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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.





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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
Countries of the World in Burmese
English Burmese
Afghanistanအဖဂန်နစ္စတန် | Afghanistan ah2 pfa1 gun1 ni2 sa1 tan2
Albaniaအယ်လ်ဘေးနီးယား | Albania eare2 bay3 ni3 ya3
Algeriaအယ်လ်ဂျီးရီးယား | Algeria eare2 ji3 yi3 ya3
Angolaအင်ဂိုလာ | Angola in2 go2 la2
Argentinaအာဂျင်တီးနား | Argentina ah2 jin2 ti3 na3
Australiaဩစတြေးလျ | Australia au2 sa1 tray3 lya1
Austriaဩစတြီးယား | Austria au2 sa1 tri3 ya3
Bahamasဘဟားမား | Bahamas ba1 ha3 ma3
Bahrainဘာရိန်း | Bahrain ba2 yain3
Bangladeshဘင်္ဂလားဒေ့(ရှ်⁠⁠) | Bangladesh bin3 ga1 la3 day1(sh)
Belarusဘယ်လာရု(စ်) | Belarus beare2 la2 yu1(s)
Belgiumဘယ်(လ်)ဂျီယမ် | Belgium beare2 ji2 yun2
Bermudaဘယ်လာရု(စ်) | Bermuda ba2 mu3 da3
Bhutanဘူတန် | Bhutan bu2 tan2
Boliviaဘိုလီးဗီးယား | Bolivia bo2 li3 bi3 ya3
Bosniaဘော့(စ်)နီးယား | Bosnia bau1 (s) ni3 ya3
Botswanaဘော့ဆွာနာ | Botswana bau1 hswa2 na2
Brazilဘရာဇီး | Brazil ba1 ya2 zi3
Bruneiဘရူနိုင်း | Brunei ba1 yu2 nine3
Bulgariaဘူ(လ်)ဂေးရီးယား | Bulgaria bu2 (l) gay3 yi3 ya3
Burkina-Fasoဘူကီနာဖာဆို | Burkina-Faso bu2 ki2 na2 pfa2 hso2
Burundiဘူရွန်ဒီ | Burundi bu2 yoon2 di2
Cambodiaကမော္ဘဒီးယား | Cambodia kun2 bau3 di3 ya3
Cameronကင်မရွန်း | Cameron kin2 ma1 yoon3
Canadaကနေဒါ | Canada ka1 nay2 da2
Chadချဒ် | Chad cha1 (d)
Chileချီလီ | Chile chi2 li2
Chinaတရုတ်ပြည် | China ta1 yoat pyi2
Colombiaကိုလံဘီယာ | Colombia ko2 lun2 bi2 ya2
Congoကွန်ဂို | Congo koon2 go2
Costa-Ricaကော့စတာရီကာ | Costa Rica kau1 sa1 ta2 yi2 ka2
Croatiaခရိုအေးရှား | Croatia kha1 yo2 ay3 sha3
Cubaကျူးဘား | Cuba kju3 ba3
Cyprusဆိုက်ပရပ် | Cyprus site pa1 yut
Czehချက် သမ္မတနိုင်ငံ | Czeh Republic chet
Denmarkဒိန်းမတ် | Denmark dain3 mut
Dominicanဒိုမီနီကန်သမ္မတနိုင်ငံ | Dominican Republic doh2 mi2 ni2 kun2
Ecuadorအီကွေဒေါ | Ecuador e2 kway2 dau3
Egyptအီဂျစ် | Egypt e2 jit
El-Salvadorအယ်လ်ဆာဗေဒို | El Salvador eare2 sa2 bay2 doh2
Estoniaအက်စတိုးနီးယား | Estonia et sa1 toe3 ni3 ya3
Ethiopiaအီသီယိုးပီးယား | Ethiopia e2 thi2 yo3 pi3 ya3
Fijiဖီဂျီ | Fiji pfi2 ji2
Finlandဖင်လန် | Finland pfin2 lun2
Franceပြင်သစ် | France pyin2 thit
Gabonဂါဘွန် | Gabon ga2 boon2
Gambiaဂမ်ဘီယာ | Gambia gun2 bi2 ya2
Germanyဂျာမနီ | Germany ja2 ma1 ni2
Ghanaဂါနာ | Ghana ga2 na2
Greeceဂရိ | Greece ga1 yi1
Grenadaဂရင်နာဒါ | Grenada ga1 yin2 na2 da2
Guineaဂီနီ | Guinea gi2 ni2
Haitiဟေတီ | Haiti hay2 ti2
Hondurasဟွန်ဒူရပ် | Honduras hoon2 du2 yut
Hong-Kongဟောင်ကောင် | Hong Kong1 houn2 koun2
Hungaryဟန်ဂေရီ | Hungary hun2 gay2 yi2
Icelandအိုက်စလန် | Iceland ike sa1 lun2
Indiaအိန္ဒိယ | India ain2 di1 ya1
Indonesiaအင်ဒိုနီးရှား | Indonesia in2 do2 ni3 sha3
Iranအီရန် | Iran e2 yan2
Iraqအီရတ် | Iraq e2 yut
Irelandအိုင်ယာလန် | Ireland ine2 ya2 lun2
Israelအစ္စရေး | Israel it sa1 yay3
Italyအီတလီ | Italy e2 ta1 li2
Jamaicaဂျမေကာ | Jamaica ja1 may2 ca2
Japanဂျပန်ပြည် | Japan ja1 pan2 pyi2
Jordanဂျော်ဒန် | Jordan jau2 dun2
Kazakhstanကာဇစ္စတန် | Kazakhstan ka2 zit sa1 tan2
Kenyaကင်ညာ | Kenya kin2 nya2
Kiribatiကီရီဘာတီ | Kiribati ki2 yi2 ba2 ti2
Korea-Northမြောက်ကိုရီးယား | Korea, North myout ko2 yi3 ya3
Korea-Southတောင်ကိုရီးယား | Korea, South toun2 ko2 yi3 ya3
Kuwaitကူဝိတ် | Kuwait ku2 wate
Laosလာအို | Laos la2 o2
Latviaလတ်ဗီးယား | Latvia lut bi3 ya3
Lebanonလက်ဘနွန် | Lebanon let ba1 noon2
Lesothoလီဆိုသို | Lesotho li2 hso2 tho2
Liberiaလိုင်ဘေးရီးယား | Liberia line2 bay3 yi3 ya3
Libyaလစ်ဗျား | Libya lit bya3
Lithuaniaလစ်သူယေးနီးယား | Lithuania lit thu2 yay3 ni3 ya3
Luxembourgလူဇင်ဘတ် | Luxembourg lu2 zin2 but
Macedoniaမက်ဆီဒိုးနီးယား | Macedonia mat hsi doe3 ni3 ya3
Madagascarမာဒါဂစ္စကား | Madagascar ma2 da2 gut sa1 ka3
Malawiမာလာဝီ | Malawi ma2 la2 wi2
Malaysiaမလေးရှား | Malaysia ma1 lay3 sha3
Maldivesမော်လ်ဒိုက် | Maldives mau2(l) dite
Maliမာလီ | Mali ma2 li2
Maltaမော်လ်တာ | Malta mau2(l) ta2
Mauritania မောရီတေးနီးယား | Mauritania mau3 yi2 tay3 ni3 ya3
Mauritiusမော်ရိသျှ | Mauritius mau3 yi1 sha1
Mexicoမက္ကဆီကို | Mexico met ka1 hsi2 ko2
Monacoမိုနာကို | Monaco mo2 na2 ko2
Mongoliaမွန်ဂိုလီးယား | Mongolia moon2 go2 li3 ya3
Moroccoမော်ရိုကို | Morocco mau2 yo2 ko2
Myanmarမြန်မာပြည် | Myanmar myan2 ma2 pyi2
Nepalနီပေါ | Nepal ni2 pau3
Netherlandsနယ်သလန် / ဟော်လန် | Netherlands neare2 tha1 lun2/ hau2 lun2
New-Zealandနယူးဇီလန် | New Zealand na1 yu3 zi2 lun2
Nicaraguaနီကာရာဂွါ | Nicaragua ni2 ka2 ya2 gwa2
Nigeriaနိုင်ဂျီးရီးယား | Nigeria nine2 ji3 yi3 ya3
Namibiaနမီးဘီးယား | Namibia na1 mi3 bi3 ya3
Norwayနော်ဝေး | Norway nau2 way3
Omanအိုမန် | Oman oh2 mun2
Pakistanပါကစ္စတန် | Pakistan pa2 kit sa1 tan2
Palestineပါလစ္စတိုင်း | Palestine pa2 lit sa1 tine3
Panamaပနားမား | Panama pa2 na3 ma3
Papua-New-Guineaပါပူဝါနယူးဂီနီ | Papua New Guinea pa2-pu2-wa2 na1-yu3-gi2-ni2
Paraguayပါရာဂွေး | Paraguay pi2 ya2 gaway3
Peruပီရူး | Peru pi2 yu3
Philippinesဖိလစ်ပိုင် | Philippines pfi1 lit pine2
Polandပိုလန် | Poland po2 lun2
Portugalပေါ်တူဂီ | Portugal pau2 tu2 gi2
Puerto-Ricoပွာတိုရီးကို | Puerto Rico pua2 toh2 yi3 ko2
Quatarကာတာ | Qatar ka2 ta2
Rwandaရဝမ်ဒါ | Rwanda ya1 wun2 da2
Romaniaရိုမေးနီးယား | Romania yo2 may3 ni3 ya3
Russiaရုရှား | Russia ya3 sha3
Samoaဆမိုအာ | Samoa hsa1 mo2 ah2
San-Marinoဆန်မာရီနို | San Marino hsan2 Ma2 Yi2 No2
Saudi-Arabiaဆော်ဒီအာရေဗျ | Saudi Arabia hsau2 di2 ah2 yay2 bya1
Senegalဆီနီဂေါ | Senegal hsi2 ni2 gau3
Serbiaဆားဘီယား | Serbia hsa3 bi3 ya3
Seychellesဆေးရှဲ (လ်စ်) | Seychelles hsay3 sheare3 (ls)
Sierra-Leoneဆီရာလီယွန် | Sierra Leone hsi2 ya2 li2 yoon2
Singaporeစင်ကာပူ | Singapore sin2 ga1 pu2
Sloveniaဆလိုဗေးနီးယား | Slovenia hsa1 lo2 bay3 ni3 ya3
Solomon-Islandsဆော်လမွန်ကျွန်းစု | Solomon Islands hsau2 la1 moon2 kjoon3 zu1
Somaliaဆိုမာလီယာ | Somalia hso2 ma2 li2 ya2
South-Africaတောင်အဖရိက | South Africa toun2 ah2 pfa1 yi1 ka1
South-Sudanတောင်ဆူဒန် | South Sudan toun2 su2 dun2
Spainစပိန် | Spain sa1 pain2
Sri-Lankaသီရိလင်္ကာ | Sri Lanka thi2 yi1 lin2 ka2
Sudanဆူဒန် | Sudan hsu2 dun2
Surinameဆူရီနမ် | Suriname hsu2 yi2 nun2
Swazilandဆွာဇီလန် | Swaziland hswa2 zi2 lun2
Swedenဆွီဒင် | Sweden hswe2 din2
Switzerlandဆွစ်ဇာလန် | Switzerland hswit za2 lun2
Syriaဆီးရီးယား | Syria hsi3 yi3 ya3
Taiwanတိုင်ဝမ် | Taiwan2 tine2 wun2
Tajikistanတာဂျစ်ကစ္စတန် | Tajikistan ta2 jit kit sa1 tan2
Tanzaniaတန်ဇန်းနီးယား | Tanzania tan2 zun3 ni3 ya3
Thailandယိုးဒယား / ထိုင်း | Thailand yo3 da1 ya3 / htine3
Tibetတိဘက် | Tibet3 ti1 bet
Timor-Lesteတီမော | Timor-Leste ti2 mau3
Togoတိုဂို | Togo toh2 go2
Tongaတွန်ဂါ | Tonga toon2 ga2
Trinidadထရီနီဒက်နှင့်တိုဘာဂို | Trinidad and Tobago hta1 yi2 ni2 dat toh2 ba2 go2
Tunisiaတူနီးရှား | Tunisia tu2 ni3 sha3
Turkeyတူရကီ | Turkey tu2 ya1 ki2
Tuvaluတူဗာလူ | Tuvalu tu2 ba2 lu2
Turkmenistanတူဗာလူ | Turkmenistan tah1 min1 nit sa1 tan2
Ugandaယူဂန္ဓာ | Uganda yu2 gun2 da2
Ukraineယူကရိန်း | Ukraine yu2 ka1 yain3
UAEအာရပ်စော်ဘွားများပြည်ထောင်စု | United Arab Emirates yu2 ay2 e3
United-Kingdomဗြိတိန် | United Kingdom byi1 tain2 / in2 ga1 lun3
USAအမေရိကန် | United States a-may2 yi3 kun2
Uruguayဥရုဂွေး | Uruguay u1 yu1 guay3
Vanuatuဗန်နော့တူ | Vanuatu bun2 nau1 tu2
Vatican-Cityဗာတီကန်မြို့တော် | Vatican City ba2 ti2 kun2 myo1-dau2
Venezuelaဗန်နီဇွဲလား Venezuela bun2 ni2 zweare3 la3
Vietnamဗီယက်နမ် | Vietnam bi2 yet nun2
Yemanယီမင် | Yeman yi2 min2
Zambiaဇမ်ဘီယာ | Zambia zan2 bi2 ya2
Zimbabweဇင်ဘာဘွေ | Zimbabwe zin2 ba2 bway2
1Hong Kong, China
2Republic of China
3Tibet, China

Lesson 19: Making new friends in Myanmar | မြန်မာပြည်မှာ မိတ်ဖွဲ့ကြရအောင်

A boarding school or house in Burmese is called ဘော်ဒါဆောင် | bau2-da2 hsoun2 where the first word is the English loaned word "boarder", and ဆောင် | hsoun2 means a hostel, dormitory or a hall. Those in the same boarding house become buddies and they call one another ဘော်ဒါ | bau2-da2. So, the word ဘော်ဒါ | bau2-da2 has evolved to mean buddy even if you don't go to the same boarding school. You will hear this usage by the younger generation of Burmese people in this short clip.

buddies

A boarding school or house in Burmese is called ဘော်ဒါဆောင် | bau2-da2 hsoun2 where the first word is the English loaned word "boarder", and ဆောင် | hsoun2 means a hostel or a hall. Those in the same boarding house become buddies and they call one another ဘော်ဒါ | bau2-da2. So, the word ဘော်ဒါ | bau2-da2 has evolved to mean buddy even if you don't go to the same boarding school. You will hear this usage by the younger generation of Burmese people in this short clip. ဂူဂူး | Gugu and Star International Dance Group. [40 seconds]

Posted by Naing Tinnyuntpu on Saturday, May 28, 2016
ဂူဂူး | Gugu and Star International Dance Group

Myanmar's neighboring country Thailand is known as "the land of smiles". Burmese people are not much different when it comes to natural friendliness. Myanmar people are also straight forward and open. Strangers help each others without expecting anything in return. You can address to anyone in the street with the terms such as "young brother", "elder brother", "aunty", "uncle", "big sister", and so on. (Please refer to lesson 4 on how to say "you" in Burmese.)

Making friends in Myanmar

Hide Burmese Script to Burmese words in this page.

If you are obviously a foreigner from the way you look or dress, people will be curious where you came from. We will start with some likely phrases that they will ask you when you meet new people in Myanmar.

Where are you from?

ဘယ်ကလာလဲ | beare2 ga1 la2 leare3 -- "Where are you from?" (Where + from + come + ?)

ဘာနိုင်ငံသားလဲ | ba2 nine2-ngan2-tha3 leare3 -- "What nationality are you?" (What + nationality + ?)

ဘယ်နိုင်ငံက လာလဲ | beare2 nine2-ngan2 ga1 la2 leare3 -- "From which nation did you come from?" (Where + nation + from + come + ?)

ဘယ်တိုင်းပြည်က လာလဲ | beare2 tine3-pyi2 ga1 la2 leare3 -- "From which country did you come from?" (Where + country + from + come + ?)

Myanmar Grammar Notes: Burmese question words such as ဘယ် | beare2 and ဘာ | ba2 can be either pronoun or adjective depending on how the sentence is constructed. If the question word makes a clear reference to the noun in the sentence, it is an adjective.

Take note that you can use နိုင်ငံ | nine2-ngan2 and တိုင်းပြည် | tine3-pyi2 interchangeably when asking the question: "Where are you from?". When answering that question, the word ပြည် | pyi2, which is the short for တိုင်းပြည် | tine3-pyi2 (country) is added to a few exceptional countries.

--- ပြည် | xxxx pyi2 -- names of exceptional countries
က | ga1 -- from
ပါ | ba2 -- polite tone

ဂျပန်ပြည်ကပါ | ja1-pan2 pyi2 ga1 ba2 -- I am from Japan.
တရုတ်ပြည်ကပါ။ | ta1-yoat pyi2 ga1 ba2 -- I am from China.
ကုလားပြည်ကပါ | ka1-la1 byi2 ga1 ba2 -- I am from India.
မြန်မာပြည်ကပါ | ba1-ma2 pyi2 (myan2-ma2 pyi2) ga1 ba2 -- I am from Burma (Myanmar).
ပြင်သစ်ပြည်ကပါ | pyin2-thit pyi2 ga1 ba2 -- I am from France.

Note: Although the word Ka1-la1 byi2 is commonly used among Burmese to mean India, the more politically-correct term is အိန္ဒိယ | Ain2-di1-ya1 without pyi2.

For the rest, just omit Pyi2. For example,

စင်ကာပူ ကပါ | sin2-ga1-pu2 ga1 ba2 -- I am from Singapore.
အမေရီးကား ကပါ | a-may2-yi3-ka3 ga1 ba2 -- I am from the USA.
ကနေဒါ ကပါ | ka1-nay2-da2 ga1 ba2 -- I am from Canada.
ဂျာမနီ ကပါ | ja2-ma1-ni2 ga1 ba2 -- I am from Germany.

For a few countries that Burmese have been in touch with for centuries like China, India, France, and Thailand, there are already Burmese words for those countries.

ယိုးဒယား ကပါ | Yo3-da1-ya3 ga1 ba2 -- I am from Thailand.

Some of the old words from the past generations are no longer in use, including ဘိလပ် | Bi1-lut derived from the Hindi word Wilayat for England, ရောမ | Yau3-ma1 for Rome (Italy), and ခေါမ | khau3-ma1 for Greece. Names of countries in Burmese Script are given in the table on the left column.

Take another note that there is no "you" in the above sentences as it is understood that the conversation is about "you" or "he" or "she" right there at that moment. The speaker could be either directly talking to you, or asking that question about you through the translator.

It appears that some Westerners who translate Burmese into English try so hard to include the word "you" in sentences such as ခင်ဗျား | kha1-mya3 (used by male speaker) and ရှင် | shin2 (used by female speaker).

Can you speak xxxx ?

အင်္ဂလိပ် | In3-ga1-late -- English
စကား | za1-ga3 -- speech; language; word
ပြော | pyau3 -- to speak, to tell, to say
တတ် | tut -- able to
သလား | tha1-la3 -- ?

အင်္ဂလိပ် စကား ပြောတတ် သလား | In3-ga1-late za1-ga3 pyau3 tut tha1-la3 -- Can you speak English?

The question သလား | tha1-la3 is almost the same as လား | la3. The extra | tha1 in Burmese spoken language appears to come from the ending word သည် | dthi2 in the written language, which is the affirmation word. So, tha1-la3 probably expects the answer "yes" more than la3.

ဗမာစကားပြောတတ်လား | ba1-ma2 za1-ga3 pyau3 tut la3 -- Can you speak Burmese?

နည်းနည်း | neare3 neare3 -- a little
ပြော | pyau3 -- to speak, to tell, to say
တတ် | tut -- able to
တယ် | deare2 -- affirmation.

နည်းနည်း ပြောတတ်တယ် | neare3 neare3 pyau3 tut deare2 -- Yes, I can speak a little.

What's your name?

It will come to you as a shock, but your name is also not a central importance in the first meeting (unless you are a foreigner) as people can still address to each other as "brother" and "sister", or simply omit it. In the formal business meetings, it's more likely that the third person will introduce your name and the name of the person that you just met, so you will never have to use the phrase "What's your name?" For the Burmese people, it is more likely that people will get to know each others' names through the acquaintance than directly asking "What's your name?"

Here again, some Western translators of Burmese (Myanmar) Language seem to think this question as an important phrase, complete with the use of the word "you". If you must ask the name of the person you just met, just omit the word "you".

နာမည် ဘယ်လိုခေါ်လဲ | nun2-meare2 beare2-lo2 khau2 leare3 -- What's your name?

There is no "you" in the above sentence. Here's the break-down:

နာမည် | nun2-meare2 -- name (noun)
ဘယ်လို | beare2-lo2 -- how (adverb)
ခေါ် | khau2 -- call (verb)
လဲ | leare3 -- ? (particle)

Is it rude to be asking someone's name in the first meeting? No, it's not. You can go ahead and ask if you need it for the next meeting. Since you are a foreigner, you cannot rely on acquaintances, friends and family to know someone new.

Let me give some examples on how Burmese people ask someone's name. I go to a place to pick up a package. I knock on the door. Someone comes out to the door. I say: "I am here to pick up the package."

The person will say something like this:

ဘယ်သူ | beare2-thu2-- who
လဲ | leare3-- ?
| ma1-- not
သိ | thi1-- know
ဘူး | bu3 -- negative ending

ဘယ်သူလဲ မသိဘူး | beare2-thu2 leare3 ma1 thi1 bu3 -- Don't know who? Who could that be?

Or, like this:

ဘယ်သူပါလဲ | beare2-thu2 ba2 leare3 -- Your name, please... (who + soften tone + ?)

Another example. If I go to a place or on the phone telling someone I want to speak with so and so. The likely response will be something like this:

ဘယ်သူ | beare2-thu2 -- who
လို့ | lo1 -- particle used in making a report that someone has said "such and such".
ပြော | pyau3 -- say or tell
| yah1 -- can be done; possible; available; to gain something
မလဲ | ma1 leare3 -- ?

ဘယ်သူလို့ ပြောရမလဲ | beare2-thu2 lo1 pyau3 yah1 ma1 leare3

This question is roughly equivalent to "Who should I tell him is here?" (or) "Who should I tell her is on the line?"

``

What race are you?

No, this is not a racist remark. This is a common question that Myanmar people will be interested. You can just answer by the country that you come from. If you would like to further clarify it, you can say things like

ဩစတြေးလျ က ဗမာပါ | au2 sa1 tray3 lya3 ga1 ba1-ma2 ba2 -- I am a Burmese from Australia. (Australia + from + Burmese + soft polite tone)

This is also the question that you can ask to people that you meet in Myanmar. The main ethnical groups in Myanmar are Kachin, Kayin, Chin, Shan, Rakhine, Mon, Kayah, and Bamar (Burmese), not counting minor tribes like Wa, Palaung, Lisu, Salone and so on that add up to more than 100 distinct languages and dialects spoken in this country.

In Myanmar, those with Chinese and Indian racial background are also important groups who play a major role in the economy. They add to the rich flavor of multi-racial culture as well as cuisine in this country.

CHA-Party

In Myanmar, those with Chinese and Indian racial background are also important groups who play a major role in the economy. They add to the rich flavor of multi-racial culture as well as cuisine in this country. [24 seconds]

Posted by Naing Tinnyuntpu on Friday, May 13, 2016

Myanmar people also tolerate inter-marriages among different racial, ethnical, and religious background. Myanmar has taken Nationwide census သန်းခေါင်စာရင်း | tha1-goun2 sa1-yin3 (meaning "midnight list") from March 30 to April 10 in 2014 with the help of international aids and expertise after it was last taken in 1983. Here are two websites for reference:

http://www.dop.gov.mm
http://myanmar.unfpa.org/census

Myanmar Census 2014

What's in a name?

There has been a lot of controversies and debates as to whether to use the word Burma or Myanmar for this country. Burma is the name known by the western world for several decades because that's how the British called this land as they colonized it for more than a hundred years. Some don't accept the change of the name of the country to Myanmar by the previous military government that they despise. Some argue that the name မြန်မာ | Myanmar is more representative and inclusive of the ethnic groups, while Burma represents only the main racial group known as ဗမာ | "Bamar" who speaks Burmese. Does it really matter? A rose by any other name is still a rose.

Where do you live?

You can ask the local people you meet this question:

ဘယ်မှာနေလဲ | beare2 hma2 nay2 leare3 -- Where do you live? (where + at + live + ?)

Where do you stay?

He or she may in turn ask you this:

ဘယ်မှာတည်းလဲ | beare2 hma2 teare3 leare3 -- Where do you stay? (where + at + temporary visit + ?)

The word တည်း | teare3 is used for a place where you temporary stay in your visit.

အမျိုးအိမ်မှာပါ | a-myo3 ain2 hma2 ba2 -- At my relative's house. (relative + house + at + polite tone)

အသိအိမ်မှာပါ | a-thi1 ain2 hma2 ba2 -- At my acquaintance's house. (acquaintance + house + at + polite tone)

သူငယ်ချင်း အိမ်မှာပါ | tha1-ngeare2-jin3 ain2 hma2 ba2 -- At my friend's house. (friend + house + at + polite tone)

သဇင်ဥယျာဉ် ဟိုတယ် မှာပါ | Thazin Garden Hotel hma2 ba2 -- I am staying at Thazin Garden Hotel. (Thazin Garden Hotel + at + polite tone )

Inviting someone for a drink | အဖျော်ယမကာ သောက်ဖို့သွား

It might be a good idea to invite your new Burmese friend something to eat, or go for a drink where you can have a small talk.

တခုခု သွားစားရအောင် | ta1-khu1-khu1 thwa3 sa3 yah1 oun2 -- Let's go eat something. (something + go + eat + can be done + suggestion)

တခုခု သွားသောက်ရအောင် | ta1-khu1-khu1 thwa3 thout yah1 oun2 -- Let's go drink something. (something + go + drink + can be done + suggestion)

ဘယ်ဆိုင်ကောင်းလဲ | beare2 hsine2 koun3 leare3 -- Which shop do you recommend? ( which + shop + good + ?)

နီးလား | ni3 la3 -- Is it nearby? (to be near [verb] + ?)

ဝေးလား | way3 la3 -- Is it far? (to be far [verb] + ?)

Myanmar Grammar Notes: English speakers might expect the word "near" to be an adjective. In the above Myanmar sentence, it is used as a verb. To use this word as an adjective, suffix particle must be used.

နီးသောဆိုင် | ni3 dthau3 hsine2 [literary]
နီးတဲ့ဆိုင် | ni3 deare1 hsine2 [colloquial]

means shop that is near.

နီး | ni3 -- be near (verb) +
တဲ့ | deare1 -- that which is (particle)

is equivalent to

နီးတဲ့ | ni3 deare1 -- near (adjective)

နီးတဲ့ဆိုင်ရှိလား | ni3 deare1 hsine2 shi1 la3 -- Is there a shop nearby?

If you are already in the restaurant or in an eating place, or can see one nearby, drop thwa3 (to go) from the phrase.

တခုခု စားရအောင် | ta1-khu1-khu1 sa3 yah1 oun2 -- Let's eat something. (something + eat + can be done + suggestion)

တခုခု သောက်ရအောင် | ta1-khu1-khu1 thout yah1 oun2 -- Let's drink something. (something + drink + can be done + suggestion)

ဘာစားမလဲ | ba2 sa3 ma1 leare3 -- What do you want to eat? (what + eat + choice word + ?)

ဘာသောက်မလဲ | ba2 thout ma1 leare3 -- What do you want to drink? (what + drink + choice word + ?)

You can say the same thing to more than one person. Just add the plural word ja1

ဘာစားကြမလဲ | ba2 sa3 ja1 ma1 leare3 -- What do you guys want to eat? (what + eat + plural + choice word + ?)

ဘာသောက်ကြမလဲ | ba2 thout ja1 ma1 leare3 -- What do you guys want to drink? (what + drink + plural + choice word + ?)

တခုခု စားကြရအောင် | ta1-khu1-khu1 sa3 ja1 yah1 oun2 -- Let's eat something. (something + eat + plural + can be done + suggestion)

တခုခု သောက်ကြရအောင် | ta1-khu1-khu1 thout ja1 yah1 oun2 -- Let's drink something. (something + drink + plural + can be done + suggestion)

ဗိုက်ဆာတယ် | bite hsa2 deare2 -- I am hungry! (stomach + to be hungry + affirmative ending)

ထမင်းဆာတယ် | hta1-min3 hsa2 deare2 -- I am hungry! (rice + to be hungry + affirmative ending)

ရေငတ်တယ် | yay2 ngut deare2 -- I am thirsty! (water + to be thirsty + affirmative ending)

Small friendly talks over the lunch | အာလာပသလ္လာပ

I have already covered how to order food or drink in Lesson 15. As you sit down around the restaurant table waiting for the food to come, you can make small talks with your new Burmese acquaintance. It's a good idea to ask his or her name now if you haven't done so already, because we will include the name in some of the phrases. Although Burmese sentences can be formed without the word "you" or names as mentioned above, including the name of the person in the conversation of personal nature put more warmth to it.

What's your religion?

xxxx ဗုဒ္ဓဘာသာလား | xxxx boat-da1-ba2-tha2 la3 -- XXXX, are you a Buddhist? (Name + Buddhist + ?)

xxxx ခရစ်ယာန်လား | xxxx kha1-rit-yan2 la3 -- XXXX, are you a Christian? (Name + Christian + ?)

xxxx မွတ်စလင်လား | xxxx mu2-sa1-lin2 la3 -- XXXX, are you a Muslim? (Name + Muslim + ?)

Here, you should address yourself as ကျွန်တော် | kja1-nau2 for "I" if you are a man and ကျွန်မ | kja1-ma1 if you are a lady as discussed in Lesson 4.

If the person is the same religion as you are, you can say,

ကျွန်တော်လည်း ဗုဒ္ဓဘာသာ လေ | kja1-nau2 leare3 boat-da1-ba2-tha2 lay2 -- I am also a Buddhist! (I[male] + also + Buddhist + exactly!)

Or else, you can say,

ကျွန်မကတော့ ခရစ်ယာန်ပါ | kja1-ma1 ga1-dau1 kha1-rit-yan2 ba2 -- As for me, I am a Christian. (I[female] + "as for xxxx" + Christian + polite ending word)

To that question, I usually answer like this:

ကျွန်တော် | kja1-nau2 -- I (male)
ကတော့ | ga1-dau1 -- as for
ဘာလဲ | ba2-leare3 -- what
မသိ | ma1 thi1 -- don't know ( not + to know )
ပါဘူး | ba2 bu3 -- negative polite ending

ကျွန်တော် ကတော့ ဘာလဲမသိပါဘူး | kja1-nau2 ga1-dau1 ba2-leare3 ma1 thi1 ba2 bu3 -- As for me, I don't know what.

That's probably a better response if your religion is different, or if you are a free thinker. However, if you are really religious, and your religion prohibits you to do or eat certain things, it's best to come up with a straight answer.

Are you married?

XXXX အိမ်ထောင်ရှိပြီလား | xxxx ain2-htoun2 shi1 byi2 la3 -- XXXX, are you married? (Name + marriage + exist/have/available + already + ?)

If he or she asks you first, you can say,

ရှိတယ် | shi1 deare2 -- Yes. (exist/present/have/available + affirmation)

မရှိသေးဘူး | ma1 shi1 thay3 bu3 -- No, not yet. (negative + exist/present/have/available + not yet + negative ending)

The follow-up phrases could be...

XXXX ကော အိမ်ထောင်ရှိပြီလား | xxxx gau3 ain2-htoun2 shi1 byi2 la3 -- What about you, XXXX ? Are you married?" (Name + also + marriage + exist/have/available + already + ?)

ဪ ကောင်းတယ် | au2.. koun3 deare2 -- Oh, good! (Oh, good + affirmation)

ကလေး | kha1-lay3-- baby, child
ဘယ်နှစ်ယောက် | beare2 hna1-yout -- how many (how many + measure word for people)
ရှိ | shi1 -- exist/have/available
ပြီလဲ | byi2 leare3 -- has reach what level, number, or state?

ကလေး ဘယ်နှစ်ယောက် ရှိပြီလဲ | kha1-lay3 beare2 hna1-yout shi1 byi2 leare3 -- How many children do you have?

ကလေးတွေ | kha1-lay3 dway2 -- children; kids
ကြီး | kji3 -- big; grown up
ပြီလား | byi2 la3 -- has reached certain condition or state or not?

ကလေးတွေ ကြီးပြီလား | kha1-lay3 dway2 kji3 byi2 la3 -- Have the kids grown up already?

Review the word "byi2-la3"

The question word ပြီလား | byi2 la3 has been explained in lesson2.

ရှင်းပြပြီးပြီ ဟုတ်လား | shin3-pya1 pyi3 byi2 hote la3 -- Explained already? Is that right? ( to explain + to finish + "done" + yes + ?)

ဟုတ်တယ် | hote deare2 -- Yes ( yes + affirmation )

ရှင်းပြပြီးပြီ | shin3-pya1 pyi3 byi2 -- explained it already! ( to explain + to finish + ending word to indicate "done" )

ဟုတ်တယ် ရှင်းပြပြီးပြီ | hote deare2, shin3-pya1 pyi3 byi2 -- Yes, I have explained it already.

We will continue our small talks when we visit a Burmese family. As for now

ကျွန်တော့် | kja1-nau1-- me; my (male)
ကို | go2-- to
ခွင့်ပြု | khwin1-pyu1 -- be excused
ပါဦး | ba2 ome3-- polite suggestion

ကျွန်တော့်ကို ခွင့်ပြုပါဦး | kja1-nau1 go2 khwin1-pyu1 ba2 ome3 -- If you'd excuse me, please...