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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.


Superlatives in Myanmar Language | အမြင့်ဆုံး နှင့် အနိမ့်ဆုံး ဝိသေသများ
best အကောင်းဆုံး | a-koun3-zone3
best/brightest person အတော်ဆုံး | a-tau2-zone3
biggest အကြီးဆုံး | a-kji3-zone3
brightest (light) အလင်းဆုံး | a-lin3-zone3
busiest အလုပ်အရှုပ်ဆုံး | a-loat a-shoat-zone3
cheapest ဈေးအပေါဆုံး | zay3 a-pau3-zone3
cleanest အသန့်ဆုံး | a-thun1-zone3
coldest (temperature) အအေးဆုံး | a-ay3-zone3
coldest (feeling) အချမ်းဆုံး | a-chan3-zone3
dampest; wettest အစိုဆုံး | a-so2-zone3
darkest (room) အမှောင်ဆုံး| a-hmoun2-zone3
deepest အနက်ဆုံး | a-net-zone3
dirtiest အညစ်ပတ်ဆုံး | a-nyit-pup-zone3
driest အခြောက်ဆုံး | a-chout-zone3
earliest အစောဆုံး | a-sau3-zone3
easiest to learn, method, etc.. အလွယ်ဆုံး | a-lweare2-zone3
eldest အကြီးဆုံး | a-kji3-zone3
fastest အမြန်ဆုံး | a-myan2-zone3
fattest အဝဆုံး | a-wah1-zone3
funniest အရယ်ရဆုံး | a-yi2-ya1-zone3
furthest အဝေးဆုံး | a-way3-zone3
happiest အပျော်ဆုံး | a-pyau2-zone3
hardest circumstances to undertake, to learn, etc.. အခက်ဆုံး | a-khet-zone3
hardest (material) အမာဆုံး | a-ma2-zone3
heaviest အလေးဆုံး | a-lay3-zone3
highest အမြင့်ဆုံး | a-myin1-zone3
hottest (feeling) အအိုက်ဆုံး | a-ike-zone3
hottest; most refreshing (girl) အလန်းဆုံး | a-lun3-zone3
hottest (temperature) အပူဆုံး | a-pu2-zone3
kindest / most generous သဘောအကောင်းဆုံး | tha1-bau3 a-koun3-zone3
latest (fashion) နောက်ဆုံးပေါ် | nout hsone3 pau2
latest (time) နောက်အကြဆုံး | nout a-kja1-zone3
laziest အပျင်းဆုံး | a-pyin3-zone3
least expensive ဈေးအချိုဆုံး | zay3 a-cho2 zone3
lightest in weight အပေါ့ဆုံး | a-pau1-zone3
longest အရှည်ဆုံး | a-shay2-zone3
loudest အကျယ်ဆုံး | a-kjeare2-zone3
lowest (degree) အနိမ့်ဆုံး | a-nain1-zone3
lowest (object's height) အနိမ့်ဆုံး | a-nain1-zone3
lowest (price) အပေါဆုံး | a-pau3-zone3
lowest (sound volume) အတိုးဆုံး | a-toe3-zone3
most accurate အမှန်ဆုံး | a-hmun2-zone3
most applicable အသက်ဆိုင်ဆုံး | a-thet-hsine2-zone3
most bitter (taste) အခါးဆုံး| a-kha3-zone3
most beautiful အလှဆုံး | a-hla1-zone3
most compassionate အကြင်နာတတ်ဆုံး | a-kjin2-na2-tut-zone3
most complicated အရှုပ်ဆုံး | a-shoat-zone3
most cruel အရက်စက်ဆုံး | a-yet-set-zone3
most dependable အားအကိုးရဆုံး | ah3 a-ko3-yah1-zone3
most despicable အယုတ်မာဆုံး | a-yote-ma2-zone3
most economical; most frugal အချွေတာဆုံး | a-chway2-ta2-zone3
most expensive ဈေးအကြီးဆုံး | zay3 a-kji3-zone3
most fragrant အမွှေးဆုံး | a-hmway3-zone3
most hard-working အကြိုးစားဆုံး | a-kjo3-za3-zone3
most influential ဩဇာအရှိဆုံး | au3-za2 a-shi1-zone3
most intense အပြင်းထန်ဆုံး | a-pyin3-htan2-zone3
most lengthy in time အကြာဆုံး | a-kja2-zone3
most modern ခေတ်အမှီဆုံး | khit a-hmi2-zone3
most natural သဘာဝအကြဆုံး | dtha-ba2-wa1 a-kja1-zone3
most populous လူဦးရေအများဆုံး | lu2-u3-yay2 a-mya3-zone3
most powerful; the one with most physical strength အားအရှိဆုံး | ah3 a-shi1-zone3
most influential and powerful ဩဇာအာဏာအရှိဆုံး | au3-za2 ah2-na2 a-shi1-zone3
most profitable အမြတ်အရဆုံး | a-myut a-yah1-zone3
most secluded အသီးသန့်ဆုံး | a-thi3-thun1-zone3
most useful အသုံးကျဆုံး | a-thone3-kja1-zone3
most valuable တန်ဘိုးအရှိဆုံး | tan2-pfo3 a-shi1-zone3
narrowest အကျဉ်းဆုံး | a-kjin3-zone3
nearest အနီးဆုံး | a-ni3-zone3
poorest အဆင်းရဲဆုံး | a-hsin3-yeare3-zone3
prettiest ရုပ်အချောဆုံး | yote a-chau3-zone3
purest အသန့်စင်ဆုံး | a-thun1-sin2-zone3
rarest အရှားဆုံး | a-sha3-zone3
richest အချမ်းသာဆုံး | a-chan3-tha2-zone3
saddest ဝမ်းအနည်းဆုံး | wun3 a-neare3-zone3
shallowest အတိမ်ဆုံး | a-tain2-zone3
shortest (object) အတိုဆုံး | a-toh2-zone3
shortest (person) အပုဆုံး | a-pu1-zone3
simplest အရှင်းဆုံး | a-shin3-zone3
skinniest အပိန်ဆုံး | a-pain2-zone3
slowest အနှေးဆုံး | a-hnay3-zone3
smallest အသေးဆုံး | a-thay3-zone3
smartest ဉာဏ်အရှိဆုံး | nyan2 a-shi1-zone3
softest material အပျော့ဆုံး | a-pyau1-zone3
soonest အလျှင်မြန်ဆုံး | a-hlyin2-myan2-zone3
stingiest ကပ်စေးအနှဲဆုံး | kut-say3-a-hneare3-zone3
strongest အားအရှိဆုံး | ah3 a-shi1-zone3
sweetest (girl) ချစ်စရာအကောင်းဆုံး | chit sa1-ya2 a-koun3-zone3
sweetest (taste) အချိုဆုံး | a-cho2-zone3
tallest အမြင့်ဆုံး | a-myin1-zone3
thickest အထူဆုံး | a-htu2-zone3
thinnest (material) အပါးဆုံး | a-pa3-zone3
ugliest ရုပ်အဆိုးဆုံး | yote a-hso3-zone3
weakest အားအနည်းဆုံး | ah3 a-neare3-zone3
widest အကျယ်ဆုံး | a-kjeare2-zone3
worst အဆိုးဆုံး | a-hso3-zone3
worst performing person အညံ့ဆုံး | a-nyan1-zone3
youngest အငယ်ဆုံး | a-ngeare2-zone3

Lesson 30: Comparisons and superlative terms in Burmese | မြန်မာ - အင်္ဂလိပ် ဘာသာပြန် အမြင့်ဆုံး နှင့် အနိမ့်ဆုံး ဝိသေသများ

Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who is the အလှဆုံး | a-hla1-zone3 (prettiest) of them all? A judge's job is never easy. You cannot give a perfect score every time a contestant comes up on stage and starts gyrating in different fashion. You need to look for something special -- a wanting smile, enchanting eye contact, a natural poise that captures your imagination, flowing movements in rhythm with every beat of the music, and a perfect choice of wardrobe that complements the figure well, and yet not too revealing. [51 seconds]

Who is prettiest?

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the အလှဆုံး | a-hla1-zone3 (prettiest) of them all? A judge's job is never easy. You cannot give a perfect score every time a contestant comes up on stage and starts gyrating in different fashion. You need to look for something special -- a wanting smile, enchanting eye contact, a natural poise that captures your imagination, flowing movements in rhythm with every beat of the music, and a perfect choice of wardrobe that complements the figure well, and yet not too revealing. ဟဲလေး [51 seconds]

Posted by Naing Tinnyuntpu on Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Helay | ဟဲလေး | heare3 lay3

Never compare yourself with the others, says the wise. Normally, the word "conceit" in English and မာန | ma2-na1 in Burmese is associated with someone who considers oneself to be superior than the others. Interestingly, "Mana" in Pali language is the conceit "I" that not only compares oneself to be superior than the others. When one considers oneself equal to or inferior than the others, that is also conceit. All three types of comparisons are rooted in the false concept of "I" ego entity that keeps us binding in the cycle of suffering known as သံသရာ | thun2-tha1-ya2 (Samsara in Pali), according to the ancient wisdom.

However, for practical purposes, we cannot get away with words of comparisons. This is good. That is better. That one is the best. She is taller than I. He is the tallest and the biggest, and so on.

This is better, taller, bigger, worse, smaller, shorter

The burmese နာမဝိသေသန | adjective word ပို | po2 (adjective), which roughly means "more", is used to describe that something or someone is better, taller, bigger, and so on. However, it should be noted that "more" in degree can go in either positive or negative direction. For example, "more short" means shorter. "More bad" means worse.

Try to see the pattern in sentence construction. The format is...

ဒါပို xxxx တယ် | da2 po2 xxxx deare2 where you substitute xxxx with the adjective of your choice.

ဒါပိုကောင်းတယ် | da2 po2 koun3 deare2 -- This is better. (this + more + good + affirmative)

ဒါပိုဆိုးတယ် | da2 po2 hso3 deare2 -- This is worse. (this + more + bad + affirmative)

ဒါပိုရှည်တယ် | da2 po2 shay2 deare2 -- This is longer. (this + more + long + affirmative)

ဒါပိုတိုတယ် | da2 po2 toh2 deare2 -- This is shorter. (this + more + short + affirmative)

ဒါပိုကြီးတယ် | da2 po2 kji3 deare2 -- This is bigger. (this + more + big + affirmative)

ဒါပိုငယ်တယ် | da2 po2 ngeare2 deare2 -- This is smaller. (this + more + small + affirmative)

Which one is better?

You should also learn to put comparisons in the form of questions. They follow the same pattern, so I will just give one example.

ဘယ်ဟာ | beare2 ha2 -- which
ပို | po2 -- more
ကောင်း | koun3 -- good
သလဲ | leare3 -- ?

ဘယ်ဟာ ပိုကောင်းသလဲ | beare2 ha2 po2 koun3 tha1 leare3 -- Which (one) is better?

that which is

ဒါ | da2 (pronoun) means "this". တာ | ta2 (particle) is written in different Burmese character, but is pronounced almost like ဒါ | da2. It is spoken in reference to the object "which is" or "that which is".

The example below shows how တာ | ta2 modifies the adjective ပိုကြီး | po2 kji3 (bigger) into a noun phrase ပိုကြီးတာ | po2 kji3 ta2 (that which is bigger).

ပို | po2 -- more
ကြီး | kji3 -- big
တာ | ta2 -- that which is
လိုချင် | lo2 chin2 -- want
တယ် | deare2 -- affirmative

ပိုကြီးတာ လိုချင်တယ် | po2 kji3 ta2 lo2 chin2 deare2 -- I want a bigger one.

ပိုကြီးတာ ပိုကောင်းတယ် | po2 kji3 ta2 po2 koun3 deare2 -- The bigger, the better. (more + big + "which is" + more + good + affirmative)

Bigger than this

In the above examples, I am pointing to something and say this is bigger, and so on. What if I want to say something is bigger than this that I am pointing at? In that case, you need to use ဒီထက် | di1 htet (more than this) with the conjunction ထက် | htet instead of ဒါ | da2 (this).

ဒီထက်ပိုကြီးတယ် | di1 htet po2 kji3 deare2 -- It's bigger than this. ("more than this" + more + big + affirmative)

ဒီထက်ပိုကောင်းတယ် | di1 htet po2 koun3 deare2 -- It's better than this. ("more than this" + more + good + affirmative)

ဒီထက်ပိုဆိုးတယ် | di1 htet po2 hso3 deare2 -- It's worse than this. ("more than this" + more + bad + affirmative)

Colder and hotter (warmer) than this

How's the weather in Toronto (compared to Yangon)?

ဒီထက်ပိုအေးတယ် | di1 htet po2 ay3 deare2 -- It's colder than this. ("more than this" + more + cool + affirmative)

You can replace ဒီ | di1 (this) in the above sentence with Yangon like this:

ရန်ကုန်ထက် ပိုအေးတယ် | Yangon htet po2 ay3 deare2 -- It's colder than Yangon. (Yangon + more than or above + more + cool + affirmative)

We will now build up a longer sentence.

တိုရန်တို | Toronto -- Toronto
က | gah1 -- is
ရန်ကုန် | Yangon -- Yangon
ထက် | htet -- more than or above
ပို | po2 -- more
အေး | ay3 -- cool
တယ် | deare2 -- affirmative

တိုရန်တို က ရန်ကုန် ထက် ပိုအေးတယ် | Toronto gah1 Yangon htet po2 ay3 deare2 -- Toronto is colder than Yangon.

ရန်ကုန်က တိုရန်တို ထက် ပိုပူတယ် | Yangon gah1 Toronto htet po2 pu2 deare2 -- Yangon is warmer than Toronto.

Toronto is Colder than Yangon

Much colder than this

Actually, the weather in Toronto is much, much colder than Yangon. If you compare Yangon to Maymyo (Pyin Oo Lwin), a tourist attraction in Myanmar, it is quite appropriate to say, ဒီထက်ပိုအေးတယ် | di1 htet po2 ay3 deare2. But, if you compare Yangon to Toronto, it's better to stress that Toronto is "much" colder. The Burmese word for indefinite pronoun "much" in such a situation is အများကြီး | a-mya3-ji3. It literally means "so many" or "great quantity".

ဒီထက် | di1 htet -- more than this
အများကြီး | a-mya3-ji3 -- great quantity (equivalent to much more)
ပို | po2 -- to exceed
အေး | ay3 -- cool
တယ် | deare2 -- affirmative.

ဒီထက် အများကြီး ပိုအေးတယ် | di1 htet a-mya3-ji3 po2 ay3 deare2 -- It's much colder than this!

တိုရန်တို က ရန်ကုန် ထက် အများကြီး ပိုအေးတယ် | Toronto gah1 Yangon htet a-mya3-ji3 po2 ay3 deare2 -- Toronto is much colder than Yangon.

So, you can say အေးတယ် | ay3 deare2 if the object or the environment has a low temperature. Likewise, ပူတယ် | pu2 deare2 means the object or the weather has a high temperature. Burmese language has a different word if your body feels cold due to the weather. If you're shivering in sub-zero temperature, you say ချမ်းတယ် | chan3 deare2. Perhaps, the more useful word that you can say is အိုက်တယ် | ike deare2 if you are sweating under the sweltering heat in the hottest month around April in Myanmar. Words such as "feel cold", "feel warm", "feel happy", and "feel sad" are one syllable verbs. In comparison, "happy" "sad", "warm", "cold" are adjectives in English. Example: I feel cold. In Burmese word ချမ်း | chan3, "feel" is already included in "cold".

ပူလိုက်တာ | pu2 lite da2 -- The weather is so hot (to the extreme).

အိုက်လိုက်တာ | ike lite da2 -- I feel so hot!

Be careful with pronunciation. pu2 is pronounced like poo2, not pa1 yu2.

This is the biggest one!

For superlatives in Burmese such as the best, the biggest, and the tallest, etc., the adjective is sandwiched between the prefix particle "a" and suffix particle "zone3" in this pattern:

အ xxxx ဆုံး | a-xxxx-zone3.

The dash "-" after the suffix "a" is optional, but I will use it just to show the adjective clearly.


အကြီးဆုံး | a-kji3-zone3 -- the biggest

အမြင့်ဆုံး | a-myin1-zone3 -- the tallest

အရှည်ဆုံး | a-shay2-zone3 -- the longest

အအေးဆုံး | a-ay3-zone3 -- the coldest

အကောင်းဆုံး | a-koun3-zone3 -- the best

ဒါ | da2 -- this
အကြီးဆုံး | a-kji3-zone3 -- the biggest
ပဲ | beare3 -- exactly!

ဒါ အကြီးဆုံး ပဲ | da2 a-kji3-zone3 beare3 -- This is the biggest!

Just like in English, superlatives in Burmese cover the extremes in both directions to include the best and the worst, the biggest and the smallest, the tallest and the shortest, and so on.


အသေးဆုံး | a-thay3-zone3 -- the smallest

အတိုဆုံး | a-toh2-zone3 -- the shortest (for objects such as roads and ropes)

အပုဆုံး | a-pu1-zone3 -- the shortest (for height of a person)

အပူဆုံး | a-pu2-zone3 -- the hottest

အဆိုးဆုံး | a-hso3-zone3 -- the worst

By the way, did you notice that there is just a slight tone difference between the shortest (person) and the hottest?

အပျော်ဆုံးနေ့ | a-pyau2-zone3 nay1 means happiest day. For Burmese people of all ages, it comes in Mid April every year when Water Festival and New Year is celebrated. And it is not a single day. In 2017, the government of Myanmar had announced the plan to cut the holidays from 10 days to 5. The announcement which came too close to the holidays was reverted back after the public responded with much anger and dissatisfaction. The cut will start in 2018. The five days will be redistributed with other holidays in cooler months.
Myanmar's Happiest Time

Myanmar's Happiest Time. Without a doubt, Myanmar Thingyan Water Festival Celebrations are the happiest times of the year for children and adults of all ages. (45 seconds)

Posted by Naing Tinnyuntpu on Monday, May 2, 2016
အိမ့်ချစ် | Eint Chit

Comparing people

Instead of saying, "this is the best" in reference to the object, can we make comparisons between people? How would you say he is the best and the brightest?

သူ | thu2 -- he or she
အတော်ဆုံး | a-tau2-zone3 -- the best and the brightest
ပဲ | beare3 -- exactly!

သူ အတော်ဆုံးပဲ | thu2 a-tau2-zone3 beare3 -- He/she is the best and the brightest.

I have included a list of superlatives in the table on the left side.

Superlatives in the form of questions

Just like "better", we will now learn to put superlative terms in the form of questions. Since the pattern is the same for such questions, I will give just one example.

ဘယ်ဟာ | beare2 ha2 -- which "thing" (adjective)
အကောင်းဆုံး | a-koun3-zone3 -- the best; good to the extreme position (adjective)
လဲ | leare3 -- ? (particle)

ဘယ်ဟာ အကောင်းဆုံးလဲ | beare2 ha2 a-koun3-zone3 leare3 -- Which (one) is the best?

Who is the best?

Similarly, you can ask who is the best, the tallest, the shortest, or the brightest, etc..

ဘယ်သူ | beare2 thu2 -- who (which + person)
အတော်ဆုံး | a-tau2-zone3 -- the best and the brightest
လဲ | leare3 -- ?

ဘယ်သူ အတော်ဆုံးလဲ | beare2 thu2 a-tau2-zone3 leare3 -- Who is the best?

When is the best time?

Here's an another useful question that you can ask.

ဘယ်အချိန် | beare2 a-chain2 -- when (which + time)
အကောင်းဆုံး | a-koun3-zone3 -- the best
လဲ | leare3 -- ?

ဘယ်အချိန် အကောင်းဆုံးလဲ | beare2 a-chain2 a-koun3-zone3 leare3 -- When is the best time?

Superlatives as adverbs

It is possible to use the same superlative word as an adjective or an adverb depending on the sentence construction. For example,

အကောင်းဆုံး အားကစားသမား | a-koun3-zone3 ah3-ga1-za3 tha1-ma3 -- the best athlete (best [adjective] + athlete [noun])

အကောင်းဆုံး လုပ်ပေးပါ | a-koun3-zone3 loat pay3 ba2 -- Please do the best for me. (best [adverb] + do {verb} + request [particle])

In the second sentence, "the best" refers to "how" of the verb "do". So, it is an adverb.

Superlatives as nouns

It is also possible for superlatives to be used as nouns. Grade 11 Myanmar students are taught that to construct such a sentence, there MUST NOT be a noun adjacent to the superlative as in the best "athlete" example shown above. It's like in English where "best" can be an adjective in the "best athlete", or the noun which refers to the person who is most outstanding. Here is an example of literary Burmese sentence:

သစ်များ | thit mya3 -- wood (noun) + plural (particle)
တွင် | dwin2 -- equivalent to "in", "at", "among" (postpositional marker)
အကောင်းဆုံး | a-koun3-zone3 -- best (noun)
သည် | dthi2 -- equivalent to "is"; makes "best" the subject (postpositional marker)
ကျွန်းသစ် | kjoon3-thit -- teak (noun)
ဖြစ်သည် | pfyit dthi2 -- be; happens to be (verb) + ending affirmative word (postpositional marker)

သစ်များ တွင် အကောင်းဆုံး သည် ကျွန်းသစ် ဖြစ်သည် | thit mya3 dwin2 a-koun3-zone3 dthi2 kjoon3-thit pfyit dthi2 -- Teak is the best among the woods.

Where is the highest mountain in the World?

Now, for the last part, we will build up the အရှည်ဆုံး | a-shay2-zone3 (longest) sentence of this lesson.

ကမ္ဘာ | ka1-ba2-- the World
ပေါ်မှာ | pau2-hma2 -- on (equivalent to preposition "in")
အမြင့်ဆုံး | a-myin1-zone3 -- the tallest
တောင် | toun2 -- mountain
ဘယ်မှာ | beare2-hma2 -- where
ရှိ | shi1 -- exist
လဲ | leare3 -- ?

ကမ္ဘာပေါ်မှာ အမြင့်ဆုံးတောင် ဘယ်မှာရှိလဲ | ka1-ba2 pau2-hma2 a-myin1-zone3 toun2 beare2-hma2 shi1 leare3 -- Where is the highest mountain in the World?