Learn Myanmar Language in conversational and literary form. Learn to speak and read Burmese.
The Free Online Colloquial Burmese (Myanmar language) lessons include Burmese script, MP3 audio, PDF files and
easy Burmese grammar study materials with color-coded parts of speech:
nouns, pronouns, verbs,
adverbs, adjectives, conjunctions,
particles, postpositional markers, and
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If that was the question, the answer is "forget it!" You can forget about
the direct translation of "is", "are", "am", "to be" such as in "He is a doctor.",
"They are here.", "I am fine.", and so on.
The Burmese equivalent of such Verb trans (v.t) are usually found at the end of
the sentence by positive affirmation ending words such as "ba2" (particle),
and "deare2" (postpositional marker).
For example, thu2hsa1-ya2-woon2ba2
means "He is a doctor.", where thu2
is a pronoun "he" or "she", and
Negative ending word "bu3"
is in an equivalent of "is not", "are not", "am not" and so on. This word is NOT a verb, but a particle in Myanmar grammar.
means he or she is not here.
Unlike English word "is", you can still construct the Burmese sentence without using
means "he is a doctor, don't you know?"
Such single-syllable ending words are not verbs, but known as wi1-but(postpositional markers)
in Burmese grammar. They are important part of the Burmese sentence as explained in lesson 3.
Burmese grammar and verb-suffixes are further explained in lesson 59 for serious learners.
Types of Verbs in Myanmar Language
from the Pali origin is the class of words that show one of the three things below:
pyu1 chin3 - action (does/do)
pfyit chin3 - occurrence (be/is/are/am)
shi1 chin3 - presence (is at/has/have)
Burmese equivalent of "be/is/are/am" such as deare2
are not verbs but post-positional markers, and they form verb clauses only in combination with verbs such as "go", "eat", "come", or
adjectives such as "white", "wrong", "hungry".
Similarly, ending particle words such as ba2
are combined with nouns: "doctor", "man", "Buddhist" to get the verb clause "be/is/are/am" something or someone.
Burmese verbs can be categorized by the above three characteristics. In addition, they can also be classified by three types of
sentence construction, so there are a total of six terms that students learn in Myanmar high schools.
pyu1 chin3 pya1 kri1-ya2
- action words such as eat, walk, run, write, read.
pfyit chin3 pya1 kri1-ya2
- words that show the occurrence, state, or condition. E.g.,
- The rice is cooked.
- words that describe the presence or existence of something. E.g.,
- It is upstairs.
- words that describe the action. E.g.,
pu2-zau2 - to make a devotional offering.
- words that show the quality. Those are adjectives converted into verbs.
- She is enjoying the experience.
The adjective tha2-ya2 meaning "enjoyable" or "pleasant" is
modified into the verb by the ending postpositional marker.
- words that combine two actions. E.g.,
sa3-thout - to eat and drink; to have a meal.sa3-thout hsine2 (noun)
refers to the restaurant. It is a compound word made up of the verb
sa3-thout and the noun hsine2 meaning shop.
Burmese verbs do not change with tense like in English. Instead, verb-suffix words are appended to show the past tense, present tense, and future tense.
- I will go.
kan2dau1meare2 - I am about to kick.
youtpfu3deare2 - I have been there.
na3-leare2thwa3byi2 - I have understood now.
pyau3kheare1deare2 - I have told (him).
loatnay2 deare2 - I am doing (something).
Similarly, the same verb words are used for both plural and singular forms to say: "He does something" and "They do something."
CLICK (OR TOUCH) TABLE HEADER COLUMNS TO SORT BY ASCENDING OR DESCENDING ORDER.
ride (car, bus, horse, bicycle, rickshaw, plane, train, boat, elevator, hot air balloon, etc..)
In English, to watch is to look more attentively, not a casual glance by turning your head. You look, you see, and you watch if you like
what you see. You see something only after you look -- not you see first then look. Myanmar language is opposite. kji1 in Burmese means to watch as in TVkji1 -- Watch TV
as well as to take a look. The negative imperative phrase will be ma1kji1neare1
which means either "Don't Watch" or "Don't look". myin2, on the other hand,
is perceiving or seeing something as you turn your head. So, myin2dine3ma1kji1neare1
means "Don't look (and pay attention) every time you see something."
In English, to watch is to look more attentively, not a casual glance by turning your head. You look, you see, and you watch if you like what you see. You see something only after you look -- not you see first then look. Myanmar language is opposite. (ကြည့် | kji1) in Burmese means to watch as in (TV ကြည့် | TV kji1) -- Watch TV as well as to take a look. The negative imperative phrase will be (မကြည့်နဲ့ | ma1 kji1 neare1) which means either "Don't Watch" or "Don't look". (မြင် | myin2) on the other hand, is perceiving or seeing something as you turn your head. So, (မြင်တိုင်းမကြည့်နဲ့ | myin2 dine3 ma1 kji1 neare1) means "Don't look (and pay attention) every time you see something." [49 seconds]
yay2cho3 -- take a bath or shower (water + to bathe)
pfone2thoat -- to dust (dust + to wipe out)
a-khan3shin3 -- tidy up the room as in room service (room + to tidy-up)
How to make requests in Burmese?
To say, "I want to ... " the general format is:
where you substitute xxxx with the verb of your choice.
a-wootshau2chin2deare2 -- I want to wash clothes.
yay2cho3chin2deare2 -- I want to take shower.
litechin2deare2 -- I want to come along.
To suggest something, add the particle "ba2" after the verb with the format:
ba2 softens the tone from ordering to suggesting. Note the difference:
tet -- officer ordering the soldier to go up.
-- Driver politely telling the passenger to go inside (up) the vehicle.
ba2 ome3 -- softens the tone even more.
Sa3ba2 ome3 "Won't you have (eat) some?
Please refer to Lesson 2and 3 for basic sentence constructions.
If you know the general pattern, you can just substitute the verbs in most cases.
Note: Most of the action words have noun used as a prefix word in front of the
verb. Commands can be stand alone verbs, but in phrases and complete
sentences, related noun must be used as a prefix to avoid ambiguity.
Here are some more useful verbs and phrasal verbs:
Seeing a Doctor
hsay3thout -- take medication in liquid or tablet form (medicine + to drink)
hsay3hto3 -- inject with needle (medicine + punch or poke through)
pya1 -- to show
hsa1-ya2-woon2pya1 -- see a doctor. (doctor + to show)
hsa1-ya2-woon2khau2 -- call a doctor. (doctor + to call)
ba2-tha2pyan2 -- translate. (language or subject + to translate)
pfone3khau2 -- make a phone call. (phone + to call)
e-may3po1 -- send email. (email + to send)
tet-si2khau2 -- call taxi. (taxi + to call)
thun2-yone3thwa3 -- go to the embassy. (embassy + to go)
yeare3tine2 -- make a police report. (police + to report)
dau2-la2leare3 -- exchange dollar into local currency.(dollar + to exchange)
Waking Up in the morning
ate-ya2hta1 -- wake up. (bed + to stand)
ain2-tha2win2 -- go to the bathroom. (toilet + to enter)
myet-hna2thit -- freshen up by washing the face. (face + new)
thwa3tite -- brush teeth. (tooth + to knock or rub)
mote-hsateyate -- shave. (beard + to shave)
Preparing to go to work
mate-kutlain3 -- put on make-up and cosmetics. (cosmetic+ to rub)
tha1-nut-kha3lain3 -- put on burmese traditional cosmetic made from
balk of a type of tree. Burmese women and children use this paste for protection from the sun.( a type of tree balk + to rub)
goun3pfe3 -- comb hair. (head + to comb)
a-wootleare3 -- change clothes. (clothes + to change)
ma1-net sa2sa3 -- have breakfast. (morning + portion + to eat)
pfa1-nutsi3 -- put on footwear. (slippers, shoes + to ride)
hti3hsoun3 -- use an umbrella. (umbrella + to put up)
Morning Rush Hour
a-loatthwa3 -- go to work. (work + to go)
kjoun3thwa3 -- go to school. (school + to go)
a-loatsha2 -- look for work. (work + to search)
but-sa1-ka3soun1 -- wait for the bus. (bus + to wait)
but-sa1-ka3si3 -- take a bus. (bus + to ride)
ka3moun3 -- drive a car. (car + to drive)
Note: Public buses are now called line3 ka3 where
line3 refer to the route indicated by the route number. Rates in Yangon as of July 2016 range from 200 Kyat to 300 Kyat for the entire trip covering
greater Yangon that stretches as far as 15 miles. On January 16, 2017 a new bus system (YBS) with new numbers were introduced in Yangon. See the routes with
all the bus stops and detailed maps at https://ygnbuses.com.
a-loattet -- start work as in start of the shift. (work + to go up)
a-loatloat -- to work (work [noun] + to work [verb])
hsway3-nway3 -- discuss
twet-chet -- calculate; do the math.
yi2-twet -- count
pyin2-hsin2 -- prepare
kjau2-nya2 -- advertise
sin3-sa3 -- think
say1-sut -- negotiate
lu2-hnga3 -- hire people. (people + rent/hire)
hnga3-yan3 -- to rent
sit-hsay3 -- inspect
htain3-thain3 -- maintain
pyin2 -- repair
sun3 -- to test
sin2 -- assemble
htoat -- pack
youn3 weare2 -- buy & Sell. (sell + buy)
hsone3-pfyut -- make decisions.
si2-mun2 khan1-khweare3 -- manage
a-loat kjan3loat -- do a menial work. (job + rough + to do)
za1-ga3pyau3 -- chit-chat (language + speak)
a-chain2pfyone3 -- waste time. (time + to waste)
nay1-leare2 za2sa3 -- have lunch. (afternoon + portion + to eat)
lethsay3 -- wash the hand. (hand + wash)
letthoat -- dry or clean the hand with napkin. (hand + to wipe)
ba1-zutthoat -- wipe the mouth clean with napkin. (mouth + to wipe)
yay2thout -- drink water. (water + to drink)
a-pau1thwa3 -- go to the restroom. (urine + to go)
a-na3yu2 -- to rest. (a rest + to take)
Back to Work
a-loatpyan2-loat -- resume work. (work [noun] + return + to work [verb])
la1-pfet-yay2 thout -- drink tea. (tea + to drink)
na2-yi2 kji1 -- look at the clock. (watch or clock + to look or to watch)
thwa3pfo1pyin2 -- prepare to go. (to go + for + to prepare)
Note: pfo1 may sound more like bo1 when spoken.
End of Shift
a-loathsin3 -- to end work as in the end of shift and knock-off time (work [noun] +
+ to go down) Oddly enough, it also refers to start work in the beginning of shift. For the later case, the reference point
is probably going down the stairs of one's home.
kjoun3hsin3 -- finish class. (school + to go down); never use this for start of class.
ain2pyan2 -- go back home. (house + to return, to repeat)
da1-ga3pfwin1 -- open the door. (door + to open)
pfa1-nutchoot -- remove footwear; it is a Burmese custom to remove footwear at the
door. (slippers, shoes + to take-off)
hta1-min3chet -- cook rice. (rice + to cook)
hin3chet -- cook a dish which is eaten with rice. (dish + to cook)
ain3-ji2choot -- take off the shirt. (shirt + to take off)
goun3shau2 -- shampoo hair. (head + to wash)
yay2cho3 -- take a bath or shower. (water + to bathe)
mi3pfwin1 -- switch on the lights. (fire or light + to open)
mi3htoon3 -- shine a flashlight or light up the lamp. (fire or light + to light up)
chin2-hsay3htoon3 -- light up or to spray mosquito repellents.
(mosquito + medicine + to light up)
hta1-min3sa3 -- general term to have a meal. (rice + to eat)
hsu1toun3 -- say Grace. [Christian rituals] (wish or trophy + to ask for)
nya1-za2sa3 -- have dinner. (night + portion + to eat)
za1-bweare3shin3 -- clean up the table. (table + to tidy up)
yay2pfwin1 -- turn on the water, e.g., from the tap, faucet, pipe. (water + to open)
ba1-gun2hsay3 -- wash dishes. (plates + to wash)
yay2pate -- turn off the water, e.g., from the tap, faucet (water + to close)
Before going to bed
yay2-di2-yo2na3-htoun2 -- listen to the radio. (radio + to listen)
ti2-bwi2kji1 -- watch TV. (TV + to watch)
sa2pfut -- read a book; to study. (literature, letter, words + to read)
pan2-ka2pfwin1 -- turn on the fan. (fan + to open)
eare3-koon3pfwin1 -- turn on the air-conditioner. (air-cond. + to open)
pfa1-ya3shit-kho3 -- say prayers. [Buddhist rituals]
(God or the Buddha or a symbol representing the Buddha + to pay respect)
ti2-bwi2pate -- switch off TV. (TV + to close)
chin2-htoun2cha1 -- set up a mosquito-net in the sleeping area.
(Mosquito net + to pull down)
mi3pate -- switch off the light. (light or fire + to close)
ate -- sleep
Category: Basic Body Motions and 5 senses
htine2 -- sit
hta1 -- stand up (to maintain upright position)
hleare3 -- lie down
ma1 -- lift up
toon3 -- push
hsweare3 -- pull
htan3 -- carry on the shoulder
kja3 -- hear
myin2 -- see
yu2 -- take
kine2 -- hold with the hand
kine2 hta3 -- keep holding on tight
hloot lite -- release by ungrasping of the hand, by withdrawal of the foot, letting go mentally,
or to physically release a captive.
pyau3 -- tell
pyan2 pyau3 -- repeat what one said. (to repeat + to say)
au2 -- shout or scream
pyan2 loat -- repeat or do it one more time. (to repeat + to do)
Category: Office and Clerical
mate-tu2ku3 -- make photocopies. (photocopy + to copy)
dut-pone2yite -- take photos. (photos + to hit or strike)
pfoun2pfyay1 -- fill up the form. (form + to fill up)
let-hmuthto3 -- sign one's name. (signature + to punch)
pike-hsun2pay3 -- pay money. (money + to pay)
The formal word to sign the name is let-hmuthto3, to make payment at the counter
is ngway2thwin3 (money + to deposit), and
cha1-lun2htoat means to get the receipt (receipt + to issue).
yay2ku3 -- swim (water + to swim)
hlay2hlau2 -- row a boat. (boat + to row)
ywet-hlay2hlau2 -- sail a boat. (sailing boat + to sail)
toun2tet -- climb a mountain. (hill or mountain + to go up)
lun3-shout htwet -- go out for a walk. (to walk + to come out)
set-bain3si3 -- ride a bicycle. (bicycle + to ride)
zay3weare2 -- go shopping. (market + to buy)
gout-thi3yite -- play golf. (golf + to hit or to strike)
eare1-theare2pfyau2-pfyay2 -- entertain guests. (guest + to entertain)
chin3-lone3khut -- to play a non-competitive sport participated by
a small group of people [usually 4 or 5] facing each other in a circular formation, where the objective of the game
is to keep the ball made of cane in the air as long as possible by means of foot, shoulder, head, and parts of the body except the hand,
and by passing around. (cane basket + ball + to toss with foot)
a-yetthout -- drink alcohol (alcohol + to drink)
tha1-chin3hso2 -- sing a song (song + to sing)
yoat-shin2kji1 -- watch movie (movie + to watch)
pfa1-ya3-pweare3thwa3 -- go to night time festival at the
pagoda compound where there are all-night shows as well as stalls selling food and variety of items in a Carnival style
environment.(Pagoda + festival + to go)
pfeare3yite -- play cards (playing cards + to hit or to strike)