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Myanmar alphabets

Lesson 33: Learn to read Burmese Script

Burmese Script Learning Guide

Myanmar Script Learning Guide (PDF)

Revision: F
Revised Date: 2017-10-30
File Size: 650 KB
Number of Pages: 104

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Learning to read and pronounce Burmese script is the first step toward understanding the meaning behind the written words, and a necessary step toward competency in writing or typing in Burmese. In this lesson, I will introduce you to the characters and a system of pronunciation designed to help you to read Myanmar written words in the shortest possible time.

If you are the first time learner who has never seen the Myanmar written words, my recommendation is to start with recognition of characters and know the basic rules and general spelling patterns rather than memorizing everything. In this stage, you may not remember how all the characters and symbols are pronounced when put together, but you should be able to refer back to the reference guide, and at least be able to get the close pronunciation. My guess is that will be sufficient for most tourists and visitors who need to find out the pronunciation of just a word or two out of curiosity or necessity.

It should be noted that pronunciations of some words do not necessarily follow the way they are spelled. For example, the word Pagoda is spelled "Bu1 Ya3", but read "Pfa1 Ya3".

Historical evidence suggests that Myanmar Script has existed as far back as 11th Century Bagan Civilization. The living historical evidence is the 12th century Mya Zedi Pillar Script engraved in Mon, Myanmar, Pali, and Pyu languages. It is possible that some variants of Brahmi and Pyu scripts of the earlier Pyu city-states were in use in Bagan before adapting to the Mon script by King အနော်ရထာ | a-nau2-ra1-hta2 MP3 Audio File to transfer the knowledge of Tharavada Buddhism from the Mon.

COMPARISON TABLE OF MYANMAR, MON, PYU, AND BRAHMI SCRIPTS in the Myanmar-English dictionary published by the Department of the Myanmar Language Commission shows that 11th century Myanmar Script is closer to the Mon Script than Pyu script. But, note that Old Mon Script has missing 12th, 14th, and 32nd characters ဌ - ဎ - ဠ which look more like variants of Pyu and Brahmi.

Pyu script, just like Mon Script, was derived from the original Brahmi script of ancient India shown in the left column of the table.

To give a sense of timeline in history, Ancient Pyu script was in use as far back as 4-6 AD. In comparison, Old English based on Latin script was introduced to the Anglo-Saxon people of England in the 7th century, and Modern English began in the late 15th century. The works of William Shakespeare dated back to the early 17th century.

Dr. Judson, an American Missionary, who made a thorough study of the Burmese language theorized in his book GRAMMAR OF THE BURMESE LANGUAGE, published in 1883 that Burmese alphabet is modification of the ancient Nagari Script just like Pali, but not a modification of Sanskrit.

However, it should be noted that Sanskrit is the Language just like the Pali, and both the languages can be written in different scripts including Nagari, Devanāgarī, or even in modern English and Burmese. Nagari is said to be the old term for Devanagari, which itself is the Brahmic family of scripts, so most researchers today will agree with Dr. Judson.

As seen in the COMPARISON TABLE, shapes of several Burmese characters had evolved throughout the centuries to the present day print form. With the rise of "Bamar" people, Burmese script became the dominant script replacing Mon and Pyu in the land of what is known as Myanmar today. By the 18th century with the advent of printing, the shapes of all the 33 main characters had become almost identical to the present day characters.

The first Burmese book: Alphabetum Barmanum sev Bomanum Regni Avae Finitimarumque Regionum was first printed in 1776 AD (1138 Burmese Calendar year) in Rome by Typis Sacrae Congreg. de Propaganda Fide (Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith.) It is said to contain 60,000 Burmese typographic characters.

The first English to Burmese dictionary by the Englishman Charles Lane with the help of Burmese prince မက္ခရာမင်းသား | met-kha1-ya2 min3-tha3 was published in 1841. The sample below shows the printed Burmese Script from this dictionary. Although some of the spellings have changed since then, characters have the same shapes as the present day computer fonts. Also note that the 27th Burmese character | Ya1 in the Prince's name was pronounced with "R" sound instead of "Y" as met-kha1-ra2.

Burmese Script Sample printed in 1841

Yadanabon Naypyitaw Newspaper was first published on 24 March 1874 by Yadanabon Naypyitaw Press in Mandalay during King Mindon era.

(Reference: Rare Book Collection of National Library, Myanmar by By MYA OO, Director of the National Library of Myanmar.)

Today, just about anyone with a computer using Burmese font can print in Burmese. Spellings are standardized by Myanmar Language Commission.

You need browser version of at least IE 9.0, Chrome 4.0, Firefox 3.5, Safari 3.1, or Opera 10.0 to view Burmese font on this website properly.

Does your browser meet the requirement?

CCBot/2.0 (https://commoncrawl.org/faq/)

In earlier days, users need to have the font downloaded first. In addition, browser options must be changed. Fortunately, technology has much improved. For the web page, I am using CSS3 @font-face rule. You do not need to install any font to view this website as the font will be automatically loaded to the browser if your machine does not have it.

Burmese Script is the later addition to the original lessons. I have used a different type of unicode-compliant font in the past. I am now using Pyidaungsu font, which is the type used by the Myanmar government after they migrated from Zawgyi. This font is pre-installed in new computers and laptops sold in Myanmar, and it has become a default type of font.

Known Issues with fonts

If you have already pre-installed some other Burmese fonts that are not Unicode-compliant, you may see incorrect display of unicode-compliant fonts. You have the options of changing your default font in your browser setting, or un-install other fonts, or use an another machine without the Burmese font in it. To quote Wikipedia under the sub-heading "Why not Zawgyi":

Those who have Zawgyi or pseudo-Unicode fonts in their computers find their computers may display incorrect text and might affect other Unicode-supported applications.

Wikipedia

Font Display Test

The following passage is from the play "Water Seller" | ရေသည်ပြဇာတ် | yay2-dtheare2 pya1-zut by famous Burmese poet, playwright and author U Pone Nya | ဦးပုည | u3 pone2 nya1 during Konbaung Dynasty. If the font display in brown color matches the image below in blue color, the font is working correctly.

ဝါးကွဲထမ်းပိုး၊ ဆိုင်းပေါင်ကျိုးနှင့် ပုဆိုးညစ်တေ၊ ယောင်ထန်းစေ့မှုတ်၊
ခေါင်းမွေးစုတ်တဲ့ ကျုပ်ဖအေငယ်။ ရေကိုရောင်းစား၊ မောင့်စွမ်းအားနှင့်
စီးပွား တစ်နှစ်ဘယ်လောက်များ ဖြစ်ပါတုံး။ လက်ကပ်ခြေကပ်၊ ပိုမိုမြတ်လို့
အဖတ်တင် အိမ်တွင်ထုပ်ရ ကျုပ်မောင်လှမှာ ငွေစဘယ်လောက်များသလဲ။

Water Seller play by U Pone Nya

Burmese language has 33 main letters or characters known as byi3 | ဗျည်း. Those are comparable to 26 alphabets in English, but without uppercase and lowercase differentiation.

Each of those byi3 has the sound with the vowel "a" in the first tone. E.g., Ka1, Kha1, Ga1, Nga1, Sa1, Za1, Nya1 | က၊ ခ၊ ဂ၊ င၊ စ၊ ဇ၊ ည and so on. Several of those byi3 have variant byi3 with the same sound and some are seldom used.

Unlike English which can form words only with the vowels A,E,I,O,U within the 26 alphabetical system (except "by" and "my"), Burmese makes use of additional symbols known as tha1-ra1 | သရ, and byi3 tweare3 | ဗျည်းတွဲ. In this learning system, I have categorized those symbols under three groups:

  • Vowel Shift Symbols
  • Consonant Modification Symbols
  • Tone Change Symbols

In additional, Myanmar Written Language has standalone characters, double stacked words called thun2-yoat byi3 | သံယုဂ်ဗျည်း or pup hsin1 | ပါဌ်ဆင့် and other characters outside the 33 main characters that behave almost like byi3.

To simplify the learning process, I have categorized and grouped those symbols slightly different from Myanmar Spelling & Orthography Reference Book (မြန်မာစာလုံးပေါင်း သတ်ပုံကျမ်း) as published by the Ministry of Education (ပညာရေးဝန်ကြီးဌာန ၊ မြန်မာစာအဖွဲ့ဦးစီးဌာန) in Naypyitaw. The official publication in Burmese language intended to be used by teachers, students, government employees, and monks had the list of

  • 34 byi3 in byi3 sin2 | ဗျည်းစဉ် where sin2 means ordered list. The one extra byi3 shown with the brackets is Nya1 ga1-lay3 | , which is a Pali byi3 and, is given the same 10th position as the Burmese Nya1 | , which in official publication is called Nya1 Ji3 | ညကြီး.

  • 150 possible variations in vowels, tones including 8 single tone groups, combination of closing thut and tones, and standalone characters all lumped under the list of tha1-ra1 + a-thut sin2 | သရ နှင့် အသတ်စဉ်.

  • 11 possible combinations of "consonant modification symbols" listed under byi3 tweare3 sin2 | ဗျည်းတွဲစဉ် where tweare3 means to append or to attach.

All 33 plus one byi3, those listed under tha1-ra1 and thut sin2, and byi3 tweare3 sin2 fall under the category of et-kha1-ya2 | အက္ခရာ.

Myanmar Language written in left to right word order has punctuation marks similar to comma, and full stop (or period). poat pfyut | ပုဒ်ဖြတ် is a vertical line that has the same height as the normal character "Ka1" and usually used in separating the items in the list of similar items. Example:

က၊ ခ၊ ဂ၊ ဃ၊ င၊

poat ma1 | ပုဒ်မ is a double vertical line to indicate the end of the sentence. In addition, poat ma1 can also be used after the number 1,2,3 in the list instead of the brackets. Example:

၁။ တစ်
၂။ နှစ်
၃။ သုံး


"Double poat ma1" with ample space in between known as poat ma1 ji3 | | ပုဒ်မကြီး is used as tab in official business letters and government application forms following the word "Subject" in the header. Example:

အကြောင်းအရာ။     ။

"Double pote ma1" is also used as a writing style at the end of long articles and essays to indicate the ending.

Characters or letters that are more frequently used or seen are highlighted. Simple usage example is given for each letter.

1
က ka1 MP3 Audio File
ကကြီး | spelled as: Ka1 Kji3. Read as: Ka1 Ji3 as in
ကမကထ | ka1-ma1 ka1-hta1 - give leadership.
2
kha1 MP3 Audio File
ခခွေး | spelled as: Kha1 Khway3. Read as: Kha1 Gway3 as in
ခဏခဏ | kha1-na1 kha1-na1 - often.
3
ga1 MP3 Audio File
ဂငယ် | spelled as: Ga1 Ngeare2. Read as: Ga1 Ngeare2 as in
ဂဃနဏ | ga1 ga1 na1 na1 - differentiate clearly.
4
ga1 MP3 Audio File
ဃကြီး | spelled as: Ga1 Kji3. Read as Ga1 Ji3 as in
အာဃာတ | ah2 ga2 ta1 - grudge; vengefulness.
5
nga1 MP3 Audio File
| spelled as: Nga1. Read as Nga1 as in
စေ့င | say1 nga1 - be sufficient
6
sa1 MP3 Audio File
စလုံး | spelled as: Sa1 Lone3. Read as Sa1 Lone3 as in
အစအန | a-sa1 a-na1 - bits and pieces.
7
hsa1 MP3 Audio File
ဆလိမ် | spelled as: Hsa1 Lain2. Read as: Hsa1 Lain2 as in
ဆဋ္ဌမ | hsut hta1-ma1 - sixth.
8
za1 MP3 Audio File
ဇကွဲ | spelled as: Za1 Kweare3. Read as: Za1 Gweare3 as in
ဇဝန | za1-wa1-na1 - fast.
9
za1 MP3 Audio File
ဈမျည်းဆွဲ | spelled as: Za1 Myin3 Hsweare3. Read as: Za1 Myin2 Zweare3 as in
ဈာပန | za2 pa1-na1 - incineration.
10
၁၀
nya1 MP3 Audio File
ညကြီး | spelled as: Nya1 Kji3. Read as: Nya1 Ji3 as in
အညမည | a-nya1 ma1-nya1 - reciprocal relation.
11
၁၁
ta1 MP3 Audio File
ဋသန်လျင်းချိတ် | spelled as: Ta1 Thun2 Lyin3 Chate. Read as: Ta1 Ta1-Lin3-Jate as in
ပဋိပက္ခ | pa1-ti1 pet-kha1 - conflict.
12
၁၂
hta1 MP3 Audio File
ဌဝမ်းဘဲ | spelled as: Hta1 Wun3 Beare3. Read as: Hta1 Win2 Beare3 as in
အဋ္ဌမ | ut hta1-ma1 - 8th.
13
၁၃
da1 MP3 Audio File
ဍရင်ကောက် | spelled as: Da1 Yin2 Kout. Read as: Da1 Yin2 Gout as in
အာမေဍိတ် | ah2 may2 date - interjection.
14
၁၄
da1 MP3 Audio File
ဎရေမှုတ် | spelled as: Da1 Yay2 Hmoat. Read as: Da1 Yay2 Hmoat.
THIS WORD IS SELDOM USED.
15
၁၅
na1 MP3 Audio File
ဏကြီး | spelled as: Na1 Kji3. Read as: Na1 Ji3 as in
ပမာဏ | pa1-ma2 na1 - size; magnitude.
16
၁၆
ta1 MP3 Audio File
တဝမ်းပူ | spelled as: Ta1 Wun3 Pu2. Read as: Ta1 Win3 Bu2 as in
တဝ | ta1-wa1 - to fulfill.
17
၁၇
hta1 MP3 Audio File
ထဆင်ထူး | spelled as: Hta1 Hsin2 Htu3. Read as: Hta1 Hsin2 du3 as in
အထ | a-hta1 - pick-up speed.
18
၁၈
da1 MP3 Audio File
ဒထွေး | spelled as: Da1 Htway3. Read as: Da1 Dway3 as in
ဒသမ | dut tha1-ma1 - 10th.
19
၁၉
da1 MP3 Audio File
ဓအောက်ခြိုက် | spelled as: Da1 Out Chite. Read as: Da1 Out Chite as in
ဓန | da1-na1 - wealth.
20
၂၀
na1 MP3 Audio File
နငယ် | spelled as: Na1 Ngeare2. Read as: Na1 Ngeare2 as in
နဝမ | na1-wa1-ma1 - 9th.
21
၂၁
pa1 MP3 Audio File
ပစောက် | spelled as: Pa1 Sout. Read as: Pa1 Zout as in
ပထမ | pa-hta1-ma1 - first.
22
၂၂
pfa1 MP3 Audio File
ဖဦးထုပ် | spelled as: Pfa1 U Htoat. Read as: Pfa1 Oat Htoat as in
အဖ | a-pfa1 - male parent.
23
၂၃
ba1 MP3 Audio File
ဗထက်ခြိုက် | spelled as: Ba1 Htet Chite. Read as: Ba1 Det Chite as in
ဗလ | ba1-la1 - strength.
24
၂၄
ba1 MP3 Audio File
ဘကုန်း | spelled as: Ba1 Kone3. Read as: Ba1 Gome3 as in
ဘဝ | ba1-wa1 - life story.
25
၂၅
ma1 MP3 Audio File
| spelled as: Ma1. Read as: Ma1 as in
မရမက | ma1-ya1 ma1-ka1 - painstakingly try to get.
26
၂၆
ya1 MP3 Audio File
ယပက်လက် | spelled as: Ya1 Pet Let. Read as: Ya1 Pet Let as in
ယမကာ | ya1-ma1-ka2 - beverage.
27
၂၇
ya1 MP3 Audio File
ရကောက် | spelled as: Ya1 Kout. Read as: Ya1 Gout as in
ရသ | ya1 tha1 - taste.
28
၂၈
la1 MP3 Audio File
| spelled as: La1. Read as: La1 as in
လခမရ | la1 ga1 ma1-ya1 - no salary.
29
၂၉
wa1 MP3 Audio File
| spelled as: Wa1. Read as: Wa1 as in
ဝဝ | wa1 wa1 - until satiated.
30
၃၀
tha1 MP3 Audio File
| spelled as: Tha1. Read as: Tha1 as in
သမ | tha1-ma1 - to average out.
31
၃၁
ha1 MP3 Audio File
| spelled as: Ha1. Read as: Ha1 as in
အလဟဿ | a-la1-ha1 tha1 - wasted.
32
၃၂
La1 MP3 Audio File
ဠကြီး | spelled as: La1 Kji3. Read as: La1 Ji3 as in
စကြဝဠာ | set kja2 wa1-la2 - the Universe.
33
၃၃
ah1 MP3 Audio File
| spelled as: Ah1. Read as: Ah1 as in
အညတရ | a-nya1 ta1-ra1 - unknown average person.

NOTE: There is a slight difference in pronunciations of the sixth character | Sa1 lone3 and the seventh character | Hsa1 Lain2. The difference will be almost undetectable to the Westerners. Hsa1 Lain2 has more hissing sound produced by the tip of the tongue touching the upper palate.

Although there are 33 characters, only about 25 have distinct consonant sounds. Burmese can have additional consonants such as "Sha1" and "Cha1" using Consonant Modification Symbols known as

  • | ya1 pin1 | ယပင့် which is "j" shaped and appended at the lower right side of the character,

  • | ya1 yit | ရရစ် which looks like a 3/4 of the rectangle with open end at the right side that surrounds the character,

  • | wa1 hsweare3 | ဝဆွဲ which has "o" or triangle shape depending on the font type that goes below the character, and

  • | ha1 hto3 | ဟထိုး which looks like a mirror image of "L" facing to the left side that goes under the character. When used in combination with wa1 hsweare3, it will only appear as a small dash or a tiny back slash to the left of wa1 hsweare3 like this: ဝွှ

Consonant Modification Symbols neither change the tone nor the vowel ending. Characters remain in the first tone with the vowel "a". Both ya1 yit and ya1 pin1 have the same consonant modification effects, and in combination with several characters which can have the same sound, several spelling variations are possible. However, it will be encouraging to know that reading Burmese will be much easier than writing with the correct spelling.

Note: Yellow background indicates consonants that are completely modified. Usage examples are given in the right column.

Consonant Modifications Table
Combinations Spell Audio
Ka1 Ji3 + ya1 pin1 ကျ Kja1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ယောက်ျားပီသ | yout-kja3 pe2-tha1 : manly.
Ka1 Ji3 + ya1 yit ကြ Kja1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ကြိုးစားအားထုတ် | kjo3-za3 ah3-htoat : diligent.
Ka1 Ji3 + ya1 yit ကြ ja1 <<MP3 AUDIO>> (spoken variation)
ကလေးတို့ရေ လာကြ | kha1-lay3-doh1 yay2 la2 ja1 : come children!
Ka1 Ji3 + ya1 yit ကြ kra1 <<MP3 AUDIO>> (Pali variation)
ကြိယာ | ka1-ri1-ya2 : verb.
Ka1 Ji3 + wa1 hsweare3 ကွ Kwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ကွင်းဆင်းလေ့လာ | kwin3-hsin3 lay1-la2 : field trip study.
Ka1 Ji3 + ya1 pin1 + wa1 hsweare3 ကျွ Kjwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ကျင်လည်ကျွမ်းကျင် | kjin2-leare2 kjoon3-kjin2 : expertise.
Ka1 Ji3 + ya yit + wa1 hsweare3 ကြွ Kjwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
တက်တက်ကြွကြွ | tet-tet kjwa1-jwa1 : energetically.
Kha1 Gway3 + ya1 pin1 ချ Cha1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
တုန်လှုပ်ချောက်ချား | tone2-hloat chout-cha3 : frightened.
Kha1 Gway3 + ya1 yit ခြ Cha1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ဆင်ခြင်သုံးသပ် | hsin2-chin2 thone3-thut : contemplate.
Kha1 Gway3 + wa1 hsweare3 ခွ Khwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ခွင့်လွှတ်စာနာ | khwin1-hloot sa2-na2 : forgive out of compassion.
Kha1 Gway3 + ya1 pin1 + wa1 hsweare3 ချွ Chwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
​ချွေတာခြိုးခြံ | chway2-ta2 cho3-chan2 : sparingly.
Kha1 Gway3 + ya1 yit + wa1 hsweare3 ခြွ Chwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ခြွင်းချက်မရှိ | chwin3-jet ma1-shi1 : without exception.
Ga1 Ngeare2 + ya1 yit ဂြ Ja1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
နက္ခတ် ၊ ဂြိုဟ် ၊ ကြယ် | net-khut jo2 kjeare2 : stars & planets.
Ga1 Ngeare2 + ya1 pin1 ဂျ Ja1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ဂျပန်လူမျိုး | ja1-pan2 lu2-myo3 : Japanese ethnic.
Ga1 Ngeare2 + wa1 hsweare3 ဂွ Gwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ဝါဂွမ်းချည်မျှင် | wa2-goon3 chi2-hmyin2 : cotton thread.
Nga1 + ya1 yit ငြ Nya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ငြီးငွေ့ပျင်းရိ | nyi3-ngway1 pyin3-yi1 : boredom & sloth.
Nga1 + ya1 yit + ha1 hto3 ငြှ Hnya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ငြှိမ်း | hnyain3 : to extinguish; variant = ငြိမ်း
Nga1 + wa1 hsweare3 ငွ Ngwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ငွေကုန်လူပန်း | ngway2-kone2 lu2-pan3 : wasted efforts.
Nga1 + ha1 hto3 ငှ Hnga1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ငှက်ကြီးဝန်ပို | hnget-ji3 woon2-bo2 : pelican.
Sa1 Lone3 + wa1 hsweare3 စွ Swa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
တွယ်တာစွဲမက် | tweare2-ta2 sweare3-met : cling & craze.
Hsa1 Lain2 + wa1 hsweare3 ဆွ Hswa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
လှည့်ဖြားဆွဲဆောင် | hleare1-pfya3 hsweare3-hsoun2 : beguile.
Za1 Gweare3 + wa1 hsweare3 ဇွ Zwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ဇွတ်တရွတ်နှင့် | zoot-ta1-yoot hnin1 : imprudent action.
Nya1 + wa1 hsweare3 ညွ Nywa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
မဆွတ်ခင်ညွတ် | ma1-hsoot khin2 nyoot : willingly taken.
Nya1 + ha1 hto3 ညှ Hnya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ညှို့ဆွယ်ပြုစား | hnyo1-hsweare2 pyu1-za3 : entice & bewitch.
Nya1 + wa1 hsweare3 + ha1 hto3 ညွှ Hnya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ညွှန်ကြားရေးမှုး | hnyoon2-kja3-yay3 hmu3 : director.
Na1 Ji3 + ha1 hto3 ဏှ Hna1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
တဏှာရာဂ | ta1-hna2 ya2-ga1 : sexual thoughts.
Ta1 Win3 Bu2 + ya1 pin1 တျ Tra1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ထံတျာတေတျော | htan2-ta1-ra2 tay2-ta1-ra2 : do-re-mi-fa.
Ta1 Win3 Bu2 + ya1 yit တြ Tra1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
တြိဂံပုံသဏ္ဌာန် | tri1-gun2 pone2-dtha1-dun2 : triangular shape.
Ta1 Win3 Bu2 + wa1 hsweare3 တွ Twa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ထိုင်းမှိုင်း​တွေဝေ | htine3-hmine3 tway2-way2 : dull.
Hta1 Hsin2 du3 + wa1 hsweare3 ထွ Htwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ယုတ်မာထွားကျိုင်း | yoat-ma2 htwa3-kjine3 : despicable.
Da1 Dway3 + ya1 yit ဒြ Dra1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ဓာတုဒြပ်ဖို | da2-tu1 drut pfo2 : crucible.
Da1 Dway3 + wa1 hsweare3 ဒွ Dwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ဒွိစုံသင်္ကန်း | dwe1-zone2 thin2-gun3 : full set of monk's robes.
Na1 Ngeare2 + ya1 pin1 နျ Naya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
နျူကလိယ | nyu2-ka1-li1-ya1 : nuclear energy.
Na1 Ngeare2 + wa1 hsweare3 နွ Nwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
နွားကွဲကျားကိုက် | nwa3 kweare3 kja3 kite : weaken by disharmony.
Na1 Ngeare2 + ha1 hto3 နှ Hna1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
နှစ်သက်တပ်မက် | hnit-thet tut-met : to desire.
Na1 Ngeare2 + wa1 hsweare3 + ha1 hto3 နွှ Hnwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
နွေးအောင်​နွှေးပါ | nway3 oun2 hnway3 ba2 : heat to warm.
Pa1 Zout + ya1 pin1 ပျ Pya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ပျူပျူငှာငှာ | pyu2 pyu2 hnga2 hnga2 : amiable & pleasant.
Pa1 Zout + ya1 yit ပြ Pya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
​ပြောထုံးဆိုထုံး | pyau3 htone3 hso2 htone3 : adage; maxim.
Pa1 Zout + wa1 hsweare3 ပွ Pwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ပွတ်သီးပွတ်သပ် | poot thi3 poot thut : mingle & touch.
Pa1 Zout + ya1 yit + wa1 hsweare3 ပြွ Pywa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ပြွတ်သိပ်ရှုပ်ထွေး | pyoot-thate shoat-htway3 : dense & complex.
Pfa1 Oat Htoat + ya1 pin1 ဖျ Pfya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
နိုးကြားဖျတ်လတ် | no3-kja3 pfyut-lut : vigilant.
Pfa1 Oat Htoat + ya1 yit ဖြ Pfya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ခဏတစ်ဖြုတ် | kha1-na1 ta1-pfyoat : momentarily.
Pfa1 Oat Htoat + wa1 hsweare3 ဖွ Pfwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ဖွံ့ဖြိုးတိုးတက် | pfoon1-pfyo3 toe3-tet : developed.
Ba1 Det Chite + ya1 pin1 ဗျ bya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ကဗျာဆန်ဆန် | ga1-bya2 hsun2 zun2 : poetic.
Ba1 Det Chite + ya1 yit ဗြ bya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
​ဗြောက်အိုးမီးပန်း | byout-o3 mi3-bun3 : firecrackers.
Ba1 Det Chite + wa1 hsweare3 ဗွ Bwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
လက်​ဗွေလက်ရာ | let-bway2 let-ya2 : fingerprints.
Ba1 Gome3 + wa1 hsweare3 ဘွ Bwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ဘွဲ့နှင်းသဘင် | bweare1 hnin3 dtha1-bin2 : graduation ceremony.
Ma1 + ya1 pin1 မျ Mya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
မျက်ရိပ်မျက်ခြည် | myet-yate myet-chi2 : facial expressions.
Ma1 + ya1 yit မြ Mya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
မြင်ယောင်ထင်မှား | myin2 youn2 htin2 hma3 : illusion.
Ma1 + wa1 hsweare3 မွ Mwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
မွမ်းမံပြင်ဆင် | moon3-mun2 pyin2-hsin2 : enhance.
Ma1 + ha1 hto3 မှ Hma1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
မျက်မှောက်ကာလ | myet-hmout ka2-la1 : present day era.
Ma1 + ya1 yit + wa1 hsweare3 မြွ Mwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
​မြွေလိမ်မြွေကောက် | mway2-lain2 mway2-gout : long & winding.
Ma1 + ya1 pin1 + ha1 hto3 မျှ Hmya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
မျှစ်ချဉ်ဟင်းခါး | hmyit-chin2 hin3-ga3 : sour bamboo shoots.
Ma1 + ya1 yit + ha1 hto3 မြှ Hmya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အ​မြှောက်ဂဏန်း | a-hmyout ga1-nun3 : multiplication.
Ma1 + wa1 hsweare3 + ha1 hto3 မွှ Hmwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ရောဂါပိုးမွှား | yau3-ga2 po3-hmwa3 : germs.
Ma1 + ya1 yit + wa1 hsweare3 + ha1 hto3 မြွှ Hmwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အမြွှာမွေးဖွား | a-hmwa2 mway3 pfwa3 : give birth to twins.
Ya1 Pet Let + wa1 hsweare3 ယွ Ywa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
မှားယွင်းချက်များ | hma3 ywin3 jet mya3 : errors.
Ya1 Pet Let + ya1 pin1 ယျ Ya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ပန်းခြံဥယျာဉ် | pan3-chan2 u1-yin2 : garden.
Ya1 Pet Let + ha1 hto3 ယှ Sha1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ယှဉ်ပြိုင်ဆင်နွှဲ | shin2-pyine2 hsin2-hnweare3 : compete.
Ya1 Gout + wa1 hsweare3 ရွ Ywa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ငယ်ရွယ်နုနယ် | ngeare2-yweare2 nu1-neare2 : youthful & tender.
Ya1 Gout + ha1 hto3 ရှ Sha1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ရုပ်ရှင်လောက | yoat-shin2 lau3-ka1 : movie industry.
Ya1 Gout + wa1 hsweare3 + ha1 hto3 ရွှ Shwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ပျော်ရွှင်မြူးကြွ | pyau2-shwin2 myu3-kjwa1 : happy & excited.
La1 + ya1 pin1 လျ lya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ဟင်းလျာချက်ပြုတ် | hin3-lya2 chet-pyoat : cuisine; culinary.
La1 + wa1 hsweare3 လွ Lwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
လွတ်ငြိမ်းချမ်းသာ | loot-nyain3 chan3-dtha2 : amnesty.
La1 + ha1 hto3 လှ Hla1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
လှိုက်လှိုက်လှဲလှဲ | hlite-hlite hleare3-hleare3 : whole-heartedly.
La1 + ya1 pin1 + ha1 hto3 လျှ Hlya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>> or Sha1
လျှို့ဝှက်သူလျှို | hlyo1-hwet da1-sho2 : espionage.
La1 + wa1 hsweare3 + ha1 hto3 လွှ Hlwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ခုန်ပျံကျော်လွှား | khone2-pyan2 kjau2-hlwa3 : overcome obstacles.
Wa1 + ha1 hto3 ဝှ Wha1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
လက်​ဝှေ့ထိုးကြိတ် | let-hway1 hto3-kjate : boxing.
Tha1 + ya1 pin1 + ha1 hto3 သျှ Sha1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
ဥသျှစ်သီးစား | oat-shit-thi3 sa3 : to eat bael fruit.
Tha1 + wa1 hsweare3 သွ Thwa1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
​သွေးစည်းညီညွတ် thway3-si3 nyi2-nyoot : unity & harmony.

NOTE: The example words and phrases on the right column of the above table make use of consonant modified words in their base form, i.e., Vowel 'A1', from which they are further modified and shifted into different vowels and tones. The middle column shows all possible consonant variations in the base "A1" form before tone change and before shifting into different vowels. See Myanmar English Dictionary under Vowel 'A' for list of words with tone variations before shifting into other vowels.

Vowel shift symbols change the characters and partially modified words into different vowel endings sometimes accompanied by tone change in the new vowel group.

  • | lone3 ji3 tin2 | လုံးကြီးတင်
  • | ta1-choun3 ngin2 | တစ်ချောင်းငင်
  • | thut | သတ်
  • | thay3 thay3 tin2 | သေးသေးတင်
  • | thway2 hto3 | သဝေထိုး
  • | nout pyit | နောက်ပစ်
  • ာင် | yay3 cha1 + Nga1 thut | ရေးချ င သတ်

The following table shows the general format applicable to several words and it will help you to read the written words. Writing needs a higher skill level as words with correct spelling must be learned through reading or from the dictionary.

Vowel Shift Symbols Table
Vowels Combinations
a1 Original form with vowel "a" in the 1st. tone :
က ၊ ခ ၊ ဂ ၊ ဃ ၊ င - ka1 kha1 ga1 ga1 nga1 MP3 Audio File

e (or) i Use "o" shape lone3 ji3 tin2 on top or Nya1 thut :
သိ၊ သည် - thi1 dthi2 MP3 Audio File

u Use "L" shape ta1-choun3 ngin2 at the bottom :
ကု ၊ ခု ၊ စု ၊ ဆု ၊ တု ၊ ထု - ku1 khu1 su1 hsu1 tu1 htu1 MP3 Audio File

o Use "o" shape lone3 ji3 tin2 on top + ta1-choun3 ngin2 :
ကို ၊ ခို ၊ ငို ၊ ဆို ၊ အို - ko2 kho2 ngo2 hso2 o2 MP3 Audio File

Ay Use upside down "e" shape thway2 hto3 at the left :
နေ၊ မေ၊ လေ၊ ရေ - nay2 may2 lay2 yay2 MP3 Audio File

Au Modify tone with yay3 cha1 on the right to get "a2". Then use thway2 hto3 at the left to get "Au3".
စော၊ တော၊ မော၊ လော - sau3 tau3 mau3 lau3 MP3 Audio File

un (or) an Use Na1 thut or Ma1 thut or thay3 thay3 tin2 or Na1 ji3 thut :
ကန်၊ ကမ်၊ ဆံ၊ ဘဏ် - kun2 kun2 hsun2 bun2 MP3 Audio File

in Use Nga1 thut or Nya1 ga1-lay3 thut or Nga1 ga1-lay3 thut :
ကင် ၊ စဉ် ၊ မင်္ဂလာ - kin2 sin2 min2-ga1-la2 MP3 Audio File

eare Use nout pyit to get 3rd. tone. Use Ya1 thut or Nya1 thut for 2nd. tone :
ကဲ၊ ခဲ၊ မဲ၊ ကယ်၊ မယ်၊ လယ်၊ ဝယ်၊ လည်၊ တည် - keare3 kheare3 meare3 keare2 meare2 leare2 weare2 leare2 teare2 MP3 Audio File

ainUse lone3 ji3 tin2 + either Ma1 thut or Na1 thut :
စိန် ၊ ပိန် ၊ တိမ် ၊ အိမ် - sain2 pain2 tain2 ain2 MP3 Audio File

ome Use ta1-choun3 ngin2 + Na1 thut or Na-ji3-thut or thay3 thay3 tin2:
ကုန်၊ ခုန်၊ ဂုဏ်၊ ဂုံ၊ ပုံ၊ လုံ၊ ယုံ - kone2 khone2 gome2 gome2 pone2 lone2 yone2 MP3 Audio File

ine (or) ime Use lone3 ji3 tin2 + ta1-choun3 ngin2 + Nga1 thut :
ကိုင် ၊ ခိုင် ၊ ဆိုင် ၊ နိုင် - kine2 khine2 hsine2 nine2 MP3 Audio File

oon Modify consonant with wa1 hsweare3. Then use Na1 thut or Ma1 thut or Thay-thay3-tin2 :
ခွန်၊ စွန်၊ တွန်၊ မွမ်၊ လွမ်၊ နွံ - khoon2 soon2 toon2 moon2 loon2 noon2 MP3 Audio File

oun Modify tone with yay3 cha1. Then thway2 hto3 + Nga1 thut to get "Oun2":
ကောင်၊ ခေါင်၊ တောင်၊ မောင်၊ လောင်၊ အောင် - koun2 khoun2 toun2 moun2 loun2 oun2 MP3 Audio File

The following table shows how the initial vowels in the base tones can be changed into other tones by

  • (above or sideway like) | yay3 cha1 | ရေးချ
  • | wit sa1 pout | ဝစ္စပေါက်
  • | hsun khut | ဆန်ခတ်
  • | hna1-choun3 ngin2 | နှစ်ချောင်းငင်
  • | out myit | အောက်မြစ်

The first tone is achieved in many vowels by adding a small dot under the character known as out ga1 myit, or out myit | အောက်မြစ်. The symbol that looks like a colon (:) called wit sa1 pout or wit sa1 hna1-lone3 pout or shay1 ga1 pout at the right side of the character changes the word into the third tone in many cases. yay3 cha1 is also called mout cha1 | မောက်ချ if it hovers above the character. The sideway type is called wite cha1 | ဝိုက်ချ.

Tone Change Symbols Table
Vowels Tone Change Combinations
a1 Use yay3 cha1:
ကကာ - Ka1-Ka2 MP3 Audio File

a2 Add wit sa1 pout:
ကာကား - Ka2-Ka3 MP3 Audio File

e1; i1 Use hsun2 khut:
ကိကီ - Ki1-Ki2 MP3 Audio File

e2; i2 Add wit sa1 pout:
ကီကီး - Ki2-Ki3 MP3 Audio File

u1 Use hna1-choun3 ngin2:
ကုကူ - Ku1-Ku2 MP3 Audio File

u2 Add wit sa1 pout:
ကူကူး - Ku2-Ku3 MP3 Audio File

o2 Use out myit:
ကိုကို့ - Ko2-Ko1 MP3 Audio File

o2 Use wit sa1 pout:
ကိုကိုး - Ko2-Ko3 MP3 Audio File

ay2 Use out myit:
ကေကေ့ - Kay2-Kay1 MP3 Audio File

ay2 Use wit sa1 pout:
ကေကေး - Kay2-Kay3 MP3 Audio File

au3 Use shay1 hto3 (thut symbol):
ကောကော် - Kau3-Kau2 MP3 Audio File

au3 Use out myit:
ကောကော့ - Kau3-Kau1 MP3 Audio File

un2; an2 Use out myit:
ကန်ကန့် - Kun2-Kun1 MP3 Audio File

un2; an2 Use wit sa1 pout:
ကန်ကန်း - Kun2-Kun3 MP3 Audio File

in2 Use out myit:
ကင်ကင့် - Kin2-Kin1 MP3 Audio File

in2 Use wit sa1 pout:
ကင်ကင်း - Kin2-Kin3 MP3 Audio File

eare2 Use out myit:
ကယ်ကယ့် - Keare2-keare1 MP3 Audio File

eare3 Use out myit:
ကဲကဲ့ - Keare3-Keare1 MP3 Audio File

ain2 Use out myit:
ကိန်ကိန့် - Kain2-Kain1 MP3 Audio File

ain2 Use wit sa1 pout:
ကိန်ကိန်း - Kain2-Kain3 MP3 Audio File

ome2 Use out myit:
ကုန်ကုန့် - Kone2-Kone1 MP3 Audio File

ome2 Use wit sa1 pout:
ကုန်ကုန်း - Kone2-Kone3 MP3 Audio File

ine2 Use out myit:
ကိုင်ကိုင့် - Kine2-Kine1 MP3 Audio File

ine2 Use wit sa1 pout:
ကိုင်ကိုင်း - Kine2-Kine3 MP3 Audio File

oon2 Use out myit:
ကွန်ကွန့် - Koon2-Koon1 MP3 Audio File

oon2 Use wit sa1 pout:
ကွန်ကွန်း - Koon2-Koon3 MP3 Audio File

oun2 Use out myit:
ကောင်ကောင့် - Koun2-Koun1 MP3 Audio File

oun2 Use wit sa1 pout:
ကောင်ကောင်း - Koun2-Koun3 MP3 Audio File

Variation in spellings and eight additional distinct sounds are possible using different သတ် | thut that goes on top of different characters. Thut looks like "c" or a small open bracket. Ta1 thut is the thut that goes on top the character "Ta1". Those are the common areas that spelling mistakes are made.

Single Tones Table
Group Thut
AteUse lone3 ji3 tin2 + Ta1 thut or Pa1 thut:
ကိတ် ၊ စိတ် ၊ ဖိတ် ၊ သိပ် ၊ လိပ် - Kate Sate Pfate Thate Late MP3 Audio File

EtUse Ka1 thut:
ခက် ၊ စက် ၊ ဝက် ၊ လက် - Khet Set Wet Let MP3 Audio File

OotUse wa1 hsweare3 + Ta1 thut or Pa1 thut:
ခွတ် ၊ စွပ် ၊ သွတ် ၊ သွပ် - Khoot Soot Thoot Thoot MP3 Audio File

OutUse thway2 hto3 + yay3 cha1 + Ka1 thut :
ကောက် ၊ ခေါက် ၊ ဆောက် ၊ သောက် - Kout Khout Hsout Thout MP3 Audio File

IkeUse lone3 ji3 tin2 + ta1-choun3 ngin2 + Ka1 thut :
ကိုက် ၊ စိုက် ၊ တိုက် ၊ အိုက် - Kite Site Tite Ike MP3 Audio File

UtUse Ta1 thut or Pa1 thut :
တတ် ၊ တပ် ၊ ထပ် ၊ အပ် - Tut Tut Htut Ut MP3 Audio File

OatUse ta1-choun3 ngin2 + Ta1 thut or Pa1 thut :
ကုတ် ၊ ခုပ် ၊ ထုတ် ၊ ထုပ် - Koat Khoat Htoat Htoat MP3 Audio File

ItUse Sa1 thut:
စစ်၊ ညစ်၊ တစ်၊ ပစ် - Sit Nyit Tit Pyit MP3 Audio File

NOTE: When thut goes on top of the vowel au sounding words on top of yay3 cha1, it is called ရှေ့ထိုး | shay1 hto3. Examples: ကော်၊ ဆော်၊ ဪ | kau2, hsau2, au2. Also note that should be typed with a single keystroke as a whole in unicode standard.

Burmese doesn't have closing consonant sounds. English loan word "size" is commonly spoken as "site" without "t" sound. However, modern Burmese words append Sa1 thut inside the brackets to imitate the closing (s) sound. Similarly, it is possible to spell (ch) and (sh) endings to express foreign words. In some cases, brackets are omitted. For example, "Ford" can be spelled with an extra Da1 Dway3 thut. "Web" in "Website" is spelled with an extra Ba1 gome3 thut.

Modern Closing Thuts Table
Closing Thut with or without brackets
Face
book
Append Sa1 thut as in "Facebook" :
ဖေ့စ်ဘွတ်ခ် or just ဖေ့စ်ဘွတ်
soft
ware
Append Pfa1 thut :
ဆော့ဖ်ဝဲ
Bangla-
desh
Append Ya1 + ha1 hto3 + thut :
ဘင်္ဂလားဒေ့ရှ်⁠⁠
Web
site
Append Ba1 gome3 thut:
ဝက်ဘ်ဆိုက်
e-mail Append La1 thut:
အီးမေး(လ်)
mail box Append Ka1 thut + Sa1 thut:
မေးလ်ဘောက်စ်
laptop Append Pa1 thut :
လက်ပ်တော့
Ford Append Da1 Dway3 thut :
ဖို့ဒ်

Those are words with double-stacked characters in the middle. Dobule-stacked words are called dway3 bau2 | ဒွေးဘော် or more commonly pup hsin1 | ပါဌ်ဆင့် where pup | ပါဌ် means Pali word, and hsin1 | ဆင့် means to stack up.

However, not all the double-stacked words are Pali words. Examples:

yout-kha1-ma1 | ယောက္ခမ - father-in-law or mother-in-law
mate-tu2 | မိတ္တူ - duplicate; photocopy
tet-si2 | တက္ကစီ - taxi.

Usually, thut is omitted for the character on top. The character below must then be brought up to the same level and combine with whatever that follows.

For example, in "Bun2 Du1 La1" | ဗန္ဓုလ,
Ba1 Det Chite | +
Na1 thut | န် spells
Bun2 | ဗန်.

However, in double-stacked word, lower part of Na1 Ngeare2 | and thut on top are missing.

For the second syllable, bring
Da1 Out Chite | up and combine with ta1-choun3 ngin2 | to pronounce
"Du1 | ဓု.

This is followed by the third syllable La1 | character itself.

bun2-du1-la1 | ဗန္ဓုလ = ဗန် + ဓု + လ

The character Na1 Ngeare2 | as seen above, when double-stacked, gets its lower part cut off. This is true regardless of whether it is on top or below. It is possible to have words with double-stacked both on top and below. Examples:

  • သန္နိဋ္ဌာန် | thun2-nate-htun2 : determination.
  • ပန္နက် | pa1-net : The first foundation stone for the building.
  • ပိန္နဲပင် | pain3-neare3 pin2 : Jackfruit tree.

The character Da1 Yin2 Gout | must be rotated 90 degree counter-clockwise when stacked under character the Na1 ji3 | to appear like ဏ္ဍ. Examples:

  • ကဏ္ဍ | kun2-da1: section; sector; episode.
  • မဏ္ဍပ် | mun3-dut : temporary housing and stage used during celebrations such as in Burmese Water Festival.
  • မဏ္ဍိုင် | mun2-dine2 : central foundation.
  • ဘဏ္ဍာရေးနှစ် | bun2-da2-yay3 hnit : fiscal year.
  • ပုဏ္ဍရိက်ပင် | pone2-na1-yate pin2 : a type of hedge plant called ixora coccinea
  • ဒဏ္ဍာရီ | dun2-da2-yi2 : a fairy tale.

The character Hta1 win2 beare3 | must be rotated 90 degree clockwise when stacked under the character Na1 ji3 | to appear like ဏ္ဌ. Example:

ပုံသဏ္ဌာန် | pone2 dtha1-dun2 : shape and appearance.

It is possible to have Burmese words with more than one double-stacked characters in a sequence. For example, အတ္ထုပ္ပတ္တိ | ut-htoat pup-ti1 means biography.

The less common double-stacked words are those with on top and at the bottom. Example:

myit-zi1-ma1 | မဇ္ဈိမ - middle as in myit-zi1-ma1 ba1-de1 ba1-da2 | မဇ္ဈိမပဋိပဒါ - The Middle Way (Buddhism).

A class of double-stacked words are formed with a superscript င် | Nga1 thut that goes on top of characters. This symbol is called kin3 si3 | ကင်းစီး. Examples:

မင်္ဂလာ | min2-ga1-la2 - (something) auspicious.
မသင်္ကာ | ma1-thin2-ga2 - suspicious.
သင်္ဘော | thin3-bau3 - ship.
သင်္ချာ | thin2-cha2 - math.
အင်္ဂလိပ်စာ | in3-ga1-late sa2 - English Language.

In some words like စကြဝဠာ | Set-kja2 wa1-la2, which means the Universe, the word Ka1 is not double-stacked, but the effect is like a double-stacked word with missing Ka1 thut. It is pronounced as (စက် + ကြာ + ဝ + ဠာ).

Here is an another word with the consonant modification symbol ya1 yit | taking its own role as well as the role of a double-stacked ka1| က္က:

thout-kja2 nay1| သောကြာနေ့ - Friday is read as သောက် + ကြာ + နေ့.

When | ya1 pet let is stacked at the bottom, it is represented by the consonant modification symbol | ya1-pin1. Examples:

let-ya2 | လက်ျာ - right-hand side.

u1-yin2 | ဥယျာဉ် - garden.

double-stacked nya1 ga1-lay3 | combination is represented by nya1 | . Examples:

pyin2-nya2 | ပညာ - knowledge.

thin2-nyet khan2-da2 | သညက္ခန္ဓာ - faculty of perception.

wain2-nyin2 | ဝိညာဉ် - consciousness.

When two tha1 | are double-stacked together, it simplifies to tha1 ji3 | . Example:

ma1-noat-tha1 | မနုသ္သ simplifies to ma1-noat-tha1 | မနုဿ - human.

When and are stacked, it becomes ဋ္ဌ as in ut-hta1-ma1 | အဋ္ဌမ - eighth. That's why this word is listed after ဧည့် with nya1 thut by the Myanmar Languague Commission in the dictionary.

Stand-alone characters are not part of the main 33 alphabet (or character) system, but many of those are commonly used in standard official level documents, newspapers, and in literature.

The following stand-alone characters cannot be combined with others and they are commonly used in the literary form.

Stand Alone Characters Table
Letter Romanization with Audio Meaning
Yway1 <<MP3 AUDIO>> therefore; conjunction between verbs
E1 <<MP3 AUDIO>> ending word "to be"
E2 <<MP3 AUDIO>> this
Hnite <<MP3 AUDIO>> at
၎င်း La1-goun3 <<MP3 AUDIO>> above-mentioned

၎င်း | La1-goun3 meaning that or above-mentioned has the character that looks like number 4 or | lay3 in Burmese followed by Nga1 thut and shay1 ga1 pout | င်း. Some font makers have considered this word as a single word, so it is faster to type it.

The following additional characters outside 33 Byi3 behave almost like the main 33 Byi3 and can be combined with Vowel Shift Symbols and tone Change Symbols. The difference between those characters and the main 33 Byi3 is that they cannot be combined with Consonant Modification Symbols (ya1 pin1, ya1 yit, wa1 hsweare3, and ha1 hto3).

Additional Characters Table
Symbol Character Name Audio
Nya1 ga1-lay3 Nya1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
similar to
ဋ္ဌ Hta1 Hta1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
similar to with hidden on top.
Tha1 Ji3 Tha1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
Et-kha1-ya2 Ay3 Ay2 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
or Ay3 as in Adam & Eve အေဒင် နှင့် ဧဝ
U1 U1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
Et-kha1-ya2 Au3 Au3 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
E1 E1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>

Character | Nya1 ga1-lay3 is officially shown next to the character | Nya1 and is given the same 10th position in the list of 33 Byi3.

There are just a handful of Burmese words using . The frequency of the usage mostly comes from the single word

ဉာဏ် | nyan2

which means intelligence. Note how the bottom part of gets stretched in the above word. The word can also be part of the male Burmese name such as

ဦးဉာဏ်ထွန်း | U3 Nyan2 Htoon3

and should not be mixed up when typing in unicode standard.

ကံ ၊ ဉာဏ် ၊ ဝီရိယ | kun2, nyan2, wa1-ri1-ya1

refer to combination of "outcome of previous deeds", intellect, and hardwork, which determine the fate of the person.

ဉာဏ်နီဉာဏ်နက် | nyan2-ni2 nyan2-net

can be directly translated as red and black mind. It means cunning, wicked, and deceptive mind.

Character | Et-kha1-ya2 Ay3 can be combined with other characters. E.g.,

ဧည့်သည် | eare1 dtheare2

means "visitor". It can also be a stand-alone character as in

ဧရာဝတီမြစ် | ay2-ya2-wa1-de2 myit

Ayeyarwaddy River, which the British gave the spelling Irrawaddy River.

Character Et-kha1-ya2 U1 can also be stand-alone as in

| u1 - egg,

or combine with other tone change symbols to become

ဦး | U3

to address the title Mr.

Character | Au3 can be a stand-alone character such as in

အံ့ဩ | un1 au3 - be amazed.

It can be combined with other symbols to sound

ဩော် | au2.

This whole combination is a single keystroke word in unicode fonts and should be typed as such.

Character | Tha1 ji3 is less common. Examples:

  • ဝိပဿနာ | we1-pup-tha1-na2 - Vipassana Meditation.
  • ယုဒဿန် | Yu1 Dut Thun2 - Surname "Judson".
  • ပြဿနာ | pyut-tha1-na2 - problem.

As shown in SIMPLIFIED DOUBLE-STACKED WORDS section above, acts as if double-stacked သ္သ | tha1. ပြဿနာ is equivalent to ပြသ္သနာ, and read as ပြသ် + သ + နာ.

The least common words in Burmese written language are probably those with Pali

| E1

which looks somewhat like a double-stacked word with က on top and smaller ကု at the bottom.

For example,

ဣန္ဒြေ | ain2-da1-ray2 - modesty.

In Burmese female name Ain2-dra2, အိ is used in place of ဣ​​:

ain2-dra2 | အိန္ဒြာ.

Example: သျှားထွဋ် အိန္ဒြာ | sha3 htoot ain2-dra2, Sharr Htut Eaindra (female), Miss Myanmar 2014 who participated in the 2015 Miss Universe contest.

Likewise အိန္ဒိယ | ain2-de1-ya1 for India is now used for ဣန္ဒိယ mentioned in some older Buddhist literatures.

Here is an another difficult word:

ဣဿာမစ္ဆရိယ | ate-tha2-myit-hsa1-ri1-ya1 - jealousy.

It has Pali roots ဣဿာ and မစ္ဆရိယ. The first word is jealousy or envy. Although Myanmar-English dictionary by the Myanmar Language Commission defines the second part as envy, it actually means stingy as in ဝန်တို | woon2 toh2. It is "envy" in a sense one does not want to give due credit to someone one is jealous of.

"Vowel", by definition is a speech of sound made with the vocal tract open. In English, "A,E,I,O,U" are the vowels. In addition, in written English, the words cannot be spelled without at least one vowel in them (Exceptions: "by", "my".) Burmese vowels သရ | tha1-ra1 by definition is the same.

အဆုတ်မှ တက်လာသော လေသည် ခံတွင်းရှိ စကားသံဖြစ် အင်္ဂါအစိတ်အပိုင်းတစ်ခုခု၏ ပိတ်ဆို့တားဆီးခြင်း မခံရဘဲ ဖြောင့်ဖြောင့်ဖြူးဖြူး ထွက်သွားစဉ် ဖြစ်လာသော အသံ။

Official Tha1-ra1 Table
Vowel Spelling Symbol Romanization with Audio
Character Ah1 Ah1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
Ah1 + yay3 cha1 အာ Ah2 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
Standalone Character "E1" E1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
Standalone Character "E2" E2 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
Standalone Character "U1" U1 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
"U1" + lone3 ji3 tin2 + hsun2 khut U2 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
Et-kha1-ya2 Ay3 Ay2 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
Character Ah1 + nout pyit အဲ Eeare3 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
Et-kha1-ya2 Au3 Au3 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
[Single unicode character when typed.] Au2 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
Ah1 + thay3 thay3 tin2 အံ Un2 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
Ah1 + lone3 ji3 tin2 + ta1-choun3 ngin2 အို O2 <<MP3 AUDIO>>

However, unlike English vowels, Burmese vowels သရ | tha1-ra1 appear to have nothing to do with the system of writing as compared to A,E,I,O,U. In addition, careful analysis will show that some of the possible vowel sounds in Burmese Language are missing, such as

အင် | In2
အိမ် | Ain2
အိုင် | Ine2
အုံ | Ome2
အွန် | Oon2
အောင် | Oun2

Further analysis shows that many of သရ | tha1-ra1 sounds are just tone differences, such as Ah1 in the first tone, Ah2 in the second tone; E1 in the first tone and E2 in the second tone; U1 in the first tone and U2 in the second tone; Au3 in the third tone, and Au2 in the second tone. In fact, there are only 8 vowel sounds with tone differences out of 12.

Moreover, tha1-ra1 သရ do not cover the eight single tone groups:

အိပ် | Ate
အက် | Et
အွတ် | Oot
အောက် | Out
အိုက် | Ike
အပ် | Ut
အုပ် | Oat
အစ် | It

Those eight distinct sounds are listed under the 150 သရ နှင့် အသတ်စဉ် | Tha1-ra1 and A-thut Sin2 .

Burmese အသတ် | A-thut refers to "c" shaped "thut" that goes on top of different characters to close the consonants into different spellings. However, spellings with different A-thut may or may not fall into different phonetic sounds. A-thut has no English equivalent, but can be considered as "vowel shift symbols". Several words formed with different A-thut are homonyms (fall into the same phonetic groups) and redundant from the English romanization standpoint.

As for the native Burmese speakers, we learned those tone differences since grade 1 သူငယ်တန်းမြန်မာဖတ်စာ, but no official attempt was made to romanize and standardize those similar to Chinese Hanyu Pinyin, and as a result, you will see all kind of variations online as well as in publications which only add to confusion and mispronunciation of words.

I, therefore, found it necessary to re-group the 14 vowel sounds with three tones and separate those from the eight single tones group in English Romanization with 1,2,3 Tone System. The system fully describes all possible Burmese vowel sounds and tones as follow:

Fourteen Vowels with Tones
သရ အသံထွက်နှင့် ကွဲလွဲပုံများ Vowel 14 Vowels and Tones with Audio
အ အာ အား a Ah1, Ah2, Ah3 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အိ အီ အီး e,i E1, E2, E3 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အု အူ အူး u U1, U2, U3 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အို့ အို အိုး o O1, O2, O3 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အေ့ အေ အေး ay Ay1, Ay2, Ay3 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အော့ အော် အော au Au1, Au2 Au3 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အန့် အန် အန်း un Un1, Un2 Un3 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အင့် အင် အင်း in In1, In2, In3 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အဲ့ အယ် အဲ eare Eare1, Eare2, Eare3 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အိန့် အိန် အိန်း ain Ain1, Ain2, Ain3 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အုန့် အုန် အုန်း ome Ome1, Ome2, Ome3 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အိုင့် အိုင် အိုင်း ine Ine1, Ine2, Ine3 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အွန့် အွန် အွန်း oon Oon1, Oon2, Oon3 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အောင့် အောင် အောင်း oun Oun1, Oun2 Oun3 <<MP3 AUDIO>>
Eight Single Tones
သရ အသတ်များ Group 8 Single Tones with Audio
အိတ်၊ အိပ် c1 Ate <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အက် c2 Et <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အွတ် ၊ အွပ် c3 Oot <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အောက် c4 Out <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အိုက် c5 Ike <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အတ် ၊ အပ် c6 Ut <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အုပ် c7 Oat <<MP3 AUDIO>>
အစ် c8 It <<MP3 AUDIO>>

Total sounds: (14 vowels *3 tones) + 8 single tones = 50

Although the 12 traditional Burmese vowels Tha1-ra1, namely: အ - အာ - ဣ - ဤ - ဥ - ဦ - ဧ - အဲ - ဩ - ဪ - အံ - အို appear to have no linkage to the system of writing as compared to the English vowels A,E,I,O,U, those Tha1-ra1 can be represented by their variations: အ၊ အာ၊ အိ၊ အီ၊ အု၊ အူ၊ အေ၊ အဲ၊ အော၊ အော်၊ အံ၊ အို. According to this line of thought, it is possible for the Tha1-ra1 to become the base for all possible vowel sounds using different thut.

Tha1-ra1 base plus different A-thut
Vowel (သရ) + Possible Outcomes
အ၊ အော၊ အို - Ah1 Au3 O2 က် အက်၊ အောက်၊ အိုက် - Et Out Ike
အ၊ အော၊ အို - Ah1 Au3 O2 င် အင်၊ အောင်၊ အိုင် - In2 Oun2 Ine2
- Ah1 စ် အစ် - It
အ၊ အိ၊ အု - Ah1 E1 U1 တ် အတ်၊ အိတ်၊ အုတ် - Ut Ate Oat
အ၊ အိ၊ အု - Ah1 E1 U1 န် အန်၊ အိန်၊ အုန် - Un2 Ain2 Ome2
- Ah1 ယ် အယ် - Eare2

It is possible to add tone variations to the row 2 and row 5 of the above table.

Add Tones to Tha1-ra1
Vowel (သရ) + + tone variations
အ၊ အော၊ အို - Ah1 Au3 O2 င် အင့်၊ အင်၊ အင်း၊ အောင့်၊ အောင်၊ အောင်း၊ အိုင့်၊ အိုင်၊ အိုင်း - In1 In2 In3 Oun1 Oun2 Oun3 Ine1 Ine2 Ine3
အ၊ အိ၊ အု - Ah1 E1 U1 န် အန့်၊ အန်၊ အန်း၊ အိန့်၊ အိန်၊ အိန်း၊ အုန့်၊ အုန်၊ အုန်း - un1 un2 un3 ain1 ain2 ain3 ome1 ome2 ome3

In addition, tone variations are possible for the original 12 vowels as follow:

အား၊ အီး၊ အူး၊ အေ့၊ အေး၊ အဲ့၊ အော့၊ အို့၊ အိုး

One can see that this system adds up to a total of 46 sounds considering ( အံ ) and ( အန် ) are repeat of the same sound un2:

အ၊ အာ၊ အိ၊ အီ၊ အု၊ အူ၊ အေ၊ အဲ၊ အော၊ အော်၊ အံ၊ အို၊ အက်၊ အောက်၊ အိုက်၊ အင့်၊ အင်၊ အင်း၊ အောင့်၊ အောင်၊ အောင်း၊ အိုင့်၊ အိုင်၊ အိုင်း၊ အစ်၊ အတ်၊ အိတ်၊ အုတ်၊ အန့်၊ အန်၊ အန်း၊ အိန့်၊ အိန်၊ အိန်း၊ အုန့်၊ အုန်၊ အုန်း၊ အယ် အား၊ အီး၊ အူး၊ အေ့၊ အေး၊ အဲ့၊ အော့၊ အို့၊ အိုး

The system has missing vowel group အွန့်၊ အွန်၊ အွန်း | oon1, oon2, oon3 as well as a single tone အွတ် (အွပ်) | oot group. In comparison, all the possible vowel sounds and tones are covered more efficiently with 1,2,3 tone system consists of 14 vowel sounds each with 3 tones plus 8 single tones.

Many words with Pali roots are exclusively used by the Buddhist monks and students learned under the umbrella of Buddhism, and those words remain in the domain of Buddhist prayers and literature. The best teachers will be the abbots in the monasteries. Here's a sample of universal Buddhist prayer in Pali..

Universal Buddhist Prayer
Burmese Script with Pali Roots Romanization with 1,2,3 Tone System

နမော တဿ
ဘဂဝတော အရဟတော
သမ္မာသမ္ဗုဒ္ဓဿ။
ဗုဒ္ဓံသရဏံဂစ္ဆာမိ၊
ဓမ္မံသရဏံဂစ္ဆာမိ၊
သံဃံ သရဏံဂစ္ဆာမိ။
ဒုတိယမ္ပိ . . .
တတိယမ္ပိ . . .

Na1-mau3 Tut-tha1
Ba1-ga1-wa1-tau3 Ara1-ha1-tau3
Thun2-ma2-thun2-boat-dut-tha1
Boat-dun2-tha1-ra1-nun2-git-sa2-mi1
Da1-mun2-tha1-ra1-nun2-git-sa2-mi1
Thun2-gun2-tha1-ra1-nun2-git-sa2-mi1
Du1-ti1-yet-mi1...
Ta1-ti1-yet-mi1...

Burmese Buddhist Prayer ဩကာသ

Burmese Buddhists are expected to be able to recite Au3 Ka2 Tha1| ဩကာသ, and almost all who grew up in Burma (Myanmar), Buddhists as well as non-Buddhists, will have heard of at least some part of this prayer. ဩကာသ refers to the world, which is close in meaning to the word "the boundless universe" A-nun2-da1 Set-kja2-wa1-la2 | အနန္တစကြဝဠာ where water, land, forests, mountains and oceans, etc., Yay2, Myay2, Tau3, Toun2, Tha1-moat-ta1-ya2 sa1 dthi2 doh1 | ရေ၊ မြေ၊ တော၊ တောင်၊ သမုဒ္ဒရာ စသည်တို့ exist.

ကန်တော့လွှာ

ဩကာသ၊ ဩကာသ၊ ဩကာသ
ကာယကံ၊ ဝစီကံ၊ မနောကံ သဗ္ဗဒေါသ
ခပ်သိမ်း သော အပြစ်တို့ကို
ပျောက်ပါစေခြင်း အကျိုးငှာ
ပထမ၊ ဒုတိယ၊ တတိယ
တစ်ကြိမ်၊ နှစ်ကြိမ်၊ သုံးကြိမ်မြောက်အောင်
ဘုရား ရတနာ၊ တရား ရတနာ၊ သံဃာ ရတနာ
ရတနာမြတ်သုံးပါး တို့ကို
အရိုအသေ အလေးအမြတ်
လက်အုပ်မိုး၍
ရှိခိုး ပူဇော်
ဖူးမြော်မာန်လျှော့
ကန်တော့ပါ၏ အရှင်ဘုရား။

ဆုတောင်း

ကန်တော့ရသော
အကျိုးအားကြောင့်
အပါယ်လေးပါး၊
ကပ်သုံးပါး၊
ရပ်ပြစ်ရှစ်ပါး၊
ရန်သူမျိုးငါးပါး၊
ဝိပ္ပတ္တိတရားလေးပါး၊
ဗျသနတရားငါးပါး တို့မှ
အခါခပ်သိမ်း
ကင်းလွတ် ငြိမ်းသည်သာဖြစ်၍
မဂ်တရား၊ ဖိုလ်တရား၊ နိဗ္ဗာန်တရားတော်မြတ်ကို
ရပါလို၏ အရှင်ဘုရား။

ဩကာသ ၌ပါသော ပါလိ ဝေါဟာရများ မြန်မာပြန် -- ဤသို့ရှုပါ ။

The following is my translation of the above Buddhist prayer, which is not the "official" translation of any Religious Council or Ministry.

For the result:
cessation of
misdeed all kinds
made by body,
speech, and thought
anger all type
in this World...

First, Second, and Third,
One, two, three times
to the three Gems:
Buddha, the Law
Order of Monks
respectfully,
heavy thought (with)
both palms raised up
offering done,
homage is made -- Pilgrimage.
pride let go
with worship -- sought
Oh, Venerable Lord!

Also see the translation of Au3 Ka2 Tha1 line by line with romanization. Pali terms are further elaborated in Burmese for those who can read and understand Burmese well.

During the time of Burmese Kone3-Boun2 dynasty | ကုန်းဘောင်ခေတ် American missionary Adoniram Judson | ဒေါက်တာယုဒဿန် (1788-1850) was much credited for coming up with Burmese Pali dictionary, Burmese English dictionary (1887) published after his death by American Baptist Mission Press and needless to say, the translation of the Holy Bible မြန်မာဘာသာပြန်ခရိယာန်သမ္မာကျမ်းစာ New Testament in Burmese (1832). Here is the original sample page of passage from Matthew 6:9-13 | မဿဲ ၆ : ၉-၁၃ in Burmese.

Sample of the New Testament in Burmese by Adoniram Judson

The modern version of the Bible has slightly different wordings:

ကောင်းကင်ဘုံ၌ ရှိတော်မူသော အကျွန်ုပ်တို့အဘ၊
ကိုယ်တော်၏နာမတော်အား ရိုသေလေးမြတ်ခြင်းရှိပါစေသော။
၁၀နိုင်ငံတော် တည်ထောင်ပါစေသော။ အလိုတော်သည် ကောင်းကင်ဘုံ၌ပြည့်စုံသကဲ့သို့ မြေကြီးပေါ်မှာ ပြည့်စုံပါစေသော။
၁၁အသက်မွေးလောက်သောအစါကို အကျွန်ုပ်တို့အား ယနေ့ပေးသနားတော်မူပါ။
၁၂သူတပါးသည် အကျွန်ုပ်တို့ကို ပြစ်မှားသောအပြစ်များကို အကျွန်ုပ်တို့သည်လွှတ်သကဲ့သို့ အကျွန်ုပ်တို့၏အပြစ်များကို လွှတ်တော်မူပါ။
၁၃အပြစ်သွေးဆောင်ရာသို့ မလိုက်မပါစေဘဲ၊ မကောင်းသော အမှုအရာမှလည်းကယ်နှုတ်တော်မူပါ။ အစိုးပိုင်သောအခွင့်နှင့် ဘုန်းတန်ခိုးအာနုဘော်သည် ကမ္ဘာအဆက်ဆက်ကိုယ်တော်၌ရှိပါ၏။

အာမင်။
9Our Father who is in heaven,
Your name be kept holy.
10Your kingdom come,
Your will be done on earth as in heaven.
11Give us today our daily bread.
12And forgive us our debts as we have forgiven our debtors.
13And lead us not into temptation but
deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory for ever.

Amen.

COMMENTS: "daily bread" was translated into Burmese as "sufficient food to maintain the livelihood". In some versions of the Bible, the words "trespass" and "trespassers" are used in place of "debts" and "debtors", which is correctly translated in the above Burmese version.

Here's something every Burmese Nationals know, and ex-Burmese Nationals all over the world still remember: Burmese National Anthem (နိုင်ငံတော်သီချင်း). Although National flag is now flown in different colors and stripes similar to that of Burmese Nationalists and the Army led by General Aung San in the 1940's, and the name of the country has changed in English from Burma to Myanmar, the spirit and the words behind the Burmese National Anthem remain steadfast in the Land of the Fast and the Strong known as Myanmar မြန်မာ | Myan2-Ma2, or ဗမာပြည် | Ba1-Ma2 Pyay2 as sung in the National Anthem.

ကမ္ဘာမကျေ-ဗမာပြည်
တို့ဘိုးဘွားအမွေစစ်မို့
ချစ်မြတ်နိုးပေ။
ပြည်ထောင်စုကို အသက်ပေးလို့
တို့ကာကွယ်မလေ။
ဒါတို့ပြည်-ဒါတို့မြေ-တို့ပိုင်နက်မြေ။
တို့ပြည်-တို့မြေ-အကျိုးကို
ညီညာစွာ-တို့တတွေ
ထမ်းဆောင်ပါစို့လေ
တို့တာဝန်ပေ
အဖိုးတန်မြေ။

COMMENTS: The Land of the Burmese People ဗမာပြည် | ba1-ma2 pyi2 is now changed to မြန်မာပြည် | myan2-m2 pyi2 to reflect other ethnic races.

Burmese independence hero General Aung San was an avid reader, and known to be talented in writing. In November 1933, still in his college days, he won a competition to translate a passage from English to Burmese under the pen-name ပဲခူးကဝေ | ba1-go3 ka1-way2, which appeared in ဂန္တလောက မဂ္ဂဇင်း | gun2-da1 lau3-ka1 Magazine.

He also had a pseudonym အညာသားလေး | a-nya2-dtha3 lay3 with which he wrote two articles in June and August 1935 editions of သူရိယ မဂ္ဂဇင်း | thu2-ri1-ya1 Magazine.

Other articles in his college days include လောကဝိဟာ | lau3-ka1 we1-ha2 in 1937 September edition of မျိုးညွန့်မဂ္ဂဇင်း | myo3 nyoon1 Magazine where he expressed his opinion on the meaning of education, and ကျောင်းသားဝတ္တရား | kjoun3-dtha3 woot-ta1-ya3 meaning "responsibility of students" in November 27th 1937 issue of မန္တလေးသူရိယ | mun3-da1-lay3 thu2-ri1-ya1. He was then known as တက္ကသိုလ် ကျောင်းသား ကိုအောင်ဆန်း | tet-ka1-tho2 kjoun3-dtha3 ko2 oun2 hsun3.

Bogyoke Aung San

In his earlier years of short political career, Bogyoke Aung San used the pen-name သခင်အောင်ဆန်း | tha1-khin2 oun2 hsun3. Articles appeared in ဒဂုန်မဂ္ဂဇင်း | da1-gome2 Magazine and နဂါးနီစာစောင် | na1-ga1-ni2 sa2-zoun2.

During Japanese Occupation, on the day Japanese announced "Independence" of Burma (August 1st., 1943), General Aung San wrote an article in the special edition of ဗမာ့ခေတ် | ba1-ma1 Khit newspaper with the title ဗမာ့လွတ်လပ်ရေး အရေးတော်ပုံ | ba1-ma1 loot-lut-yay3 a-yay3-dau2-bone2 (Chronicle of Burma's Independence). Here's an excerpt:

ကမ္ဘာစစ်ကြီး အမှန် ဖြစ်ချေတော့မည်။ ဗမာ့အခြေကား အသို့နည်း။ ဗမာတွေ ဘာလုပ်ကြမည်နည်း။ ဤပြဿနာများကား ကျွန်ုပ်ရှေ့တွင် အလျှို အလျှို တသီကြီး ပေါ်လာလေတော့၏။ တခုတည်းသော အဓိဌာန်ကို ရုတ်ခြည်း ကျွန်ုပ်ပြုလိုက်၏။ ငါ့အတွက် ဖြစ်လိုရာ ဖြစ်စေတော့၊ ငါ၏ နိုင်ငံ လွတ်လပ်ရေးအတွက် မနေမနား စွန့်စား လုံးပမ်းတော့အံ့။ ဤအဓိဌာန်ကို သန်သန်ကြီး ပြုလုပ်မိတော့၏

Here's my version of translation:

(Second) World War is about to become a reality. What's the situation like for Burma? What shall we Burmese do? Those challenges appeared in my stream of thoughts one after another. I immediately made a sole determination. I shall leave my life to fate alone and let it be. But, for the independence of my country, I shall struggle fervently and make a fearless venture with a restless heart. Such was the iron determination I made with an unyielding spirit.

General Aung San never had the time to write books during his struggle for independence, but he had indicated the desire to retire from politics and write books after the independence on subjects like politics, history, family affairs and education of children based on his belief system and point of view. The following was what he told တက္ကသိုလ်နေဝင်း | Tet-ka1-tho2 Nay2 Win3 (also known as ဗိုလ်ထွန်းလှ | Bo2 Htoon3 Hla1) in April 1947.

လွတ်လပ်ရေးရပြီးရင် ငါကတော့ နိုင်ငံရေးကထွက်ပြီး စာတွေရေးမယ်၊ နိုင်ငံရေးတွေ၊ ရာဇဝင်တွေအပြင် အိမ်ထောင်ရေးနဲ့ သားသမီး စောင့်ရှောက်ပြုပြင်ရေး တွေနဲ့ ပတ်သက်လို့ ငါ့ အယူအဆ သဘောထားတွေကိုပါ စါအုပ်ရေးမှာဘဲ

One can only wonder what kind of additional contributions he would have made to the elegance of Burmese literature and the spirit of Nationalism. Bogyoke Aung San did not live to see the independence of Burma. He was assassinated in the gloomy morning of July 19th, 1947.

(Reference: Writing Style of Bogyoke Aung San by Mya Han; Ava Publishing House, January 1998. မှီငြမ်းကိုးကားသောစာအုပ်-- သုတေသနမှုး ဆရာဦးမြဟန် ရေးသားသော ဗိုလ်ချုပ်အောင်ဆန်း၏ စာပေလက်ရာ၊ အင်းဝစာပေတိုက်၊ ၁၉၉၈၊ ဇန်နဝါရီလ)

Here's a sample of Burmese poem မြန်မာကဗျာ for children. For those who can read and understand Burmese, this will leave you smiling. The Poem was written by ဆရာကြီးမင်းသုဝဏ် | Hsa1-Ya2-Ji3 Min3 Thu1 Woon2. He was born on February 10, 1909, and a poet during Bogyoke Aung San era who was born on February 13, 1915.

Added Note: I had this poem in this page a couple of years before U Htin Kyaw was hand-picked by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to be the 9th president of Myanmar. Later, I came to realize that he is the son of this poet.

ဖြစ်ရလေ

မောင်ကြီးနှမ ခိုင်သဇင်
ဘယ်ဆီများလဲ ဟင်။
ခေါင်းမှာရွက်လို့ ရေအိုးတင်
ရေခပ်သွားမယ် ရှင်။

ရေအိုးထမ်းလို့ လိုက်ခဲ့ချင်
လိုက်ရမလား ဟင်။
မောင်ကြီး သဘောအတိုင်း ပင်
လိုက်ချင်လိုက်ပေါ့ ရှင်။

မောင်ကြီးမေတ္တာ ပန်းကိုဆင်
လက်ထပ်မလား ဟင်။
မောင်ကြီး သဘောအတိုင်း ပင်
နာယူပါ့မယ် ရှင်။

နှမလေးရဲ့ မွေးဖခင်
ဘာလုပ်စားလဲ ဟင်။
ထွန်ထယ်ရုန်းလို့ လယ်ကွင်းပြင်
လယ်လုပ်စားတယ် ရှင်။

မောင်ကြီးနှမ ခိုင်သဇင်
ပစ္စည်းရှိလား ဟင်။
နှမလေးရဲ့အဆင်းပင်
ပစ္စည်းပါပဲ ရှင်။

သည်လိုဖြင့်လဲ ခိုင်သဇင်
မယူနိုင်ဘူး ထင်။
ယူပါလို့များ ပျိုလေးခင်
ပြောဖူးလို့လား ရှင်။

Myanmar Vowels and Tones
Myanmar Consonant modifications
မြန်မာ << AUDIO >>
e1
e1
e2
u1
ay3 or ay2
au3
hnite
yway1
၎င်း la1-goun3
Nya1 ga1-lay3
ဋ္ဌ hta1
tha1 ji3
ya1 pin1
ya1 yit
wa1 hsweare3
ha1 hto3
ဝွှ wa1 hsweare3 + ha1 hto3
lone3 ji3 tin2
ta1-choun3 ngin2
thut
thay3 thay3 tin2
thway2 hto3
nout pyit
yay3 cha1
yay3 cha1
wit sa1 pout
lone3 ji3 tin2 + hsun2 khut
hna1-choun3 ngin2
out myit
ာ် shay1 hto3 (thut on top of yay3 cha1)
င် kin3 si3
န္န subscripted na1 ngeare2
ဏ္ဍ subscripted Da1 Yin2 Gout
ဏ္ဌ subscripted Hta1 Win2 Beare3
ဇ္ဈ subscripted Za1 Myin2 Zweare3
poat pfyut
poat ma1
    poat ma1 ji3
Note: Symbols used in vowel shift, tone change, and consonant modifications cannot be used as stand-alone words.

The Last Word on Myanmar Script

Unless you are a scholar who specializes in this field, or a long-term visitor in Myanmar who must know more, just a couple of hours of study should be good enough to get the general idea and be able to spell Burmese words on your own after referring back to the learning guide. Good luck!