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Hanoi or Saigon dialect

Recently I've got interested in the Vietnamese language.
Before I start learning I'd like to know some things.
I found that there are three major groups of dialects. Southern, Northern and Central.
I'd like to choose between Hanoi and Saigon dialect.
Of course since Standard Vietnamese is based on Hanoi dialect it would be quite wise to go with it.
But I've heard that there are many TV dramas and movies are often in Southern dialect. On top of that many overseas Vietnamese speak Southern dialects too..
If I learn Hanoi Vietnamese, will I be understood in Ho Chi Minh? Will I be able to understand Southern dialects?
There seem to be a lot of free resources dedicated for learning Southern Vietnamese... This is also an important point for me.

For learning: Vietnamese
Base language: English
Category: Language

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    Best Answer - Chosen by the Asker
    Hi Ken,
    Thank you very much for your interest in learning our language, Vietnamese.
    You are right when you say that there are three main dialect regions in Vietnam. But, you don't have to worry about choosing the dialect to study. Because the Vietnamese taught in all websites is Standard Vietnamese even though the teachers may be Northern or Southern. They don't teach dialects. The difference is only in their accent.
    So, please choose any source that you like, any material that you find interesting for you to learn. You can understand Vietnamese no mater the speaker is Northerner or Southerner.
    After the year 1975, there were a big movement of people from the North to the South. So nowadays, Northern dialect is easily to understand in the South and vice versa. As for me, I come from the North but I don't find any difficulty in listening to the people come from the South or even the Central areas.
    I would like to recommend to you a website for learning Vietnamese. The speaker is Southerner but teaching material is 100% standard
    http://www.ilearnviet.com/#index.html
    Wish you success in your language study.

    You can understand Vietnamese speak Southern dialects too! only a few sysnonyms between Southern and Northern. hj

    I learning English, i am from Vietnam. :)

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