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

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O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?

'Why Romeo? why? Why are you speaking that way?'

Thy words sound funny. What's သင် | thin2? It is nor မင်း | min3 nor ခင်ဗျား | kha1-mya3...

Nor သမီး | tha1-mi3 nor သား | tha3, nor any other word I use.

Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?

You will sound like Shakespeare if you speak the words used in literary Burmese Language.

Avoid Using Literary Form of Burmese Pronouns when Speaking

  1. သင် | thin2 - You
  2. အသင် | a-thin2 - You
  3. သင်တို့ | thin2 doh1 - You (plural)
  4. အသင်တို့ | a-thin2 doh1 - You (plural)
  5. ကျွန်ုပ် | kja1-noat - I
  6. မိမိတို့ | mi1-mi1 doh1 - We
  7. သင်း | dthin3 - they (derogatory)
  8. | e2 - this
  9. သည် | dthi2 - this
  10. ထို | hto2 - that
  11. ၎င်း | la1-goun3 - that; above-mentioned
  12. မည်သူ | myi2 dthu2 - who
  13. အဘယ် | a-beare2 - where
  14. မည်သည် | myi2-dthi2 - what

EXCEPTION: At least one politician (former Speaker of the Lower House Thura U Shwe Mann) refers to himself as မိမိ | mi1-mi1 - I (first person term) in spoken form. Well, politicians can speak what they want. They are exempted.

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 ↑↓
အဒေါ်ကြီး | a-dau2-ji3 big aunty
အစ်ကို | a-ko2 elder brother
အစ်မ | a-ma1 elder sister
အမေ | a-may2 mother
အဆွေတော် | a-hsway2-dau2 Your Excellency
| au2... Oh..
ဪ ဟုတ်လား | au2, hote la3 Oh, I see; Is that right?
ဘာလဲကွ | ba2 leare3 kwa1 What's going on?
ဘယ်လဲ အစ်ကို | beare2 leare3 a-ko2 Go where, brother?
... ဘယ်မှာလဲ | .... beare2 hma2 leare3 Where is ... ?
ဗျာ | bya2 Yes, I'm here. (male)
ဗျာ | bya2 male ending word
ဗျာ | bya2 exclamation (male)
ဗျာ | bya2 pardon me! (male)
ချာတိတ် | cha2-tate kid / boy
ချာတိတ်မလေး | cha2-tate-ma1 lay3 kid / girl
ဒါဘယ်လောက်လဲ | da2 beare2 lout leare3 how much is this?
ဒေါ် | dau2 title (elder female)
ဒီမှာ | de2 hma2 here
ဟိုက် | hite! Exclamation
ဟုတ်တယ်ဗျာ | hote deare2 bya2 Yes, very true! (male)
ဟုတ်တယ်ရှင့် | hote deare2 shin1 Yes, very true! (female)
ဟုတ်ကဲ့ခင်ဗျာ | hote-keare1 kha1-mya1 Yes Sir/Madam.(male)
ဟုတ်ကဲ့ရှင့် | hote-keare1 shin1 Yes Sir/Madam. (female)
ကလေး | kha1-lay3 baby; child
ခင်ဗျာ | kha1-mya2 Yes, I'm here. (male)
ခင်ဗျား | kha1-mya3 you (mister)
ခင်ဗျားတို့ | kha1-mya3 doh1 you people
ကိုင်း ကိုင်း | kine3, kine3 ok, ok...
ကျုပ် | kjoat I (tough person)
ကျွန်မ | kja1-ma1 I, my (female)
ကျွန်တော့ | kja1-nau1 my (male)
ကျွန်တော် | kja1-nau2 I (male)
ကိုယ် | ko2 I (close relation)
ကို | ko2 Suffix for male names
ကောင်လေး | koun2 lay3 young man / boy
ကောင်မလေး | koun2-ma1 lay3 young woman / girl
ကူ | ku2 to help
ကူပါဦး | ku2 ba2 ome3 Please help me!
လာပြီ ၊ လာပြီ | la2 byi2.. la2 byi2 Coming... coming
လိုက် | lite to go or come along
လူကြီးမင်း | lu2-ji3-min3 gentleman
| ma1 suffix (female names)
မိတ်ဆွေ | mate-hsway2 friend (public message)
မိတ်ဆွေတို့ | mate-hsway2 doh1 friends (public message)
မလိုက်ဘူး | ma1-lite bu3 I'm not going with you.
မသိဘူး | ma1-thi1 bu3 don't know!
မင်း | min3 you (same age, informal)
မင်းတို့ | min3 doh1 you guys
မောင် | moun2 dear(to male only)
မောင် | moun2 Suffix for male names
မောင်ရင် | moun2-yin2 you (elder to younger men)
နာရီ | na2-yi2 watch, clock
နော် | nau2 warm positive ending word
ငါ | nga2 I (among young peers)
ငါမသိဘူး | nga2 ma1-thi1 bu3 I don't know!
ငါတို့ | nga2 doh1 We (among peers)
နင် | nin2 you (same age,informal)
နင်တို့ | nin2 doh1 you (same age, informal)
ညီလေး | nyi2-lay3 younger brother
ညည်း | nyi3 you (naive girl)
ရှင့် | shin1 female ending word.
ရှင့် | shin2 female ending word.
ရှင် | shin2 exclamation (female)
ရှင် | shin2 pardon me! (female)
ရှင် | shin2 you (female to male/female)
သား | tha3 son
သမီး | tha1-mi3 daughter
သူငယ်ချင်း | tha1-ngeare2-jin3 friend
သူ့ | thu1 his, her
သူ | thu2 he/she
သူတို့ | thu2 doh1 they, them, theirs
သွား | thwa3 to go
ဦး | u3 title (elder male)
ရပ် | yut to stop
ရပ်မယ် | yut meare2 going to stop

Lesson 4: Different ways to say You and I — Pronouns in Myanmar Language

Pronouns are called

နာမ်စား | nun2-za3, MP3 Audio File

where za3 is the soft spoken form of စား | sa3, MP3 Audio File which itself is the abbreviation of အစား | a-sa3. What does a-sa3 mean? It has more than one meaning: division in math, food intake, or substitution.

sa3 in nun2-za3 refers to substitution of နာမ် | nun2 MP3 Audio File or the noun. In place of the names of persons, objects, and places (which are nouns), "you", "I", "he", "she", "that", "it", "they", "those", etc. are used.

Pay special attention to different ways to say "you" and "I" in Burmese. Wrong choice of "you" or "I" can be impolite and offend people, or make you sound silly if you got your gender wrong.

There are many ways to say "you" and "I" in Burmese. THOU SHALT NOT USE literary form of "you", such as သင် | thin2 or အသင် | a-thin2 in spoken form, unless you are an actor in the dramatic play. This lesson covers all pronouns "you" and "I" usages you will need in colloquial Burmese.

Burmese Pronouns

There are four classifications of pronouns in Myanmar language.

  • ပုဂ္ဂလနာမ်စား | poat-ga1-la1 nun2-za3 MP3 Audio Filepersonal pronoun

    is the part of speech that is used in place of a person. It is a coined word of အစား | a-sa3 meaning "in place of" and ပုဂ္ဂိုလ် | poat-go2 meaning "a person".

    Examples: "I", "You", "He", "She", "It". Attention must be paid to many ways to say "you" and "I" in Burmese.

  • အညွှန်းနာမ်စား | a-hnyoon3 nun2-za3 MP3 Audio Filereferential pronoun

    points to something or someone such as, "this","that", and "above-mentioned". အညွှန်း | a-hnyoon3 means reference.

  • အမေးနာမ်စား | a-may3 nun2-za3 MP3 Audio Filequestion words

    are equivalent to "what", "who", "where" in English. For example, in the Burmese question: "What does she like?", "what" refers to "the thing that she likes" (noun), and it is considered a question pronoun. By the same logic, "where" in the question: "Where did he go?" refers to "the place that he went" (noun), and it is a question pronoun.

  • သင်္ချာနာမ်စား | thin2-cha2 nun2-za3 MP3 Audio Filequantitative pronoun

    are words that show quantity, magnitude or amount such as "one person", "three cups", "four items", "some", "few", "all", "half", etc. used in place of names of objects or people.

    သင်္ချာ | thin2-cha2 in direct translation refers to "math".

    This category is further grouped into two types:

    • အရေအတွက်ပြ သင်္ချာနာမ်စား | a-yay2-a-twet pya1 thin2-cha2 nun2 za3 MP3 Audio Filenumerals

      E.g., "one person", "three cups", "four items". a-yay2-a-twet means quantity and pya1 means to show.

    • ပမာဏပြ သင်္ချာနာမ်စား | pa1-ma2-na1 pya1 thin2-cha2 nun2 za3 MP3 Audio Fileunspecified numbers

      E.g., "some", "few", "all", "half". pa1-ma2-na1 means "size" or "magnitude" and pya1 means to show.

Different words for different gender

As we have seen near the end of lesson 3, male and female Burmese speakers make use of slightly different ending words:

ရှင့် | shin1 — is used by female speakers.

ဗျာ | bya2 — is used by male speakers.

Example:

ဟုတ်တယ်ရှင့်

hote deare2 shin1

"yes, I concur.." (or) "yes, very true!"

A male speaker would say the same "yes, I concur.." (or) "yes, very true!" with the ending

ဗျာ | bya2.

ဟုတ်တယ်ဗျာ | hote deare2 bya2

Note the slight different change in saying "yes" when someone orders something:

A request: Please do this right away!

A reply by a female speaker:

ဟုတ်ကဲ့ရှင့် | hote-keare1 shin1

which is equivalent to saying "Yes Sir!" or "Yes, Ma'm!"

A reply by a male speaker:

ဟုတ်ကဲ့ခင်ဗျာ | hote-keare1 kha1-mya1

When shin1 or kha1-mya1 is added at the above conversation, it sounds more polite and professional.

Yes, I am here!

Now, consider this. Someone is looking for you everywhere. He is calling out your name. If you are a male person, you may answer:

ဗျာ | bya2 (or)
ခင်ဗျာ | kha1-mya2

Note the 2nd tone ending mya2.

A female speaker would answer:

ရှင် | shin2Yes, I am here.

A Shocking Surprise

A single word:

ရှင် | shin2 (female) and
ဗျာ | bya2 (male) or
ခင်ဗျာ | kha1-mya2 (male)

could also be used to utter an exclamation— to express a shocking surprise with an open-mouth.

Village head to the young man: "Young man, your parents are dead, and so are your cows. The house is gone, and you have nothing left."

Young man:

ဗျာ | bya2 shocking surprise

followed by a long silent.

A step-mother in the poor village to her pretty step-daughter:

သမီး | tha1-mi3Daughter... MP3 Audio File

she says in an afflicted tone. "For the sake of your future, we are selling you to that rich man from across the border. Pack your things now."

Step-daughter:

ရှင် | shin2

Pardon me! Excuse me, can say that again?

ရှင် | shin2Can you say that again?

ဗျာ | bya2What did you say?

ခင်ဗျာ | kha1-mya2Did I hear it right?

Yes, you have heard it right! There are so many different uses for simple words like

ရှင် | shin2 (female),

ဗျာ | bya2 (male), and

ခင်ဗျာ | kha1-mya2 (male).

Here, the same words could mean "Pardon me! Excuse me, can you say that again?"

Master, Master, wake up!

If you are of an equal or a higher social status, rank, or age than the person who is calling your name, you may answer in a different tone of voice:

ဘာလဲကွ

ba2 leare3 kwa1What? ... what's going on?

Note that there is no "male", "female" term. The ending word ကွ | kwa1, as we have seen in lesson3 is an expression of excitement or delight, and can be used by both sexes.

A Knock on the door

Suppose you are in your hotel room when someone knocks on the door and calls out your name, you can say:

လာပြီ ၊ လာပြီ

la2 byi2.. la2 byi2Coming... coming!

The World without You and I

It is not necessary to be using polite "male" "female" ending words all the time. In fact, it is not even necessary to include "You" and "I" in Burmese sentences.

သွားိဦးမယ်နော်

thwa3 ome3 meare2 nau2

Got to go now! (go + indication of intention + warm feeling)

Note that in the above sentence, "I" is not explicitly stated, but implicitly implied.

First Person Male term: "kja1-nau2"

A male speaker could add "I" (male term) like this:

ကျွန်တော် သွားဦးမယ်နော်

kja1-nau2 thwa3 ome3 meare2 nau2

Please let me be excused now.

ကျွန်တော် | kja1-nau2 MP3 Audio File

means "I" and is used by male speakers. It is spelled "kjoon2 tau2". In upper Myanmar, particularly in Mandalay, this term is also used by female speakers. But, it appears that this trend is catching on in Yangon. I have encountered some female speakers who use the term ကျွန်တော် | kja1-nau2 in Yangon.

First Person Female term: "kja1-ma1"

A female speaker could add "I" (female term)

ကျွန်မ | kja1-ma1 MP3 Audio File

as follow:

ကျွန်မ သွားဦးမယ်နော်

kja1-ma1 thwa3 ome3 meare2 nau2

The word ကျွန်မ is spelled "kjoon2 ma1", but read kja1-ma1.

Male term of endearment: "ko2"

A husband or a boyfriend could use the term-of-endearment "I":

ကိုယ် သွားဦးမယ်နော်

ko2 thwa3 ome3 meare2 nau2

Yes, parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say

သွားဦးမယ်နော်

thwa3 ome3 meare2 nau2

till the day after tomorrow!

The use of

ကိုယ် | ko2 MP3 Audio File

is not limited to a soft whisper from a husband to a wife. It can also be used by any male person to any close friend.

Common female self-descriptive word for "I"

It is unusual for a female speaker to use

ကိုယ် | ko2 MP3 Audio File

as a self-descriptive first person pronoun "I". The reason could be that it sounds like the prefix ကို | ko2 with different spelling used in front of the names of the male person.

“The story started on that rainy day when I was enjoying a happy and wet Thingyan Festival filled with pleasing yellow Padauk flowers,” she said.

My heart beat faster when I saw those brown eyes and tender loving smile of his.

“Going home?”

“No.”

“Want to go out together, then?”

“Yeah.”

“Where to?”

“Just go.”

That's how I spent the time with him — so, the lyric goes.

This talented young lady's name is Eint Chit | အိမ့်ချစ် | Ain1-Chit. She is the same girl in "Myanmar's Happiest Time" video clip in lesson 30 — only a little younger.

All the while, she used the word ကိုယ် | ko2 for the pronoun "I". It's almost as though she is reminiscing the story about herself to herself.

"The story started on that rainy day when I was enjoying a happy and wet Thingyan Festival filled with pleasing yellow Padauk flowers," she said. My heart beats faster when I saw those brown eyes and tender loving smile of his. Going home? No. Want to go out together, then? Yeah. Where to? Just go. That's how I spent the time with him — so, the lyric goes. This talented young lady's name is အိမ့်ချစ် | Ain1-Chit. She is the same girl in "Myanmar's Happiest Time" clip in lesson 26 — only a little younger. All the while, she used the word "KO2" for the pronoun "I". It's almost as though she is reminiscing the story about herself to herself. [40 seconds]

Posted by Naing Tinnyuntpu on Thursday, May 19, 2016

A young girl would say something like this:

သမီး သွားဦးမယ်နော်

tha1-mi3 thwa3 ome3 meare2 nau2

where

သမီး | tha1-mi3 MP3 Audio File

means daughter and it is used as a pronoun in place of "I" by a young female to a person older than her. I don't know if it is a new trend or not. It seems the use of tha1-mi3 is not limited to teen-agers. Not long ago, I was taken aback to hear a woman in her 30's describing herself as tha1-mi3 to me. She addressed to me as "Uncle".

ဟိုက် ... | hite!

Burmese Exclamation! (English equivalent: "Gosh! She called me Uncle. Am I that old already?")

Perhaps, it's about time I do something about my graying hair. Maybe, afterwards with my new look, I can go back to her calling myself

သား | tha3son MP3 Audio File

before she calls herself

သမီး | tha1-mi3 :-)

Yes, we do grow older and older as time goes by. I think Nobel laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi must now be quite used to being addressed as a-may2 su1, where

အမေ | a-may2 MP3 Audio File means mother.

I once witnessed an odd situation between a young man and woman in their early 20's. She addressed to him as

အစ်ကို | a-ko2elder brother (used as a pronoun) MP3 Audio File

and he to her as

အစ်မ | a-ma1elder sister. MP3 Audio File

The conversation went on with the repeated use of a-ko2 and a-ma1. I was sitting next to them trying hard not to laugh out loud.

It is common for a female speaker to use her name in place of "I". For example, a lady named စန္ဒာ | sun2-da2 would say:

စန္ဒာသွားဦးမယ်နော်

sun2-da2 thwa3 ome3 meare2 nau2

to close friends and elder family members. In fact, either male or female could use his or her name in place of "I" when speaking to elder members of the family because "I" sounds too cold and impersonal.

Younger people to Older Folks

It's impolite in Myanmar culture to call elders "old man" and "old woman" in the face. But, you can bet that behind their back young people use the terms like

အဘိုးကြီး | a-pfo3-ji3MP3 Audio File — old man and

အဘွားကြီး | a-pfwa3-ji3 MP3 Audio File — old woman to not so young people.

Old man, Old woman

It's impolite in Myanmar culture to call elders "old man" and "old woman" in the face. But, behind their back, young Myanmar people might use the terms like အဘိုးကြီး | a-pfo3-ji3 (old man) and အဘွားကြီး | a-pfwa3-ji3 (old woman) to not so young people. [25 seconds]

Posted by Naing Tinnyuntpu on Saturday, May 7, 2016
Ni Ni Khin Zaw | နီနီခင်ဇော် | ni2 ni2 khin2 zau2 & Uranium Dancer Group

Girlfriend to boyfriend

Here is something new that I have overheard in the public place. A younger girl described herself as

ကလေး | kha1-lay3 MP3 Audio File

which is the direct English translation of baby to her much older boyfriend. This word also refers to a child. I, therefore, came to the logical conclusion that her boyfriend must then identify himself as

အဘ | a-ba1

meaning "father" in private to her, but my suspicion could not be independently verified. It's hard to estimate how widespread is the usage in Myanmar as shown in this clip.

Here is something new that I have overheard in the public place. A younger girl described herself as (ကလေး | kha1-lay3), which is the direct English translation of baby to her much older boyfriend. This word also refers to a child. I, therefore, came to the logical conclusion that her boyfriend must then identify himself as (အဘ | a-ba1) meaning "father" in private to her, but my suspicion could not be independently verified. It's hard to estimate how widespread is the usage as shown in this clip. Jenny & (William | Waiလျှံ) [33 seconds]

Posted by Naing Tinnyuntpu on Thursday, May 26, 2016
Jenny & William (Waiလျှံ)

It may sound odd, but it is possible for a girl to use "he" in place of "you" when talking to a newly acquainted male. For example, instead of "What are you doing?" in 2nd person, she might say "What is he doing?" in third person. Burmese word for "he" or "she" is

သူ | thu2. MP3 Audio File

The most common terms that she will address to her boyfriend or husband in public will be

အစ်ကို | a-ko2

which means "big brother", or the word

ကို | ko2

followed by the name of her boyfriend or husband. Those two terms are not so special. Anybody, male or female, could address to a male person about the same age with those words in place of "you".

The special usage of "you" to a boyfriend or a husband is the word

မောင် | moun2. MP3 Audio File

The closest English translation I can think of is "darling" or "dear", but unlike "darling" or "dear", the Burmese moun2 is reserved for female to male only.

How to call your boyfriend in Burmese

How would a tough guy call himself?

As people get married for a long time, the term-of-endearment "I" could change with time to become something not so endearing.

ကျုပ်သွားမယ်

kjoat thwa3 meare2

"I am about to go off"

says the husband. (I + go + indication of intention)

ကျုပ်မလိုက်ဘူး

kjoat ma1-lite bu3

"I am not going with you."

says the wife.(I + not + go along with + negative ending)

The gender-neutral use of

ကျုပ် | kjoat MP3 Audio File

as "I" was said to be first popularized by Burmese leader and politician Dr. Ba Maw (pronounced ဘမော် | Ba1 Mau2) during World War II because he didn't want to use

ကျွန်တော် | Kja1-nau2 MP3 Audio File

"I" , which in Burmese written words roughly means self-deprecating "loyal slave". In fact, when I was young, I personally knew two grandsons of Dr. Ba Maw. One of them was the son of ဗိုလ်ရန်နိုင် | Bo Yan Naing, a member of famous ရဲဘော်သုံးကျိပ် | Thirty Comrades with General Aung San as the leader. It was odd to hear them speak ကျုပ် | Kjoat to each other, but I didn't know why they used the word at that time.

The word

ကျွန်တော် | kja1-nau2

has evolved so much with time that today it has no association with the meaning "slave", whatsoever. However, when I hear someone says

ကျုပ် | kjoat

it gives me the impression of someone tough, straight-forward, and a bit unfriendly.

Burmese equivalent of "Mister"

ခင်ဗျား | kha1-mya3 MP3 Audio File

also means "you", but used in a business-like environment. Although kha1-mya3 sounds professional, it's "cold", and never used by family members to address to each other.

kha1-mya3 can be used by both male and female speaker to address to a male person. the plural form is

ခင်ဗျားတို့ | kha1-mya3 doh1 MP3 Audio File

which is closer in feeling tone to "you people" than "you gentlemen".

Burmese Gentlemen and noble friends

The word

လူကြီးမင်း | lu2-ji3-min3 MP3 Audio File

refers to a gentleman. You will often hear this "gentleman" message when your cellphone call cannot be reached.

In public messages, the terms

မိတ်ဆွေ

mate-hsway2 MP3 Audio Filefriend, and

မိတ်ဆွေတို့

mate-hsway2 doh1 MP3 Audio Filefriends are used.

The diplomatic term used to address ambassadors, presidents, and head of states is

အဆွေတော် | a-hsway2-dau2 MP3 Audio File

which is equivalent to Your Excellency.

Why should I trust "you", stranger?

ရှင် | Shin2

is only used by a female speaker to address either male or female person she is speaking to. It sounds cold and unfriendly, unlike the polite "yes" ရှင် | shin2 of the same sound and spelling mentioned earlier under different context.

Friendlier and more trustworthy "you"

When you get to know a person better, you call him or her by the title followed by the name of the person. For example, you say:

“How is it going ကိုဇော်ဝမ်း | Ko2 Zau2-Wun3 ?” to a person named ဇော်ဝမ်း | Zaw One.

ကို | ko2 is the title to address a male of the same age or older.

မောင် | moun2 is the title to address a younger male.

ဦး | u3 is the title to address an elder male.

| ma1 is the title to address a female who is younger or of the same age.

ဒေါ် | dau2 is the title to address an older female.

I consider "you" like a close relative

It is common for Burmese people to use the terms "young brother", "elder brother", "young sister", "elder sister", "big uncle", "big aunt", "grandpa", "grandma", etc., in place of "you" and "I" to any stranger, especially if you don't know the name of the person.

"What's up, brother?" — Did I hear an African-American speak?

ဘယ်လဲ အစ်ကို

beare2 leare3 a-ko2

Go where, big brother?

a greeting as you meet someone a bit older than you are. (where + ? + elder brother)

ညီလေး ... ကူပါဦး

nyi2-lay3.. ku2 ba2 ome3 MP3 Audio File

Could you help me please, young brother?

(younger brother + help + "do as such" suggestion)

စားပါဦး အဘ

sa3 ba2 ome3 a-ba1 MP3 Audio File

Please won't you have some, grandpa?

(eat + "do as such" suggestion + grandpa)

အဒေါ်ကြီး ၊ ဒါဘယ်လောက်လဲ

a-dau2-ji3, da2 beare2 lout leare3 MP3 Audio File

Big Aunty, how much is this?

(aunt+ big + this + how much + ?)

"You" naive girl

Sometimes an elder person would say

ညည်း | nyi3 MP3 Audio File

a version of "you" to a younger female in a disagreement or in a lecturing tone. In my opinion, it's a bit derogatory and somewhat carries the meaning: "You naive, ignorant small girl."

I am uncle and you are မောင်ရင် | moun2-yin2

မောင်ရင် | moun2-yin2 MP3 Audio File

is the term spoken by the elder man to the younger man. You can translate it as "young man" or "lad". This word is not often used. The more common usage today is

သား | tha3 MP3 Audio File

meaning "son" mentioned above.

Hey, kid!

The word

ချာတိတ် | cha2-tate MP3 Audio File

is like calling someone a kid. This word could be used by kids(sometimes in a bullying tone)to even younger kids. Cha2 tate refers to a boy.

ချာတိတ်မလေး | cha2-tate ma1 lay3 MP3 Audio File

means a girl. If the girl is a little older from the teenage upwards to the 20's, the word

ကောင်မလေး | koun2-ma1 lay3 MP3 Audio File

young woman is used. The male term is

ကောင်လေး | koun lay3, MP3 Audio File

meaning young man.

Friend

Younger generation of both sexes use the word "friend" in the conversation, especially to classmates.

သူငယ်ချင်း

tha1-ngeare2-jin3, I wish you well.

What's up "dude"?

Among friends,

မင်း | min3 MP3 Audio File

is used to say "you" in an informal way.

မင်းတို့ | min3 doh1 MP3 Audio File

is a plural for "you" meaning you guys or you people.

Sometimes

နင် | nin2 MP3 Audio File

is also used among friends. In Mandarin Chinese, "nin" in Pinyin second tone is a polite term to say "you". In Burmese it is not polite to say

nin2

to someone older than you are.

နင်တို့ | nin2 doh1 MP3 Audio File just like

မင်းတို့ | min3-doh1

is an another informal word for "you guys".

မင်း ဘာလုပ်နေလဲ

min3 ba2 loat nay2 leare3 MP3 Audio File

What are you doing?

(You + what + do + present participle [~ing] + ?)

မင်းတို့ ဘာလုပ်နေကြလဲ

min3 doh1 ba2 loat nay2 ja1 leare3 MP3 Audio File

What are you guys doing?

(you guys + what + do + present participle [~ing] + plural + ?)

Note the use of ကြ | ja1 for plural of people. Please review lesson 2 for the use of ja1.

ငါ | nga2 MP3 Audio File

is an informal word used among friends to say "I". It is rude to say

nga2

to strangers or to elders.

ငါတို့ | nga2 doh1 MP3 Audio File means we.

You may be wondering how to pronounce Nga2. "nga2" sounds just like saying "ng" part at the end of the word "sing" with the back of the tongue raised, momentarily touched the upper back part of the mouth and released. The tongue should be further back compared to saying "ga2".

ငါမသိဘူး

nga2 ma1-thi1 bu3

I don't know!

(I + not + know + negative ending)

Add "doh1" for plural form of people

Back in lesson 2, we have seen:

ဘယ်သူလဲ

beare2 dthu2 leare3 MP3 Audio FileWho? (which + person + ?)

သူပဲ

thu2 beare3 MP3 Audio FileThat's him! (he + exactly!)

သူ | thu2 MP3 Audio File

means he or she. How would you make it a plural to mean "they", "them"? Easy. Just add

တို့ | doh1 MP3 Audio File

like "you" and "I" above.

Question:

သူတို့ ဘယ်မှာလဲ

thu2 doh1 beare2 hma2 leare3

Where are they? (they + where + location indicator + ?)

Answer:

ငါမသိဘူး

nga2 ma1-thi1 bu3

I don't know!

Only slight tone difference between "I" and "my"

မသိ | ma1-thi1 MP3 Audio File

means "don't know". This word cannot be used independently, but must be followed by an another word. Usually, it is followed by negative ending

ဘူး | bu3. MP3 Audio File

နာရီ ဘယ်မှာလဲ

na2-yi2 beare2 hma2 leare3 MP3 Audio File

Where's the watch?

(watch + where + location indicator + ?)

ကျွန်တော် မသိဘူး

kja1-nau2 ma1-thi1 bu3 MP3 Audio File

I (male polite term) don't know!"

ကျွန်တော့ နာရီ ဘယ်မှာလဲ

kja1-nau1 na2-yi2 beare2 hma2 leare3 MP3 Audio File

Where's my (male polite term) watch?"

ကျွန်မ မသိဘူး

kja1-ma1 ma1-thi1 bu3 MP3 Audio File

I (female polite term) don't know!

Observe the tone difference carefully:



ကျွန်တော် | kja1-nau2I (male)

ကျွန်တော့ | kja1-nau1my (male)

သူ | thu2"he" or "she"

သူ့ | thu1"his" or "her"

When the tone is changed to the 1st., it becomes possessive. For female, "I" is already in the 1st tone, so there's no need to change it:

ကျွန်မ | kja1-ma1I (female) MP3 Audio File

ကျွန်မ | kja1-ma1my (female) MP3 Audio File

Similarly, there is no change in tone from "they" to "theirs".

သူတို့ | thu2 doh1they; them MP3 Audio File

သူတို့ | thu2 doh1theirs MP3 Audio File

ကျွန်တော့ သမီး | kja1-nau1 tha1-mi3 MP3 Audio File

"My daughter,"

says the man proudly to a friend.

ကျွန်မသား | kja1-ma1 tha3 MP3 Audio File

"My son"

ဒါကျွန်မသားပဲ

da2 kja1-ma1 tha3 beare3 MP3 Audio File

"That's the son I am talking about," she says.

(this + "my" female term + son + exactly!)

ဒါသူ့သားပဲ

da2 thu1 tha3 beare3 MP3 Audio File

That's his (or her) son.

ဒါသူ့သားလေ

da2 thu1 tha3 lay2 MP3 Audio File

That's his (or) her son, don't you know?

ဪ ဟုတ်လား

Au2.. hote la3 MP3 Audio File"Oh, is that so?"

It is closer to "Oh, I see.." follow-up comment. (Oh + Yes + ?)

I think I have covered all the variations of "You" and "I" that you will ever encounter in the conversation, and also about "him" and "their" comments. So,

ကိုင်း ကိုင်း ကိုင်း | kine3, kine3, kine3... MP3 Audio File

OK, OK, enough, enough, enough...

ကျွန်တော် | kja1-nau2 MP3 Audio File — I

ဒီမှာ | de2-hma2 MP3 Audio File — here

ရပ်မယ် | yut meare2 MP3 Audio File — stop + going to

ကိုင်း ကိုင်း ကိုင်း ကျွန်တော် ဒီမှာ ရပ်မယ်

kine3, kine3, kine3... kja1-nau2 de2 hma2 yut meare2 MP3 Audio File

Ok, that's enough! I will stop here.