Vietnamese: Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon

ilocas2

Banned
Czech
So, what is more used by people living in this city, people in Vietnam or by people from Vietnam in other countries? Let aside what is "correct", I'm interesed in everyday speech.
 
  • Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    I was in Saigon last year.

    Saigon is still the most common way to describe the city, and is used on bus destinations in District 1.

    The code for the airport is still SGN.

    Just look at the names of the hotels:
    Intercontinental Asiana Saigon
    Sheraton Saigon
    Sofitel Plaza Saigon
    Moevenpick Saigon Hotel
    Metropole Saigon
    Saigon Riverside Hotel

    The name of the river though the city is still the Saigon River, and was not changed when the name of the city was changed.

    The overseas Vietnamese who fled after the take-over by the North never use the name Ho-Chi-Minh-City.
     

    BP.

    Senior Member
    Urdu
    I checked with a couple of Vietnamese colleauges, and they say they always call it Ho-Chi-Min-city. They are not 'overseas Vietnamese' by the way, only 'residing temporarily in a foreign country Vietnamese'.
     

    kepulauan

    Senior Member
    Icelandic
    Is there, by chance, a difference between north and south in this regard? Saigon being far less communist than Hanoi (from how it appears to me) and therefore effecting choice of names. Or is it just easier to say?
     

    ngphuocdai2401

    New Member
    Vietnam - English
    Hi everybody, I'm Dai Nguyen, from Vietnam.

    Concerning the question raised in the first post, please be informed that in Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City is now more used than Saigon because Ho Chi Minh city is the official name of this city. However, we people would like to call it Saigon since it is a beautiful name and it recalls us a beautiful time of this city in the past.
    Is there, by chance, a difference between north and south in this regard? Saigon being far less communist than Hanoi (from how it appears to me) and therefore effecting choice of names. Or is it just easier to say?
    Saigon was officiallly renamed as Ho Chi Minh city in 1976 (one year after the victory against US to unite the country) to honour Ho Chi Minh, a great leader of our country who has devoted all his life to the independence of Vietnam. The choice of name was made by the Government which governs the whole country (North and South).

    By the way, Ho Chi Minh is one of the most wealthiest cities in Vietnam, far above from the capital, Hanoi city.
     

    Linhpi

    Senior Member
    Vietnamese
    So, what is more used by people living in this city, people in Vietnam or by people from Vietnam in other countries? Let aside what is "correct", I'm interesed in everyday speech.
    I live in Hà Nội and I find that both of them are equally popular here. In official documents you must you the official name, Ho Chi Minh city, but in everyday speech you can use both. In the name of restaurants, hotels etc. it seems Saigon is more popular, maybe because it makes the name shorter and therefore more economical :D
     

    vanhoabui

    New Member
    Vietnamese and English
    In everyday language, most people use Saigon as it is shorter than Ho Chi Minh City (Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh in Vietnamese).
     

    vietcutie703

    New Member
    English (US), Vietnamese
    The official name of the city is HCM city after the Communist took country of Viet Nam. But the people will call it Sai Gon for aesthetic, historical, and cultural reasons- as well as for convenience. Sai Gon is also used over HCM city for political reasons particularly by those who were persecuted and suffered at the hands of HCM and the Communist Regime. When speaking to the Vietnamese diaspora, it is sensitive and comforting to refer to the city as Sai Gon. HCM city just leaves a bad taste in everyone's mouth, unless if you're a Vietnamese youth who grew up under the Communist Regime.
     
    Last edited:

    lehoang

    Member
    Vietnam Vietnamese
    I checked with a couple of Vietnamese colleauges, and they say they always call it Ho-Chi-Min-city. They are not 'overseas Vietnamese' by the way, only 'residing temporarily in a foreign country Vietnamese'.

    As a Saigonese I have never used "Thanh pho HCM" in place of "Sai gon" in my everyday conversation. The same is alo true when I speak English - I use Saigon, not HCM City.
     

    andrew4558

    New Member
    vietnamese
    To ilocas2: Calling Saigon or HCMcity conveys political nuances between Vietnamese. Vietnamese from North Vietnam are proud to call it HCM city. For Southerners, and Vietnamese overseas (if they're not originally from the North Vietnam) they will call Saigon.
    Those who are born after the war they'll be taught in school and might call it HCM city. But it depends as well on the their families. If their fathers were civil servants or officiers of South Republic and were "invited" for years in reeducation camp. That's another story.
    Another thing, since communist countries always control media like China, Cuba, North Korea it's surely HCM city will be lingering on and on and on TV, newspapers and other media.
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    vietcutie703

    New Member
    English (US), Vietnamese
    The official name of the city is HCM city after the Communist took country of Viet Nam. But the people will call it Sai Gon for aesthetic, historical, and cultural reasons- as well as for convenience. Sai Gon is also used over HCM city for political reasons particularly by those who were persecuted and suffered at the hands of HCM and the Communist Regime. When speaking to the Vietnamese diaspora, it is sensitive and comforting to refer to the city as Sai Gon. HCM city just leaves a bad taste in everyone's mouth, unless if you're a Vietnamese youth who grew up under the Communist Regime.

    *didn't notice I had a typo, I meant to say TOOK CONTROL of Viet Nam.
     

    starnightnt

    Senior Member
    Vietnamese
    Well, about this issue, SaiGon is the name which called in 1930s and it'd had a famous words : Saigon - The pearl of Indochina.
    It refers to a region where called District 1 nowadays - the center of city
    HCMc is an official name on map, for instance.

    Saigon or HCMc, I don't think they are same. If we live in the suburb of city, such as Cu Chi, we don't call that place is in Sai Gon, it's in HCMc .

    And now, in everyday life, Vietnamese has a short name to refer it : city replace for HCMc.

    That's a little information I knew about Viet Nam.
     

    newname

    Senior Member
    Vietnamese
    It refers to a region where called District 1 nowadays - the center of city
    HCMc is an official name on map, for instance.

    Saigon or HCMc, I don't think they are same. If we live in the suburb of city, such as Cu Chi, we don't call that place is in Sai Gon, it's in HCMc .

    That's correct! and How long have you been living there?

    Some year ago I was in Saigon and a friend of mine told me to go to Saigon for lunch. I immediately asked him if he was joking. He told me that as I was in Hochiminh city, Saigon becomes district 1. So be careful with what you use. It depends on the 'context':D
    So my advice is:
    1. In everyday conversation, use Saigon ( when you are not there). Vietnamese love brevity.
    2. In everyday conversation, use Saigon for events which took place before 1975. Whether you hate Hochiminh city or not, you could not have been correctly born in Saigon in 1980,for example.
    3. For current offical documents and all other official happenings, use Hochiminh city. It is a MUST, for Saigon is as dead as a dodo in its strictest sense.

    P.S
    Some people here are so hateful and biased, but ironically they will surely have their documents bearing the name Hochiminh city and use the name when they are dealing with state officials.
    This is a forum for help. Personal sentiments should be subdued.
     

    starnightnt

    Senior Member
    Vietnamese
    I have been living in Vietnam for four years. So I heard those informations from my colleagues . They talked many things about their country, HCM city, habits of Saigon people. So I also know a little useful knowledges .

    I don't think so much about city name which used after or before 1975. Because Saigon had ever been a Pearl of Indochina, but the war destroyed the city, it's terrible. But now I see HCMc is more modern than before, and many Vietnamese didn't think much about the war, they love their country, their city and they have been working hard to improve their life.

    Last of all, Saigon or HCMc, it deponds on everyone. If foreigners come to Vietnam, they visit places in District 1, and they can tell that they were in Saigon. If they're out of center of the city and visit other places in the suburb of city, such as Cu Chi tunnels they can tell that they were in HCMc .

    So if we ask Vietnamese that what name of city they called, they'll ask it's HCM city, because that's a name of their hero. And do things like Vietnamese do.
     

    riccardo66

    New Member
    us
    English - US
    I've been there six or seven times since '94 and it's always Saigon with all the people I've met, 'HCMC' is just what they put down on a form or for sending mail for example.
     

    aloannguyen

    New Member
    Vietnamese
    It's clearly that the two names indicate one place. HCMC is the official name used in formal documents. Meanwhile, Sai Gon is an old name and is more popular to people living in this city. In fact, the city has had so many other names but Saigon is still the most popular. People living in HCMC rarely say Ho Chi Minh City beacuse of the fact that there are 5 words (in Vietnamese) in the word compared to only 2 when pronouncing Saigon. However, for the other region, people prefer call HCMC. No one call HCMC without the word "city" to express the love to the great Uncle Ho. Therefore, interestingly, when the nearby resident just says: "I am going to the city tomorrow", everybody will at once know that city is HCMC, because the other cities are spoken about without the word "city" included, such as we say Da Nang, instead of Da Nang city
     

    lietnhuca

    New Member
    Vietnamese
    I'm so sorry . May i use " spoken word" ?

    People call Sai-gon ( feudal system 's full name : Sài Gòn Gia Định ) because that is habbit . However , when writting , all of us write Ho Chi Minh City ( Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh ) in capital ( ho chi minh city <-- wrong ! you will be failed )

    Actually member of union , comunist party alway speak and write : Ho Chi Minh City .

    I have been living HCMC , District 1 ,nearly Ben Thanh Market
     

    viscaelbarca

    New Member
    Vietnam&English
    Ho Chi Minh city is official name.But people often use "saigon" because it's short.But most of people who live in South Vietnam use Saigon because of their political view.They hate communist party(of course they hate Ho Chi Minh).unlike people who live in HaNoi.
    I'm from vietnam,and I hate Communist party.
     

    dnb-merchant

    New Member
    english
    i was travelling in vietnam and accidentally struck a nerve whilst asking a middle aged vietnamese woman for directions to "ho chi minh" she looked at me blankly i repeated. she only answered my question when i said Saigon. i didnt understand at the time but i do now. this is the only time i ever had any problem saying ho chi minh. but i would say the further south you go the more saigon is used in the older generation particularly.
     

    Radioh

    Senior Member
    Vietnamese
    I would say people living in some rural areas(in the South, at least) don't even know the city's name was changed. My grandparents always and only called it Saigon. I know the official name is Ho Chi Minh but always say Saigon(and so do my family and a lot of my acquaintances here) unless I'm writing something formal. However, I don't think I will get into any trouble for writing Saigon in an essay.
     
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