INTRODUCTION TO BURMESE (MYANMAR) LANGUAGE 🙏
That's how Burmese people formally greet guests.
And, this is what Myanmar language daily newspaper print edition looks like.
“State Counselor Daw Aung Sun Suu Kyi Visits Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy”
— The Mirror, August 21, 2018 —
The actual words on this newspaper heading in direct translation will go something like this:
State + 's + Counselor + Daw Aung San Suu Kyi + Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy + to + go + arrive + observe
The last three words are like animated sequence of actions. Preposition "to" in English becomes post-positional marker "to" in Burmese. Spoken language uses different "to" word. The sentence will also be less complicated.
Burmese is the official language of over 53 million people of Myanmar — The Land of the Fast and the Strong 🏃 💪 — the most generous country in the World for the FIFTH CONSECUTIVE YEARS IN 2018. This is the country with more than 100 ethnic groups who speak their own languages and dialects. For many ethnic people, Burmese is the second language, and you will hear them speak with different accents. Even in Wa Self-Administered Division where Mandarin Chinese is taught in schools, their leaders could speak well enough Burmese to attend peace conference in Naypyitaw.
English is widely understood in Myanmar in establishments that have regular contact with foreigners, such as hotels and airports. To communicate at a deeper level, to mingle with the crowd, and to develop warmer relationships without the help of an interpreter, knowing some Burmese is a definite plus. And when it comes to the written part, Burmese is the language for virtually all of over 18 million Facebook users in Myanmar to exchange views, ideas and information; to share precious memories of yesterday and today; to express happiness and sorrow of the "now" moment; and to sing the song of hope for the dawns of many tomorrows to come. This is the language of love, the language of hate, and the language of a colorful spectrum of human emotions to brag, to lament and to vent frustrations online among Burmese people.
A series of political and economic reforms started in 2011 has resulted in Myanmar emerging as the fastest growing economy in Asia. According to Nikkei Asian Review, the World Bank on January 10, 2017 has revised the growth figure under Daw Aung Sun Suu Kyi leadership, but it is still a decent showing at an estimated 6.5 percent and only slightly lagged behind behind the Philippines, Laos and Cambodia. Conflict-torn Rakhine State has a negative effect on the growth, 😢 but Myanmar is getting assistance from the World Bank to rebuild the region. (See the latest Myanmar GDP annual growth rate.) Meanwhile, Myanmar sitting on the potentially lucrative global trade route vows to boost Belt and Road cooperation with China for the prosperous and bright future ahead. 😄 (gōngxǐ gōngxǐ gōngxǐ nǐ 恭喜恭喜恭喜你)
The name "Myanmar" is not a creation by the military government back in 1989. The Kingdom of "Mien" was well-recorded by the Chinese, and mentioned by the 13th century romance writer Rustichello da Pisa in The Travels of Marco Polo (Il Milione in Italian) to describe the Mongol invasion of ancient Bagan.
“... one of the finest sights in the world; so exquisitely finished are they, so splendid and costly.”
( Marco Polo's description of Bagan temples)
To a Westerner, spoken Burmese sounds somewhat like Korean. Grammatically, the structure of Burmese language is simple, easy to learn, and quite similar to Mandarin Chinese. While Mandarin Chinese has 4 tones, Burmese is quite happy with just 3. Unlike English, there are no complicated tenses and verb structures to worry about. The only major challenge in learning Burmese language will be to get the right "stress" or "tone" when speaking to a native speaker, and perhaps confusion with words which sound similar, but have different meanings according to the context in which they are spoken. Other than that, just be sure to pay special attention to prefix, suffix and ending words. They are important.
Hi, my name is Naing Tinnyuntpu. This website offering free online burmese lessons has expanded and improved through the years.
It has started out just for fun without any audio or script, but now it includes more serious grammar materials. I wish you good luck and have fun.
Cool song in the background by Myanmar singer Jenny. Lyrics by Si Thu [986KB] 🎶
You can leave your comments, feedbacks, and suggestions down the page. As a result of one suggestion, Learn Myanmar Script on this website now appears consistently among the best on Google, Yahoo!, bing, AOL, Ask, LYCOS, Yandex, and Norton Safe Search. In addition to script and beginner level Conversational Burmese, this website now offers one of the most comprehensive Myanmar Grammar on the Internet.
Burmese for more serious learners
Gone are the days when most people learning Burmese just wanted to pick up a phrase or two for a short visit to Myanmar. Now, there are more serious learners who must interact with local people on the regular basis. They are not only embassy staff, but more and more of business managers, those with International Non-governmental Organizations (INGO's), those non-native speakers in Myanmar with business visa, which was almost unheard of a decade ago, and scholarship holders, army officers, diplomats and businessmen studying Myanmar Language at YUFL in Yangon. (See the photo of international students at YUFL classroom.) A visit to FRC section of immigration office in Yangon Pansodan Road will give you some ideas on how many folds of increase in foreigners there has been since 2011. If you are one of them, the following two picks will help you.
Myanmar Script Learning Guide PDF (Rev. F) is further improved with larger font-size and new design. It now comes with more than 740 MP3 Audio recordings in seven pages of FREE ONLINE AUDIO SUPPORT. 104 pages, 650 KB (Updated: 2017-10-30)
Everyday Spoken Burmese PDF (Rev. C) is for those seriously learning to understand and speak Burmese in a short time. It covers the most fundamental building blocks of the colloquial Myanmar Language. 105 pages, 487 KB. Revised: 2018-08-22. Over 400 MP3 audio files are available online with eight pages of Lesson A1.
Who says Burmese is hard to learn?
Forget the myth that Burmese is hard to learn. U.S. government Foreign Service Institute (FSI) that trains diplomats says Burmese is an easier language to learn than Mongolian, Thai, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean and Japanese. Watch former 🍁 Canadian Ambassador Mark McDowell, currently the Head of International IDEA's Myanmar Office introduces himself in Burmese. He will also show you how to wear Longyi the right way.