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Learn Myanmar Language with Burmese Script, MP3 audio, PDF and unique grammar color-coding: nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, conjunctions, particles, postpositional markers, interjections.

Naing Tinnyuntpu Naing Tinnyuntpu is no stranger to systematic and efficient approach. He came from manufacturing environment with Bachelor's and Master's in Industrial Engineering (USA).

His notable contributions to the semiconductor industry were the techniques recognized by Sematech as ‘Administrative Quality Best Practices’ during his process engineering days with now defunct IC chip making division of Hewlett-Packard in Singapore.

Born and raised in Yangon, he has lived in six countries and knowledgeable in unrelated areas including self-taught programming languages. His free online Burmese lessons serve as an effective communication bridge among tourists and growing numbers of foreign business managers with the Myanmar people.

Read this page with Myanmar Script

Ordinal numbers are usually used up to the third. For example, to describe the floor levels in buildings, the first, second, and third are used. After the third, people usually say lay htut instead of za1-doat-hta1 htut. In school books, the 9th grade is called na1-wa1-ma1 dun3 meaning 9th grade, but in conversation, people usually say ko3-dun3 which means grade 9.

1st - First pa1-hta1-ma1
2nd - Second du1-ti1-ya1
3rd - Third tut-ti1-ya1
4th - Fourth za1-doat-hta1
5th - Fifth pyin2-sa1-ma1
6th - Sixth hsut-hta1-ma1
7th - Seventh thut-ta1-ma1
8th - Eighth ut-hta1-ma1
9th - Ninth na1-wa1-ma1
the 10th - tenth dut-tha1-ma1

Zero, minus, decimal, fractional numbers, percentage % points & basic mathematical terms in Burmese

Burmese word for zero is thone2-nya1. MP3 Audio File In upper Myanmar, temperature in celsius could drop below zero at night in cool seasons. thone2-nya1 out means sub zero. a-pu2 chain2 means temperature. You can say a-pu2 chain2 thone2-nya1 out shi1 deare2 to mean the temperature is sub-zero. MP3 Audio File

If you want to be more precise, you can use a-hnoat| minus figures. a-hnoat hnit means minus 2. a-pu2 chain2 a-hnoat hnit shi1 deare2 means the temperature is minus 2 (-2°C). MP3 Audio File

Minus 2 in this case is the a-nain1-zone3 | the lowest MP3 Audio File temperature. a-myin1-zone3 | the highest MP3 Audio File temperature in the same region could reach above 95°F.

Decimal numbers are expressed digit by digit after point | dut-tha1-ma1. MP3 Audio File The word dut-tha1-ma1 also refers to the ordinal number tenth.

For example,

thone3-zeare1 -- 30+
lay3 -- 4
dut-tha1-ma1 -- point
thone3 -- 3
lay3 -- 4
nga3 -- 5

means 34.345. MP3 Audio File

Try to think in terms of piles | pone2 of items to remember the fractional numbers | a-pine3 ga1-nun3. Suppose you have four piles | lay3-pone2 of sugar, and you offer me 3 piles | thone3-pone2 out of 4, you are giving me lay3-pone2 thone3-pone2, or three quarter (¾). MP3 Audio File

What about proportions? If you divide a big pile into 15 piles, and give 5 people in the ratios of 5:4:3:2:1, the first person gets 5 piles and the last person only gets 1 pile. In Burmese, the ratio is called a-cho3.

So, hnit a-cho3 tit MP3 Audio File is 2 is to 1, 2 to 1 ratio, or (2:1).

You can use the above pone2 word to describe any fractional numbers. However, if you have two pone2 and given away one pone2, it is better to use the word ta1-wet, which means half | (½). ta1-wet ti1-ti1 MP3 Audio File means exactly half the amount. ta1-wet ni3-ba3 MP3 Audio File means almost half. ta1-wet kjau2 MP3 Audio File refers to over the half amount.

If you don't know the exact numbers, you can give approximate | khan1-hmun3-chay2 numbers. When you say, khan1-hmun3-chay2 ta1-htoun1, MP3 Audio File it means approximately 1,000 or 1000 plus-minus 10 (1000±10), which could go either way.

When you say the average life expectancy of male population is 65 in this town, you are referring to pfyan3-hmya1, MP3 Audio File which is the mean mu (μ) in normal bell-curve distribution.

When I start using strange Greek alphabets like α, β confidence levels, Χ Chi-Square distributions, arrival rate λ and so on, I am using a branch of mathematics known as kain3 ga1-nun3 | Statistics.

If I try to solve simultaneous equations with not so strange alphabets like 3X + 4Y + 5Z= 0, I need the knowledge of et-kha1-ya2 thin2 cha2, where et-kha1-ya2 means alphabet, and thin2-cha2 means math. So, Burmese word for Algebra is et-kha1-ya2 thin2-cha2. There is no Burmese word for Calculus though.

How about this? 1+1 = 10. Illogical? That's the logic behind the digital world, and ni3-pyin2-nya2, Information Technology (IT).

If the probability of rain within 24 hours is 60%, you say chout-hseare2 ya2-khine2-hnome3, MP3 Audio File where ya2-khine2-hnome3 means percentage.

Suppose the quality level of your production reaches six sigma (6σ), the defective level is very low, and you have achieved almost zero defect. In previous decades, customers were quite happy with

ko3-zeare1 nga3 -- 95
dut-tha1-ma1 -- point
nga3 -- 5
ya2-khine2-hnome3 -- percent MP3 Audio File

= (95.5%) quality level based on the sampling plan, but that is not good enough in this day of tough competition.

You can use the word ya2-khine2-hnome3 pyay1 to refer to 100%. This term is usually used to indicate the support that politicians hope to get from the people. pyay1 means "filled up" or "full amount".

So, those are the basic
a-poun3 | plus (+), MP3 Audio File
a-hnote | minus (-), MP3 Audio File
a-hmyout | multiplication (×) MP3 Audio File and
a-sa3 | division (÷) MP3 Audio File of
thin2-cha2 | mathematics MP3 Audio File in Burmese.

What are the measure words? When you say "a glass of water", or "a cup of tea", "glass" and "cup" are measure words, also known as numerical classifiers. Burmese, just like the Chinese, has several of those measure words for different types of nouns (objects, concepts, people, and animals, etc.) that do not have English equivalents.


List of Numerical Classifiers (Sortable)
a person lu2 ta1 yout
two persons lu2 hna1 yout
30 comrades yeare3-bau2 thone3 jate
a crowd of people lu2 oat ta1 oat
a herd of cattle nwa3 ta1 oat
a swarm of bees pya3 ta1 oat
one animal ta1-rate-hsun2 ta1 goun2
a dog khway3 ta1 goun2
two dogs khway3 hna1 koun2
a litter of puppies khway3-tha3-pout ta1 oat
three birds hnget thone3 goun2
four fishes nga3 lay3 goun2
a shoal of fish nga3 oat ta1 oat
a plane lay2-yin2-pyan2 ta1 zi3
a boat; a ship thin3-bau3 ta1 zi3
a bicycle set-bain3 ta1 zi3
a car ka3 ta1 zi3
a house ain2 ta1 lone3
a tree thit-pin2 ta1 bin2
a bundle of sticks htin3 ta1 zi3
a bundle of mustard mone2-hnyin3 ta1 zi3
a pair of shoes pfa1-nut ta1 yan2
an umbrella hti3 ta1 choun3
a shirt ain3-ji2 ta1 hteare2
a pair of trousers boun3-bi2 ta1 hteare2
a watch na2-yi2 ta1 lone3
a light bulb mi3-lone3 ta1 lone3
a computer koon2-pyu2-ta2 ta1 lone3
a radio radio ta1 lone3
a TV set TV ta1 lone3
a hat oat-htoat ta1 lone3
a book sa2-oat ta1 oat
a piece of paper sa2-ywet ta1 ywet
a pack of cards pfeare3-htoat ta1 htoat
a pencil kheare3-dun2 ta1 choun3
a knife da3 ta1 choun3
a pot oh3 ta1 lone3
a pair of chopsticks tu2 ta1 zone2
a chair htine2-khone2 ta1 lone3
a table za1-bweare3 ta1 lone3
a cup of tea la1-pfet-yay2 ta1 khwet
a slice of bread poun2-mone1 ta1 chut
a jar of jam yo2 ta1 ba1-lin3
a glass of beer be2-ya2 ta1 khwet
a bottle of Whisky wit-sa1-ki2 ta1 ba1-lin3
a plate of rice hta1-min3 ta1 ba1-gun2
an order of rice noodle mone1-hin3-kha3 ta1 bweare3
a packet of noodles khout-hsweare3 ta1 htoat
a bunch of grapes za1-byit-thi3 ta1 khine2
a bunch of banana hnga1-pyau3-thi3 ta1 pfe3
a banana hnga1-pyau3-thi3 ta1 lone3
an apple pan3-thi3 ta1 lone3
a kernel of corn pyoun3-pfu3 ta1 zi1
an ear of corn pyoun3-pfu3 ta1 pfu3
a bar of soap hsut-pya2 ta1 doun1 or kheare3
a heap of rubbish a-hmite-pone2 ta1 bone2
a chain of events a-pfyit-a-pyet ta1 khu1
a song tha1-chin3 ta1 boat
a story pone2-pyin2-lay3 ta1 khu1

Lesson 12: Learn to say, "I earn $ 123,456,789 a second!"

Many Burmese people seem to be fascinated with nun2-but | numbers. MP3 Audio File Even in this modern day with scientific knowledge, it is not unusual for Myanmar people to consult astrologers and choose the most auspicious dates for important personal occasions and business undertakings. Some have even developed their own "system" to predict the winning lottery numbers!!

10,000, 5000, 1000, 500 and 200 Kyat Notes

Here's a tip to prevent you from the culture shock. In a recent edition of the Lonely Planet's Myanmar Travel, one of the authors noted that Myanmar people tend to exaggerate with numbers. Perhaps, this is the culture where losing credibility is deemed not so important as in some other parts of the world. To be fair, let's face it. You will always find people who like to brag a little.

ADDED NOTE: This article was first written sometime back in late 2011 or early 2012. As for bragging people in Yangon, it still stands correct (at least for some), as mentioned in one of Burmese Proverbs and Traditional Sayings.

kjwa3 means to brag.

de2 -- this
koun2 -- reference to a guy or an animal
nga1-kjwa3 -- braggart
beare3 -- affirmation ending word

de2 koun2 nga1-kjwa3 beare3 -- What a braggart!

If you look at it from the positive angle, this is freedom like nowhere else in the world. You are free to exaggerate all you want (about yourself, that is) -- regardless of what you say is true or not. That's why the spoken language is called za1-ga3 MP3 Audio File where ka3 MP3 Audio File in a sense means to exaggerate. The tradition probably goes back to generations -- long before "spin-doctors" came onto the stage of American politics.

In any case, earning 123,456,789 dollars a second is a bit too much -- just a tiny bit too much. How about 123,456 kyats a month? We will learn to say 1,2,3 up to 99,999,999 in Burmese. In case you don't know, "9" was considered a lucky number by a late well-known Burmese individual. In those days, Burma had strange currency denominations such as 45 kyats and 90 kyats, which had the digits all add up to number 9.

Reference Tables for Burmese Numerals

First, let's start with the very basic from 1 to 9.

Numbers from 1 to 9 (Sortable)
1-9 ↑↓ Myanmar Script ↑↓ Pronunciation ↑↓
1 MP3 Audio File tit
2 MP3 Audio File hnit
3 MP3 Audio File thone3
4 MP3 Audio File lay3
5 MP3 Audio File nga3
6 MP3 Audio File chout
7 MP3 Audio File khoon2-nit
8 MP3 Audio File shit
9 MP3 Audio File ko3

To say 1,2,3 in the multiple of 10's such as 10,20,30, etc., the general format is to add the word hseare2 after 1,2,3. However, there are slight changes in the pronunciations of 1,2 and 7 in the spoken language.

NOTE: the word hseare2 MP3 Audio File may sound like zeare2 MP3 Audio File for 30, 40, 50 and 90. In general, if you have trailing zero's after, 3,4,5 and 9, people soften the consonant when spoken.
10X Numbers from 10 to 90
10-90 Myanmar Script Pronunciation
10 ၁၀ MP3 Audio File ta1-hseare2
20 ၂၀ MP3 Audio File hna1-hseare2
30 ၃၀ MP3 Audio File thone3-zeare2
40 ၄၀ MP3 Audio File lay3-zeare2
50 ၅၀ MP3 Audio File nga3-zeare2
60 ၆၀ MP3 Audio File chout-hseare2
70 ၇၀ MP3 Audio File khoon2-na1-hseare2
80 ၈၀ MP3 Audio File shit-hseare2
90 ၉၀ MP3 Audio File ko3-zeare2

To say 1,2,3 in the multiple of 100's such as 100, 200, 300, etc., the general format is to add the word ya2 MP3 Audio File after 1,2,3. Note the similarities with the 10's in the pronunciation of 1,2 and 7.

100X Numbers from 100 to 900
100-900 Myanmar Script Pronunciation
100 ၁၀၀ MP3 Audio File ta1-ya2
200 ၂၀၀ MP3 Audio File hna1-ya2
300 ၃၀၀ MP3 Audio File thone3-ya2
400 ၄၀၀ MP3 Audio File lay3-ya2
500 ၅၀၀ MP3 Audio File nga3-ya2
600 ၆၀၀ MP3 Audio File chout-ya2
700 ၇၀၀ MP3 Audio File khoon2-na1-ya2
800 ၈၀၀ MP3 Audio File shit-ya2
900 ၉၀၀ MP3 Audio File ko3-ya2

To say 1,2,3 in the multiple of 1000's such as 1000, 2000, 3000, etc., the general format is to add the word htoun2 MP3 Audio File after 1,2,3.

1000X Numbers from 1,000 to 9,000
1,000X Myanmar Script Pronunciation
1,000 ၁၀၀၀ MP3 Audio File ta1-htoun2
2,000 ၂၀၀၀ MP3 Audio File hna1-htoun2
3,000 ၃၀၀၀ MP3 Audio File thone3-htoun2
4,000 ၄၀၀၀ MP3 Audio File lay3-htoun2
5,000 ၅၀၀၀ MP3 Audio File nga3-htoun2
6,000 ၆၀၀၀ MP3 Audio File chout-htoun2
7,000 ၇၀၀၀ MP3 Audio File khoon2-na1-htoun2
8,000 ၈၀၀၀ MP3 Audio File shit-htoun2
9,000 ၉၀၀၀ MP3 Audio File ko3-htoun2

Just remember the four zero's word in Burmese. It is called thoun3. MP3 Audio File Note that it is pronounced in the 3rd tone. Don't confuse this word with the thousand, htoun2, MP3 Audio File which is in the second tone.

If you are used to expressing those numbers in terms of thousands in your language, you will need to re-adjust the learning. Try to see 2,0000 figure instead of 20,000.

NOTE: thoun3 MP3 Audio File can be soften to dthoun3 MP3 Audio File for 30,000, 40,000, 50,000, and 90,000.
10,000X Numbers from 10,000 to 90,000
10,000X Myanmar Script Pronunciation
10,000 ၁၀၀၀၀ MP3 Audio File ta1-thoun3
20,000 ၂၀၀၀၀ MP3 Audio File hna1-thoun3
30,000 ၃၀၀၀၀ MP3 Audio File thone3-dthoun3
40,000 ၄၀၀၀၀ MP3 Audio File lay3-dthoun3
50,000 ၅၀၀၀၀ MP3 Audio File nga3-dthoun3
60,000 ၆၀၀၀၀ MP3 Audio File chout-thoun3
70,000 ၇၀၀၀၀ MP3 Audio File khoon2-na1-thoun3
80,000 ၈၀၀၀၀ MP3 Audio File shit-thoun3
90,000 ၉၀၀၀၀ MP3 Audio File ko3-dthoun3

The higher numbers are expressed in thain3. Remember, it has five trailing zero's. It is used as a base for even higher numbers in the multiple of 10, 100, and 1000 to that base.

The usage of thain3 in the unit one hundred thousand is comparable to "lakh" often used with units of money in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Hong Kong.

Place the word thain3 after the numbers from 1 to 19. ta1-thain3 means, 1,00000 = 100,000 = one hundred thousand in English.

hseare2-dthain3 means 10X the thain3 = 10,00000 = 1,000,000 = one million in English.

Place the word thain3 before the numbers from 20 onwards. For example, thain3 hna1-hsare2 means 20X the thain3 = 20,00000 = 2,000,000 = 2 million in English.

thain3 ta1-toun2 means 1000X the thain3 = 1000,00000 = 100,000,000. One thousand thain3 is one hundred million.

If you have numbers with 3,4,5,9, and 10 in front the zero, you may hear people soften the words to sound like dthain3.

Higher Numbers from 100,000 to 100,000,000
100,000X Myanmar Script Pronunciation
100,000 = 1,00000 ၁၀၀၀၀၀ MP3 Audio File ta1-thain3
1,000,000 = 10,00000 ၁၀၀၀၀၀၀ MP3 Audio File hseare2-dthain3
1,500,000 = 15,00000 ၁၅၀၀၀၀၀ MP3 Audio File hseare1-nga3 dthain3
1,800,000 = 18,00000 ၁၈၀၀၀၀၀ MP3 Audio File hseare1-shit thain3
2,000,000 = 20,00000 ၂၀၀၀၀၀၀ MP3 Audio File thain3 hna1-hseare2
4,000,000 = 40,00000 ၄၀၀၀၀၀၀ MP3 Audio File thain3 lay3-zeare2
10,000,000 = 100,00000 ၁၀၀၀၀၀၀၀ MP3 Audio File thain3 ta1-ya2
100,000,000 = 1000,00000 ၁၀၀၀၀၀၀၀၀ MP3 Audio File thain3 ta1-htoun2

So, how would you say 654321 in Burmese? Here is a formula. You always start with the highest multiple of 10X. The above number has 6 digits (with the place for 5 trailing zeros), so start with thain3. It is pretty much straight forward as shown below:

chout-thain3 -- 6,00000 +
nga3-dthoun3 -- 50000 +
lay3-htoun2 -- 4000 +
thone3-ya2 -- 300 +
hna1-hseare1 -- 20 +
tit -- 1

654,321 = ၆၅၄၃၂၁

There is one small detail. The word "hseare2", which is used for 10X as in 10, 20, 30 .... 80, 90 is pronounced in the first tone as hseare1 when it is followed by a single digit number from 1 to 9 such as in the above example.

Numbers between 10 and 100 with non-zero last digit

thone3-zeare1 -- 30 +
lay3-- 4

chout-hseare1 -- 60 +
shit-- 8

ko3-zeare1 -- 90 +
ko3 -- 9

34 - 68 - 99 ( ၃၄ ၊ ၆၈ ၊ ၉၉ ။ )

OK, quiz time! How would you then say "11"?

That was a trick question. No, it's not

ta1-hseare1 -- 10 +
tit -- 1

In spoken Burmese, just omit ta1 in ta1-hseare1 (10 +) for numbers from 11 to 19 like examples below:

hseare1 -- 10 +
tit -- 1

hseare1 -- 10 +
nga3 -- 5

hseare1 -- 10 +
ko3 -- 9

11 - 15 - 19 ( ၁၁ ၊ ၁၅ ၊ ၁၉ ။ )

Numbers from 11-19
11-19 Myanmar Script Pronunciation
11 ၁၁ MP3 Audio File hseare1-tit
12 ၁၂ MP3 Audio File hseare1-hnit
13 ၁၃ MP3 Audio File hseare1-thone3
14 ၁၄ MP3 Audio File hseare1-lay3
15 ၁၅ MP3 Audio File hseare1-nga3
16 ၁၆ MP3 Audio File hseare1-chout
17 ၁၇ MP3 Audio File hseare1 khoon2-nit
18 ၁၈ MP3 Audio File hseare1-shit
19 ၁၉ MP3 Audio File hseare1-ko3

Millions and Billions

thun3 is the word for "million". chout-thun3 means six million. However, in the business world, you will hear people speak in terms of thain3 figure with 5 zero's instead. Six million is sixty thain3, or thain3 chout-hseare2. And, people usually round up the big numbers so you don't need to worry about saying the smaller numbers that follow the thain3 number such as htoun2 and ya2.

Present Myanmar government uses the term bi2-la1-yan2 "Billion" to announce the budget and expenses. This bi2-la1-yan2 is the American usage of billion equivalent to one thousand million. I need to clarify this because the British billion is a million million, and Americans call this a trillion.

The Burmese language newspaper "The Mirror" uses the term bi2-la1-yan2-na2 for billionaire.


A million million or a trillion is a difficult concept to visualize. Let's see how many zero's behind it.

1,000,000 = 1 million
10,000,000 = 10 million
100,000,000 = 100 million
1,000,000,000 = a billion (1,000 million)
10,000,000,000 = 10 billion
100,000,000,000 = 100 billion
1,000,000,000,000 = a trillion (1,000 billion)

The Burmese language uses the English loaned word Trillion as hta1-ri2-li2-yan2. For example, for the fiscal year 2015-2016, Myanmar government tax revenue is estimated to be 6.387 hta1-ri2-li2-yan2 Kyat.

GENERAL KNOWLEDGE: Use of English loaned word 'Trillion' does not mean that Burmese language lacks words for very large numbers. There are words with Pali origin: ကုဋေ | ga1-day2 means ten millions. ကုဋေကဋာ | ga1-day2 ga1-da2 refers to millions and millions or 'zillions'. The less known word for American Trillion is ပကောဋိ | pa1-kau3-de1. However, those old words are not used in today's business world.

"Half" Numbers

There is one other common usage that you should know. khweare3 MP3 Audio File means half. In terms of math, there is an additional half value to the multiplier. For example, nga3 dthoun3 khweare3 means 55000. Let's do some math:

nga3 means 5

thoun3 means you need to multiply by 10000. ( 5 * 10000 = 50000)

khweare3 refers to the half of whatever multiplier you use, in this case, (1/2 * 10000= 5000).

Add this 5000 to 50000. (50000+5000= 55000)

So, khweare3 is the same as "half" in English when you say "A million and a half."

Another example on "half" numbers

chout thain3 khweare3 means 6,50000.

thain3 means you need to multiply by 1,00000. ( 6 * 1,00000 = 6,00000)

khweare3 refers to the half of the multiplier you use; in this case, (1/2 * 1,00000= 50000).

Add this 50000 to 6,00000. (6,00000 + 50000 = 6,50000)

A Review of numbers big and small

Selected Numbers from 1 to 6 Million (Sortable)
English ↑↓ Burmese Pronunciation ↑↓
1 tit
2 hnit
3 thone3
4 lay3
5 nga3
6 chout
7 khoon2-nit
8 shit
9 ko3
10 ၁၀ ta1-hseare2
15 ၁၅ hseare1-nga3
200 ၂၀၀ hna1-ya2
၃၀၀၀ thone3-htoun2
40000 ၄၀၀၀၀ lay3-dthoun3
၅၀၀၀၀၀ nga3-dthain3
၆၀၀၀၀၀၀ thain3 chout-hseare2
၆၀၀၀၀၀၀ chout-thun3

Now it's about time to exaggerate a little

So, finally, you should be able to say that you earn 123,456 kyats (a second, a minute, or whatever exaggeration you preferred.)

ta1 thain3 -- 1,00000 +
hna1 thoun3 -- 20000 +
thone3 htoun2 -- 3000 +
lay3 ya2 -- 400 +
nga3 seare1 -- 50 +
chout -- 6
kjut -- Kyat
ta1 set-kun1 -- 1 second
yah1 deare2 -- to receive + affirmative.

ta1-thain3 hna1-thoun3 thone3-htoun2 lay3-ya2 nga3-seare1 chout kjut ta1 set-kun1 yah1 deare2