Lesson 24: Common Burmese Words with Buddhist Origin
"Use the Force, Luke... Use the Force!"
In Gorge Lucas' creation of Star Wars movies, the Jedi Knights with light sabres have gone through strict mental training somewhat like
thun3-ga2 — the Buddhist monks.
However, unlike the Jedi Knights, the accomplished ones in Theravada Buddhist tradition known as
pyin2-nya2 — knowledge and understanding
of the true Nature of existence through
we1-pup-tha1-na2 — Vipassana or insight Meditation.
Respectable ya1-hun3 would not use the Dark Forces of
set-kja2 wa1-la2 — the Universe
even if they have the knowledge, because they understand that
lau3-ka1 — the existential world
that we live in is thin2-kha2-ra1.
or Sankhara in Pali language means that our formation or existence is dependent on external conditions and has the characteristics of
doat-kha1 — nothing is ultimately satisfying
a-nate-sa1 — nothing lasts forever
a-na1-ta1 — nothing can be pointed to say unchanging "me" "my" and "mine"
Those who are familiar with the romanization of the Pali language will recognize those terms as Dukkha, Anicca, and Anatta.
Here's my YouTube Video.
In Love & in War there is no such thing as "ma1-ta1-ya3 bu3"
ta1-ya3 in religious context means the teaching of the Buddha. In everyday usage, it means fairness (noun), or to be fair (verb).
ta1-ya3 — fairness and
ta1-ya2 — one hundred (100).
— the Judge who is impartial.(noun)
ta1-ya3 yone3 — Court House (noun)
ta1-ya1-khan2 — defendant or a suspect (noun)
ta1-ya1-lo2 — plaintiff (noun)
ta1-ya3 sweare3 — to file a legal case; to sue (verb)
ta1-ya3 sweare3 — sue
khan2 — subjected to
ya1 — to get
deare2 — ending confirmation word
ta1-ya3 sweare3 khan2 ya1 deare2
He got sued.
myan2-ma2 — Myanmar
pyi2 — country
hma2 — postpositional marker "at"
ta1-ya3 — teaching of the Buddha.
htine2 — sit
chin2 deare2" — "I want to... " (want + affirmative ending word)
myan2-ma2 pyi2 hma2 ta1-ya3 htine2 chin2 deare2"
I want to practice meditation in Myanmar.
ta1-ya1-win2 loat meare2
I will do it legally!
(legally [adverb] + do [verb] + ending word indicating future action [postpositional marker])
ta1-ya1-win2 loat ja1 meare2
We will do it legally!
(legally [adverb] + do [verb] + plural [particle] + ending word indicating future action [postpositional marker])
NOTE: In some words like
ta1-ya1-khan2 — defendant or a suspect
ta1-ya1-lo2 — plaintiff and
ta1-ya1-win2 — to do something legally,
"ya3" of the word
in the 3rd tone is read as short sliding
in the 1st tone.
The negative term of ta1-ya3 is ma1-ta1-ya3 bu3 . You can protest something by saying:
ma1-ta1-ya3 bu3 — That's not fair!
Suffering is Doat-kha1
"Dukkha" in romanization of the Pali originally means all our worldly pursuit end up like holding on to the mirage
and nothing is ultimately satisfying and lasting. In everyday Burmese usage,
doat-kha1 ba2 beare3 — We are in big trouble now!
Suffering is doat-kha1 and doat-kha1 is suffering. In this never ending rounds of births and deaths, there was, there is, and there will always be doat-kha1. The generation before us had it. We have it. And, the next generation will have it.
Suffering is "doat-kha1" and "doat-kha1" is suffering. In this never ending rounds of births and deaths, there was, there is, and there will always be Doat-kha1. The generation before us had it. We have it. And, the next generation will have it. In everyday Burmese usage out of religious context, "doat-kha1" means troublesome. [35 seconds]Posted by Naing Tinnyuntpu on Wednesday, May 11, 2016
doat-kha1 — troublesome condition
yout — reach
ba2 — soften tone
byi2 — has reached a condition or state
doat-kha1 yout ba2 byi2
Similar phrase to describe the messy situation.
doat-kha1 — trouble
yout — reach
lain1 — points to future after the verb word, "to reach" in this case
meare2 — will
doat-kha1 yout lain1 meare2
"You will get into trouble."
An advice to (or not to) do something in view of negative future consequences.
Be mindful with full of "dtha1-de1"
is an another common word with Buddhist origin. This original Pali word is romanized by the Western Buddhist scholars as "Sati" meaning "mindfulness". "Satipatthana", or the 4 foundations of mindfulness is practiced by the meditators. In Burmese language, this Buddhist term is known as
In everyday usage,
means to be watchful or careful about potential dangers. dtha1-de1 can also have the nostalgic sense about the good old days as in
dtha1-de1 ya1 deare2,
which means to remember by or miss someone.
nin1 — You
go2 — to
a-myeare3 beare3 — always
dtha1-de1 — attention
ya1 — get
ba2 — soften tone
deare2 — ending word
nin1 go2 a-myeare3 beare3 dtha1-de1 ya1 ba2 deare2
You're always on my mind.
(As sung by Willy Nelson and Elvis Presley)
You can tell someone on the slippery roof doing his repair job like this:
dtha1-de1 — attention
hta3 — to maintain and keep
nau2 — warm feeling tone
dtha1-de1 hta3 nau2 — Be careful!
You may reach "a-nate-sa1" if you don't have "dtha1-de1"
If you don't have
when you are on the roof, it is possible that you may reach
As we have seen in the beginning, this original Pali word in Buddhist sense is impermanence. Nothing lasts forever.
is the formal literary word which means to pass away.
a-nate-sa1 yout thwa3 e1
He has passed away.
Sharing of Merit
the bereaved family has certain customs to perform. Burmese Buddhists have the custom of sharing the merit to the dead at the funerals, and to the beings in the other World, especially to those in the lower realms who need the most. To perform this act is called
a-hmya1 — equal portion
way2 — distribute.
However, if the deceased is believed to be in the Heavenly World, there's no need for it. Listen to this.
Long live Buddhism!
Here's another very common proclamation by the volunteers going around the neighborhood collecting the donation, or by the monk with the loudspeaker in the car ahead of other monks going for alms. It generally means "long-live Buddhism!"
boat-da1 tha2-dtha1-nun2 si1-yan2 ti1-hta1-tu1
The Middle Way
— The Middle Way (Majjhimāpaṭipadā)
proclaimed by the Buddha avoids indulgence of whatever the mind's desire in one extreme, and extreme form of physical torment practiced in those days to gain enlightenment in the other.
He did not say that you cannot excel in something and just be an average person. In fact, he had the determination, and full intention to achieve what he had attained. After six years of unsuccessful attempts through perseverance, he found success.
We need to keep some "desire" to excel. Selfless desire for the good of many is admirable. But, unfortunately, most of us cannot become saintly monks. We need to maintain at least some level of "selfish" greed in order to survive in this world.
A "good and fair ambition" in our worldly pursuit doesn't harm ourselves or the others including the environment. And we don't use
means to achieve our objectives. That's exactly what the Buddha had prescribed for the lay people in
tha1-ma2 ah2-zi2-wa1 — Right livelihood (samma ajivo)
met-gin2 shit pa3 — Noble Eightfold Path (ariya aṭṭhaṅgika magga).
You just enjoy what you do, just like me working on these "Free online Burmese Lessons".