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Learn Myanmar Language in conversational and literary form. Learn to speak and read Burmese. The Free Online Colloquial Burmese (Myanmar language) lessons include Burmese script, MP3 audio, PDF files and easy Burmese grammar study materials with color-coded parts of speech: nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, conjunctions, particles, postpositional markers, and interjections.

Naing Tinnyuntpu 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.


TONE REFERENCE TABLE
Audio Pronunciation
Ah1 "a" in "art" with silent "rt"
Ah2 "ar" in "Argentina" with silent "r"
Ah3 "ar" in "Artist" with slilent "r"
De1 "de" in "deep" with silent "p"
De2 "de" as in "demote"; "demand"
De3 "dee" as in "deer"; "decent"
Ko1 "colt" with silent "lt"
Ko2 as in "co-author"; "cocaine"
Ko3 "cold" wit silent "ld"
Yu1 "u" in "Youth" with silent "th"
Yu2 "u" as in "university"; "utensil"
Yu3 "u" as in "user"; "Unix"
Shan1 as in "shunt" with silent "t"
Shan2 "shun" as in "chandelier"
Shan3 as in "shun"
Au1 as in "auction"
Au2 as in "Australia";"auditor"
Au3 as in "August"
May1 "maize" with silent "ze"
May2 "may" as in "May I?"
May3 "ay" in "amazing"
Sin1 "sink" with silent "k"
Sin2 "sin" as in "sincerely"
Sin3 "sin" as in "sinful"; "Singapore"
Un1 "aunt" with silent "t"
Un2 "un" in "understanding"; "umbrella"
Un3 "un" as in "under"
Meare1 "melt" with silent "lt"
Meare2 "mel" in "Melbourne" with silent "l"
Meare3 "mare" of "nightmare"
Tain1 "taint" with silent "t"
Tain2 "tain" as in "Captain"
Tain3 "tain" as in "maintain"
Bine1 "Bryant" without "r"
Bine2 as in "carbine"
Bine3 as in "combine"
Dome1 as in "don't"
Dome2 close to "dominate"
Dome3 as in "dome"
Toon1 "doont" in "couldn't"
Toon2 "mon" in "monastery"
Toon3 "oon" as in "cartoon"
Koun1 "count" with silent "t"
Koun2 "coun" in "counter-strike"
Koun3 "coun" as in "counsel"
ate cake, jade, eight, paid, bake
et wet, set, mad, yet
oot cook, put, look
out out, south, mouse, doubt
ike/ite sight, pipe, night, dice, like
ut up, nut, sucks
oat oat, coat, goat, soak
it it, pit, sit

CLICK (OR TOUCH) TABLE HEADER COLUMNS TO SORT BY ASCENDING OR DESCENDING ORDER OF ENGLISH OR BURMESE SCRIPT.

List of Fruits (Sortable) | သစ်သီးဝလံ | thit-thi3 wa1-lun2
ENGLISH ↑↓ AUDIO ↑↓
Apple ပန်းသီး | pan3-thi3
Asian Pear သစ်တော်သီး | thit-tau2-thi3
Avocado ထောပတ်သီး | htau3-but-thi3
Bael fruit / Stone Apple ဥသျှစ်သီး | oat-shit-thi3
Banana ငှက်ပျောသီး | hnga1-pyau3-thi3
Carambola / Star Fruit စောင်းလျားသီး | zoun3-hlya3-thi3
Country Fig ကတွတ်သီး | ga1-doot-thi3
Custard Apple ဩဇာသီး | au3-za2-thi3
Coconut အုန်းသီး | ome3-thi3
Damson မက်မန်းသီး | met-mun3-thi3
Dates စွန်ပလွံသီး | soon2-pa1-loon2-thi3
Durian ဒူးရင်းသီး | du3-yin3-thi3
Fig သဖန်းသီး | tha1-pfun3-thi3
Grapes စပျစ်သီး | za1-byit-thi3
Grapefruit / Pomelo ကျွဲကောသီး | kjweare3-gau3-thi3
Guava မာလကာသီး | ma2-la1-ka2-thi3
Hog Plum ခွေးချိုသီး | gway3-cho2-thi3
Jackfruit ပိန္နဲသီး | pain3-neare3-thi3
Lychee လိုက်ချီး | lite-chi3
Malay Rose Apple နှင်းသီး | hnin3-thi3
Mango သရက်သီး | tha1-yet-thi3
Mangosteen မင်းကွတ်သီး | min3-goot-thi3
Marian မရမ်းသီး | ma1-yan3-thi3
Morinda ရဲယိုသီး | yeare3-yo2-thi3
Muskmelon သခွားမွှေးသီး | tha1-khwa3-hmway3-thi3
Myanmar Grapes ကနစိုသီး | ka1-na1-so2-thi3
Orange လိမ္မော်သီး | lain2-mau2-thi3
Papaya သင်္ဘောသီး | thin3-bau3-thi3
Passion fruit ပင်မှည့်သီး | pin2-hmeare1-thi3
Peach မက်မွန်သီး | met-moon2-thi3
Persimmon တည်သီး | teare2-thi3
Pineapple နာနတ်သီး | na2-nut-thi3
Plum ဆီးသီး | zi3-thi3
Pomegranate သလဲသီး | tha1-leare3-thi3
Rambutan ကြက်မောက်သီး | kjet-mout-thi3
Strawberry စတော်ဘယ်ရီ | sa1-tau2-beare2-yi2
Water Chestnut ကျွဲခေါင်းသီး | kjweare3-goun3-thi3
Watermelon ဖရဲသီး | pfa1-yeare3-thi3
Poultry, Beef, Pork, Mutton & Seafood (Sortable) | အသား ၊ ငါး | a-tha3 nga3
ENGLISH ↑↓ AUDIO ↑↓
Beef အမဲသား | a-meare3-tha3
Carp ငါးမြစ်ချင်း | nga1-myit-chin3
Catfish ငါးခူ | nga1-khu2
Catfish (small) ငါးကျည်း | nga1-ji3
Caviar (salted roe) ငါးဥ | nga3-u1
Chicken ကြက်သား | kjet-tha3
Clam ခုံးကောင် | khone3-koun2
Congereel ငါးရွှေ | nga1-shway2
Crab ကဏန်း | ga1-nun3
Cuttlefish ကင်းမွန် | kin3-moon2
Duck ဘဲသား | beare3-tha3
Eel ငါးရှဉ့် | nga1-shin1
Featherback ငါးဖယ် | nga1-pfeare2
Fish ငါး | nga3
Garfish ငါးဖောင်ရိုး | nga1-pfoun2-yo3
Globe Fish ငါးပူတင်း | nga1-pu2-din3
Goose ဘဲငန်း | beare3-ngan3
Intestine အူ | u2
Hamilton's Carp ငါးကြင်း | nga1-jin3
Hilsa ငါးသလောက် | nga1-tha1-lout
Prawn ပုစွန် | ba1-zoon2
Liver, heart, gizzard အသည်းအမြစ် | a-theare3 a-myit
Loach ငါးသလဲထိုး | nga1-tha1-leare3-hto3
Lobster ပုစွန်တုပ် | ba1-zoon2-htoat
Mackerel ငါးကွမ်းရှပ် | nga1-koon3-shut
Mutton ဆိတ်သား | hsate-tha3
Oyster ကမာ | ka1-ma2
Perch ကကတစ် | kut-ka1-dit
Pomfret ငါးမုတ် | nga1-mote
Pork ဝက်သား | wet-tha3
Red-eyed gudgeon ငါးကြင်းမျက်ဆံနီ | nga1-jin3 myet-hsun2-ni2
Roe ငါးဥ | nga3-u1
Salmon ပင်လယ်ငါးသလောက် | pin2-leare2 nga1-tha1-lout
Sardine ငါးသေတ္တာငါး | nga3-thit-ta2-nga3
Shrimp ပုစွန်ဆိတ် | ba1-zoon2-sate
Snakehead fish ငါးရံ့ | nga1-yun1
Squid ပြည်ကြီးငါး | pyi2-ji2-nga3
Star fish ကြယ်ငါး | kjeare2-nga3
Tuna fish ငါးမဲလုံး | nga1-meare3-lone3
Venison ဆတ်သား | hsut-tha3
List of Vegetables and Roots (Sortable) | ဟင်းသီးဟင်းရွက် | hin3-thi3-hin3-ywet
ENGLISH ↑↓ AUDIO ↑↓
Arrowroot အာဒါလွတ်သီး | ah2-da2-loot-thi3
Asparagus ကညွတ် | ka1-nyoot
Bamboo shoots မျှစ် | hmyit
Bean sprouts ပဲပင်ပေါက် | peare3-pin2-bout
Bell pepper ငရုတ်ပွ | nga1-yoat-pwa1
Bitter Melon/ Bitter Gourd ကြက်ဟင်းခါးသီး | kjet-hin3-kha3-thi3
Bok Choy မုန်ညင်းဖြူ | mone2-hnyin3-pfyu2
Broccoli ပန်းဂေါ်ဖီစိန်း | pan3-gau2-be2-sain3
Cabbage ဂေါ်ဖီထုပ် | gau2-be2-htoat
Carrot (red) မုန်လာဥနီ | mone2-la2-u1 ni2
Carrot (white) / radish မုန်လာဥဖြူ | mone2-la2-u1 pfyu2
Cauliflower ပန်းဂေါ်ဖီ | pan3-gau2-be2
Celery Stalk တရုပ်နံနံ | ta1-yoat nun2-nun2
Chayote ဂေါ်ရခါးသီး | gau2-ra1-kha3-thi3
Chilli ငရုတ်သီး | nga1-yoat-thi3
Cilantro / Parsley / Coriander နံနံပင် | nun2-nun2-pin2
Concinna leaves ဆူးပုပ်ရွက် | su3-boat-ywet
Corn / maize ပြောင်းဖူး | pyoun3-pfu3
Cucumber သခွားသီး | tha1-khwa3-thi3
Djenkol bean တညင်းသီး | da1-nyin3-thi3
Eggplant/ Brinjal/ Aubergine ခရမ်းသီး | kha1-yan3-thi3
Green pepper (larger, longer, and less hot) ငရုတ်ချို | nga1-yoat-cho2
Kailan / Gailan ကိုက်လန် | kite-lun2
Lady's finger / Okra ရုံးပတီသီး | yone3-ba1-day2-thi3
Lettuce ဆလတ်ရွက် | hsa1-lut-ywet
Marrow ကျောက်ဖရုံသီး | kjout pfa1-yone2-thi3
Melon / Gourd ဘူးသီး | bu3-thi3
Mint ပင်စိမ်း | pin2-zain3
Mint ပူဒီနာ (ပူစီနံ) | pu2-di2-na2 (pu2-si2-nun2)
Mushroom မှို | hmo2
Mustard greens မုန်ညင်း | mone2-hnyin3
Pennywort မြင်းခွာရွက် | myin3-khwa2-ywet
Pumpkin ရွှေဖရုံသီး | shway2-pfa1-yone2-thi3
Ridged gourd ခဝဲသီး | kha1-weare3-thi3
Roselle ချဉ်ပေါင် | chin2-boun2
Snake Gourd ပုံလုံသီး | bone2-lone2-thi3
Spinach ဟင်းနုနယ် | hin3-nu1-neare2
Spring Onion / Leek ကြက်သွန်မြိတ် | kjet-thoon2-mate
Sweet Potato ကန်စွန်းဥ | ga1-zoon3-u1
Tamarind leaves မန်ကျည်းရွက် | ma1-ji3-ywet
Tomato ခရမ်းချဉ်သီး | kha1-yan3-chin2-thi3
Taro ပိန်းဥ | pain3-u1
Water-crest(Kang Kong) ကန်စွန်းရွက် | ga1-zoon3-ywet
List of Seeds and Nuts (Sortable) | ခွံမာသီး | khoon2-ma2-thi3
ENGLISH ↑↓ AUDIO ↑↓
Cashew nut သီဟိုဠ်စေ့ | thi2-ho2-si1
Chestnut သစ်ချသီး | thit-cha1-thi3
Indian almond ဗာဒံသီး (ဗာဒံစေ့) | ba2-dun2-thi3 (ba2-dun2-si1)
Peanut မြေပဲ | myay2-beare3
Sunflower seed နေကြာစေ့ | nay2-kja2-si1
Walnut သစ်ကြားသီး | thit-kja3-thi3
Water-melon seed ကွာစိ | kwa2-si1
Rice, Bean, Staples, Cooking Ingredients & Spices (Sortable) | ဆန် ၊ ဆီ၊ ဆား | hsun2, hsi2, hsa3
ENGLISH ↑↓ AUDIO ↑↓
Aniseed စမုန်စပါး | sa1-mone2 za1-ba3
Baking powder ဆော်ဒါ | hsau2-da2
Basil ပင်စိန်း | pin2-zain3
Bay leaf ကရဝေးရွက် | ka1-ra1-way3-ywet
Bean ပဲ | peare3
Black cumin စမုန်နက် | sa1-mone2-net
Cardamom seed ဖာလာစေ့ | pfa2-la2-si1
Chilli powder ငရုတ်သီးမှုန့် | nga1-yoat-thi3-hmome1
Chilli sauce ငရုတ်ဆီ | nga1-yoat-hsi2
Cinnamon သစ်ကြံပိုးခေါက် | thit-ja1-bo3-khout
Clove လေးညှင်းပွင့် | lay3-hnyin3-pwin1
Coconut milk အုန်းနို့ | ome3-no1
Cooking oil ဆီ | hsi2
Cumin ဇီရာ | zi2-ya2
Curry powder မဆလာ | ma1-hsa1-la2
Dried Shrimp ပုစွန်ခြောက် | ba1-zoon2-chout
Eggs ကြက်ဥ | kjet-u1
Fennel စမုန်စပါး | sa1-mone2-za1-ba3
Fish sauce ငံပြာရည် | ngan2-pya2-yay2
Five-spiced powder တရုပ်မဆလာ | ta1-yoat ma1-hsa1-la2
Flour (wheat) ဂျုံမှုန့် | jone2-hmone1
Garlic ကြက်သွန်ဖြူ | kjet-thoon2-pfyu2
Ginger ချင်း | jin3
Gram ကုလားပဲ | ka1-la1-beare3
Lemon grass စပါးလင် | za1-ba1-lin2
Lemon leaf ရှောက်ရွက် | shout-ywet
Lentil ပဲနီလေး | peare3-ni2-lay3
MSG အချိုမှုန့် | a-cho2-hmone1
Olive oil သံလွင်ဆီ | thun2-lwin2-hsi2
Onion ကြက်သွန်နီ | kjet-thoon2-ni2
Oyster sauce ခရုဆီ | kha1-yu1-hsi2
Palm oil စားအုန်းဆီ | sa3-ome3-hsi2
Pea flour ပဲမှုန့် | peare3-hmone1
Peanut oil မြေပဲဆီ | myay2-beare3-hsi2
Pepper ငရုတ်ကောင်း | nga1-yoat-goun3
Potato အာလူး | ah2-lu3
Rice ဆန် | hsun2
Rice flour ဆန်မှုန့် | hsun2-hmone1
Salt ဆား | hsa3
Seasoning powder ကြက်သားမှုန့် | kjet-tha3-hmone1
Seaweed ကျောက်ပွင့် | kjout-pwin1
Sesame oil နှမ်းဆီ | hnun3-hsi2
Soya Sauce (thick) ကြာညို့ | kja2-nyo1
Soya Sauce (thin) ပဲငံပြာရည် | peare3-ngan2-pya2-yay2
Spices ဟင်းခတ်အမွှေးအကြိုင် | hin3-khut a-hmway3 a-kjine2
Tapioca powder ပလောပီနံမှုန့် | pa1-lau3-pi2-nun2-hmone1
Tumeric နနွင်း| hsa1-nwin3 (spelled as na1 nwin3)
Vinegar ရှလကာရည် | sha2-la1-ka2 yay2

Lesson 16: Buying Meat, Fish, Fruits, Vegetables, Eggs & Bread | အသား၊ ငါး၊ အသီးအနှံ၊ ဟင်းသီးဟင်းရွက်၊ ကြက်ဥ နှင့် ပေါင်မုန့်

If you decide to live in Yangon for an extended period like a number of foreign businessmen, sooner or later you will need to do some grocery shopping on your own. There are a number of supermarkets in Yangon like Ocean Supermarket and City Mart where you don't need to speak anything. However, those supermarkets may not be in the vicinity of your neighborhood. It is much more convenient to rely on your neighborhood shops and markets to buy fresh fruits, meat, vegetables, bread and eggs.

City Mart Supermarket in Yangon

The Burmese word for market is ဈေး | zay3. MP3 Audio File If you can't go to zay3, then it will come to you. In many residential areas, the sellers go around the neighborhood with a big basket of meat, fish, and chicken balanced over their heads. Some fruits and vegetables sellers use trolley carts to push around the streets and cry out what they are selling using their trademark sales pitch.

You may not always understand what they are shouting even if you know some Burmese. Even Burmese like me sometimes don't know what they are shouting. In one case, I heard someone selling ကဏန်းတွေ . . . ကဏန်းတွေ | ga1-nun3 dway2.. ga1-nun2 dway2.. I ran out to catch the seller expecting some fresh or cooked crabs but it turned out to be the print out results of the state lottery. ဂဏန်း | Ga1-nun3 with different spelling in Burmese means "numbers".

If you don't know what's inside the basket, just ask:

ဘာ | Ba2 - What
ပါ | pa2 - accompany
လဲ | leare3 - ?

ဘာပါလဲ | Ba2 pa2 leare3 -- What are you carrying? What do you have there? (what + accompany + ?)

The respond will be something like:

ကြက်သားပါတယ် | kjet-tha3 pa2 deare2... I have chicken... (chicken + accompany + affirmation)
ငါးပါတယ် | nga3 pa2 deare2... I have fish... (fish + accompany + affirmation)
ဝက်သားပါတယ် | wet-tha3 pa2 deare2... I have pork... (pork + accompany + affirmation)

You may still not understand the person if you have a limited vocabulary. Don't worry. Just say:

ကြည့်ချင်တယ် | kji1 chin2 deare2 -- Let me have a look. ( look + want + affirmation)

ကြည့် | kji1 means "to look". ကြည့်ချင် | kji1 chin2 is the desire to look. ကြည့်ချင်တယ် | kji1 chin2 deare2 can also be translated as "I want to look." But, the feeling tone is not so blunt as such. It's more like, "Let me have a look."

The seller will put the basket down and you can take a look what's inside. If whatever inside is not what you want, say:

| ma1 - negative (particle)
ဝယ် | weare2 - buy (verb)
သေး | thay3 - yet to be (particle)
ဘူး | bu3 - negative ending (particle)

မဝယ်သေးဘူး | ma1 weare2 thay3 bu3 -- Not buying this time. ( negative + buy + yet to be + negative ending )

If you are interested, the next logical step is to ask the price:

ဘယ်လိုရောင်းသလဲ | beare2-lo2 youn3 tha1-leare3 -- How much are you selling? ( How + sell + ? )

or, simply ask: ဘယ်လောက်လဲ | beare2-lout leare3 -- How much?

Weight & Measurements

How much are you selling?

In supermarkets, kilogram is used to measure weight for meat, cooked food, fruits and other food stuff such as bags of rice. The local weight scale used in neighborhood shops and markets is called ပိဿာ | pate-tha2, (viss) MP3 Audio File which is divided into 100 ကျပ်သား | kjut-tha3 (ticals). MP3 Audio File

If you buy တစ်ပိဿာ | ta1-bate-tha2 (one pate-tha2) MP3 Audio File of meat, you will get about 3.6 lb ( 1.6 kg), which is simply too much for a typical Burmese family who buys fresh vegetables, fish or meat almost every day. if you ask: ဘယ်လိုရောင်းသလဲ | "beare2-lo2 youn3 tha1-leare3" ( how much are you selling ? ), MP3 Audio File the seller will reply you in terms of ကျပ်သား | kjut-tha3, which is shortened as သား | tha3.

Example:

အမဲသား ဘယ်လိုရောင်းသလဲ | a-meare3-tha3 beare2-lo2 youn3 tha1-leare3 -- How much do you sell the beef? ( beef + how + sell + ? )

၆၀၀ | chout-ya2 -- 600

Updates: 10 သား | tha3 of beef that cost 600 Kyat in 2012 costs 900 Kyat in December 2014, 1000 kyat in June 2015, and remains the same as of July 2016 in Yangon. The price of chicken relative to beef and pork comes down and cost about 700 Kyat. Pork, depending on which part, cost around 700 to 900 on the average in July 2016. The meat part without fat is around 1100 Kyat and spare ribs are 550 Kyat. The premium spare ribs with soft bones are expensive and ordered by hotels and restaurants in advance, so you will not find it in the market.
Myanmar Grammar Notes: Question words such as ဘယ်လို | beare2-lo2 and ဘယ်လောက် | beare2-lout can be either pronoun or adjective depending on the sentence. In the above question, ဘယ်လို | beare2-lo2 is a clear reference to အမဲသား | a-meare3-tha3 (noun) so, it is an adjective. If the word ဒါ | da2 - pronoun "this" is used in place of beef, ဘယ်လို | beare2-lo2 becomes a pronoun.

You will get the same answer if you ask:

(၁၀)သား ဘယ်လောက်လဲ | ta1-hseare2 tha3 beare2-lout leare3 -- How much for 10 သား | tha3 ?(10 + tha3 + how much + ?)

Sometimes, you may hear the word ပါ | "ba2" appended to the answer to soften the tone.

(၆၀၀)ပါ | chout-ya2 ba2 -- Oh, it's 600.

(Please refer to Lesson 2 for the use of the word "ba2". )

Unlike in the supermarkets, fruits and some vegetables in neighborhood markets are sold in quantity, bunches, or in bundles.

Examples:

သရက်သီး ဘယ်လိုရောင်းသလဲ | tha1-yet thi3 beare2-lo2 youn3 tha1-leare3 -- How much do you sell the mangoes? (mango + how + sell + ?)

(၃)လုံး (၁၀၀၀) | thone3 lone3 ta1-htoun2 -- 3 for 1,000. (3 + unit for fruits + 1 + thousand)

Updates: The price of mangoes as of June 2015 cost about the same as they were in 2012. The more expensive export (to China) variety called စိန်တစ်လုံး | Sain2-ta1-lone3 are sold 3 for 2000 Kyat in 2016 rainy season.

ကြက်ဥ ဘယ်လိုရောင်းသလဲ | kjet-u1 beare2-lo2 youn3 tha1-leare3 -- How much do you sell the eggs ? (chicken + egg + how + sell + ?)

တစ်လုံး (၁၀၀) ပါ | ta1-lone3 ta1-ya2 ba2 -- 1 for 100. ( 1 + unit for eggs + 1 + hundred )

Updates: The price of an egg (medium to large size) as of June 2015 cost around 120 Kyat and remains stable at this price in July 2016 while duck eggs are sold 150 Kyat each.
Myanmar Grammar Notes: တစ်လုံး | ta1-lone3 refers to the quantity of eggs without mentioning the word "egg" (noun) so, it is a pronoun. On the other hand, တစ်လုံး | ta1-lone3 in ကြက်ဥတစ်လုံး | kjet-u1 ta1-lone3 is an adjective.

မုန်ညင်း ဘယ်လိုရောင်းသလဲ | mone2-hnyin3 beare2-lo2 youn3 tha1-leare3 -- How much do you sell the mustard greens? (mustard greens + how + sell + ?)

(၃)စည်း (၂၀၀) ပါ | thone3-zi3 hna1-ya2 ba2 -- Oh, its 200 for 3 bundles. (3 + bundles + 2 + hundred + polite ending word)

June 2015 Updates: The prices of some vegetables such as watercress, spinach, green pepper, cucumber, and tomatoes are relatively stable and abundantly available. But, there appear to be less amount in the size of the bundle.

July 2016 Updates: Roselles ချဉ်ပေါင် | (chin2-boun2) are most affordable with 50 Kyat a bundle, while watercress ကန်စွန်းရွက် | (ga1-zoon3-ywet) are fresh and abundant at 100 Kyat a bundle. Djenkol bean တညင်းသီး | (da1-nyin3-thi3) is 50 each. Those three are luxury items for Overseas Burmese people who are dying to have those, and pay high price in some other countries if available at all.

Although the phrase: ဘယ်လိုရောင်းသလဲ | beare2-lo2 youn3 tha1-leare3 sounds more colloquial for an item that the seller can mark up the price and sell it as he or she wishes, the phrase "ဘယ်လောက်လဲ | beare2-lout leare3 - How much?" sounds more natural for items with more or less fixed prices, such as bread that is distributed by the wholesaler.

ပေါင်မုန့်ဘယ်လောက်လဲ | poun2-mone1 beare2-lout leare3 -- How much is bread ? (bread + how much + ?)

How much for any item?

If you don't know the name of the item or its measure word (unit) in Burmese, there is an easy way out:

ဒါဘယ်လောက်လဲ | da2 beare2-lout leare3 -- How much is this? (this + how much + ?)

Poultry, Beef, Pork, & Seafood

You are almost certain to get ငါး | nga3 | fish MP3 Audio File everyday from the neighborhood shops and sellers who go around the residential areas. In special occasions, Burmese people ပေါင်း | poun3 | steam the ငါးသလောက် | nga1-tha1-lout | hilsa fish for several hours until bones are tender and can be eaten. If you want to try out the taste of ငါးသလောက်ပေါင်း | nga1-tha1-lout poun3 | steamed hilsa, MP3 Audio File you can buy it in the canned food sections of the supermarkets (and even in neighborhood shops) on the same shelves as tuna and sardine.

Hilsa is found in the rivers of Myanmar and Bangladesh. It is oily and somewhat like Salmon. Polyunsaturated fatty acids found in Hilsa is healthful for human consumption just like Salmon fish. Contrary to popular Burmese belief, a study has shown that eating Hilsa will not increase the blood pressure (because its oily) , but will reduce the cholesterol level. Here's a link:

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7880151

Average Burmese will be familiar with ငါးသေတ္တာ | nga3-thit-ta2 nga3 | sardine MP3 Audio File both fresh and in tin cans, but imported tuna is much more expensive, and can only be bought in tin cans.

Some Burmese Buddhists avoid taking အမဲသား | a-meare3-tha3 | beef, MP3 Audio File which is probably an Indian Hindu tradition. Another reason could be that for generations, cows and bulls are used in the fields for growing crops and for transportation that they are considered ကျေးဇူးရှင် | kjay3 zu3 shin2 (someone or something to be thankful for.)

ပုစွန် | ba1-zoon2 | prawns MP3 Audio File and smaller ပုစွန်ဆိတ် | ba1-zoon2-hsate | shrimps MP3 Audio File are abundant in Myanmar, and you can get those fresh from the markets. There are shrimp farms in Myanmar, but since shrimp farming is a lucrative business for export with more profits, fresh seafood you get from the local markets are most likely from the rivers and coastal areas caught by the fishing boats.

ဘဲသား | beare3-tha3 | duck MP3 Audio File is less common than ကြက်သား | kjet-tha3 | chicken, MP3 Audio File and they are often bony. However, you can easily get ဘဲဥ | beare3-u1 |duck eggs, MP3 Audio File which the Burmese use for cooking မုန့်ဟင်းခါး | mone1-hin3-kha3 MP3 Audio File -- Burmese favorite for breakfast with rice noodle in fish gravy. If you have craving for Chinese Peking roasted ducks, the best is to go to restaurants like Golden Duck where you can get ducks with more meat than bones.

There are two types of ကြက် | kjet | chicken. MP3 Audio File The first type is grown in big chicken farms and those come in the same size as in Western countries. Those big size chicken are called မွေးမြူရေးကြက် | mway3-myu2-yay3-kjet | poultry farm chicken. MP3 Audio File Second type is ဗမာကြက် | ba1-ma2-kjet | Burmese chicken MP3 Audio File preferred by some people for its "sweet" taste.

There is a Burmese saying: When it comes to meat, pork is the best; for fruit, mango is the one; pickled-tea is chosen among the leaves. ဝက်သား | wet-tha3 | Pork MP3 Audio File is sold in different prices. The most expensive part is meat only without any fat. But, the price difference is not that substantial. Interestingly, some Burmese also avoid taking pork just like Muslims. When I was young, for example, you could not bring pork to Mount Popa because local people believed that certain Nats (supernatural beings) like ဗျတ္တ | byut-ta1 who was a Muslim seaman executed by King အနော်ရထာ | A-nau2-ra1-hta2 disapproved of it. I am not sure if this tradition has changed, but it does make sense to avoid animal fats for health reasons.

Fruits & Seasons

Fruit seller in Yangon

Myanmar has three seasons. The cooler "tourist" season is from October to March when nights are pleasantly cooler than hot summer months from April to about June. You can expect heavy rains and thunder storms from June to September. The rain seems to be heaviest around July, and then tapered off towards the end of October.

You can get စတော်ဘယ်ရီ | sa1-tau2-beare2-yi2 | strawberry, MP3 Audio File စပျစ်သီး | za1-byit-thi3 | grapes, MP3 Audio File ပန်းသီး | pan3-thi3 | apples, MP3 Audio File ကျွဲကောသီး | kjweare3-gau3-thi3 | grapefruits, MP3 Audio File and လိုက်ချီး | lite-chi3 | lychee MP3 Audio File grown in highland regions during those "tourist" seasons when the temperature could drop below freezing point in some parts of the country. Around Christmas to Chinese New Year, you can get oranges and tangerines of different sizes, types, and names.

If you visit Myanmar during the rainy season, you can eat သရက်သီး | tha1-yet thi3 | mangoes MP3 Audio File all you want, and they are not expensive like in the US or Canada. You can also get durians during summer till the end of the year. Rainy season is the season of fruits when you can have your stomach filled with နာနတ်သီး | na2-nut-thi3 | pineapples, MP3 Audio File မင်းကွတ်သီး | min3-goot-thi3 | mangosteen, MP3 Audio File ဩဇာသီး | au3-za2-thi3 | custard apples, MP3 Audio File မက်မွန်သီး | met-moon2-thi3 | peaches, MP3 Audio File သစ်တော်သီး | thit-tau2-thi3 | Asian pears, MP3 Audio File မာလကာသီး | ma2-la1-ka2-thi3 | guavas, MP3 Audio File ပိန္နဲသီး | pain3-neare3-thi3 | jack fruits, MP3 Audio File ဆီးသီး | zi3-thi3 | plums, MP3 Audio File and ကြက်မောက်သီး | kjet-mout-thi3 | rambutans. MP3 Audio File

There seems to be two seasons for ဖရဲသီး | pfa1-yeare3-thi3 | water melons. MP3 Audio File You can get it in the summer till the start of rainy season, and again around December.

You can get papayas and bananas in all seasons. Fruits are sold in a way quite similar to other countries. Bananas are sold by the bunch. Grapes and a type of small size oranges called ပျားလိမ္မော် | pya3 lain2 mau2 MP3 Audio File are weighed, and strawberries are sold by the basket. Bigger fruits like durians, and pineapples are sold by a single quantity, whereas mangoes are sold in the quantity of 3 or 5.

For a longer list of fruits in Burmese, please refer to the table on the left.

Grocery Items and Cooking Ingredients

You can get eggs, bread and grocery items in neighborhood shops and corner stores. But, be sure to stock up enough food (especially bread) before သင်္ကြန် | thin3-jan2 (water festival) and Burmese New Year in mid April. Shops will be opened for limited hours if not closed for several days. Also beware of price hike ups for items like fish and meat just before the shut down.

Rice, Cooking Oil and Soya Sauce in Burmese

Smaller Change

It must have been a long, long time since Burmese people last used coins. In the past, ကျပ် | kyat (pronounced kjut with silent "t") was divided into 100 pya ( pronounced ပြား | pya3.). Pyas were coins, such as 5 pya, 10 pya, 25 pya, and 50 pya coins.

Due to inflation that had shot up several folds in the 1980's, the smallest denomination you see today are 5 kyat notes, and 10 kyat notes. They are sometimes stapled together in 50 kyat amount; only then they become a meaningful amount to buy anything at all, or to return as a small change. As of 2014, even those have disappeared, and the smallest note you see is 50 kyat note.

Burmese kyat notes in the denominations of 50 kyat, 100 kyat, and 200 kyat notes are considered small changes, and called အကြွေ | a-kjway2. MP3 Audio File Those small notes used to be notoriously dirty, worn-out and in sorry conditions, but in the year 2011, the government banks have started to replace those with newly printed notes.

Shopkeeper to the customer:

အကြွေပါလား | a-kjway2 pa2 la3 -- Do you have small change with you?( small change + accompany + ?)

Customer to vegetables seller:

အကြွေအမ်းိနုင်လား | a-kjway2 un3 nine2 la3 -- Are you able to return change? (small change + to return change + able to + ?)

Here's how the question of small change should be answered:

အကြွေပါတယ် | a-kjway2 pa2 deare2 -- I have small change. (small change + accompany + affirmative)

အကြွေမပါဘူး | a-kjway2 ma1 pa2 bu3 -- I didn't bring any change. (small change + not + accompany + negative ending)

အကြွေမရှိဘူး | a-kjway2 ma1 shi1 bu3 -- I don't have any change.(small change + not + present + negative ending)

အကြွေမအမ်းနိုင်ဘူး | a-kjway2 ma1 un3 nine2 bu3 -- I cannot return small change. (small change + not + to return change + able to + negative ending)

In that case, you will end up buying something extra to make the total amount closer to the multiple of 1,000 kyat notes. As a last note on the subject of small notes, don't be surprised if the shopkeeper gives you some sweets in place of the change.

Myanmar 50 Kyat Note