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The Free Online Burmese Lessons
Learn Myanmar Language, History & Culture
Myanmar — The Land of the Fast and the Strong
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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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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
Sports & games in Burmese
English << AUDIO >>
Aquatics yay2 ga1-za3 pweare3
Archery hmya3 pyit
Athletics pyay3 khone2 pyit
Badminton kjet toun2
Baseball bay1 sa1 bau3
Basketball but-sa1-ket bau3
Billiards & Snooker bi1 li1 yet hnin1 sa1-nu2-ka2
Bodybuilding ka2-yah1 ba1-la1
Bowling bo3 lin3
Boxing let whay1
Canoe/Kayak ka1-nu3 ka1-yet
Chess sit tu1 yin2
Cricket kha1-rit-ket
Cycling set-bain3 si3
Discus thun2-pya3-wine3 pyit
Diving dine2-bin2 hto3
Equestrian myin3 si3
Fencing da3 khoat
Football (soccer) bau2 lone3
Golf gout thi3 yite
Gymnastics joon3 ba3
High jump a-myin1 khone2
Hockey hau2 ki2
Hurdles tan3 kjau2 pyay3
Ice-skating yay2-kheare3-pyin2 sa1-kate si3
Javelin hlun2-tan2 pyit
Judo ju2-doe2
Karate ka1-ra2-tay3
Long distance run ta2 way3
Long jump a-hlya3 khone2
Marathon ma2-ra1-thoon2
Mountain climbing toun2 tet
Polo po2 lo2
Relay let-hsin1-kun3
Rowing hlay2 hlau2
Ruby yut be2
Sailing ywet hlay2
Scuba diving yay2 ngoat
Sepak Takraw pike kjau2 chin3
Shooting tha1-nut pyit
Shotput thun2-lone3 pyit
Sprint ta2-toe2 pyay3
Squash ba1-li2 yite
Surfing yay2 hline3 si3
Table tennis za1-bweare3 tin2 tin3 nit
Taekwondo tite-kwan2-doh2
Tennis tin3-nit yite
Traditional Boat Rowing yo3-ya2 hlay2-hlau2
Vault doat htout khone2
Volleyball bau2-li2-bau3
Waterpolo wa2-ta2 po2-lo2
Weightlifting a-lay3 ma1
Wrestling na1-bun3
Wushu wu2-shu3

Lesson 27: Sports phrases in past, future, and present tense

Back in the glorious days of several decades ago, Burma was the powerhouse of South East Asia in sports, with the football team that made the country proud. Somehow, the country took the wrong turn, and the glory and the pride of the land of the fast and the strong had faded away along the dusty road of economic and political struggles.

In 2013, Myanmar hosted the 27th South East Asia Games after the long gap of 44 years since the last hosting in 1969. As a host, Myanmar had a decent showing with the second position in medal tallies after Thailand.

27th SEA Games in Myanmar

Sports in Burmese is called ah3-ga1-za3. MP3 Audio File Alternatively, you can also say ga1-za3-pweare3 MP3 Audio File or ah3-ga1-za3 pweare3. MP3 Audio File We have seen this word pweare3 before in lesson 26. It generally refers to a festival where people have fun and watch shows and entertainment complete with roadside stalls selling food, snacks, souvenirs and various merchandizes-- kind of like a carnival.

footballLet's go watch a football pweare3

When it comes to sports, the word pweare3 MP3 Audio File is equivalent of the word "match" or "event" as in "sporting event" in English. For example, bau2-lone3 means a football (soccer ball), and bau2-lone3 pweare3 MP3 Audio File means a football match.

Football (soccer) is, by far, the most popular sport in Myanmar. Nowadays, Burmese football fans seem to hero-worship Manchester United team in particular, and the names of several local football clubs end with "United", such as "Zwekabin United", "Yangon United", and so on. To bring up the level of Myanmar football back to international standards, Myanmar local football clubs hire several foreign coaches and players.

bau2-lone3 pweare3 -- football match (ball + match)
thwa3 -- go
kji1 -- to watch or take a look
ja1 -- plural word to indicate more than one person
meare2 -- future tense; will; going to

Bau2-lone3 pweare3 thwa3 kji1 ja1 meare2 -- We will go watch a football match.

beare2 dau1 leare3 -- When?

a-khu1 -- Now!

badminton-2Let's play a game of Burmese Verb: play

Let's play football.
Let's play basketball.
Let's play volleyball.
Let's play water polo
Let's play badminton.
Lets play tennis.
Let's play table-tennis.
Let's play golf.

In the above English phrases, there is a common verb "play". All you need to do is to substitute the name of the game or sport using the pattern:

"Let's play xxxx".

In Burmese Language, the word ga1-za3 is generally used for the verb "to play", but some other verbs are also used for different types of sports. Here's how Burmese people would say if you directly translate those phrases into English:

footballLet's kick football.
basketballLets play basketball.
volleyballLet's play volleyball.
water-poloLet's play water polo
badmintonLet's strike badminton.
tennisLet's strike tennis.
table-tennisLet's strike table-tennis.
golfLet's strike golf.

Do you see the pattern? Generally, the word "strike" (yite) is used if you hold something in the hand such as tennis racket or golf club and strike an object. You use the word "play" (ga1-za3) for the rest with the exception of kicking and tossing the ball around using your foot.

rowing-2Let's review different types of "let's"

Back in lesson 3, we have seen the word "ja1-zo1", and "ja1-meare2" which both refer to the word "Let's". Earlier in this lesson, we used the phrase "thwa3 kji1 ja1 meare2", which means "Let's go watch..." MP3 Audio File

In lesson 19, the word "yah1-oun2" is used, which also means "Let's". Also in lesson 19, we use the word "ja1 yah1-oun2", which is the plural form of the word "yah1-oun2". The word "ja1" in "ja1 yah1-oun2" indicates that the activity will take place for more than one person.

In lesson 21, we used yet an another word "ba2-zo1" to express the word "Let's".

What's the difference among different types of "Let's" in Burmese? When you use the words "ja1 zo1" or "ja1 meare2" you are taking the role of leadership position to suggest something to someone or to a small group of people. The word "ja1 meare2" is almost certain that some event WILL take place without objections.

The word "ba2 zo1" has more determination and courage in it, and is used to make a proposal to provoke and incite a larger audience.

The words "yah1-oun2" or "ja1 yah1-oun2" don't have the ordering tone used by the leader of the pack as in: "I want to play. How about you?"

mountain-bike-2More phrases with "ja1 yah1-oun2"

ga1-za3 ja1 yah1-oun2 -- Let's play. (play + plural + let's)

bau2-lone3 kan2 ja1 yah1-oun2 -- Let's play football. (soccer ball + kick + plural + let's)

but-sa1-ket-bau3 ga1-za3 ja1 yah1-oun2 -- Let's play basketball.(basketball + play + plural + let's)

bau2-li2-bau3 ga1-za3 ja1 yah1-oun2 -- Let's play volleyball. (volleyball + play + plural + let's)

kjet-toun2 yite ja1 yah1-oun2 -- Let's play badminton. (badminton + strike + plural + let's)

tin3-nit yite ja1 yah1-oun2 -- Let's play tennis. (tennis + strike + plural + let's)

pin2-poun2 yite ja1 yah1-oun2 -- Let's play table-tennis. (table-tennis + strike + plural + let's)

gout-thi3 yite ja1 yah1-oun2 -- Let's play golf. (golf + strike + plural + let's)

archery-2Let's learn more of the word "ja1-meare2"

We will build up the complexity of the phrase using the word "ja1 meare2" explained above. "Ga1-za3" means "to play". So, "ga1-za3 ja1 meare2" means "Let's play." Remember, "ja1 meare2" is a plural word to indicate that some event WILL take place. When the phrase does not contain the pronoun "they", "we", or the names of the parties involved such as in the phrase "ga1-za3 ja1 meare2", by default, it refers to "us". In another words, "We will play."

ga1-za3 ja1 meare2 -- (We) will play; let's play.

How can I say Myanmar will play with Malaysia?

myan2-ma2 -- Myanmar
neare1 -- with
ma1-lay3-sha3 -- Malaysia
ga1-za3 -- play
ja1 meare2 -- will

myan2-ma2 neare1 ma1-lay3-sha3 ga1-za3 ja1 meare2 -- Myanmar will play with Malaysia.

beare2 dau1 leare3 -- When?

de2 nya1 -- tonight! (this + night)

Here's a longer version of the phrase:

de2 nya1 -- tonight (this + night)
ba1-ma2 -- Myanmar
neare1 -- with
ma1-lay3-sha3 -- Malaysia
neare1 -- with
ga1-za3 -- to play
ja1 meare2 -- will

de2 nya1 ba1-ma2 neare1 Ma1-lay3-sha3 neare1 ga1-za3 ja1 meare2 -- Tonight, Myanmar will play with Malaysia.

No, it's not a typo error. "With" is repeated in the above sentence. The literary form of the colloquial word neare1 used as a conjunction in the phrase is hnin1.

ba1-ma2 refers to Burma. This is also the name of the majority Burmese ethnic people. In the original National Anthem after the independence, the word ba1-ma2 pyi2 was used. It was later changed to myan2-ma2-pyi2 to reflect the inclusion of more than 100 ethnic people. My translation of Myanmar into English is "the land of the fast and the strong".

taekwondo-2So, who won the game?

Colloquially speaking, people will usually ask "who" won the game instead of "which team" won the game.

beare2-thu2 -- who (which + person or "he/she")
nine2 -- to win
thwa3 -- go (changed the sentence into past tense)
leare3 -- ?

beare2-thu2 nine2 thwa3 leare3 -- Who won the game?

The word thwa3 is the verb "to go". In the above phrase, it is used as a particle and modifies an another verb nine2 (to win) into the past tense "won". It's kind of like asking: "How did it go?" Refer to lesson 14 for more examples.

ba1-ma2 -- Myanmar
nine2 -- to win
thwa3 -- go (changed the sentence into past tense)
deare2 -- affirmation.

ba1-ma2 nine2 thwa3 deare2 -- Myanmar team has won the game.

ba1-ma2 -- Myanmar
shone3 -- to lose
thwa3 -- go (changed the sentence into past tense)
deare2 -- affirmation.

ba1-ma2 shone3 thwa3 deare2 -- Myanmar team has lost the game.

tha1-yay2 -- a draw game
kja1 -- be in certain state or condition
thwa3 -- go (changed the sentence into past tense)
deare2 -- affirmation.

tha1-yay2 kja1 thwa3 deare2 -- It was a draw.

swimming-2Present participle "" in Burmese

How would you say someone is in the midst of doing something? Burmese word nay2 deare2 is equivalent to the present participle "" in English. Example:

loat nay2 deare2 -- I am doing it. (do + present participle "")

sa3 nay2 deare2 -- I am having my meal. (eat + present participle "")

ga1-za3 nay2 deare2 -- I am playing. (play + present participle "")

na3 nay2 deare2 -- I am resting. (to rest + present participle "")

Take note of the omission of the first person "I" in the above phrases. If someone asks what you are doing at this moment, it's more natural and shorter to answer without the use of "I".

What if the person who is doing something is not you but someone else? In that case, include the name of the person, or the pronoun thu2 meaning "he/she" as follow:

thu2 loat nay2 deare2 -- He or she is doing it. (he/she + do + present participle "")

thu2 sa3 nay2 deare2 -- He or she is having meal. (he/she + eat + present participle "")

thu2 ga1-za3 nay2 deare2 -- He or she is playing. (he/she + play + present participle "")

thu2 na3 nay2 deare2 -- He or she is resting. (he/she + to rest + present participle "")

If more than one person is involved in the activity of doing something, just insert the plural word "ja1" between the present participle word nay2 deare2 as follow:

loat nay2 ja1 deare2 -- We/they are doing it. (do + present participle + plural)

sa3 nay2 ja1 deare2 -- We/they are having meal. (eat + present participle + plural)

ga1-za3 nay2 ja1 deare2 -- We/they are playing. (play + present participle + plural)

na3 nay2 ja1 deare2 -- We/they are resting. (to rest + present participle + plural)

gymnastics-2Let's play and say in style

If you know the above general pattern, when someone calls you over the hun3 pfone3, you should be able to answer in Burmese that you are playing golf:

gout-thi3 yite nay2 deare2 -- I am playing golf. (golf + strike + present participle "")

By the way, hun3 pfone3 is saying the word "hand phone" with a Burmese accent. What's a "hand phone"? It is the translation of "Shou ji" in Mandarin Chinese into English where "shou" refers to the hand and "ji" is the machine. That's what a cellphone or mobile phone is called in places like Singapore.

hun3 pfone3 in Myanmar used to be unbelievably expensive costing over US500, and it was a status symbol to own one. When the price has come down to around 100,000 kyats (over 100 USD) for the SIM Card alone without the cost of the phone (hand set), it has become a dream comes true for many Myanmar people.

In early 2013, government has started to distribute limited amount of SIM cards in lucky draws with the low, low price of 5,000 Kyat [less than US$5]. As of 2014, it is possible to own a Chinese-made cellphone with SIM card for less than 40,000 kyat. The top-up card comes in the amount of 5,000 kyat or 10,000 kyat. You will be surprised to see some trishaw drivers showing off their hun3 pfone3 that was unimaginable just a year earlier. As of 2015, there are three major service providers: MPT, Ooredoo, and Telenor providing mobile services. It is now possible for ordinary people to access Internet over the mobile devices. Oh, yeah, for many of Myanmar People, their first phone is a smartphone with SIM card that costs 1,500 Kyat in it.

diving-2Let's stop here for today

de2 nay1 -- today ( this + day )
de2 hma2 -- here
yut -- to stop
ja1 ya1-oun2 -- Let's

de2 nay1 de2 hma2 yut ja1 ya1-oun2 -- Let's stop here for today!