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Color Codes: nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, conjunctions, particles, postpositional markers, interjections.

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.

ဟုတ်တယ်ဟုတ် | Hote deare2 hote? MP3 Audio File

That was an interesting phrase used by the Burmese cartoonist named မောင်ဝဏ္ဏ | moun2 wa1-na1 for the character သမိန်ပေါသွပ် | tha1-main2 pau3 thoot". It means,

"Yes or not?" Mandarin Chinese equivalent would be 是不是 | Shi4 bu shi4?

In some parts of Myanmar, people speaks in dialects that are slightly different from the mainstream Burmese. For example,

ကောင်းမှကောင်း | koun3 hma1 koun3 MP3 Audio File

meaning

"It's so good!"

emphasizes on ကောင်း | koun3, which means "good".

Lashio Thein Aung's Song: " Don't Say Goodbye" | လားရှိုးသိန်းအောင် သီချင်း : နှုတ်မဆက်နဲ့၊ ငိုချင်တယ်

The late Lashio Thein Aung (Jimmy Jack) was one of the early pioneers of Myanmar Stereo Music and songs with electric guitar in the mid 70's. Those were the days of recording songs on cassette tapes. In 2013, after 40 years away from home, he came back to Myanmar to perform live concerts.

When I was young, I had the impression that he was a Chinese, because some of his songs had both Burmese and Chinese lyrics.

Here's his stage performance in Yangon 2015 when he sung in both Burmese and Chinese. The legendary singer passed away in Houston, Texas at the age of 73 in December 2018.

One of his songs had lyrics: "I feel like crying when you say good-bye." There are several songs of his on the Internet today. Some fans have created Music videos like the one below.

CLICK TABLE HEADER COLUMNS TO SORT BY ASCENDING OR DESCENDING ORDER IN ENGLISH OR BURMESE SCRIPT.

Summary of Words and Phrases in this lesson (Sortable)
AUDIO ↑↓ ENGLISH ↑↓
အဒေါ် | a-dau2 aunty
အဒေါ်ကြီး | a-dau2 ji3 big aunty
အေး | ay3 Yes (cold)
အေး အေး အေး | ay3 ay3 ay3 Ok, Ok.. stop bothering me
အေးပါ | ay3 ba2 Duh... like I don't know
အေးပါ | ay3 bya2 Yes, very true! (male)
အေးကွယ် | ay3 kweare2 I sympathize with you!
အေးလေ | ay3 lay2 Right! Absolutely!
ချကွ | cha1 kwa1 Fight!
ကစါးမလား | ga1-za3 ma1-la3 Do you want to play or not?
ကစါးမယ် | ga1-za3 meare2 OK, I will (play)
ဟုတ်ပါတယ် | hote ba2 deare3 Yes, that's right!
ဟုတ်တယ်ဗျာ | hote deare2 bya2 I agree! (male)
ဟုတ်တယ်နော် | hote deare2 nau2 Hey, you're right!
ဟုတ်တယ်ရှင့် | hote deare2 shin1 Yes, I concur. (female)
ဟုတ်ကဲ့ပါ | hote-keare1 ba2 Yes, that's right!; OK!
ဆိုနေမှ | hso2 nay2 hma1 despite saying so
ကြစို့ | ja1 zo1 Let's..
ကဲ | keare3 OK now..
ကွ | kwa1 enthusiastic ending word
ကွာ | kwa2 frustrated ending word
ကွယ် | kweare2 sympathetic ending word
လုပ်တယ်ကွာ | loat deare2 kwa2 frustrated action
လုပ်မယ် | loat meare2 I will do it
လုပ်မယ်ကွာ | loat meare2 kwa2 Will do anyway.(frustrated)
မလုပ်ပါနဲ့ | ma1-loat ba2 neare1 Please don't do it!
မလုပ်နဲ့ | ma1-loat neare1 Don't do it! (order)
မစါးပါနဲ့ | ma1-sa3 ba2 neare1 Please don't eat!
မစါးနဲ့ | ma1-sa3 neare1 Don't eat that! (order)
မသွားပါနဲ့ | ma1-thwa3 ba2 neare1 Please don't go!
မသွားနဲ့ | ma1-thwa3 neare1 Don't go! (order)
မယ် | meare2 will (do something)
နားမလား | na3 ma1-la3 Do you want to rest or not?
နားမယ် | na3 meare2 OK, I will (rest)
နော် | nau2 ending word (warm)
ပြေးကြစို့ | pyay3 ja1 zo1 Let's run!
စါးတယ်ကွာ | sa3 deare2 kwa2 I'll eat. (regardless)
စါးကြမယ် | sa3 ja1 meare2 Let's eat!
စါးကြစို့ | sa3 ja1 zo1 Let's eat!
စါးမလား | sa3 ma1-la3 Do you want to eat or not?
စါးမယ် | sa3 meare2 I will (eat); OK!
တော်သေးပြီ | tau2 thay3 byi2 The end
သနားပါတယ် | tha1-na3 ba2 deare2 pity on (it/him/her)
သွားမလား | thwa3 ma1-la3 Want to go?
သွားမယ် | thwa3 meare2 OK, I will go. (an answer)
သွားမယ် | thwa3 meare2 Good-Bye!
သွားမယ်ဆို | thwa3 meare2 hso2 Didn't you say you're going?
သွားမယ်နော် | thwa3 meare2 nau2 I've got to go
သွားဦးမယ်နော် | thwa3 ome3 meare2 nau2 See you around!
သွားလိုက်ဦးမယ်နော် | thwa3 lite ome3 meare2 nau2 Let me be excused
သွားကြစို့ | thwa3 ja1 zo1 Let's go!
သွားမယ်ကွာ | thwa3 meare2 kwa2 I am going!(frustrated)
Note: Complete phrases in the above table start with Capital letters.

Lesson 3: Emoticons in Burmese Spoken Words

Singaporeans and Malaysians have one-syllable ending word "lah" and Canadians have "Eh". So, Canadians have that too, eh? (pronounced "A") When you first hear such a word, you kind of understand what it means from the context of the conversation, although you don't quite know how to translate it.

Colloquial Burmese Language has several of those ending words with different meanings. This lesson demystifies those simple one-syllable words. Interesting, huh?

We have gone through quite a lot of single-syllable ending words in the previous lesson. Here, we will review some of those with more examples and introduce to you a different type of ending words. This mystery type not well documented and not usually taught to the outside world adds an extra dimension of feeling, emotions, and "humanness" to the spoken words just like emoticons that people use online. think

Learn Burmese Online

"Emoticon" ending words are different in that they are extra words to the sentence. That means a complete sentence can still be made without adding those words.

Polite "ba2" word

The word ba2 can be extra polite word, or both polite and part of the sentence structure like in the greeting

min2-ga1-la2 ba2.

If someone asks..

"Do you want it?", or "Do you like it?", with simple verb in the question, I can reply with a simple "yes" without including ba2.

ဟုတ် | hote MP3 Audio File (or)

ဟုတ်ကဲ့ | hote-keare1 MP3 Audio FileYes

Similarly, for simple questions with adjective such as "Is it hot?" or "Is it sweet?", I can reply with a simple "yes" without including ba2.

ဟုတ် | hote (or)

ဟုတ်ကဲ့ | hote-keare1 (or)

ဟုတ်ကဲ့၊ ပူတယ် | hote-keare1, pu2 deare2 MP3 Audio File"Yes, it's hot"

where

ပူ | pu2 means "hot" and

တယ် | deare2

is the affirmative ending word.

In such cases, both the question and the answer sound natural only if ba2 is dropped.

However, if someone makes a request or suggestion: "Please do this!", I can add an extra polite ba2. My response can be

ဟုတ် | hote (or)

ဟုတ်ကဲ့ | hote-keare1 (or)

ဟုတ်ကဲ့ပါ | hote-keare1 ba2. MP3 Audio File polite

Myanmar Grammar Notes: ဟုတ် | hote is a verb "to be correct". However, ဟုတ်ကဲ့ | hote-keare1 is a particle. The modern usage of hote as a short form of hote-keare1 has not made it into the dictionary yet, although it is a popular usage nowadays.

When to use "ba2" in questions and answers

"Yes" with ba2 at the end of the sentence is a polite response to a request or suggestion that is not commonly used in "red or not red", "hot or not hot", "want or not want" type of questions and answers.

Nobody will answer:

pu2 ba2 deare2It's hot

with ba2 to a simple "Is it hot?" question.

Well, not in casual everyday conversation. Waiters might be more polite in asking question to the VIPs. Students might be more polite to teachers.

Likewise, simple questions like those will also be without ba2 word.

Question: ပူလား | pu2 la3 MP3 Audio FileIs it hot?

Answer: ပူတယ် | pu2 deare2 MP3 Audio FileYes.

Question: Today is Tuesday, isn't it?

Answer: ဟုတ်တယ် | Hote deare2Yes.

The word ba2 is more personal and not about impersonal objects or the weather in both questions and answers. To the question

၅၅၅-၈၈၈၈ ပါလား | nga3 nga3 nga3 shit shit shit ba2 la3

Is this 555-8888? (or)

နိုင်တင်ညွန့်ပု ပါလား | nine2 tin2-nyoon1-pu1 ba2 la3

Is this Naing Tinnyuntpu ?

I will answer:

hote ba2 deare2 MP3 Audio File

with the slightly raised 3rd tone ending over the phone.

The polite personal question

ပါလား | ba2 la3 is responded with the polite answer

ပါတယ် | ba2 deare2. polite answer

Warm feeling of နော် | "nau2" ending

At the end of lesson 2a, I used

သွားဦးမယ်နော်

thwa3 ome3 meare2 nau2 MP3 Audio File

Got to go now!

(go + indication of intention + warm feeling tone)

Actually, it's not a light-hearted "Got to go now!" in English without any feeling in it.

နော် | nau2 MP3 Audio File

has some magic of warmth and closeness in it. It is as though, I am about to part with someone close. I don't really want to go, but I must. And I am asking for permission to go. sad to go

If someone says: "Hey, look at the sky! It's turning orange and red", I will not just say

hote deare2.

The reply "yes" with

nau2 MP3 Audio File

makes all the difference.

ဟုတ်တယ်နော်

hote deare2 nau2 surprise MP3 Audio File

Hey, you are right.. what you say is true.

Do you see how this "yes" with nau2 makes the difference? In this context, it adds the feeling tone of awe and amazement over the observation to the simple "yes". It has a kind of emotional bonding effect with which you share your candid opinion or deep inner feelings.

Burmese ending word "nau2"

What does the ending word (နော် | nau2) mean in the Burmese language? Here's 31 seconds clip on the usage.

Posted by Naing Tinnyuntpu on Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Mi Sandi | မိစန္ဒီ mi1 sun2 di2 & Jade Dragon Dance Group

So, I say:

သွားဦးမယ်နော်

thwa3 ome3 meare2 nau2 MP3 Audio FileGot to go

to someone close or someone I just made friend with. I can have shorter or longer variations of the same sentence.

သွားလိုက်ဦးမယ်နော်

thwa3 lite ome3 meare2 nau2 MP3 Audio File

as in "I am going to the corner store and will be back," or

သွားမယ်နော်

thwa3 meare2 nau2 good-bye MP3 Audio File

Shorter but more emotional as in "I don't know when I will see you again."

Well, it's not always necessary to have nau2 to be emotional.

သွားမယ်

thwa3 meare2 don't say good bye MP3 Audio File"Good-bye!"

This is even shorter because words are stuck and Lashio Thein Aung's Song "Don't say goodbye" is playing in the background.

Going to review မယ် | "meare2" ending

မယ် | meare2 MP3 Audio File

is a postpositional marker meaning "going to". It transforms the activity word (verb) into future tense. Although it is an ending word, the difference is it is part of the sentence structure, and not an extra "emoticon" word.

စါးမယ် | sa3 meare2 MP3 Audio Filegoing to eat.

Short sentence, not because I am sad, but too hungry to be verbose.

စါးကြမယ်၊ စါးကြမယ်

sa3 ja1 meare2.. sa3 ja1 meare2 MP3 Audio File

Let's eat! Let's eat! (eat + plural + going to)

Mandarin Chinese equivalent would be 吃饭 ... 吃饭 "Chi1 fan4.. Chi1 fan4"

လုပ်မယ် | loat meare2 MP3 Audio FileI will do it. (do + going to)

Please do your work!!

ဟုတ်ကဲ့ပါ ... လုပ်မယ်

hote-keare1 ba2... loat meare2 MP3 Audio File

OK, Ok.. I will do it.. (yes + soften the tone + do + going to)

OK, I "meare2"

မယ် | meare2 MP3 Audio File

could also be used to express a simple "OK" to "or not" type of questions.

For example,

စါးမလား | sa3 ma1-la3

Do you want to eat or not? (eat + will + ?)

စါးမယ် | sa3 meare2OK!

သွားမလား | thwa3 ma1-la3

Do you want to go or not? (go + will + ?)

သွားမယ် | thwa3 meare2OK!

ကစါးမလား | ga1-za3 ma1-la3

Do you want to play or not? (play + will + ?)

ကစါးမယ် | ga1-za3 meare2OK!

နားမလား | na3 ma1-la3

Do you want to rest or not? (rest + will + ?)

နားမယ် | na3 meare2OK!

When သွားမယ် | thwa3 meare2

is the answer to the question

thwa3 ma1-la3,

it's not a good-bye. It could be a situation where the two persons in the conversation are about to go out together.

Let's learn about ကြစို့ | "ja1 zo1" ending

စါးကြစို့ | sa3 ja1 zo1

Another variation of Let's eat! But, it is in a sense, "It's about time we eat." I may or may not be hungry. It is a routine and there is not much urgency in it.

ကြစို့ | ja1 zo1 MP3 Audio File means "Let's".

သွားကြစို့ | thwa3 ja1 zo1Let's go! (It's about time we go home.)

ပြေးကြစို့ | pyay3 ja1 zo1 Let's run!Let's run!

It's about time we run.. Here comes the debt collector! I guess in this case, there is definitely some urgency in it. big smile

Impatient with unsatisfactory ကွာ | "kwa2" ending

Now, let me show you how I can say the same "Let's go!" in an impatient, frustrated or unsatisfactory tone using

ကွာ | kwa2. MP3 Audio File

I take you to a hotel lobby where someone is supposed to meet us. The person doesn't show up after waiting for a good one hour....

သွားမယ်ကွာ | thwa3 meare2 kwa2 frustrated

Fed up and I say "Let's go" in an angry tone.. (go + going to + impatient tone)

Someone is repeatedly telling me not to do something without explaining why. I find him very unreasonable. I tell my friend, I don't care what the man says...

လုပ်မယ်ကွာ | loat meare2 kwa2

I am going to do it, anyway.. (do + going to + unsatisfactory tone)

And I silently say to myself, "What the heck..."

လုပ်တယ်ကွာ | loat deare2 kwa2

(do + affirmative + unsatisfactory tone) in the midst of doing it. "deare2" is spelled as "teare2".

Don't eat that. The food is for the Supernatural beings in the Realm of Immaterial World, says the wife.

Husband: What? I haven't eaten in seven days and you are telling me the chicken is for the Nuts (Supernatural Beings) that I can't even see?

စါးတယ်ကွာ | sa3 deare2 kwa2

he says angrily with a drum-stick in his mouth. (eat + affirmative + unsatisfactory tone)

Don't forget the နဲ့ | "neare1" ending

But, how would you tell someone not to do, eat, or go in the first place?

How to say "Don't" in Burmese

Posted by Naing Tinnyuntpu on Tuesday, May 3, 2016
မိုးဟေကို | mo3 hay2 ko2 & Star International Dance Group. 5 feet 7 inch (1.70m) tall Moe Hay Ko was born on June 26, 1985 in Mandalay. She is an Actress, Model, Producer, and Businesswoman. In the above video clip, she is telling you not to play games with her.

မစါးပါနဲ့ | ma1-sa3 ba2 neare1 MP3 Audio File

Please don't eat. (negative + eat + suggestion + negative imperative ending)

မသွားပါနဲ့ | ma1-thwa3 ba2 neare1 MP3 Audio File

Please don't go. (negative + go + suggestion + negative imperative ending)

မလုပ်ပါနဲ့ | ma1-loat ba2 neare1 MP3 Audio File

Please don't do it. (negative + do + suggestion + negative imperative ending)

If you are a bit short-tempered at the time, you may drop the suggestion "ba2" to give a more direct order:

မစါးနဲ့

ma1-sa3 neare1 (negative + eat + negative imperative ending)

မသွားနဲ့

ma1-thwa3 neare1 (negative + go + negative imperative ending)

မလုပ်နဲ့

ma1-loat neare1 (negative + do + negative imperative ending)

မလုပ်နဲ့​ ဆိုနေမှ

ma1-loat neare1 hso2-nay2-hma1 Why still do?

Why are you keep doing it when I am telling you not to do it? (negative + do + negative imperative + "despite saying so")

Didn't you say ဆို | "hso2"?

In Burmese, the word

ဆို | hso2 MP3 Audio File

can have several meaning including "to say", "to sing" and "to nag".

It can be used as a particle at the end of the verb phrase to mean "Didn't you say... ?" If someone tells you earlier that he is going somewhere, but you find him watching TV, you can say...

သွား | thwa3 — go

မယ် | meare2 — will; intention to do something

ဆို | hso2 — Didn't you say?

သွားမယ်ဆို | thwa3 meare2 hso2 Didn't you say?

Didn't you say you were going?

When you say this ending word hso2, try to prolong it and raise it to the third tone hso3

Express your condolence with sympathetic ကွယ် | "kweare2" ending

How about a sympathetic tone? A young woman is telling her grandmother how lousy her day has been. Grandma cannot do anything to help but only give comforting words and consolation through sympathy.

အေးကွယ် | ay3 kweare2 sympathy

So sorry to hear that.

ကွယ် | kweare2 MP3 Audio File

conveys a sympathetic tone to the sentence.

Some cold truth about abrupt အေး | "ay3" ending

အေး | ay3 MP3 Audio File

is an another form of "yes".

Question: အဒေါ်ကြီး | a-dau2 ji3...

Big Aunty.. (aunty + big)

"Someone told me your husband left you for a younger woman, is that true?"

Answer: အေး | ay3 taken aback with anger

Taken aback and admits "yes" with puzzlement as she ponders for a moment as to how on earth did he find out about it. With a shortest possible reply, conversation is ended just like that.

If you are a bit tired of hearing someone repeatedly complaining, or reminding you to bring back gifts, or lecturing you on the health benefits of organic food, you may interrupt and try to end the conversation by

အေး၊ အေး၊ အေး | ay3, ay3, ay3 (or)

အေးပါ | ay3 ba2 Ay3 ba2

I must also add that Ay3 is too informal and impolite to be used among strangers. However, it is OK to be used among buddies and cousins or by older persons to younger people that they know well.

Pay attention to ending words in this ending story

The old Grandma seems to have a good heart. Her grandson is about to beat up a thief who broke into the house.

The Grandma says:

| ma1 — negative

လုပ် | loat — do

ပါ | ba2 — soften tone

နဲ့ | neare1 — negative imperative

ကွယ် | kweare2 — sympathy

မလုပ်ပါနဲ့ကွယ် | ma1-loat ba2 neare1 kweare2 have mercy on him

Please don't do it. Have mercy on him...

The neighbor joins in. "Hey, that's the same fella who stole my bike. Let's beat him up.."

ချကွ၊ ချကွ | cha1 kwa1... cha1 kwa1 fight, fight

"fight! fight!..", cheer on the youngsters.

(fight + show of enthusiasm and delight)

Note the tone difference: kwa1 in the first tone is used to express delight; kwa2 in the second tone is used to express dissatisfaction.

မလုပ်ကြပါနဲ့ကွယ် | ma1-loat ja1 ba2 neare1 kweare2 have pity on him

(negative + do + plural + soft tone of suggestion + negative imperative + sympathy)

မလုပ်ကြပါနဲ့ | ma1-loat ja1 ba2 neare1

Note the plural term "ja1" to mean "Please you guys, have mercy on him.."

သနားပါတယ် | tha1-na3 ba2 deare2

I feel pity for him.

(feel pity + soft suggestion + affirmative)

သနားပါတယ်ကွယ်

tha1-na3 ba2 deare2 kweare2

a stronger expression of pity by adding sympathy.

Can we use impatient, unsatisfactory ending kwa2 with pity feeling? Those two seem to be polar opposites.

Yes, we can!...( I say confidently just like Obama.)

သနားပါတယ်ကွာ | tha1-na3 ba2 deare2 kwa2

(feel pity + soft suggestion + affirmative + dissatisfied tone)

I feel pity for the victim, and at the same time express my disagreement for the injustice being done with the tone of unsatisfactoriness.

Look at those savages beating up a helpless victim. How cruel!

အေးဗျာ | ay3 bya2 ay3 bya2

"Yes, I couldn't agree with you more," says a bystander who is a middle-age man.

ဟုတ်တယ်ဗျာ | hote deare2 bya2

the second man echoed.

ဟုတ်တယ်ရှင့် | hote deare2 shin1

yes, they are just like that...his wife concurred.

အေးလေ | ay3 lay2...

murmurs an another.

They all agreed to the same thing by saying "yes", but the ending

ဗျာ | bya2

is masculine to be uttered by male speakers while

ရှင့် | shin1

is feminine expression used by female speakers.

အေးလေ | ay1 lay2

is the same "yes" in murmuring tone, but gender-neutral and can be used by both sexes. It is an exact equivalent of Singaporean "Yah lah.." and somewhat close to "Right!" or "Absolutely!" in English.

The situation soon gets ugly, and the police arrives...

I will construct a very expressive sentence using combinations of simple one-syllable words — most of them already discussed previously.

ကဲ ကောင်းကြသေးရဲ့လား

Keare3... koun3 ja1 thay3 yeare1 la3 keare3

Look at the mess! Tell me... What do you people have to say now?

("OK now you people..." + good + plural + yet to be + concern + ?)

So, as you can see, Burmese language has short and yet powerful and emotionally-loaded expressions. I will use one of my favorite expressions to end this lesson.

The funny expression is from the comics invented by the late Burmese cartoonist named Aung Shain (pronounced အောင်ရှိန်| Oun2 Shain2) to end his comics.

The English equivalent is "The End". It literally means enough + yet to be + already.

The reason why it is funny is because you don't expect to hear the last two combination of negative and positive pairs, and end up wondering if you really have had enough or not.

တော်သေးပြီ | tau2 thay3 byi2 The end