnam were surveyed, researched; dozens of monographic studies of ethnic languages had been published (in Vietnamese and Russian). In that collaboration, at the end of 2011, the Institute of Linguistics was assigned to perform three ministerial topics: Vietnam – Russia’s collaboration to examine the languages of ethnic minorities in Vietnam; Vietnam – Russia’s collaboration to research social linguistics; Preparing, improving the draft Vietnamese – Russian grand dictionary.

Moreover, in the last decade of the twentieth century, the Institute of Linguistics established and expanded scientific cooperation with many scientific groups and individual in many countries: the U.S., France, the Netherlands, Germany, Thailand, Laos, Canada, Australia, Japan,… investigating, researching dozens of languages of ethnic minorities in Vietnam, contributing to clarify theoretical issues in the process of linguistic forming, Vietnamese origin and relationship of Vietnamese with other languages in region.

5. Training

In 1979, Ministry of Education and Training accredited the Institute of Linguistics a postgraduate school and entrusted with the task of training research students in linguistics. Since the first short-term training for PhD candidate, from 1983 to 2010, the Institute enrolled 18 PhD courses, with 60 PhD in literature (currently PhD in linguistics). The Institute’s training contributed greatly in improving the level of research staff of the Institute and the development of linguistics.

Besides training in Vietnam, dozens of staffs of the Institute of Linguistics were sent abroad for postgraduate training, achieved doctorates, doctors of science. The Institute also opened many foreign languages course to improve language proficiency for staffs, such as: English, modern Chinese, and ancient Chinese.

With great achievements, in 1988, the Institute of Linguistics was awarded Labor Medal - Second Class; Labor Medal First Class in 1998, Excellent Banner of Government in 2011. Many researchers of the Institute were awarded noble rewards such as Labor Medal, Independent Medal, National Awards for Science and Technology.