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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.

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Standard Bathroom Amenities in Burmese


Lesson 25: Something in the bedroom doesn't work

Can you guess what "bedroom" is called in Burmese? The Burmese word for bedroom doesn't contain the word "bed" at all. In direct translation, it is called "sleep room". ate khan3 means bedroom, where ate means "to sleep", and khan3 refers to a room.

But, don't worry. I can guarantee you, all hotels, and even low budget "guest houses" in Myanmar will have a bed for you to sleep on. Below is the photo of one quite decent hotel room in Myanmar and some new vocabularies.

In the Bedroom

I want a room with bathroom attached

Here's another good news. Most decent hotels in Myanmar will have someone who knows some English, so they should be able to understand what a bedroom with bathroom attached means. But, if you want to show off your Burmese speaking skills, I can help you a bit on that area.

yay2-cho3 khan3 -- bathroom
pa2 -- come with
deare1 -- the one which is
a-khan3 -- a room
lo2 chin2 deare2 -- I want ( need + want + affirmation)

yay2-cho3 khan3 pa2 deare1 a-khan3 lo2 chin2 deare2 -- I want a room with bathroom attached.

Alternatively, you can also say,

yay2-cho3 khan3 -- bathroom
neare1 -- with
a-khan3 -- a room
lo2 chin2 deare2 -- I want ( need + want + affirmation)

yay2-cho3 khan3 neare1 a-khan3 lo2 chin2 deare2 -- I want a room with bathroom attached.

Of course, you can always substitute bathroom with some other nouns such as eare3 koon2 (air-conditioner), mini-bar, IDD phone, Internet connection, and so on.

How many?

Back in lesson 19, we have learned to say, "how many children do you have?" In Burmese phrases, "how many" is always accompanied by "measure words". The sentence will have the format:

beare2 hna1 xxxx yyyy, where xxxx is the measure word and yyyy is needed to complete the sentence. Measure word xxxx examples are shown below without yyyy. Those are not complete sentences yet.

beare2 hna1 lone3 -- "how many" for items with round shapes such as fruits and light bulbs.

beare2 hna1 ga2-lun2 -- how many gallons of gasoline

beare2 hna1 kjut -- how much "kyat" (Burmese currency)

beare2 hna1 koun2 -- "how many" for number of animals

beare2 hna1 bu3 -- how many bottles and tin cans

beare2 hna1 pa1-lin3 -- how many glass bottle with necks such as wine bottles

beare2 hna1 yout -- "how many" for number of persons

beare2 hna1 khu1 -- "how many" for general small items that can be counted

beare2 hna1 khan3 -- how many rooms

Extensive list of "measure words" are given in the table at the left column of lesson 12.

Myanmar Grammar Notes: Question word beare2 hna1 is a pronoun if there is no mention of the noun. If it has a noun in front, it will be adjective. E.g., lu2 beare2 hna1 yout la2 leare3 -- How many people came?

Now, you need yyyy ending part to complete the sentence. There can be several variations, but I will give two common usages.

lo2 chin2 leare3 -- used in "how many do you want?"
leare3 -- just a question mark in "how many xxxx" sentence.

Examples on full sentences with the format: "How many xxxx yyyy?

beare2 hna1 khan3 lo2 chin2 leare3 -- How many rooms do you want?

beare2 hna1 yout leare3 -- How many persons?

beare2 hna1 lone3 lo2 chin2 leare3 -- How many (fruits, light bulbs, etc..) do you want?

Counter question to "How many do you want" question

So, when the front desk asks you,

beare2 hna1 khan3 lo2 chin2 leare3 -- How many rooms do you want?, you can counter question as follow:

thone3 khan3 yah1 ma1 la3 -- Three rooms available? (3 + rooms + roughly "available?")

That phrase sounds more natural than

thone3 khan3 lo2 chin2 deare2 -- (We) want three rooms. (3 + rooms + want + need + affirmation)

Air conditioner doesn't work!

If something is not in the working condition and needs fixing, you can use the words pyet nay2 deare2 . For example, you can say...

eare3-koon2 pyet nay2 deare2 -- air conditioner + "not in working condition"

ka3 pyet nay2 deare2 -- car + "not in working condition"

set pyet nay2 deare2 -- machine + "not in working condition"

If something doesn't work that has to do with water or electricity, Burmese people will say, ma1 la2 bu3, which in direct translation means, "doesn't come".

mi3 ma1 la2 bu3 -- There's no electricity!

a-khan3 hteare3 mi3 ma1 la2 bu3 -- There's no electricity in the room. (room + inside + electricity + "doesn't come")

yay2 ma1 la2 bu3 -- There's no water (from the tap.)

eare3-koon2 ma1 la2 bu3 -- Air conditioner doesn't work!

Murphy's Law

Murphy's Law says: if something can go wrong, it will go wrong. I hope that if you plan on visiting Myanmar, Murphy's Law doesn't apply. In any case, sleep well and have no fear! Knowing some of those Burmese words to express yourself will "work" wonders. May you not encounter Murphy's Law today!