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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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Myanmar alphabets 
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
Myanmar Vowels and Tones Myanmar Consonent modifications
Stand-alone Words & other Symbols
မြန်မာ << AUDIO >>
ay3 or ay2
၎င်း la1-goun3
ဋ္ဌ hta1
ဝွှ wa1-hsweare3 + ha1-hto3
lone3-ji3-tin2 + hsun2-khut
ာ် shay1-hto3 (thut on top of yay3-cha1)
င်္ kin3-si3
န္န subscripted na1-ngeare2
ဏ္ဍ subscripted da1-yin2-gout
ဏ္ဌ subscripted hta1-woon2-beare3
ဇ္ဈ subscripted za1-myin2-zweare3
Note: Symbols used in vowel shift, tone change, and consonant modifications cannot be used as stand-alone words.

Burmese Buddhist Prayer ဩကာသ

Burmese Buddhists are expected to be able to recite Au3 Ka2 Tha1| ဩကာသ, and almost all who grew up in Burma (Myanmar), Buddhists as well as non-Buddhists, will have heard of at least some part of this prayer. ဩကာသ refers to the world, which is close in meaning to the word "the boundless universe" A-nun2-da1 Set-kja2-wa1-la2 | အနန္တစကြဝဠာ where water, land, forests, mountains and oceans, etc., Yay2, Myay2, Tau3, Toun2, Tha1-moat-ta1-ya2 sa1 dthi2 doh1 | ရေ၊ မြေ၊ တော၊ တောင်၊ သမုဒ္ဒရာ စသည်တို့ exist.


ဩကာသ၊ ဩကာသ၊ ဩကာသ
ကာယကံ၊ ဝစီကံ၊ မနောကံ သဗ္ဗဒေါသ
ခပ်သိမ်း သော အပြစ်တို့ကို
ပျောက်ပါစေခြင်း အကျိုးငှာ
ပထမ၊ ဒုတိယ၊ တတိယ
တစ်ကြိမ်၊ နှစ်ကြိမ်၊ သုံးကြိမ်မြောက်အောင်
ဘုရား ရတနာ၊ တရား ရတနာ၊ သံဃာ ရတနာ
ရတနာမြတ်သုံးပါး တို့ကို
အရိုအသေ အလေးအမြတ်
ရှိခိုး ပူဇော်
ကန်တော့ပါ၏ အရှင်ဘုရား။


ဗျသနတရားငါးပါး တို့မှ
ကင်းလွတ် ငြိမ်းသည်သာဖြစ်၍
မဂ်တရား၊ ဖိုလ်တရား၊ နိဗ္ဗာန်တရားတော်မြတ်ကို
ရပါလို၏ အရှင်ဘုရား။

ဩကာသ ၌ပါသော ပါလိ ဝေါဟာရများ မြန်မာပြန် -- ဤသို့ရှုပါ ။

The following is my translation of the above Buddhist prayer, which is not the "official" translation of any Religious Council or Ministry.

For the result:
cessation of
misdeed all kinds
made by body,
speech, and thought
anger all type
in this World...

First, Second, and Third,
One, two, three times
to the three Gems:
Buddha, the Law
Order of Monks
heavy thought (with)
both palms raised up
offering done,
homage is made -- Pilgrimage.
pride let go
with worship -- sought
Oh, Venerable Lord!

Also see the translation of Au3 Ka2 Tha1 line by line with romanization. Pali terms are further elaborated in Burmese for those who can read and understand Burmese well.

MYANMAR NATIONAL ANTHEM (နိုင်ငံတော်သီချင်း)

Here's something every Burmese Nationals know, and ex-Burmese Nationals all over the world still remember: Burmese National Anthem. Although National flag is now flown in different colors and stripes, and the name of the country has changed in English from Burma to Myanmar, the spirit and the words behind the Burmese National Anthem remain steadfast in the Land of the Fast and the Strong known as Myanmar မြန်မာ | Myan2-Ma2, or ဗမာပြည် | Ba1 Ma2 Pyay2 as sung in the National Anthem.

ပြည်ထောင်စုကို အသက်ပေးလို့

Bogyoke Aung San's Writing Style

Burmese independence hero General Aung San was an avid reader, and known to be talented in writing. In November 1933, still in his college days, he won a competition to translate a passage from English to Burmese under the pen-name ပဲခူးကဝေ | Ba1-go3 Ka1-way2, which appeared in ဂန္တလောက မဂ္ဂဇင်း | Gan2-da1 Lau3-ka1 Magazine.

He also had a pseudonym အညာသားလေး | Anya2 tha3 lay3 with which he wrote two articles in June and August 1935 editions of သူရိယ မဂ္ဂဇင်း | Thu2-ri1-Ya1 Magazine.

Other articles in his college days include လောကဝိဟာ | Lau3 Ka1 Wi1 Ha2 in 1937 September edition of မျိုးညွန့်မဂ္ဂဇင်း | Myo3 Nyoon1 Magazine where he expressed his opinion on the meaning of education, and ကျောင်းသားဝတ္တရား | Kjoun3 tha3 Woot-ta1-ya3 meaning "responsibility of students" in November 27th 1937 issue of မန္တလေးသူရိယ | Mun3-da1-lay3 Thu2-ri1-ya1. He was then known as တက္ကသိုလ် ကျောင်းသား ကိုအောင်ဆန်း | Tet-ka1-tho2 Kjoun3-tha3 Ko2 Oun2 Sun3.

Bogyoke Aung San

In his earlier years of short political career, Bogyoke Aung San used the pen-name သခင်အောင်ဆန်း | Tha1-khin2 Oun2 Sun3. Articles appeared in ဒဂုန်မဂ္ဂဇင်း | Da1-gome2 Magazine and နဂါးနီစာစောင် | Na1-ga1-ni2 Sa2 Soun2.

During Japanese Occupation, on the day Japanese announced "Independence" of Burma (August 1st., 1943), General Aung San wrote an article in the special edition of ဗမာ့ခေတ် | Ba1-ma1 Khit newspaper with the title ဗမာ့လွတ်လပ်ရေး အရေးတော်ပုံ | Ba1-ma1 loot-lut-yay3 a-yay3-dau2-pone2 (Chronicle of Burma's Independence). Here's an excerpt:

ကမ္ဘာစစ်ကြီး အမှန် ဖြစ်ချေတော့မည်။ ဗမာ့အခြေကား အသို့နည်း။ ဗမာတွေ ဘာလုပ်ကြမည်နည်း။ ဤပြဿနာများကား ကျွန်ုပ်ရှေ့တွင် အလျှို အလျှို တသီကြီး ပေါ်လာလေတော့၏။ တခုတည်းသော အဓိဌာန်ကို ရုတ်ခြည်း ကျွန်ုပ်ပြုလိုက်၏။ ငါ့အတွက် ဖြစ်လိုရာ ဖြစ်စေတော့၊ ငါ၏ နိုင်ငံ လွတ်လပ်ရေးအတွက် မနေမနား စွန့်စား လုံးပမ်းတော့အံ့။ ဤအဓိဌာန်ကို သန်သန်ကြီး ပြုလုပ်မိတော့၏

Here's my version of translation:

(Second) World War is about to become a reality. What's the situation like for Burma? What shall we Burmese do? Those challenges appeared in my stream of thoughts one after another. I immediately made a sole determination. I shall leave my life to fate alone and let it be. But, for the independence of my country, I shall struggle fervently and make a fearless venture with a restless heart. Such was the iron determination I made with an unyielding spirit.

General Aung San never had the time to write a book during his struggle for independence, but he had indicated the desire to retire from politics and write books after the independence on subjects like politics, history, family affairs and education of children based on his belief system and point of view. The following was what he told တက္ကသိုလ်နေဝင်း | Tet-ka1-tho2 Nay2 Win3 (also known as ဗိုလ်ထွန်းလှ | Bo2 Htoon3 Hla1) in April 1947.

လွတ်လပ်ရေးရပြီးရင် ငါကတော့ နိုင်ငံရေးကထွက်ပြီး စာတွေရေးမယ်၊ နိုင်ငံရေးတွေ၊ ရာဇဝင်တွေအပြင် အိမ်ထောင်ရေးနဲ့ သားသမီး စောင့်ရှောက်ပြုပြင်ရေး တွေနဲ့ ပတ်သက်လို့ ငါ့ အယူအဆ သဘောထားတွေကိုပါ စါအုပ်ရေးမှာဘဲ

One can only wonder what kind of additional contributions he would have made to the elegance of Burmese literature and the spirit of Nationalism. Bogyoke Aung San did not live to see the independence of Burma. He was assassinated in the gloomy morning of July 19th, 1947.

(Reference: Writing Style of Bogyoke Aung San by Mya Han; Ava Publishing House, January 1998. မှီငြမ်းကိုးကားသောစာအုပ်-- သုတေသနမှုး ဆရာဦးမြဟန် ရေးသားသော ဗိုလ်ချုပ်အောင်ဆန်း၏ စာပေလက်ရာ၊ အင်းဝစာပေတိုက်၊ ၁၉၉၈၊ ဇန်နဝါရီလ)

Burmese Poem ( မြန်မာကဗျာ )

Here's a sample of Burmese poem for children. For those who can read and understand Burmese, this will leave you smiling. The Poem was written by ဆရာကြီးမင်းသုဝဏ် | Hsa1-Ya2-Ji3 Min3 Thu1 Woon2. He was born on February 10, 1909, and a poet during Bogyoke Aung San era who was born on February 13, 1915.

Added Note: I had this poem in this page a couple of years before U Htin Kyaw was hand-picked by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to be the 9th president of Myanmar. Only then, I came to realize that he is the son of this poet.


မောင်ကြီးနှမ ခိုင်သဇင်
ဘယ်ဆီများလဲ ဟင်။
ခေါင်းမှာရွက်လို့ ရေအိုးတင်
ရေခပ်သွားမယ် ရှင်။

ရေအိုးထမ်းလို့ လိုက်ခဲ့ချင်
လိုက်ရမလား ဟင်။
မောင်ကြီး သဘောအတိုင်း ပင်
လိုက်ချင်လိုက်ပေါ့ ရှင်။

မောင်ကြီးမေတ္တာ ပန်းကိုဆင်
လက်ထပ်မလား ဟင်။
မောင်ကြီး သဘောအတိုင်း ပင်
နာယူပါ့မယ် ရှင်။

နှမလေးရဲ့ မွေးဖခင်
ဘာလုပ်စားလဲ ဟင်။
ထွန်ထယ်ရုန်းလို့ လယ်ကွင်းပြင်
လယ်လုပ်စားတယ် ရှင်။

မောင်ကြီးနှမ ခိုင်သဇင်
ပစ္စည်းရှိလား ဟင်။
ပစ္စည်းပါပဲ ရှင်။

သည်လိုဖြင့်လဲ ခိုင်သဇင်
မယူနိုင်ဘူး ထင်။
ယူပါလို့များ ပျိုလေးခင်
ပြောဖူးလို့လား ရှင်။

Browser Support to view Burmese Font

Lesson 33: Learn to read Burmese Script

Introduction to Burmese Script

Learning to read and pronounce Burmese script is the first step towards understanding the meaning behind the written words, and a necessary step towards competency in writing or typing in Burmese. In this lesson, I will introduce you to the characters and a system of pronunciation designed to help you to read Myanmar written words in the shortest possible time.

If you are the first time learner who has never seen the Myanmar written words, my recommendation is to start with the recognition of characters and know the basic rules and general spelling patterns rather than memorizing everything. In this stage, you may not remember how all the characters and symbols are pronounced when put together, but you should be able to refer back to the reference guide, and at least be able to get the close pronunciation. My guess is that will be sufficient for most tourists and visitors who need to find out the pronunciation of just a word or two out of curiosity or necessity.

It should be noted that pronunciations of some words do not necessarily follow the way they are spelled. For example, the word Pagoda is spelled "Bu1 Ya3", but read "Pfa1 Ya3".

Burmese Script Learning Guide

You can download Myanmar Script Learning Guide in PDF format.

Revision: E
Revised Date: 2017-03-20
File Size: 588 KB
Number of Pages: 78

The latest edition of Myanmar Script Learning Guide includes quick reference steps.

Audio files for Myanmar Script Learning Guide (PDF) are zipped for easy download and offline study.

Zipped Audio Files

Date: 2017-03-15
File Size: 5.89 MB

What's in the Zipped file?

  • 664 audio files for 730 selected words in the PDF file. (Some with same sound.)
  • A summary text file with audio file names in English Romanization and Burmese script.
  • A CSV file of the above text file that can be opened with most spreadsheet programs.
  • An Excel spreadsheet of the above text file for easy sorting.

A Brief History of Burmese (Myanmar) Script

Historical evidence suggests that Myanmar Script has existed at least as far back as 11th Century Bagan Civilization. The living historical evidence is the 12th century Mya Zedi Pillar Script engraved in Mon, Myanmar, Pali, and Pyu languages. It is possible that some variants of Brahmi and Pyu script of the earlier Pyu city-states were in use in Bagan before adapting to the Mon script by King အနော်ရထာ | a-nau2-ra1-hta2 MP3 Audio File to transfer the knowledge of Tharavada Buddhism from the Mon.

Analysis of the COMPARISON TABLE OF MYANMAR, MON, PYU, AND BRAHMI SCRIPTS in the Myanmar-English dictionary published by the Department of the Myanmar Language Commission shows that 11th century Myanmar Script is closer to the Mon Script than Pyu script. But, note that Old Mon Script has missing 12th, 14th, and 32nd characters ဌ - ဎ - ဠ , which look more like variants of Pyu and Brahmi.

Pyu script, just like Mon Script, is derived from the original Brahmi script of ancient India shown in the left column of the table.

To give a sense of timeline in history, Ancient Pyu script was in use as far back as 4-6 AD. In comparison, Old English based on Latin script was introduced to the Anglo-Saxon people of England in the 7th century, and Modern English began in the late 15th century. The works of William Shakespeare dated back to the early 17th century.

Dr. Judson, an American Missionary, who made a thorough study of the Burmese language theorized in his book GRAMMAR OF THE BURMESE LANGUAGE, published in 1883 that Burmese alphabet is modification of the ancient Nagari Script just like Pali, but not a modification of Sanskrit.

However, it should be noted that Sanskrit is the Language just like the Pali, and both the languages can be written in different scripts including Nagari, Devanāgarī, or even in modern English and Burmese. Nagari is said to be the old term for Devanagari, which itself is the Brahmic family of scripts, so most researchers today will agree with Dr. Judson.

As seen in the COMPARISON TABLE, The shapes of several Burmese characters had evolved throughout the centuries to the present day print form. With the rise of "Bamar" people, Burmese script became the dominant script replacing Mon and Pyu in the land of what is known as Myanmar today. By the 18th century with the advent of printing, the shapes of all the 33 main characters had become almost identical to the present day characters.

The first Burmese book: Alphabetum Barmanum sev Bomanum Regni Avae Finitimarumque Regionum was first printed in 1776 AD (1138 Burmese Calendar year) in Rome by Typis Sacrae Congreg. de Propaganda Fide (Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith.) It is said to contain 60,000 Burmese typographic characters.

The first English to Burmese dictionary by the Englishman Charles Lane with the help of Burmese prince မက္ခရာမင်းသား | met-kha1-ya2 min3-tha3 was published in 1841. The sample below shows the printed Burmese Script from this dictionary. Although some of the spellings have changed since then, the characters have the same shapes as the present day computer fonts. Also note that the 27th Burmese character | Ya1 in the Prince's name was pronounced with "R" sound instead of "Y" as met-kha1-ra2.

Burmese Script Sample printed in 1841

Yadanabon Naypyitaw Newspaper was first published on 24 March 1874 by Yadanabon Naypyitaw Press in Mandalay during King Mindon era.

For references, refer to Rare Book Collection of National Library, Myanmar by By MYA OO, Director of the National Library of Myanmar.

Today, just about anyone with a computer using Burmese font can print in Burmese. There are some slight variations among different font types and some deviations in ratios of the shapes can be seen. For example, designers of the Thanlwin font used in this website made the smaller curves within the characters less conspicuous to the extent that the 22nd character | pfa1 almost looks like the 21st character | pa1.

The spelling of Burmese words are standardized today by the Myanmar Language Commission.

Browser Support to display Burmese Fonts on the web page

You need browser version of at least IE 9.0, Chrome 4.0, Firefox 3.5, Safari 3.1, or Opera 10.0 to view Burmese font on this website properly.

Does your browser meet the requirement?

CCBot/2.0 (

I was impressed with Thanlwin font and Ekaya Input Method which is not only Unicode compliant but also rendered difficult-to-spell double-stacked words and Buddhist texts correctly, so I have switched to Thanlwin from an another font type.

In earlier days, users need to have the font downloaded first into their computers, and in addition, browser options must be changed. Fortunately, the technology has much improved (plus freely available for download or learn online.) For the web page, I am using CSS3 @font-face rule to include and automatically pull "ThanlwinBold.ttf" font.

Burmese Script is the later addition to the original lessons. I now have Burmese Script versions of the previous lessons for serious learners of the Burmese language.

Known Issues with fonts

If you have already pre-installed some other Burmese fonts that are not Unicode-compliant, you may see incorrect display of Unicode-compliant fonts such as the one used in this website. You have the options of changing your default font in your browser setting, or un-install other fonts, or use an another machine without the Burmese font in it. You do not need to install any font to view this website, as the font will be automatically loaded. If your Internet connection is slow, make sure first that the page has completed loading the fonts. To quote Wikipedia under the sub-heading "Why not Zawgyi":

Those who have Zawgyi or pseudo-Unicode fonts in their computers find their computers may display incorrect text and might affect other Unicode-supported applications.

Font Display Test

The following passage is from the play "Water Seller" | ရေသည်ပြဇာတ် | yay2-theare2 pya1-zut by famous Burmese poet, playwright and author U Pone Nya | ဦးပုည | u3 pone2 nya1 during Konbaung Dynasty. If the font display in brown color matches the image below in blue color, the font is working correctly.

ဝါးကွဲထမ်းပိုး၊ ဆိုင်းပေါင်ကျိုးနှင့် ပုဆိုးညစ်တေ၊ ယောင်ထန်းစေ့မှုတ်၊
ခေါင်းမွေးစုတ်တဲ့ ကျုပ်ဖအေငယ်။ ရေကိုရောင်းစား၊ မောင့်စွမ်းအားနှင့်
စီးပွား တစ်နှစ်ဘယ်လောက်များ ဖြစ်ပါတုံး။ လက်ကပ်ခြေကပ်၊ ပိုမိုမြတ်လို့
အဖတ်တင် အိမ်တွင်ထုပ်ရ ကျုပ်မောင်လှမှာ ငွေစဘယ်လောက်များသလဲ။

Water Seller play by U Pone Nya

Overview of Burmese Written Language

Burmese language has 33 main characters known as byi3 | ဗျည်း. Those are comparable to 26 alphabets in English, but without uppercase and lowercase differentiation. Each of those byi3 has the sound with the vowel "a" in the first tone. E.g., Ka1, Kha1, Ga1, Nga1, Sa1, Za1, Nya1 | က၊ ခ၊ ဂ၊ င၊ စ၊ ဇ၊ ည၊ and so on. Several of those byi3 have variant byi3 with the same sound and some are seldom used.

Unlike English which can form words only with the vowels A,E,I,O,U within the 26 alphabetical system (except "by" and "my"), Burmese makes use of additional symbols known as tha1 ra1 | သရ, and byi3 tweare3 | ဗျည်းတွဲ. In this learning system, I have categorized those symbols under three groups:

  • Vowel Shift Symbols
  • Consonant Modification Symbols
  • Tone Change Symbols

In additional, Myanmar Written Language has standalone characters, double stacked words thun2-yoat byi3 | သံယုဂ်ဗျည်း or pup-hsin1 | ပါဌ်ဆင့် and other characters outside the 33 main characters that behave almost like byi3.

To simplify the learning process, I have categorized and grouped those symbols slightly different from Myanmar Spelling & Orthography Reference Book (မြန်မာစာလုံးပေါင်း သတ်ပုံကျမ်း) as published by the Ministry of Education (ပညာရေးဝန်ကြီးဌာန ၊ မြန်မာစာအဖွဲ့ဦးစီးဌာန) in Naypyitaw. The official publication in Burmese language intended to be used by teachers, students, government employees, and monks had the list of

  • 34 byi3 in byi3 sin2| ဗျည်းစဉ် where sin2 means ordered list. The one extra byi3 shown with the brackets is Nya1 ga1 lay3 | , which is a Pali byi3 and, is given the same 10th position as the Burmese Nya1 | , which in official publication is called Nya1 Ji1 | ညကြီး.
  • 150 possible variations in vowels, tones including 8 single tone groups, combination of closing thut and tones, and standalone characters all lumped under the list of tha1 ra1 + a thut sin2 | သရ နှင့် အသတ်စဉ်.
  • 11 possible combinations of what I termed as "consonant modification symbols" listed under byi3 tweare3 sin2 | ဗျည်းတွဲစဉ် where tweare3 means to append or to attach.

All 33 plus one byi3, those listed under tha1 ra1 and thut sin2, and byi3 tweare3 sin2 fall under the category of Et Kha1 Ya2 | အက္ခရာ.

Whenever I include Burmese script in my lessons, I will use the "official" spelling, and in case "official" spelling is not available, e.g., new foreign words like website | ဝက်ဘ်ဆိုက်, I will use what is commonly seen in journals and advertisements. However, Romanization with 1,2,3 Tone System is my own creation.

Myanmar Language written in left to right word order has punctuation marks similar to comma, and full stop (or period). Poat Pfyut | ပုဒ်ဖြတ် is a vertical line that has the same height as the normal character "Ka1" and usually used in separating the items in the list of similar items. Example:

က၊ ခ၊ ဂ၊ ဃ၊ င၊

Poat Ma1 | ပုဒ်မ is a double vertical line to indicate the end of the sentence. In addition, Poat Ma1 can also be used after the number 1,2,3 in the list instead of the brackets. Example:

၁။ တစ်
၂။ နှစ်
၃။ သုံး

"Double Poat Ma1" with ample space in between known as Poat Ma1 Ji3 | | ပုဒ်မကြီး is used as tab in official business letters and government application forms following the word "Subject" in the header. Example:

အကြောင်းအရာ။     ။

"Double Pote Ma1" is also used as a writing style at the end of long articles and essays to indicate the ending.

33 Main Characters (or) Letters — Byi3

Characters or letters that are more frequently used or seen are highlighted. Simple usage examples are given for each letter.

ka1 MP3 Audio File
ကကြီး | spelled as: Ka1 kji3. Read as: Ka1 Ji3 as in
ကမကထ | ka1 mah1 ka1 hta1 -- give leadership
kha1 MP3 Audio File
ခခွေး | spelled as: Kha1 khway3. Read as: Kha1 Gway3 as in
ခဏခဏ | kha1-na1 kha1-na1 -- often
ga1 MP3 Audio File
ဂငယ် | spelled as: Ga1 Ngeare2. Read as: Ga1 Ngeare2 as in
ဂဃနဏ | ga1-ga1 na1-na1 -- differentiate clearly
ga1 MP3 Audio File
ဃကြီး | spelled as: Ga1 Kji3. Read as Ga1 Ji3 as in
အာဃာတ | ah2 ga2 ta1 -- grudge; vengefulness
nga1 MP3 Audio File
| spelled as: Nga1. Read as Nga1 as in
စေ့င | say1 nga1 -- be sufficient
sa1 MP3 Audio File
စလုံး | spelled as: Sah1 Lone3. Read as Sah1 Lone3 as in
အစအန | a-sa1 a-na1 -- bits and pieces
hsa1 MP3 Audio File
ဆလိမ် | spelled as: Hsa1 Lain2. Read as: Hsa1 Lain2 as in
ဆဋ္ဌမ | hsut hta1 ma1 -- sixth
za1 MP3 Audio File
ဇကွဲ | spelled as: Za1 Kweare3. Read as: Za1 Gweare3 as in
ဇဝန | za1 wa1 na1 -- fast
za1 MP3 Audio File
ဈမျည်းဆွဲ | spelled as: Za1 Myin3-Hsweare3. Read as: Za1 Myin2 Zweare3 as in
ဈာပန | za2 pa1 na1 -- incineration
nya1 MP3 Audio File
ညကြီး | spelled as: Nya1 Kji3. Read as: Nya1 Ji3 as in
အညမည | a-nya1 ma1 nya1 -- reciprocal relation
ta1 MP3 Audio File
ဋသန်လျင်းချိတ် | spelled as: Ta1 Thun2 Lyin3 Chate. Read as: Ta1 Tha1-Lin3-Jate as in
ပဋိပက္ခ | pa1 ti1 pet kha1 -- conflicts
hta1 MP3 Audio File
ဌဝမ်းဘဲ | spelled as: Hta1 Wun3 Beare3. Read as: Hta1 Woon2 Beare3 as in
အဋ္ဌမ | ut hta1 ma1 -- 8th
da1 MP3 Audio File
ဍရင်ကောက် | spelled as: Da1 Yin2-Kout. Read as: Da1 Yin2 Gout as in
အာမေဍိတ် | ah2 may2 date -- interjection
da1 MP3 Audio File
ဎရေမှုတ် | spelled as: Da1 Yay2 Hmote. Read as: Da1 Yay2 Mote
na1 MP3 Audio File
ဏကြီး | spelled as: Na1 Kji3. Read as: Na1 Ji3 as in
ပမာဏ | pa1 ma2 na1 -- size; magnitude
ta1 MP3 Audio File
တဝမ်းပူ | spelled as: Ta1 Wun3 Pu2. Read as: Ta1 Wun3 Pu2 as in
တဝ | ta1 wa1 -- to fulfill
hta1 MP3 Audio File
ထဆင်ထူး | spelled as: Hta1 Hsin2 Htu3. Read as: Hta1 Hsin2 Tu2 as in
အထ | a-hta1 -- pick-up speed
da1 MP3 Audio File
ဒထွေး | spelled as: Da1 Htway3. Read as: Da1 Dway3 as in
ဒသမ | dut tha1 ma1 -- 10th
da1 MP3 Audio File
ဓအောက်ခြိုက် | spelled as: Da1 Out Chite. Read as: Da1 Out Chite as in
ဓန | da1 na1 -- wealth
na1 MP3 Audio File
နငယ် | spelled as: Na1 Ngeare2. Read as: Na1 Ngeare2 as in
နဝမ | na1 wa1 ma1 -- 9th
pa1 MP3 Audio File
ပစောက် | spelled as: Pa1 Sout. Read as: Pa1 Zout as in
ပထမ | pa1 hta1 ma1 -- first
pfa1 MP3 Audio File
ဖဦးထုပ် | spelled as: Pfa1 U Htoat. Read as: Pfa1 Oat Htoat as in
အဖ | a-pfa1 -- male parent
ba1 MP3 Audio File
ဗထက်ခြိုက် | spelled as: Ba1 Htet Chite. Read as: Ba1 Da1 Chite as in
ဗလ | ba1 la1 -- strength
ba1 MP3 Audio File
ဘကုန်း | spelled as: Ba1 Kone3. Read as: Ba1 Gome3 as in
ဘဝ | ba1 wa1 -- life story
ma1 MP3 Audio File
| spelled as: Ma1. Read as: Ma1 as in
မရမက | ma1 yah1 ma1 ka1 -- painstakingly try to get
ya1 MP3 Audio File
ယပက်လက် | spelled as: Yah1 Pet let. Read as: Yah1 Pa1 Let as in
ယမကာ | ya1 ma1 ka2 -- beverage
ya1 MP3 Audio File
ရကောက် | spelled as: Yah1 Kout. Read as: Yah1 Gout as in
ရသ | yah1 tha1 -- taste
la1 MP3 Audio File
| spelled as: La1. Read as: La1 as in
လခမရ | la1 kha1 ma1 ya1 -- no salary
wa1 MP3 Audio File
| spelled as: Wa1. Read as: Wa1 as in
ဝဝ | wah1 wah1 -- until satiated
tha1 MP3 Audio File
| spelled as: Tha1. Read as: Tha1 as in
သမ | tha1 ma1 -- to average out
ha1 MP3 Audio File
| spelled as: Ha1. Read as: Ha1 as in
အလဟဿ | a-la1 hah1 tha1 -- wasted
La1 MP3 Audio File
ဠကြီး | spelled as: La1 Kji3. Read as: La1 Ji3 as in
စကြဝဠာ | set kja2 wa1 la2 -- the Universe
ah1 MP3 Audio File
| spelled as: Ah1. Read as: Ah1 as in
အညတရ | a-nya1-ta1-ra1 -- unknown average person

NOTE: There is a slight difference in pronunciations of the sixth character | Sa1 lone3 and the seventh character |Hsa1 Lain2. The difference will be almost undetectable to the Westerners. Hsa1 Lain2 has more hissing sound produced by the tip of the tongue touching the upper palate.

Consonant Modification Symbols

Although there are 33 characters, only about 25 have distinct consonant sounds. Burmese can have additional consonants such as "Sha1" and "Cha1" using Consonant Modification Symbols known as

  • | Ya1-pin1 | ယပင့် which is "j" shaped and appended at the lower right side of the character,
  • | Ya1-yit | ရရစ် which looks like a 3/4 of the rectangle with open end at the right side that surrounds the character,
  • | Wa1-hsweare3 | ဝဆွဲ which has "o" or triangle shape depending on the font type that goes below the character, and
  • | Ha1-hto3 | ဟထိုး which looks like a mirror image of "L" facing to the left side that goes under the character. When used in combination with Wa1-hsweare3, it will only appear as a small dash or a tiny back slash to the left of Wa1-hsweare3 like this: ဝွှ

Consonant Modification Symbols neither change the tone nor the vowel ending. Characters remain in the first tone with the vowel "a". Both Ya1-yit and Ya1-pin1 have the same consonant modification effects, and in combination with several characters which can have the same sound, several spelling variations are possible. However, it will be encouraging to know that reading Burmese will be much easier than writing with the correct spelling.

Note: Yellow background indicates consonants that are completely modified. Usage examples are given in the right column.

Consonant Modifications Table
Combinations Spell Audio
Ka1 Ji3 + Ya1 Pin1 ကျ Kja1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ယောက်ျားပီသ | yout-kja3 pi2-tha1 : manly
Ka1 Ji3 + Ya1 Yit ကြ Kja1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ကြိုးစားအားထုတ် | kjo3-za3 ah3-htoat : diligent
Ka1 Ji3 + Ya1 Yit ကြ ja1 <<MP3 AUDIO>> (spoken variation)
ကလေးတို့ရေ လာကြ | kha1-lay3-doh1 yay2 la2 ja1 : come children!
Ka1 Ji3 + Ya1 Yit ကြ kra1 <<MP3 AUDIO>> (Pali variation)
ကြိယာ | kri1-ya2 : verb
Ka1 Ji3 + Wa1 Hsweare3 ကွ Kwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ကွင်းဆင်းလေ့လာ | kwin3-hsin3 lay1-la2 : field trip study
Ka1 Ji3 + Ya1 Pin1 + Wa1 Hsweare3 ကျွ Kjwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ကျင်လည်ကျွမ်းကျင် | kjin2-leare2 kjoon3-kjin2 : expertise
Ka1 Ji3 + Yit Yit + Wa1 Hsweare3 ကြွ Kjwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
တက်တက်ကြွကြွ | tet-tet-kjwa1-kjwa1 : energetically
Kha1 Gway3 + Ya1 Pin1 ချ Cha1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
တုန်လှုပ်ချောက်ချား | tone2-hloat chout-cha3 : frightened
Kha1 Gway3 + Ya1 Yit ခြ Cha1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ဆင်ခြင်သုံးသပ် | hsin2-chin2 thone3-thut : to contemplate
Kha1 Gway3 + Wa1 Hsweare3 ခွ Khwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ခွင့်လွှတ်စာနာ | khwin1-hloot sa2-na2 : forgive out of compassion
Kha1 Gway3 + Ya1 Pin1 + Wa1 Hsweare3 ချွ Chwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
​ချွေတာခြိုးခြံ | chway2-ta2 cho3-chan2 : sparingly
Kha1 Gway3 + Ya1 Yit + Wa1 Hsweare3 ခြွ Chwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ခြွင်းချက်မရှိ | chwin3-chet ma1-shi1 : without exception
Ga1 Ngeare2 + Ya1 Yit ဂြ Ja1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
နက္ခတ် ၊ ဂြိုဟ် ၊ ကြယ် | net-khut jo2-kjeare2 : stars & planets
Ga1 Ngeare2 + Ya1 Pin1 ဂျ Ja1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ဂျပန်လူမျိုး | ja1-pan2 lu2-myo3 : Japanese ethnic
Ga1 Ngeare2 + Wa1 Hsweare3 ဂွ Gwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ဝါဂွမ်းချည်မျှင် | wa2-goon3 chi2-hmyin2 : cotton thread
Nga1 + Ya1 Yit ငြ Nya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ငြီးငွေ့ပျင်းရိ | nyi3-ngway1 pyin3-yi1 : boredom & sloth
Nga1 + Ya1 Yit + Ha1 Hto3 ငြှ Hnya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ငြှိမ်း | hnyain3 : to extinguish; variant = ငြိမ်း
Nga1 + Wa1 Hsweare3 ငွ Ngwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ငွေကုန်လူပန်း | ngway2-kone2 lu2-pan3 : wasted efforts
Nga1 + Ha1 Hto3 ငှ Hnga1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ငှက်ကြီးဝန်ပို | hnget-ji3 woon2 po2 : pelican
Sa1 Lone3 + Wa1 Hsweare3 စွ Swa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
တွယ်တာစွဲမက် | tweare2-ta2 sweare3-met : cling & craze
Hsa1 Lain2 + Wa1 Hsweare3 ဆွ Hswa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
လှည့်ဖြားဆွဲဆောင် | hleare1-pfya3 hsweare3-hsoun2 : beguile
Za1 Gweare3 + Wa1 Hsweare3 ဇွ Zwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ဇွတ်တရွတ်နှင့် | zoot-ta1-yoot hnin1 : imprudent action
Nya1 + Wa1 Hsweare3 ညွ Nywa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
မဆွတ်ခင်ညွတ် | ma1 hsoot khin2 nyoot : willingly taken
Nya1 + Ha1 Hto3 ညှ Hnya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ညှို့ဆွယ်ပြုစား | hnyo1-hsweare2 pyu1-za3 : to entice & bewitch
Nya1 + Wa1 Hsweare3 + Ha1 Hto3 ညွှ Hnya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ညွှန်ကြားရေးမှုး | hnyoon2-kja3-yay3 hmu3 : director
Na1 Ji3 + Ha1 Hto3 ဏှ Hna1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
တဏှာရာဂ | ta1-hna2 ya2-ga1 : sexual thoughts
Ta1 Win2-pu2 + Ya1 Pin1 တျ Tra1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ထံတျာတေတျော |htan2-tra2 tay2-tra2 : do-re-mi-fa
Ta1 Win2-pu2 + Ya1 Yit တြ Tra1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
တြိဂံပုံသဏ္ဌာန် | tri1-gun2 pone2-tha1-dun2 : triangular shape
Ta1 Win2-pu2 + Wa1 Hsweare3 တွ Twa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ထိုင်းမှိုင်း​တွေဝေ | htine3-hmine3 tway2-way2 : dull
Hta1 Sin2-tu2 + Wa1 Hsweare3 ထွ Htwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ယုတ်မာထွားကျိုင်း | yoat-ma2 htwa3-kjine3 : despicable
Da1 Dway3 + Ya1 Yit ဒြ Dra1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ဓာတုဒြပ်ဖို | da2-tu1 drut pfo2 : crucible
Da1 Dway3 + Wa1 Hsweare3 ဒွ Dwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ဒွိစုံသင်္ကန်း | dri1-sone2 thin2-gun3 : full set of monk's robes
Na1 Ngeare2 + Ya1 Pin1 နျ Naya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
နျူကလိယ | nyu2 ka1 li1 ya1 : Nuclear energy
Na1 Ngeare2 + Wa1 Hsweare3 နွ Nwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
နွားကွဲကျားကိုက် | nwa3 kweare3 kja3 kite : weaken by disharmony
Na1 Ngeare2 + Ha1 Hto3 နှ Hna1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
နှစ်သက်တပ်မက် | hnit-thet tut-met : to desire
Na1 Ngeare2 + Wa1 Hsweare3 + Ha1 Hto3 နွှ Hnwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
နွေးအောင်​နွှေးပါ | nway3 oun2 hnway3 ba2 : heat to warm
Pa1 Sout + Ya1 Pin1 ပျ Pya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ပျူပျူငှာငှာ | pyu2 pyu2 hnga2 hnga2 : amiable & pleasant
Pa1 Sout + Ya1 Yit ပြ Pya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
​ပြောထုံးဆိုထုံး | pyau3 htone3 hso2 htone3 : adage; maxim
Pa1 Sout + Wa1 Hsweare3 ပွ Pwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ပွတ်သီးပွတ်သပ် | poot thi3 poot thut : mingle & touch
Pa1 Sout + Ya1 Yit + Wa1 Hsweare3 ပြွ Pywa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ပြွတ်သိပ်ရှုပ်ထွေး | pyoot-thate shoat-htway3 : dense & complex
Pfa1 Oat-htoat + Ya1 pin1 ဖျ Pfya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
နိုးကြားဖျတ်လတ် | no3-kja3 pfyut-lut : vigilant
Pfa1 Oat-htoat + Ya1 Yit ဖြ Pfya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ခဏတစ်ဖြုတ် | kha1-na1 ta1-pfyoat : momentarily
Pfa1 Oat-htoat + Wa1 Hsweare3 ဖွ Pfwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ဖွံ့ဖြိုးတိုးတက် | pfwin1-pfyo3 toe3-tet : developed
Ba1 Da1-chike + Ya1 pin1 ဗျ bya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ကဗျာဆန်ဆန် | ka1-bya2 hsun2 hsun2 : poetic
Ba1 Da1-chike + Ya1 Yit ဗြ bya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
​ဗြောက်အိုးမီးပန်း | byout-o3 mi3-bun3 : firecrackers
Ba1 Da1-chike + Wa1 Hsweare3 ဗွ Bwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
လက်​ဗွေလက်ရာ | let-bway2 let-ya2 : fingerprints
Ba1 Gome3 + Wa1 Hsweare3 ဘွ Bwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ဘွဲ့နှင်းသဘင် | bweare1 hnin3 dtha1 bin2 : graduation ceremony
Ma1 + Ya1 pin1 မျ Mya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
မျက်ရိပ်မျက်ခြည် | myet yate myet chi2 : facial expressions
Ma1 + Ya1 Yit မြ Mya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
မြင်ယောင်ထင်မှား | myin2 youn2 htin2 hma3 : illusion
Ma1 + Wa1 Hsweare3 မွ Mwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
မွမ်းမံပြင်ဆင် | moon3-mun2 pyin2-hsin2 : to enhance
Ma1 + Ha1 Hto3 မှ Hma1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
မျက်မှောက်ကာလ | myet hmout ka2 la1 : present day era
Ma1 + Ya1 Yit + Wa1 Hsweare3 မြွ Mwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
​မြွေလိမ်မြွေကောက် | mway2-lain2 mway2 kout : long & winding
Ma1 + Ya1 pin1 + Ha1 Hto3 မျှ Hmya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
မျှစ်ချဉ်ဟင်းခါး | hmyit-chin2 hin3-kha3 : sour bamboo shoots
Ma1 + Ya1 Yit + Ha1 Hto3 မြှ Hmya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အ​မြှောက်ဂဏန်း | a-hmyout ga1-nun3 : multiplication
Ma1 + Wa1 Hsweare3 + Ha1 Hto3 မွှ Hmwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ရောဂါပိုးမွှား | yau3-ga2 po3-hmwa3 : germs
Ma1 + Ya1 Yit + Wa1 Hsweare3 + Ha1 Hto3 မြွှ Hmwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အမြွှာမွေးဖွား | a-hmwa2 mway3 pfwa3 : give birth to twins
Ya1 Pa1-let + Wa1 Hsweare3 ယွ Ywa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
မှားယွင်းချက်များ | hma3 ywin3 chet mya3 : errors
Ya1 Pa1-let + Ya1 Pin1 ယျ Ya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ပန်းခြံဥယျာဉ် | pan3-chan2 u1-yin2 : garden
Ya1 Pa1-let + Ha1 Hto3 ယှ Sha1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ယှဉ်ပြိုင်ဆင်နွှဲ | shin2-pyine2 hsin2 hnweare3 : to compete
Ya1 Gout + Wa1 Hsweare3 ရွ Ywa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ငယ်ရွယ်နုနယ် | ngeare2-yweare2 nu1-neare2 : youthful & tender
Ya1 Gout + Ha1 Hto3 ရှ Sha1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ရုပ်ရှင်လောက | yoat-shin2 lau3-ka1 : movie industry
Ya1 Gout + Wa1 Hsweare3 + Ha1 Hto3 ရွှ Shwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ပျော်ရွှင်မြူးကြွ | pyau2-shwin2 myu3-kjwa1 : happy & excited
La1 + Ya1 pin1 လျ lya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ဟင်းလျာချက်ပြုတ် | hin3-lya2 chet-pyoat : cuisine; culinary
La1 + Wa1 Hsweare3 လွ Lwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
လွတ်ငြိမ်းချမ်းသာ | loot-nyain3 chan3-tha2 : amnesty
La1 + Ha1 Hto3 လှ Hla1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
လှိုက်လှိုက်လှဲလှဲ | hlite hlite hleare3 hleare3 : whole-heartedly
La1 + Ya1 pin1 + Ha1 Hto3 လျှ Hlya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>> or Sha1
လျှို့ဝှက်သူလျှို | hlyo1-hwet tha1-sho2 : espionage
La1 + Wa1 Hsweare3 + Ha1 Hto3 လွှ Hlwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ခုန်ပျံကျော်လွှား | khone2-pyan2 kjau2-hlwa3 : overcome obstacles
Wa1 + Ha1 Hto3 ဝှ Wha1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
လက်​ဝှေ့ထိုးကြိတ် | let-hway1 hto3 kjate : boxing
Tha1 + Ya1 pin1 + Ha1 Hto3 သျှ Sha1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ဥသျှစ်သီးစား | oat-shit-thi3 sa3 : to eat bael fruit
Tha1 + Wa1 Hsweare3 သွ Thwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
​သွေးစည်းညီညွတ် thway3-si3 nyi2-nyoot : unity & harmony

NOTE: The example words and phrases on the right column of the above table make use of consonant modified words in their base form, i.e., Vowel 'A1', from which they are further modified and shifted into different vowels and tones. The middle column shows all possible consonant variations in the base "A1" form before tone change and before shifting into different vowels. For single vowel 'A' words with tone variations before shifting into other vowels, please see lesson 36.

Vowel Shift Symbols

Vowel shift symbols change the characters and partially modified words into different vowel endings sometimes accompanied by tone change in the new vowel group.

  • | lone3-ji3-tin2 | လုံးကြီးတင်
  • | ta1-choun3-ngin2 | တစ်ချောင်းငင်
  • | thut | သတ်
  • | thay3-thay3-tin2 | သေးသေးတင်
  • | thway2-hto3 | သဝေထိုး
  • | nout-pyit | နောက်ပစ်
  • ာင် | yay3-cha1 + nga1 thut | ရေးချ င သတ်

The following table shows the general format applicable to several words and it will help you to read the written words. Writing needs a higher skill level as words with correct spelling must be learned through reading or from the dictionary.

Vowel Shift Symbols Table
Vowels Combinations
a1 Original form with vowel "a" in the 1st. tone :
က ၊ ခ ၊ ဂ ၊ ဃ ၊ င - ka1-kha1-ga1-ga1-nga1 MP3 Audio File

e (or) i Use "o" shape Lone3-ji3-tin2 on top or Nya1-thut :
သိ၊ သည် - thi1-dthi2 MP3 Audio File

u Use "L" shape Ta1-choun3-ngin2 at the bottom :
ကု ၊ ခု ၊ စု ၊ ဆု ၊ တု ၊ ထု - ku1-khu1-su1-hsu1-tu1-htu1 MP3 Audio File

o Use "o" shape Lone3-ji3-tin2 on top + Ta1-choun3-ngin2 :
ကို ၊ ခို ၊ ငို ၊ ဆို ၊ အို - ko2-kho2-ngo2-hso2-o2 MP3 Audio File

Ay Use upside down "e" shape Thway2-hto3 at the left :
နေ၊ မေ၊ လေ၊ ရေ - nay2-may2-lay2-yay2 MP3 Audio File

Au Modify tone with Yay3-cha1 on the right to get "a2". Then use Thway2-hto3 at the left to get "Au3".
စော၊ တော၊ မော၊ လော - sau3-tau3-mau3-lau3 MP3 Audio File

un (or) anUse Na1-thut or Ma1-thut or Thay3-thay3-tin2 or Na1-ji3-thut :
ကန်၊ ကံ၊ ဆန်၊ ဘဏ် - kun2-kun2-hsun2-bun2 MP3 Audio File

in Use Nga1-thut or Nya1-ga1-lay3-thut or Nga1-ga1-lay3-thut :
ကင် ၊ စဉ် ၊ မင်္ဂလာ - kin2-sin2-min2-gla2 MP3 Audio File

eareUse Nout-pyit to get 3rd. tone. Use Ya1-thut or Nya1-thut for 2nd. tone :
ကဲ၊ ခဲ၊ မဲ၊ ကယ်၊ မယ်၊ လယ်၊ ဝယ်၊ လည်၊ တည် - keare3-kheare3-meare3-keare2-meare2-leare2-weare2-leare2-teare2 MP3 Audio File

ainUse Lone3-ji3-tin2 + either Ma1-thut or Na1-thut :
စိန် ၊ ပိန် ၊ တိမ် ၊ အိမ် - sain2-pain2-tain2-ain2 MP3 Audio File

ome Use Ta1-choun3-ngin2 + Na1-thut or Na-ji3-thut or Thay3-thay3-tin2:
ကုန်၊ ခုန်၊ ဂုဏ်၊ ဂုံ၊ ပုံ၊ လုံ၊ ယုံ - kone2-khone2-gome2-gome2-pone2-lone2-yone2 MP3 Audio File

ine (or) ime Use Lone3-ji3-tin2 + Ta1-choun3-ngin2 + Nga1-thut :
ကိုင် ၊ ခိုင် ၊ ဆိုင် ၊ နိုင် - kine2-khine2-hsine2-nine2 MP3 Audio File

oon Modify consonant with Wa1-hsweare3. Then use Na1-thut or Ma1-thut or Thay-thay3-tin2 :
ခွန်၊ စွန်၊ တွန်၊ မွန်၊ လွန်၊ နွံ - khoon2-soon2-toon2-moon2-loon2-noon2 MP3 Audio File

ounModify tone with Yay3-cha1. Then Thway2-hto3 + Nga1-thut to get "Oun2":
ကောင်၊ ခေါင်၊ တောင်၊ မောင်၊ လောင်၊ အောင် - koun2-khoun2-toun2-moun2-loun2-oun2 MP3 Audio File

Tone Change Symbols

The following table shows how the initial vowels in the base tones can be changed into other tones by

  • (above or sideway like) | yay3-cha1 | ရေးချ
  • | wit-sa1-pout | ဝစ္စပေါက်
  • | hsun-khut | ဆန်ခတ်
  • | hna1-choun3-ngin2 | နှစ်ချောင်းငင်
  • | out-myit | အောက်မြစ်

The first tone is achieved in many vowels by adding a small dot under the character known as out-gah1-myit, or out-myit | အောက်မြစ် . The symbol that looks like a colon (:) called wit-sa1-pout or wit-sa1-hna1-lone3-pout or shay1-gah1-pout at the right side of the character changes the word into the third tone in many cases.

Tone Change Symbols Table
Vowels Tone Change Combinations
a1 Use yay3-cha1:
ကကာ - Ka1-Ka2 MP3 Audio File

a2 Add wit-sa1-pout:
ကာကား - Ka2-Ka3 MP3 Audio File

e1; i1 Use hsun2-khut:
ကိကီ - Ki1-Ki2 MP3 Audio File

e2; i2 Add wit-sa1-pout:
ကီကီး - Ki2-Ki3 MP3 Audio File

u1 Use hna1-choun3-ngin2:
ကုကူ - Ku1-Ku2 MP3 Audio File

u2 Add wit-sa1-pout:
ကူကူး - Ku2-Ku3 MP3 Audio File

o2 Use out-myit:
ကိုကို့ - Ko2-Ko1 MP3 Audio File

o2 Use wit-sa1-pout:
ကိုကိုး - Ko2-Ko3 MP3 Audio File

ay2 Use out-myit:
ကေကေ့ - Kay2-Kay1 MP3 Audio File

ay2 Use wit-sa1-pout:
ကေကေး - Kay2-Kay3 MP3 Audio File

au3 Use shay1-hto3 (thut symbol):
ကောကော် - Kau3-Kau2 MP3 Audio File

au3 Use out-myit:
ကောကော့ - Kau3-Kau1 MP3 Audio File

un2; an2 Use out--myit:
ကန်ကန့် - Kun2-Kun1 MP3 Audio File

un2; an2 Use wit-sa1-pout:
ကန်ကန်း - Kun2-Kun3 MP3 Audio File

in2 Use out-myit:
ကင်ကင့် - Kin2-Kin1 MP3 Audio File

in2 Use wit-sa1-pout:
ကင်ကင်း - Kin2-Kin3 MP3 Audio File

eare2 Use out-myit:
ကယ်ကယ့် - Keare2-keare1 MP3 Audio File

eare3 Use out-myit:
ကဲကဲ့ - Keare3-Keare1 MP3 Audio File

ain2 Use out-myit:
ကိန်ကိန့် - Kain2-Kain1 MP3 Audio File

ain2 Use wit-sa1-pout:
ကိန်ကိန်း - Kain2-Kain3 MP3 Audio File

ome2 Use out-myit:
ကုန်ကုန့် - Kone2-Kone1 MP3 Audio File

ome2 Use wit-sa1-pout:
ကုန်ကုန်း - Kone2-Kone3 MP3 Audio File

ine2 Use out-myit:
ကိုင်ကိုင့် - Kine2-Kine1 MP3 Audio File

ine2 Use wit-sa1-pout:
ကိုင်ကိုင်း - Kine2-Kine3 MP3 Audio File

oon2 Use out-myit:
ကွန်ကွန့် - Koon2-Koon1 MP3 Audio File

oon2 Use wit-sa1-pout:
ကွန်ကွန်း - Koon2-Koon3 MP3 Audio File

oun2 Use out-myit:
ကောင်ကောင့် - Koun2-Koun1 MP3 Audio File

oun2 Use wit-sa1-pout:
ကောင်ကောင်း - Koun2-Koun3 MP3 Audio File

Single Tone Groups using (thut)

Variation in spellings and eight additional distinct sounds are possible using different သတ် | thut that goes on top of different characters. Thut looks like "c" or a small open bracket. Ta1 thut is the thut that goes on top the character "Ta1". Those are the common areas that spelling mistakes are made.

Single Tones Table
Group Thut
AteUse Ta1-thut or Pa1-thut:
ကိတ် ၊ စိတ် ၊ ဖိတ် ၊ သိပ် ၊ လိပ် - Kate-Sate-Pfate-Thate-Late MP3 Audio File

EtUse Ka1-thut :
ခက် ၊ စက် ၊ ဝက် ၊ လက် - Khet-Set-Wet-Let MP3 Audio File

OotUse Wa1-hsweare3 + Ta1-thut or Pa1-thut:
ခွတ် ၊ စွပ် ၊ သွတ် ၊ သွပ် - Khoot-Soot-Thoot-Thoot MP3 Audio File

OutUse Thway2-hto3 + Yay3-cha1 + Ka1-thut :
ကောက် ၊ ခေါက် ၊ ဆောက် ၊ သောက် - Kout-Khout-Hsout-Thout MP3 Audio File

IkeUse Lone3-ji3-tin2 + Ta1-choun3-ngin2 + Ka1-thut :
ကိုက် ၊ စိုက် ၊ တိုက် ၊ အိုက် - Kite-Site-Tite-Ike MP3 Audio File

UtUse Ta1-thut or Pa1-thut :
တတ် ၊ တပ် ၊ ထပ် ၊ အပ် - Tut-Tut-Htut-Ut MP3 Audio File

OatUse Ta1-choun3-ngin2 + Ta1-thut or Pa1-thut :
ကုတ် ၊ ခုပ် ၊ ထုတ် ၊ ထုပ် - Koat-Khoat-Htoat-Htoat MP3 Audio File

It Use Sa1-thut:
စစ်၊ ညစ်၊ တစ်၊ ပစ် -Sit-Nyit-Tit-Pyit MP3 Audio File

NOTE: When thut goes on top of the vowel au sounding words on top of Yay3-cha1, it is called ရှေ့ထိုး | shay1-hto3. Examples: ကော်၊ ဆော်၊ ဪ | kau2, hsau2, au2.

Modern Closing Consonants using (thut)

Burmese doesn't have closing consonant sounds so, "Ice" would become "Ike". However, modern Burmese words append Sa1-thut inside the brackets to imitate the closing (s) sound. Similarly, it is possible to spell (ch) and (sh) endings to express foreign words. In some cases, brackets are omitted. For example, "Ford" is spelled with an extra Da1-dway3-thut. "Web" in "Website" is spelled with an extra Ba-gome3-thut.

Modern Closing Thuts Table
Closing Thut with or without brackets
Append Sa1-thut as in "Facebook" :
ဖေ့စ်ဘွတ်ခ် or just ဖေ့စ်ဘွတ်
Append Pfa1-thut :
Append Ya1 + Ha1-hto3 + thut :
Append Ba1-gome3-thut:
e-mail Append La1-thut:
mail box Append Ka1-thut + Sa1-thut:
laptop Append Pa1-thut :
Ford Append Da1-dway3-thut :

Double Stacked Words : Thun2 Yoat Byi3 | သံယုဂ်ဗျည်း

Those are words with double-stacked characters in the middle. Dobule-stacked words are also called pup-hsin1 | ပါဌ်ဆင့် where pup | ပါဌ် means Pali word, and hsin1 | ဆင့် means to stack up.

However, not all the double-stacked words are Pali words. Examples:

yout-kha1-ma1 | ယောက္ခမ - father-in-law or mother-in-law
mate-tu2 | မိတ္တူ - duplicate; photocopy

Usually, thut is omitted for the character on top. The character below must then be brought up to the same level and combine with whatever that follows.

For example, in
"Bun2 Du1 La1" | ဗန္ဓုလ,
Ba1 Da1-chite | +
Na1-thut | န် spells
Bun2 | ဗန်.

However, in double-stacked word, lower part of Na1 Ngeare2 | and thut on top are missing.

For the second syllable, bring
Da1 Out Chite | up and combine with Ta1-choun3-ngin2 | to pronounce
"Du1 | ဓု.

This is followed by the third syllable La1 | character itself.

bun2-du1-la1 | ဗန္ဓုလ = ဗန် + ဓု + လ

The character Na1 Ngeare2 | as seen above, when double-stacked, gets its lower part cut off. This is true regardless of whether it is on top or below. It is possible to have words with double-stacked both on top and below. Examples:

  • သန္နိဋ္ဌာန် | thun2-nate-htun2 : determination
  • ပန္နက် | pa1 net : The first foundation stone for the building
  • ပိန္နဲပင် | pain3-neare3 pin2 : Jackfruit tree

The character Da1-Yin2-Kout | must be rotated 90 degree counter-clockwise when stacked under character the Na1 ji3 | to appear like ဏ္ဍ . Examples:

  • ကဏ္ဍ | kun2 da1: section; sector; episode
  • မဏ္ဍပ် | mun3 dut : temporary housing and stage used during celebrations such as in Burmese Water Festival
  • မဏ္ဍိုင် | mun2 dine2 : central foundation
  • ဘဏ္ဍာရေးနှစ် | bun2-da2 yay3 hnit : fiscal year
  • ပုဏ္ဍရိပ်ပင် | pone2-na1-yate pin2 : a type of plant that grows like a bush
  • ဒဏ္ဍာရီ | dun2-da2-yi2 : a fairy tale

The character Hta1-wun3-beare3 | must be rotated 90 degree clockwise when stacked under the character Na1-ji | to appear like ဏ္ဌ . Example:

  • ပုံသဏ္ဌာန် | pone2-tha1-dun2 : shape and appearance

It is possible to have Burmese words with more than one double-stacked characters in a sequence. For example, အတ္ထုပ္ပတ္တိ | a-htoat-pup-ti1 means biography.

The less common double-stacked words are those with on top and at the bottom. Example:

myit-zi1-ma1 | မဇိ⁠္ဈမ - middle as in myit-zi1-ma1 ba1-di1-ba1-da2 | မဇိ⁠္ဈမပဋိပဒါ - The Middle Way (Buddhism).

A class of double-stacked words are formed with a superscript င် | nga1-thut that goes on top of characters. This symbol is called င်္ | kin3-si3 | ကင်းစီး. Examples:

မင်္ဂလာ | min2-gla2 - (something) auspicious
မသင်္ကာ | ma1-thin2-ga2 - suspicious
သင်္ဘော | thin3-bau3 - ship
သင်္ချာ | thin2-cha2 - math
အင်္ဂလိပ်စာ | in3-ga1-late sa2 - English Language.

Simplified double-stacked words

In some words like စကြဝဠာ | Set-kja2-wa1-la2, which means the Universe, the word Ka1 is not double-stacked, but the effect is like a double-stacked word with missing Ka1-thut. It is pronounced as (စက် + ကြာ + ဝ + ဠာ).

Here is an another word with the consonant modification symbol ya1-yit| taking its own role as well as the role of a double-stacked ka1| က္က:

thout-kja2-nay1| သောကြာနေ့ - Friday is read as သောက် + ကြာ + နေ့.

When | ya1-pet-let is stacked at the bottom, it is represented by the consonant modification symbol | ya1-pin1. Examples:

let-ya2 | လက္ယာ becomes လက်ျာ - right-hand side.

u1-yin2 | ဥယ္ယာဉ် becomes ဥယျာဉ် - garden.

double-stacked nya1-ka1-lay3 | combination is represented by nya1 | . Example:

pyin2-nya2 | ပညာ - knowledge.

When two tha1 | are double-stacked together, it simplifies to tha1-ji3 | . Example:

ma1-note-tha1 | မနုသ္သ simplifies to ma1-note-tha1 | မနုဿ - human.

Stand-alone Characters

Stand-alone characters are not part of the main 33 alphabet (or character) system, but many of those are commonly used in standard official level documents, newspapers, and in literature.

The following stand-alone characters cannot be combined with others and they are commonly used in the literary form.

Stand Alone Characters Table
Letter Romanization with Audio Meaning
Yway1 <<MP3 AUDIO>> therefore; conjunction between verbs
E1 <<MP3 AUDIO>> ending word "to be"
E2 <<MP3 AUDIO>> this
Hnite <<MP3 AUDIO>> at
၎င်း La1-goun3 <<MP3 AUDIO>> above-mentioned

၎င်း | La1-goun3 meaning that or above-mentioned has the character that looks like number 4 or | lay3 in Burmese followed by Nga1-thut and Shay1-ga1-pout | င်း. Some font makers have considered this word as a single word, so it is faster to type it.

Additional Characters that behave almost like the main 33 Byi3

The following additional characters outside 33 Byi3 can be combined with Vowel Shift Symbols and tone Change Symbols. According to my research, the difference between those characters and the main 33 Byi3 is that they cannot be combined with Consonant Modification Symbols (Ya1 Pin1, Ya1 Yit, Wa1 Hsweare3, and Ha1 Hto3).

Additional Characters Table
Symbol Character Name Audio
Nya1-ga1-lay3 Nya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
similar to
ဋ္ဌ Hta1 Hta1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
similar to
Tha1 Ji3 Tha1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
Et-kha1-ya2 Ay3 Ay2 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
or Ay3 as in Adam & Eve အေဒင် နှင့် ဧဝ
U1 U1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
Et-kha1-ya2 Au3 Au3 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
E1 E1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>

Character | Nya1-ga1-lay3 is officially shown next to the character | Nya1 and is given the same 10th position in the list of 33 Byi3.

There are just a handful of Burmese words using . The frequency of the usage mostly comes from the single word

ဉာဏ် | nyan2

which means intelligence. The word can also be part of the male Burmese name such as

ဦးဉာဏ်ထွန်း |U3 Nyan2 Htoon3

who serves as a vice-president under U Thein Sein government.

ကံ ၊ ဉာဏ် ၊ ဝီရိယ | kun2, nyan2, wa1-ri1-ya1

refer to combination of "outcome of previous deeds", intellect, and hardwork, which determine the fate of the person.

ဉာဏ်နီဉာဏ်နက် | nyan2-ni2 nyan2-net

can be directly translated as red and black mind. It means cunning, wicked, and deceptive mind.

Character | Et-kha1-ya2 Ay3 can be combined with other characters. E.g.,

ဧည့်သည် | eare1 theare2

means "visitor". It can also be a stand-alone character as in

ဧရာဝတီမြစ် | ay2-ya2-wa1-di2 myit

Ayeyarwaddy River, which the British gave the spelling Irrawaddy River.

Character Et-kha1-ya2 U1 can also be stand-alone as in

| u1 - egg,

or combine with other tone change symbols to become

ဦး | U3

to address the title Mr.

Character | Au3 can be a stand-alone character such as in

အံ့ဩ | un1 au3 - to be amazed.

It can be combined with other symbols to sound

​ဩော် | au2.

Character | Tha1 ji3 is less common. Examples:

  • ဝိပဿနာ | wi1-pup-tha1-na2 - Vipassana Meditation
  • ယုဒဿန် | Yu1 Dut Thun2 - Surname "Judson"
  • ပြဿနာ | pyut-tha1-na2 - problem

As shown in SIMPLIFIED DOUBLE-STACKED WORDS section above, acts as if double-stacked သ္သ | tha1. ပြဿနာ is equivalent to ပြသ္သနာ, and read as ပြသ် + သ + နာ.

The least common words in Burmese written language are probably those with Pali

| E1

which is a double-stacked word with က on top and what looks like smaller ကု at the bottom.

For example,

ဣန္ဒြေ | Ain2-da1-ray2 - modesty.

In Burmese female name Ain2-dra2, အိ is used in place of ဣ​​:

Ain2-dra2 | အိနြ္ဒာ.

Example: သျှားထွဋ် အိန္ဒြာ | sha3 htoot ain2-dra2, Sharr Htut Eaindra (female), Miss Myanmar 2014 who participated in the 2015 Miss Universe contest.

Likewise အိန္ဒိယ | ain2-di1-ya1 for India is now used for ဣန္ဒိယ mentioned in some older Buddhist literatures.

Here is an another difficult Burmese word even for the Burmese :

ဣဿာမစ္ဆရိယ | ate-tha2-myit-sa1-ri1-ya1 - jealousy.

It has Pali roots ဣဿာ and မစ္ဆရိယ. The first word is jealousy or envy. Although Myanmar-English dictionary by the Myanmar Language Commission defines the second part as envy, it actually means stingy as in ဝန်တို | woon2-toh2. It is "envy" in a sense one does not want to give due credit to someone one is jealous of.

Official Burmese Vowels Tha1-ra1 သရ

"Vowel", by definition is a speech of sound made with the vocal tract open. In English, "A,E,I,O,U" are the vowels. In addition, in written English, the words cannot be spelled without at least one vowel in them. (Exceptions: "by", "my") Burmese vowels သရ | tha1-ra1 by definition is the same.

အဆုတ်မှ တက်လာသော လေသည် ခံတွင်းရှိ စကားသံဖြစ် အင်္ဂါအစိတ်အပိုင်းတစ်ခုခု၏ ပိတ်ဆို့တားဆီးခြင်း မခံရဘဲ ဖြောင့်ဖြောင့်ဖြူးဖြူး ထွက်သွားစဉ် ဖြစ်လာသော အသံ ။

Official Tha1-ra1 Table
Vowel Spelling Symbol Romanization with Audio
Character Ah1 Ah1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
Ah1 + Yay3 Cha2 အာ Ah2 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
Standalone Character "E1" E1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
Standalone Character "E2" E2 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
Standalone Character "U1" U1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
"U1" + Lone3 ji3 tin2 + Hsun2 khut U2 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
At Kha1 Ya2 Ay3 Ay2 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
Character Ah1 + Nout pyit အဲ Eeare3 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
At Kha1 Ya2 Au3 Au3 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
Thway2 Hto3 + Au3 + Yay3 cha2 + Shay1-Hto3 Au2 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
Ah1 + Thay3 thay3 tin2 အံ Un2 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
Ah1 + Lone3-ji3-tin2 + Ta1-choun3-ngin2 အို O2 <<MP3 AUDIO>>

However, unlike English vowels, Burmese vowels သရ | tha1-ra1 appear to have nothing to do with the system of writing as compared to A,E,I,O,U. In addition, careful analysis will show that some of the possible vowel sounds in Burmese Language are missing, such as

  • အင် | In2
  • အိမ် | Ain2
  • အိုင် | Ine2
  • အုံ | Ome2
  • အွန် | Oon2
  • အောင် | Oun2

Further analysis shows that many of သရ | tha1-ra1 sounds are just tone differences, such as Ah1 in the first tone, Ah2 in the second tone; E1 in the first tone and E2 in the second tone; U1 in the first tone and U2 in the second tone; Au3 in the third tone, and Au2 in the second tone. In fact, there are only 8 vowel sounds with tone differences out of 12.

Moreover, Tha1 ra1 သရ do not cover the eight single tone groups:

  1. အိပ် | Ate
  2. အက် | Et
  3. အွတ် | Oot
  4. အောက် | Out
  5. အိုက် | Ike
  6. အပ် | Ut
  7. အုပ် | Oat
  8. အစ် | It

Those eight distinct sounds are listed under the 150 သရ နှင့် အသတ်စဉ် | Tha1-ra1 and A-thut Sin2 .

Burmese အသတ် | A-thut refers to "c" shaped "thut" that goes on top of different characters to close the consonants into different spellings. However, spellings with different A-thut may or may not fall into different phonetic sounds. A-thut has no English equivalent, but can be considered as "vowel shift symbols". Several words formed with different A-thut are homonyms (fall into the same phonetic groups) and redundant from the English romanization standpoint.

As for the native Burmese speakers, we learned those tone differences since grade 1 သူငယ်တန်းမြန်မာဖတ်စာ, but no official attempt was made to romanize and standardize those similar to Chinese Hanyu Pinyin, and as a result, you will see all kind of variations online as well as in publications which only add to confusion and mispronunciation of words.

I, therefore, found it necessary to re-group the 14 vowel sounds with three tones and separate those from the eight single tones group in English Romanization with 1,2,3 Tone System. The system fully describes all possible Burmese vowel sounds and tones as follow:

Fourteen Vowels with Tones
သရ အသံထွက်နှင့် ကွဲလွဲပုံများ Vowel 14 Vowels and Tones with Audio
အ အာ အား a Ah1, Ah2, Ah3 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အိ အီ အီး e,i E1, E2, E3 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အု အူ အူး u U1, U2, U3 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အို့ အို အိုး o O1, O2, O3 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အေ့ အေ အေး ay Ay1, Ay2, Ay3 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အော့ အော် အော au Au1, Au2 Au3 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အန့် အန် အန်း un Un1, Un2 Un3 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အင့် အင် အင်း in In1, In2, In3 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အဲ့ အယ် အဲ eare Eare1, Eare2, Eare3 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အိန့် အိန် အိန်း ain Ain1, Ain2, Ain3 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အုန့် အုန် အုန်း ome Ome1, Ome2, Ome3 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အိုင့် အိုင် အိုင်း ine Ine1, Ine2, Ine3 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အွန့် အွန် အွန်း oon Oon1, Oon2, Oon3 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အောင့် အောင် အောင်း oun Oun1, Oun2 Oun3 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
Eight Single Tones
သရ အသတ်များ Group 8 Single Tones with Audio
အိတ်၊ အိပ် c1 Ate <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အက် c2 Et <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အွတ် ၊ အွပ် c3 Oot <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အောက် c4 Out <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အိုက် c5 Ike <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အတ် ၊ အပ် c6 Ut <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အုပ် c7 Oat <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အစ် c8 It <<MP3 AUDIO>>

Total sounds: (14 vowels *3 tones) + 8 single tones = 50

Different Interpretation of Tha1-ra1

Although the 12 traditional Burmese vowels Tha1-ra1, namely: အ - အာ - ဣ - ဤ - ဥ - ဦ - ဧ - အဲ - ဩ - ဩော် - အံ - အို appear to have no linkage to the system of writing as compared to the English vowels A,E,I,O,U, those Tha1-ra1 can be represented by their variations: အ၊ အာ၊ အိ၊ အီ၊ အု၊ အူ၊ အေ၊ အဲ၊ အော၊ အော်၊ အံ၊ အို. According to this line of thought, it is possible for the Tha1-ra1 to become the base for all possible vowel sounds using different thut.

Tha1-ra1 base plus different A-thut
Vowel (သရ) + Possible Outcomes
အ၊ အော၊ အို - Ah1-Au3-O2 က် အက်၊ အောက်၊ အိုက် - Et-Out-Ike
အ၊ အော၊ အို - Ah1-Au3-O2 င် အင်၊ အောင်၊ အိုင် - In2-Oun2-Ine2
- Ah1 စ် အစ် - It
အ၊ အိ၊ အု - Ah1-E1-U1 တ် အတ်၊ အိတ်၊ အုတ် - Ut-Ate-Oat
အ၊ အိ၊ အု - Ah1-E1-U1 န် အန်၊ အိန်၊ အုန် - Un2-Ain2-Ome2
- Ah1 ယ် အယ် - Eare2

It is possible to add tone variations to the row 2 and row 5 of the above table.

Add Tones to Tha1-ra1
Vowel (သရ) + + tone variations
အ၊ အော၊ အို - Ah1-Au3-O2 င် အင့်၊ အင်၊ အင်း၊ အောင့်၊ အောင်၊ အောင်း၊ အိုင့်၊ အိုင်၊ အိုင်း - In1-In2-In3-Oun1-Oun2-Oun3-Ine1-Ine2-Ine3
အ၊ အိ၊ အု - Ah1-E1-U1 န် အန့်၊ အန်၊ အန်း၊ အိန့်၊ အိန်၊ အိန်း၊ အုန့်၊ အုန်၊ အုန်း - un1-un2-un3-ain1-ain2-ain3-ome1-ome2-ome3

In addition, tone variations are possible for the original 12 vowels as follow:

အား၊ အီး၊ အူး၊ အေ့၊ အေး၊ အဲ့၊ အော့၊ အို့၊ အိုး

One can see that this system adds up to a total of 46 sounds considering ( အံ ) and ( အန် ) are repeat of the same sound un2:

အ၊ အာ၊ အိ၊ အီ၊ အု၊ အူ၊ အေ၊ အဲ၊ အော၊ အော်၊ အံ၊ အို၊ အက်၊ အောက်၊ အိုက်၊ အင့်၊ အင်၊ အင်း၊ အောင့်၊ အောင်၊ အောင်း၊ အိုင့်၊ အိုင်၊ အိုင်း၊ အစ်၊ အတ်၊ အိတ်၊ အုတ်၊ အန့်၊ အန်၊ အန်း၊ အိန့်၊ အိန်၊ အိန်း၊ အုန့်၊ အုန်၊ အုန်း၊ အယ် အား၊ အီး၊ အူး၊ အေ့၊ အေး၊ အဲ့၊ အော့၊ အို့၊ အိုး

The system has missing vowel group အွန့်၊ အွန်၊ အွန်း | oon1, oon2, oon3 as well as a single tone အွတ် (အွပ်) | oot group. In comparison, all the possible vowel sounds and tones are covered more efficiently with 1,2,3 tone system consists of 14 vowel sounds each with 3 tones plus 8 single tones.

Buddhist Literature

Many words with Pali roots are exclusively used by the Buddhist monks and students learned under the umbrella of Buddhism, and those words remain in the domain of Buddhist prayers and literature. The best teachers will be the abbots in the monasteries. Here's a sample of universal Buddhist prayer in Pali..

Universal Buddhist Prayer
Burmese Script with Pali Roots Romanization with 1,2,3 Tone System

နမော တဿ
ဘဂဝတော အရဟတော
သံဃံ သရဏံဂစ္ဆာမိ။
ဒုတိယမ္ပိ . . .
တတိယမ္ပိ . . .

Na1-mau3 Tut-tha1
Ba1-ga1-wa1-tau3 Ara1-ha1-tau3

Christian Holy Bible in Burmese ( မြန်မာဘာသာပြန်ခရိယာန်သမ္မာကျမ်းစာ )

During the time of Burmese Kone3-Boun2 dynasty | ကုန်းဘောင်ခေတ် American missionary Adoniram Judson | ဒေါက်တာယုဒဿန် (1788-1850) was much credited for coming up with Burmese Pali dictionary, Burmese English dictionary (1887) published after his death by American Baptist Mission Press and needless to say, the translation of the Holy Bible: New Testament in Burmese (1832). Here is the original sample page of passage from Matthew 6:9-13 | မဿဲ ၆ : ၉-၁၃ in Burmese.

Sample of the New Testament in Burmese by Adoniram Judson

The modern version of the Bible has slightly different wordings:

ကောင်းကင်ဘုံ၌ ရှိတော်မူသော အကျွန်ုပ်တို့အဘ၊
ကိုယ်တော်၏နာမတော်အား ရိုသေလေးမြတ်ခြင်းရှိပါစေသော။
၁၀နိုင်ငံတော် တည်ထောင်ပါစေသော။ အလိုတော်သည် ကောင်းကင်ဘုံ၌ပြည့်စုံသကဲ့သို့ မြေကြီးပေါ်မှာ ပြည့်စုံပါစေသော။
၁၁အသက်မွေးလောက်သောအစါကို အကျွန်ုပ်တို့အား ယနေ့ပေးသနားတော်မူပါ။
၁၂သူတပါးသည် အကျွန်ုပ်တို့ကို ပြစ်မှားသောအပြစ်များကို အကျွန်ုပ်တို့သည်လွှတ်သကဲ့သို့ အကျွန်ုပ်တို့၏အပြစ်များကို လွှတ်တော်မူပါ။
၁၃အပြစ်သွေးဆောင်ရာသို့ မလိုက်မပါစေဘဲ၊ မကောင်းသော အမှုအရာမှလည်းကယ်နှုတ်တော်မူပါ။ အစိုးပိုင်သောအခွင့်နှင့် ဘုန်းတန်ခိုးအာနုဘော်သည် ကမ္ဘာအဆက်ဆက်ကိုယ်တော်၌ရှိပါ၏။

9Our Father who is in heaven,
Your name be kept holy.
10Your kingdom come,
Your will be done on earth as in heaven.
11Give us today our daily bread.
12And forgive us our debts as we have forgiven our debtors.
13And lead us not into temptation but
deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory for ever.


COMMENTS: "daily bread" was translated into Burmese as "sufficient food to maintain the livelihood". In some versions of the Bible, the words "trespass" and "trespassers" are used in place of "debts" and "debtors", which is correctly translated in the above Burmese version.

The Last Word on Myanmar Script

Unless you are a scholar who specializes in this field, or a long-term visitor in Myanmar who must know more, just a couple of hours of study should be good enough to get the general idea and be able to spell Burmese words on your own after referring back to the learning guide. Good luck!

မိတ်ဆွေတို့၊ မြန်မာစာလေ့လာရန် အာရှပုလဲ ဝက်ဘ်ဆိုက် သို့ဝင်ရောက်ကြည့်ရှုအားပေးကြပါ။