Vietnamese uses a modified Latin script for it’s writing system, and has 12 vowels which, along with 6 tone markers creates 72 distinct vowel sounds. This is before we even start looking at dipthongs and triphongs.
Luckily for me, I find most of the vowel sounds quite natural to tell apart as I spoke Vietnamese when I was very young, but many foreigners find it almost impossible to hear the differences.
This letter, ă is pronounced like the a in the English word “am”. For me it’s really easy to remember as it makes up my favourite verb “ăn” which I use every day, meaning “to eat”. That’s one of the primary reasons I came to Vietnam!