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Naing Tinnyuntpu is no stranger to systematic and efficient approach. He came from manufacturing
environment with Bachelor's and Master's degree in Industrial Engineering (USA). His contributions to semiconductor
industry include Administrative Quality Best Practices
during his working years as a process engineer with Hewlett-Packard in Singapore. Born and raised in Yangon, he has lived in 6 countries and exposed to
different cultures and knowledgeable in unrelated areas. This includes self-taught programming languages.
Currently, he is contributing to Tourism in Myanmar by making his online Burmese lessons freely available and accessible to all.
BURMESE LESSONS MENU
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SEARCH MYANMAR WORDS IN ENTIRE MYANMAR LANGUAGE LESSONS.
Ordinal numbers are usually used up to the third. For example, to describe the
floor levels in buildings, the first, second, and third are used. After the third, people usually
say လေးထပ် | lay htut instead
of စတုတ္ထထပ် | za1-doat-hta1 htut.
In school books, the 9th grade is called
နဝမတန်း | na1-wa1-ma1 dun3 meaning 9th grade,
but in conversation, people usually
say ကိုးတန်း | ko3-dun3
which means grade 9.
Burmese word for zero is သုည |
In upper Myanmar, temperature in celsius could drop below zero at night in cool seasons.
သုညအောက် | thone2-nya1 out means
အပူချိန် | a-pu2 chain2 means
temperature. You can say
အပူချိန် သုညအောက် ရှိတယ် |
a-pu2 chain2 thone2-nya1 out shi1 deare2
to mean the temperature is >sub-zero.
If you want to be more precise, you can use အနုတ် | a-hnoat
| minus figures. အနုတ် နှစ် ( -၂) |
a-hnoat hnit means minus 2.
အပူချိန် အနုတ် နှစ် ( -၂) ရှိတယ် |
a-pu2 chain2 a-hnoat hnit shi1 deare2 means the temperature is minus 2(-2°C).
Minus 2 in this case is the အနိမ့်ဆုံး | a-nain1-zone3
| the lowest temperature. အမြင့်ဆုံး |
a-myin1-zone3 | the highest
temperature in the same region could reach above 95°F.
Decimal numbers are expressed digit by digit after point |
ဒသမ | dut-tha1-ma1.
The word dut-tha1-ma1 also refers to the ordinal number tenth.
Try to think in terms of piles - ပုံ | pone2
of items to remember the fractional numbers - အပိုင်းဂဏန်း |
a-pine3 ga1-nun3. Suppose you have four piles -
၄ ပုံ | lay3-pone2 of sugar, and you offer me
3 piles - ၃ ပုံ | thone3-pone2
out of 4, you are giving
me ၃/၄ | lay3-pone2 thone3-pone2, or
What about proportions? If you divide a big pile into 15 piles, and give 5 people in the ratios of 5:4:3:2:1, the first person gets
5 piles and the last person only gets 1 pile. In Burmese, the ratio is called
အချိုး | a-cho3.
So, ၂ : ၁ | hnit a-cho3 tit
is 2 is to 1, 2 to 1 ratio, or (2:1).
You can use the above pone2 word to describe any fractional numbers. However, if you have two
pone2 and given away one pone2, it is better to use the word
တစ်ဝက် | ta1-wet,
which means half | (½).
တစ်ဝက်တိတိ | ta1-wet ti1-ti1
means exactly half the amount. တစ်ဝက်နီးပါး |
means almost half.
တစ်ဝက်ကျော် | ta1-wet kjau2
refers to over the half amount.
If you don't know the exact numbers, you can give approximate |
khan1-hmun3-chay2 numbers. When you say,
ခန့်မှန်းခြေ ၁၀၀၀ | khan1-hmun3-chay2 ta1-htoun1,
it means approximately 1,000 or 1000 plus-minus 10 ( 1000±10), which could go
When you say the average life expectancy of male population is 65 in this town, you are referring to
ပျမ်းမျှ | pfyan3-hmya1,
which is the mean mu (μ) in normal bell-curve distribution.
When I start using strange Greek alphabets like α, β confidence levels,
Χ Chi-Square distributions, arrival rate λ
and so on, I am using a branch of mathematics known as ကိန်းဂဏန်း |
kain3 ga1-nun3 | Statistics.
If I try to solve simultaneous equations with not so strange alphabets like 3X + 4Y + 5Z= 0, I need the knowledge of
အက္ခရာ သင်္ချာ | et-kha1-ya2 thin2-cha2, where
အက္ခရာ | et-kha1-ya2 means
alphabet, and သင်္ချာ |
thin2-cha2 means math.
So, Burmese word for Algebra is အက္ခရာ သင်္ချာ |
et-kha1-ya2 thin2-cha2. There is no Burmese word for Calculus though.
How about this? 1+1 = 10. Illogical? That's the logic behind the digital world, and
နည်းပညာ | ni3-pyin2-nya2,
Information Technology (IT).
If the probability of rain within 24 hours is 60%, you say
ခြောက်ဆယ် ရာခိုင်နှုန်း | chout-hseare2 ya2-khine2-hnome3,
where ရာခိုင်နှုန်း | ya2-khine2-hnome3 means
Suppose the quality level of your production reaches six sigma (6σ), the defective
level is very low, and you have achieved almost zero defect. In previous decades, customers were quite happy with
quality level based on the sampling plan, but that is not good enough in this day of tough competition.
You can use the word ရာခိုင်နှုန်းပြည့် | ya2-khine2-hnome3 pyay1
to refer to 100%. This term is usually used to indicate the support that politicians hope to get from the people.
ပြည့် | pyay1 means "filled up" or "full amount".
So, those are the basic အပေါင်း | a-poun3 -
အနုတ် | a-hnote
- minus (-),
a-hmyout - multiplication (×)
and အစါး | a-sa3 -
of သင်္ချာ |
thin2-cha2 - mathematics
Measure Words in Burmese | အရေအတွက်ပြ ဝေါဟာရများ
What are the measure words? When you say "a glass of water", or
"a cup of tea", "glass" and "cup" are measure words, also known as
numerical classifiers. Burmese, just like the Chinese,
has several of those measure words for different types of nouns (objects, concepts, people,
and animals, etc.) that do not have English equivalents.
Lesson 12: Learn to say, "I earn $ 123,456,789 a second!" | ၁၂၃၄၅၆၇၈၉ စသည့် အခြေခံ သင်္ချာ နိယာမ နှင့် အခြား မြန်မာ့အကြွား နည်းပညာများ
Many Burmese people seem to be fascinated with နံပါတ် | nun2-but | numbers.
Even in this modern day with scientific knowledge, it is not unusual for
Myanmar people to consult astrologers and choose the most auspicious dates for important personal occasions and business undertakings.
Some have even developed their own "system" to predict the winning lottery numbers!!
Here's a tip to prevent you from the culture shock. In a recent edition of the Lonely Planet's Myanmar
Travel, one of the authors noted that Myanmar people tend to exaggerate with numbers. Perhaps, this is the culture where
losing credibility is deemed not so important as in some other parts of the world. To be fair, let's face it. You will always find
people who like to brag a little.
ADDED NOTE: This article was first written sometime back in late 2011 or early 2012. As for bragging people in Yangon,
it still stands correct (at least for some), as mentioned in one of Burmese Proverbs and Traditional Sayings.
ကြွား | kjwa3 means to brag.
ဒီ | de2 -- this ကောင် | koun2 -- reference to a guy or an animal င ကြွား | nga1-kjwa3 -- braggart ပဲ | beare3 -- affirmation ending word
ဒီကောင် ငကြွားပဲ |
de2koun2nga1-kjwa3beare3 -- What a braggart!
If you look at it from the positive angle, this is freedom like nowhere else in the world. You are free to exaggerate all you want
(about yourself, that is) -- regardless of what you say is true or not. That's why the spoken language is called
စကား | za1 ga3
where ကား | ka3
in a sense means to exaggerate.
The tradition probably goes back to generations -- long before "spin-doctors" came onto the stage of American politics.
In any case, earning 123,456,789 dollars a second is a bit too much -- just a tiny bit too much. How about 123,456 kyats a month? We will
learn to say 1,2,3 up to 99,999,999 in Burmese. In case you don't know, "9" was considered a lucky number by a late well-known Burmese
individual. In those days, Burma had strange currency denominations such as 45 kyats and 90 kyats, which had the digits all add up
to number 9.
Reference Tables for Burmese Numerals
First, let's start with the very basic from 1 to 9.
Numbers from 1 to 9
၁ - တစ်
၂ - နှစ်
၃ - သုံး
၄ - လေး
၅ - ငါး
၆ - ခြောက်
၇ - ခုနစ်
၈ - ရှစ်
၉ - ကိုး
To say 1,2,3 in the multiple of 10's such as 10,20,30, etc., the general format is to add the
word ဆယ် | hseare2 after 1,2,3. However, there are
slight changes in the pronunciations of 1,2 and 7 in the spoken language. There is no change in spelling.
NOTE: the word hseare2
may sound like zeare2
for 30, 40, 50 and 90. In general, if you have trailing zero's after, 3,4,5 and 9, people soften the consonant when spoken.
Numbers from 10 to 90
၁၀ - တစ်ဆယ်
၂၀ - နှစ်ဆယ်
၃၀ - သုံးဆယ်
၄၀ - လေးဆယ်
၅၀ - ငါးဆယ်
၆၀ - ခြောက်ဆယ်
၇၀ - ခုနစ်ဆယ်
၈၀ - ရှစ်ဆယ်
၉၀ - ကိုးဆယ်
To say 1,2,3 in the multiple of 100's such as 100, 200, 300, etc., the general format is to add the
word ရာ | ya2
after 1,2,3. Note the similarities with the 10's in the pronunciation of 1,2 and 7.
Numbers from 100 to 900
၁၀၀ - တစ်ရာ
၂၀၀ - နှစ်ရာ
၃၀၀ - သုံးရာ
၄၀၀ - လေးရာ
၅၀၀ - ငါးရာ
၆၀၀ - ခြောက်ရာ
၇၀၀ - ခုနစ်ရာ
၈၀၀ - ရှစ်ရာ
၉၀၀ - ကိုးရာ
To say 1,2,3 in the multiple of 1000's such as 1000, 2000, 3000, etc., the general format is to add the
word ထောင် | htoun2
Numbers from 1,000 to 9,000
၁၀၀၀ - တစ်ထောင်
၂၀၀၀ - နှစ်ထောင်
၃၀၀၀ - သုံးထောင်
၄၀၀၀ - လေးထောင်
၅၀၀၀ - ငါးထောင်
၆၀၀၀ - ခြောက်ထောင်
၇၀၀၀ - ခုနစ်ထောင်
၈၀၀၀ - ရှစ်ထောင်
၉၀၀၀ - ကိုးထောင်
Just remember the four zero's word in Burmese. It is called
သောင်း | thoun3.
Note that it is pronounced in the 3rd tone. Don't confuse this word with the thousand,
ထောင် | htoun2,
which is in the second tone.
If you are used to expressing those numbers in terms of thousands in your language, you will need to re-adjust the learning. Try to
see 2,0000 figure instead of 20,000.
can be soften to dthoun3
for 30,000, 40,000, 50,000, and 90,000.
Numbers from 10,000 to 90,000
၁၀၀၀၀ - တစ်သောင်း
၂၀၀၀၀ - နှစ်သောင်း
၃၀၀၀၀ - သုံးသောင်း
၄၀၀၀၀ - လေးသောင်း
၅၀၀၀၀ - ငါးသောင်း
၆၀၀၀၀ - ခြောက်သောင်း
၇၀၀၀၀ - ခုနစ်သောင်း
၈၀၀၀၀ - ရှစ်သောင်း
၉၀၀၀၀ - ကိုးသောင်း
The higher numbers are expressed in သိန်း | thain3.
Remember, it has five trailing zero's. It is used as a base for even higher numbers in the multiple of 10, 100, and 1000 to that base.
Place the word thain3 after the numbers from 1 to 19.
တစ်သိန်း | ta1-thain3 means, 1,00000 = 100,000 =
one hundred thousand in English.
ဆယ်သိန်း | hseare2-thain3 means 10X the
thain3 = 10,00000 = 1,000,000 = one million in English.
Place the word thain3 before the numbers from 20 onwards. For example,
သိန်းနှစ်ဆယ် | thain3 hna1-hseare2
means 20X the thain3 = 20,00000 = 2,000,000 = 2 million in English.
သိန်းတစ်ထောင် | thain3 ta1-toun2 means 1000X the
thain3 = 1000,00000 = 100,000,000. One thousand thain3 is one hundred million.
If you have numbers with 3,4,5,9, and 10 in front the zero, you may hear people soften the words to
sound like dthain3.
Higher Numbers from 100,000 to 100,000,000
100,000 = 1,00000
၁၀၀၀၀၀ - တစ်သိန်း
1,000,000 = 10,00000
၁၀၀၀၀၀၀ - ဆယ်သိန်း
1,500,000 = 15,00000
၁၅၀၀၀၀၀ - ဆယ့်ငါးသိန်း
1,800,000 = 18,00000
၁၈၀၀၀၀၀ - ဆယ့်ရှစ်သိန်း
2,000,000 = 20,00000
၂၀၀၀၀၀၀ - သိန်းနှစ်ဆယ်
4,000,000 = 40,00000
၄၀၀၀၀၀၀ - သိန်းလေးဆယ်
10,000,000 = 100,00000
၁၀၀၀၀၀၀၀ - သိန်းတစ်ရာ
100,000,000 = 1000,00000
So, how would you say 654321 in Burmese? Here is a formula. You always start with the highest multiple of 10X.
The above number has 6 digits (with the place for 5 trailing zeros), so start with
သိန်း | thain3.
It is pretty much straight forward as shown below:
There is one small detail. The word ဆယ် | "seare2",
which is used for 10X as in 10, 20, 30 .... 80, 90 is pronounced in the first tone as
ဆယ့် | seare1 when it is followed by a single digit number
from 1 to 9 such as in the above example.
Numbers between 10 and 100 with non-zero last digit
In spoken Burmese, just omit ta1 in ta1-hseare1 (10 +) for numbers from
11 to 19 like examples below:
ဆယ့် | hseare1 -- 10 + တစ် | tit -- 1
ဆယ့် | hseare1 -- 10 + ငါး | nga3 -- 5
ဆယ့် | hseare1 -- 10 + ကိုး | ko3 -- 9
11 - 15 - 19 ( ၁၁ ၊ ၁၅ ၊ ၁၉ ။ )
Numbers from 11 to 19
၁၁ - ဆယ့်တစ်
၁၂ - ဆယ့်နှစ်
၁၃ - ဆယ့်သုံး
၁၄ - ဆယ့်လေး
၁၅ - ဆယ့်ငါး
၁၆ - ဆယ့်ခြောက်
၁၇ - ဆယ့်ခုနစ်
၁၈ - ဆယ့်ရှစ်
၁၉ - ဆယ့်ကိုး
Millions and Billions
သန်း | thun3 is the word for "million".
ခြောက်သန်း | chout-thun3 means six million.
However, in the business world, you will hear people speak in terms of
သိန်း | thain3 figure with
5 zero's instead. Six million is sixty သိန်း | thain3,
or သိန်းခြောက်ဆယ် | thain3 chout-hseare2.
And, people usually round up the big numbers so you don't need to worry about saying the smaller numbers that follow
the thain3 number such as htoun2 and ya2.
Present Myanmar government uses the term bi2-la1-yan2 "Billion" to announce the budget and expenses.
This ဘီလီယံ | bi2-la1-yan2 is the American usage of billion
equivalent to one thousand million. I need to clarify
this because the British billion is a million million, and Americans call this a trillion.
The Burmese language newspaper "The Mirror" uses the term ဘီလီယံနာ |
bi2-la1-yan2-na2 for billionaire.
A million million or a trillion is a difficult concept to visualize. Let's see how many zero's behind it.
1,000,000 = 1 million
10,000,000 = 10 million
100,000,000 = 100 million
1,000,000,000 = a billion (1,000 million)
10,000,000,000 = 10 billion
100,000,000,000 = 100 billion
1,000,000,000,000 = a trillion (1,000 billion)
The Burmese language uses the English loaned word Trillion as ထရီလီယံ |
hta1-ri2-li2-yan2. For example,
for the fiscal year 2015-2016, Myanmar government tax revenue is estimated to be 6.387 trillion |
၆ ဒသမ ၃၈၇ ထရီလီယံ |
chout dut-tha1-ma1 thone3 shit khoon2 hta1-ri2-li2-yan2 Kyat.
There is one other common usage that you should know.
ခွဲ | khweare3 means half.
In terms of math, there is an additional half value to the multiplier. For example,
nga3 dthoun3 khweare3 means 55000.
Let's do some math:
ငါး | nga3 means 5
သောင်း | thoun3
means you need to multiply by 10000. ( 5 * 10000 = 50000)
ခွဲ | khweare3 refers to the half of whatever multiplier
you use, in this case,
(1/2 * 10000= 5000).
Add this 5000 to 50000. (50000+5000= 55000)
So, ခွဲ | khweare3 is the same as "half" in English when you
say "A million and a half."
Another example on "half" numbers
ခြောက်သိန်းခွဲ | chout thain3 khweare3 means 6,50000.
သိန်း | thain3 means you need to multiply by 1,00000.
( 6 * 1,00000 = 6,00000)
ခွဲ | khweare3 refers to the half of the multiplier you use; in this case,
(1/2 * 1,00000= 50000).
Add this 50000 to 6,00000. (6,00000 + 50000 = 6,50000)
A Review of numbers big and small
Selected Numbers from 1 to 6 Million
Now it's about time to exaggerate a little
So, finally, you should be able to say that you earn 123,456 kyats (a second, a minute, or whatever exaggeration you