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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 MP3 Audio Filethe Buddhist monks.

However, unlike the Jedi Knights, the accomplished ones in Theravada Buddhist tradition known as

ya1-hun3 MP3 Audio File

have gained

pyin2-nya2 MP3 Audio Fileknowledge and understanding

of the true Nature of existence through

we1-pup-tha1-na2 MP3 Audio FileVipassana or insight Meditation.

Naing Tinnyuntpu as Jedi Master

Respectable ya1-hun3 would not use the Dark Forces of

set-kja2 wa1-la2 MP3 Audio Filethe Universe

even if they have the knowledge, because they understand that

lau3-ka1 MP3 Audio Filethe existential world

that we live in is thin2-kha2-ra1.

thin2-kha2-ra1, MP3 Audio File

or Sankhara in Pali language means that our formation or existence is dependent on external conditions and has the characteristics of

doat-kha1 MP3 Audio Filenothing is ultimately satisfying

a-nate-sa1 MP3 Audio Filenothing lasts forever

a-na1-ta1 MP3 Audio Filenothing 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"

Some Burmese words with Buddhist origin have merged into every day usage out of religious context. One such word is

ta1-ya3. MP3 Audio File

ta1-ya3 in religious context means the teaching of the Buddha. In everyday usage, it means fairness (noun), or to be fair (verb).

NOTE: There is just a slight tone difference between

ta1-ya3 MP3 Audio Filefairness and

ta1-ya2 MP3 Audio Fileone hundred (100).

Related Words

ta1-ya3 dthu2-ji3 MP3 Audio Filethe Judge who is impartial.(noun)

ta1-ya3 yone3 MP3 Audio FileCourt House (noun)

ta1-ya1-khan2 MP3 Audio Filedefendant or a suspect (noun)

ta1-ya1-lo2 MP3 Audio Fileplaintiff (noun)

ta1-ya3 sweare3 MP3 Audio Fileto 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.

ta1-ya3 htine2 MP3 Audio File

means to do sitting meditation, where

htine2 MP3 Audio File

is to sit.

The complete sentence is

ta1-ya3 htine2 chin2 deare2 MP3 Audio File

I want to practice Meditation.

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.

If you are a business man or a business woman, make sure that you do

ta1-ya1-win2 MP3 Audio File

which means in accordance with the law (legally).

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 MP3 Audio Filedefendant or a suspect

ta1-ya1-lo2 MP3 Audio Fileplaintiff and

ta1-ya1-win2 MP3 Audio Fileto do something legally,

"ya3" of the word

"ta1-ya3" MP3 Audio File

in the 3rd tone is read as short sliding

"ya1" MP3 Audio File

in the 1st tone.

The negative term of ta1-ya3 is ma1-ta1-ya3 bu3 . You can protest something by saying:

ma1-ta1-ya3 bu3That'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 MP3 Audio File

means troublesome.

doat-kha1 ba2 beare3We 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"

Burmese word

dtha1-de1 MP3 Audio File

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

dtha1-de1 pa1-hta2-na1. MP3 Audio File

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, MP3 Audio File

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 nau2Be careful!

You may reach "a-nate-sa1" if you don't have "dtha1-de1"

If you don't have

dtha1-de1 MP3 Audio File

when you are on the roof, it is possible that you may reach

a-nate-sa1. MP3 Audio File

As we have seen in the beginning, this original Pali word in Buddhist sense is impermanence. Nothing lasts forever.

a-nate-sa1 yout MP3 Audio File

is the formal literary word which means to pass away.

a-nate-sa1 yout thwa3 e1

He has passed away.

Sharing of Merit

After someone

a-nate-sa1 yout, MP3 Audio File

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.

a-hmya1 way2 MP3 Audio File

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

myit-zi1-ma1 ba1-di1-ba1-da2 MP3 Audio FileThe 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 MP3 Audio FileRight livelihood (samma ajivo)

of the

met-gin2 shit pa3 MP3 Audio FileNoble Eightfold Path (ariya aṭṭhaṅgika magga).

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