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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 contributions to the semiconductor industry included 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 that connects international community with ordinary Myanmar people.

Lesson 31: Conditional statements: IF, OR, ELSE, THEN in Burmese Language

Late Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Corporation, had once asked himself this question: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" He said the question had set his priorities straight, leaving only what is important.

Hmmm... let me think. One day is too late to correct life long mistakes for anyone. So...

in that case....

ဒါဆိုရင် | da2 hso2-yin2 — if this is the case (this + if)

စဉ်းစား | sin3-za3 — think; ponder (verb)

စရာ | sa1-ya2 — particle to form verb into noun: "something to think"

ပဲ | beare3 — exactly! (particle)

ပေါ့ | bau1 — (optional) roughly means "of course", or "since you put it that way.."

ဒါဆိုရင် စဉ်းစားစရာပဲပေါ့

da2 hso2-yin2 sin3-za3 sa1-ya2 beare3 bau1

Well, since you put it that way, then this is something to think about.

The particle စရာ | sa1-ya2

modifies the verb စဉ်းစား | sin3-za3think

into noun

စဉ်းစားစရာ | sin3-za3 sa1-ya2something to think about.

ဆိုရင် | hso2-yin2

meaning "if" is a conjunction (သမ္ဗန္ဓ | thun2-bun2-da1), and its literary form is

ဆိုလျှင် | hso2-hlyin2.

ဒါဆိုရင် | da2 hso2-yin2 — if this is the case (this + if)

ဘယ်လို | beare2-lo2 — how

လုပ် | loat — do

ကြ | ja1 — plural word ("we" implied.)

မလဲ | ma1-leare3 — ? (shall + ?)

ဒါဆိုရင် ဘယ်လို လုပ်ကြမလဲ

da2 hso2-yin2 beare2 lo2 loat ja1 ma1-leare3

What should we do, in this case?

ဒါဆိုရင် | da2 hso2-yin2 — if this is the case (this + if)

ဘာ | ba2 — what

လုပ် | loat — do

ကြ | ja1 — plural word ( "we" implied.)

မလဲ | ma1-leare3 — ? (shall + ?)

ဒါဆိုရင် ဘာလုပ်ကြမလဲ

da2 hso2-yin2 ba2 loat ja1 ma1-leare3

What shall we do now (since this has happened) ?

ဘာလုပ်ကြမလဲ

ba2 loat ja1 ma1-leare3

What shall we do now?

Good question. First, we will put that question in the form of song and dance. That's what we are going to do. Next, we are going to post that clip in the facebook. And then, we are going to embed that clip in this lesson, so the question becomes very, very interesting as well as entertaining.

What shall we do now?

ဘာလုပ်ကြမလဲ | ba2 loat ja1 ma1 leare3 — What shall we do now? Good question. First, we will put that question in the form of song and dance. That's what we are going to do. Next, we are going to post that clip in the facebook. And then, we are going to embed that clip in this lesson, so the question becomes very, very interesting as well as entertaining. [33 seconds]

Posted by Naing Tinnyuntpu on Sunday, May 22, 2016
Myanmar Grammar Notes:

The question word ba2 is usually pronoun as in the question: "What do you like?", or adjective as in the question: "What kind of dish do you like?

In the first question "what" refers to something and used in place of that "something", so it is a pronoun.

In the second question, "what" is used in reference to the "dish" (noun), and expects answers such as "the dish that is sweet", so it is an adjective.

However, in the question: "What do you want to do", "what" asks for the verbs such as "eat", "play", "sing". Therefore, it is more appropriate to classify it under adverb. (This appears to be an exception.)

There is a difference between the above two questions. The first question with ဘယ်လို | "beare2 lo2" (how) is more serious in nature. It is asking how to solve the problem and what kind of action to take in this "grave" seriousness to change the situation.

The second question with ဘာ | "ba2" (what) is less serious. For example, you can use that phrase in a situation where you go to the park for jogging and found it closed. So, you are asking (what) other activities can be done to kill the free time.

However, both questions are not appropriate for the situation above where you have only 24 hours to live. This is not a situation where you can change your fate with "beare2 lo2" (how) question.

ဒါဆိုရင် | da2 hso2-yin2 — if this is the case (this + if)

ဘယ်လို | beare2-lo2 — how

ပြော | pyau3 — to say

| ya1 — particle "can be done"

မလဲ | ma1-leare3 — ? (will + ?)

ဒါဆိုရင် ဘယ်လို ပြောရမလဲ

da2 hso2-yin2 beare2-lo2 pyau3 ya1 ma1-leare3

Then, how to say it?

Choosing the most appropriate

The appropriate word to use in this situation is thin1, which means "be proper and appropriate", of course. Hey, come to think of it, what would be more appropriate than "appropriate" itself :-)

ဒါဆိုရင် | da2 hso2-yin2 — if this is the case (this + if)

ဘာ | ba2 — what

လုပ် | loat — do

သင့် | thin1 — particle after the verb to mean "appropriate"; "suitable"; "should"

သလဲ | dtha1-leare3 — ?

ဒါဆိုရင် ဘာလုပ် သင့်သလဲ

da2 hso2-yin2 ba2 loat thin1 dtha1-leare3

What is the appropriate thing to do, in this case?

The particle သင့် | thin1 after the verb is the short for the word သင့်တော် | thin1-tau2 (verb), meaning be proper, suitable, and fitting.

သင့်တော်တယ်

thin1-tau2 deare2this is appropriate and fitting thing to do.

အသင့်တော်ဆုံး xxxx

a-thin1-tau2 zone3 xxxx most suitable; most appropriate xxxx

ဒါ အသင့်တော်ဆုံးပဲ

da2 a-thin1-tau2 zone3 beare3This is most appropriate!

အလုပ်သင့်ဆုံး xxxx

a-loat-thin1 zone3 xxxxmost appropriate xxxx to do

ဒါ အလုပ်သင့်ဆုံးပဲ

da2 a-loat-thin1 zone3 beare3This is the most appropriate thing to do!

ဒါဆိုရင် da2 hso2-yin2 — if this is the case (this + if)

ဘာ | ba2 — what

အလုပ်သင့်ဆုံး | a-loat-thin1 zone3 — most appropriate and fitting thing to do

လဲ | leare3 — ?

ဒါဆိုရင် ဘာ အလုပ်သင့်ဆုံးလဲ

da2 hso2-yin2 ba2 a-loat-thin1 zone3 leare3

What is the most appropriate thing to do, in this case?

Optimum Solution after nth iterations

Perhaps, somedays computers in the field of AI will become smart enough and wise enough to solve human dilemmas and come up with the answer something like this.

IF(today == my_last_day)THEN{

ဒါဆိုရင် | da2 hso2-yin2 — if this is the case (this + if)

ဘုရား | pfa1-ya3 — God (Christian), the Buddha (Buddhist)

သာ | dtha2 — only; just

| ta1 — to wish for

ပေတော့ | bay2 dau1 — do this and good luck!

ဒါဆိုရင် ဘုရားသာ တ ပေတော့

da2 hso2-yin2 pfa1-ya3 dtha2 ta1 bay2 dau1

In that case, say your prayers, and good luck!

}

ELSE

just relax;

ENDIF


You can put the stress or emphasis to what you say by repeating the sentence twice.

ဘုရားသာ တ ပေတော့ ၊ ဘုရားသာ တ ပေတော့

pfa1-ya3 dtha2 ta1 bay2 dau1 ...

pfa1-ya3 dtha2 ta1 bay2 dau1

I am telling you, say your prayers, and good luck to you!

Another IF word

So far, we have been using

ဒါဆိုရင် | da2 hso2-yin2

for IF statements and questions. There is an another IF word that is very similar.

ဒီလို | de2 lo2 — like this (this[pronoun] + like [particle])

ဆိုရင် | hso2-yin2if

ဒီလို ဆိုရင်

de2 lo2 hso2-yin2

If the situation is like this...

You can use either "da2 hso2-yin2" or "de2 lo2 hso2-yin2" for your IF statements.

My preference is to use "da2 hso2-yin2". I find that some of the sentences in the above examples don't have the smooth and natural flow with "de2 lo2 hso2-yin2". But, the choice is yours.

ဒီလို ဆိုရင် | de2 lo2 hso2-yin2 — if like this

ကောင်း | koun3 — good

တာ | da2 — that which is

ပေါ့ | bau1 — roughly means "of course", or "since you put it that way.."

ဒီလိုဆိုရင် ကောင်းတာပေါ့

de2 lo2 hso2-yin2 koun3 da2 bau1

if you say so, then, it's great...

OR ... ELSE

As you ponder over whether to do this or that, you can say half a sentence with a dramatic pause...

ဒါ | da2 — this

မှ | hma1 — referring to

| ma1 — not

ဟုတ် | hote — be correct

ရင် | yin2 — if

ဒါမှ မဟုတ်ရင်

da2 hma1 ma1-hote yin2if not, then....

Let's see what Steve Jobs had to say to graduating students at Stanford University.

news-service.stanford.edu

We must listen to our "inner voice". I see.

ဒါဆိုရင် | da2 hso2-yin2....

နားကြပ် | na1-jut — stethoscope

ကောင်းကောင်း | koun3-koun3 — good

ရှာ | sha2 — search for

ကြ | ja1 — plural word

ရ အောင် | ya1 oun2— let's

ဒါဆိုရင် နားကြပ် ကောင်းကောင်း ရှာကြရအောင်

da2 hso2-yin2 na1-jut koun3 koun3 sha2 ja1 ya1 oun2

In that case, let's look for a good stethoscope.