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Color Codes: nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, conjunctions, particles, postpositional markers, interjections.

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Lesson 11: Learn how to describe a person

Back in lesson 9, we have learned how to describe a person in terms of height, body type, skin color, attitude, and personalities. From lesson 10, we also know how to say color words in Burmese.

What's next? We will now learn to describe a person in terms of clothing items that he or she is wearing, and also learn more words on general descriptions of people such as "pretty lady", "old man", "small girl", and so on.

On top of that, we will learn to combine those words into a sentence about a person right in front of you.

Learn descriptions of people in Burmese

For fun as well as for exercise, I have written a Burmese Phrase Maker / Translator in PHP, so you can construct the combinations on your own, and see the output sentence.

Remember from the previous lesson which says, "the man who is wearing a white shirt"?

အဖြူရောင် | a-pfyu2 youn2 MP3 Audio File — white color (noun)

အင်္ကျီ | ain3-ji2 MP3 Audio File — shirt (noun)

ဝတ် | woot MP3 Audio File — wear (verb)

ထားတဲ့ | hta3 deare1 MP3 Audio File — present participle [~ing] (particle)

လူ | lu2 MP3 Audio File — man (noun)

We will now add the physical description of that person.

အဖြူရောင် | a-pfyu2 youn2 — white (noun)

အင်္ကျီ | ain3-ji2 — shirt (noun)

ဝတ် | woot — wear (verb)

ထားတဲ့ | hta3 deare1 — [~ing] (particle)

လူ | lu2 — man (noun)

| wa1 — fat (adjective)

ကြီး | ji3 — "big" used as a suffix particle for emphasis

လူဝကြီး | lu2 wa1 ji3 MP3 Audio File

means "big fat man" and it will be taken here as a noun "lu2-wa1 ji3" without breaking it.

"White" is an adjective to describe the shirt. E.g.,

ဖြူသော အင်္ကျီ | pfyu2 dthau3 ain3-ji2 — shirt that is white.

အဖြူရောင် အင်္ကျီ ဝတ်ထားတဲ့ လူဝကြီး

a-pfyu2 youn2 ain3-ji2 woot hta3 deare1 lu2-wa1-ji3

the big fat man who is wearing a white shirt.

The important word you should remember in this lesson is the particle

ထားတဲ့ | hta3 deare1

equivalent to the English present participle [~ing], which converts the verb "wear" to "wearing" the item of clothing. In the literary form, the word is

ထားသော | hta3 dthau3 (or)

ထားသည့် | hta3 dthi1.

CULTURAL NOTE: Getting fat (opposite of skinny) is something one can be proud of. This means you are wealthy enough to eat what you want. Part of the greeting to a person that you have not seen for a long time may include

ဝလာတယ် | wa1 la2 deare2You have become fat,

which is a compliment. On the other hand, the opposite

ပိန်သွားတယ် | pain2 thwa3 deare2You have become skinny

is a show of concern for someone's health.

The General Format

Here's a general formula that will work with other physical descriptions, persons and items of clothing. You just have to substitute the required Burmese words as needed.

xxxx youn2 + MP3 Audio File

clothing +

wear +

hta3 deare1 MP3 Audio File

ho2 + MP3 Audio File

person +

physical description of the person

ဟို | ho2 (pronoun)

means "that" in English. You can substitute

xxx ရောင် | xxxx youn2 (adjective)

with the list of colors provided in the previous lesson. Remember,

ထားတဲ့ | hta3 deare1 (particle)

is the present participle which adds [~ing] to the verb.

Here's a list of other words you can substitute in the above phrase:


ရှပ်အင်္ကျီ | shut ain3-ji2 MP3 Audio File — shirt

အင်္ကျီလက်တို | ain3-ji2 let-toh2 MP3 Audio File — short-sleeves shirt (shirt+ hand + short)

အင်္ကျီလက်ရှည် | ain3-ji2 let-shay2 MP3 Audio File — long-sleeves shirt (shirt+ hand + long)

ပုဆိုး | pa1-hso3 MP3 Audio File — men's sarong

ထမီ | hta1-main2 MP3 Audio File — women's sarong

တိုက်ပုံအင်္ကျီ | tite-pone2 ain3-ji2 MP3 Audio File — Burmese-style jacket

ဂျာကင် | ja2-kin2 MP3 Audio File — Western-style jacket

စွပ်ကျယ် | soot-kjeare2 MP3 Audio File — T-shirt

မိုးကာ | mo3-ga2 MP3 Audio File — rain coat

ထီး | hti3 MP3 Audio File — umbrella

ဦးထုပ် | oat-htoat MP3 Audio File — hat

ဖိနပ် | pfa1-nut MP3 Audio File — footwear, usually refers to slippers.

ဘောင်းဘီ | boun3-be2 MP3 Audio File — trousers, pants

ဂျင်းဘောင်းဘီ | jin3 boun3-be2 MP3 Audio File — a pair of jeans

ဘောင်းဘီတို | boun3-be2 doh2 MP3 Audio File — shorts, Bermuda shorts

to wear

ဝတ် | woot MP3 Audio File — wear all types of clothings

စီး | si3 MP3 Audio File — wear shoes, slippers, and all other footwear.

ဆောင်း | hsoun3 MP3 Audio File — wear hats and use umbrellas


လူ | lu2 MP3 Audio File — man

မိန်းမ | main3-ma1 MP3 Audio File — woman

အမျိုးသမီး | a-myo3-dtha1-mi3 MP3 Audio File — lady

ပုဂ္ဂိုလ် | poat-go2 MP3 Audio File — gentleman

အဘိုးကြီး | a-pfo3 ji3 MP3 Audio File — old man

အဘွားကြီး | a-pfwa3 ji3 MP3 Audio File — old woman

ကလေး | kha1-lay3 MP3 Audio File — baby; child

ကလေးမလေး | kha1-lay3-ma1 lay3 MP3 Audio File — small girl

ကောင်လေး | koun2-lay3 MP3 Audio File — boy

ကောင်မလေး | koun2-ma1 lay3 MP3 Audio File — girl

ဘဲ | beare3 MP3 Audio File — dude, guy (slang)

အခြောက် | a-chout MP3 Audio File — effeminate man, sissy, unmanly person

ယောက်ျားလျာ | yout-kja1-sha2 MP3 Audio File — a girl or a woman who behaves like a man; a gay woman; dyke

ကောင် | koun2 MP3 Audio File — guy (street talk; impolite. "koun2" is also a measure word for animals.)

ဆော် | hsau2 MP3 Audio File — chick (slang)

Physical description of people (ending words)

ဝဝကြီး | wa1 wa1 ji3 MP3 Audio File — fat, plump, chubby

ပိန်ပိန်လေး | pain2-pain2-lay3 MP3 Audio File — thin, slim, skinny

လံဗားကြီး | lun2-ba3 ji3 MP3 Audio File — tall and big (male)

အရပ်အမြင့်ကြီး | a-yut a-myin1-ji3 MP3 Audio File — tall (height + tall + to the high degree, level, or class)

ပုပုလေး | pu1-pu1-lay3 MP3 Audio File — short, shorty

လှလှလေး | hla1-hla1 lay3 MP3 Audio File — pretty, beautiful (reference to a girl or a woman.)

ချစ်စရာလေး | chit sa1-ya2 lay3 MP3 Audio File — cute and lovely

ရုပ်ဆိုးဆိုးကြီး | yoat hso3-zo3 ji3 MP3 Audio File — ugly (can be used for both sexes.)


ပန်းရောင် | pan3 youn2 — pink color

ထီး | hti3 — umbrella

ဆောင်း | hsoun3 — wear hats and use umbrellas.

ထားတဲ့ | hta3 deare1 — present participle [~ing]

ဟို | ho2 — that

ဘဲ | beare3 — dude, guy (slang)

ပိန်ပိန်လေး | pain2-pain2 lay3 — thin, slim, skinny

ပန်းရောင် ထီးဆောင်း ထားတဲ့ ဟိုဘဲ ပိန်ပိန်လေး

pan3 youn2 hti3 hsoun3 hta3 deare1 ho2 beare3 pain2-pain2 lay3

That skinny dude with pink umbrella.

Burmese Phrase Maker / Translator

Please make sure that you get the matching items. For example, if you select "slippers/shoes" for clothing, you must select "footwear" from the pull down menu.

hta3 deare1 (xxxx ing)

ho2 (that)

And finally, if you would like to know who is that skinny dude with pink umbrella, just append beare2 dthu2 leare3 to the general formula.

ပန်းရောင် | pan3 youn2

ထီး | hti3

ဆောင်းထားတဲ့ | hsoun3 hta3 deare1

ဟို | ho2

ဘဲ | beare3

ပိန်ပိန်လေး | pain2-pain2 lay3

ဘယ်သူလဲ | beare2 dthu2 leare3

Who is that skinny dude with pink umbrella?

Answer: It's the bird! It's the fly! No, its' Super A-CHOUT JI3!!!