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.
To be or not to be...
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
ပါ | "ba2" (particle),
တယ် | "deare2" (postpositional marker).
သူဆရာဝန်ပါ | thu2hsa1-ya2-woon2ba2
means "He is a doctor.", where
သူ | thu2
is a pronoun "he" or "she", and
ဆရာဝန် | hsa1-ya2-woon2 (noun)
Negative ending word
ဘူး | "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.
သူမရှိဘူး | thu2ma1-shi1bu3
means he or she is not here.
Unlike English word "is", you can still construct the Burmese sentence without using
ပါ | "ba2".
သူဆရာဝန်လေ | thu2hsa1-ya2-woon2lay2
means "he is a doctor, don't you know?"
Such single-syllable ending words are not verbs, but known as
ဝိဘတ် | we1-but(postpositional markers)
ပစ္စည်း | pyit-si3(particles)
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
ကြိယာ | ka1-ri1-ya2
from the Pali origin is the class of words that show one of the three things below:
Burmese equivalent of "be/is/are/am" such as တယ် | deare2
are not verbs but postpositional markers, and they form verb clauses only in combination with verbs such as "go", "eat", "come", or
adjectives such as "white", "wrong", "hot".
Similarly, ending particle words such as ပါ | 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.
ပြုခြင်းပြ ကြိယာ | pyu1 chin3 pya1 ka1-ri1-ya2
- action words such as eat, walk, run, write, read.
ဖြစ်ခြင်းပြ ကြိယာ | pfyit chin3 pya1 ka1-ri1-ya2
- words that show the occurrence, state, or condition. E.g.,
ထမင်းကျက်ပြီ | hta-min3kjetbyi2 -- The rice is cooked.
ရှိခြင်းပြ ကြိယာ | shi1 chin3 pya1 ka1-ri1-ya2
- words that describe the presence or existence of something. E.g.,
အပေါ်ထပ်မှာ ရှိတယ် | a-pau2-htuthma2shi1deare2 - It is upstairs.
ပင်ကို ကြိယာ | pin2-go2 ka1-ri1-ya2
- words that describe the action. E.g.,
ပူဇော် | pu2-zau2 - make a devotional offering.
ဂုဏ်ရည်ပြ ကြိယာ | gome2-yay2-pya1 ka1-ri1-ya2
- words that show the quality. Those are adjectives converted into verbs. E.g.,
သူ သာယာ နေတယ် | thu2tha2-ya2nay2deare2 - She is enjoying the experience.
The adjective သာယာ | tha2-ya2 meaning "enjoyable" or "pleasant" is
modified into the verb by the ending postpositional marker.
ပေါင်းစပ် ကြိယာ | poun3-sut ka1-ri1-ya2
- words that combine two actions. E.g.,
စားသောက် | sa3-thout - eat and drink; have a meal.
စားသောက်ဆိုင် | sa3-thout hsine2 (noun)
refers to the restaurant. It is a compound word made up of the verb စားသောက် | sa3-thout and the noun ဆိုင် | 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.
သွားမယ် | thwa3meare2 - I will go.
ကန်တော့မယ် | kun2dau1meare2 - I am about to kick.
ရောက်ဖူးတယ် | youtpfu3deare2 - I have been there.
နားလည်သွားပြီ | na3-leare2thwa3byi2 - I have understood now.
ပြောခဲ့တယ် | pyau3kheare1deare2 - I have told (him).
လုပ်နေတယ် | 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 OF ENGLISH OR BURMESE SCRIPT.
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 does not differentiate between "look" and "watch". ကြည့် | kji1 in Burmese means to watch as in တီဗွီကြည့် | TVkji1 — Watch TV as well as to take a look.
The negative imperative phrase will be မကြည့်နဲ့ | ma1-kji1neare1 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 | myin2dine3ma1-kji1neare1 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]
အခန်း ရှင်း | a-khan3shin3 — tidy up the room as in room service (room + tidy-up)
How to make requests in Burmese?
To say, "I want to ... " the general format is:
ချင်တယ် | xxxxchin2deare2, where you substitute xxxx with the verb of your choice.
အဝတ် လျှော် ချင်တယ် | a-wootshau2chin2deare2 — I want to wash clothes.
ရေ ချိုး ချင်တယ် | yay2cho3chin2deare2 — I want to take shower.
လိုက် ချင်တယ် | litechin2deare2 — I want to come along.
To suggest something, add the particle "ba2" after the verb with the format:
xxxx ပါ | xxxxba2
ပါ | ba2 softens the tone from ordering to suggesting. Note the difference:
တက် | tet — officer ordering the soldier to go up.
တက်ပါ | tetba2 — Driver politely telling the passenger to go inside (up) the vehicle.
ပါဦး | ba2 ome3 — softens the tone even more.
စားပါဦး | 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
ဆေး သောက် | hsay3thout — take medication in liquid or tablet form (medicine + drink)
ဆေး ထိုး | hsay3hto3 — inject with needle (medicine + punch or poke through)
ပြ | pya1 — to show
ဆရာဝန် ပြ | hsa1-ya2-woon2pya1 — see a doctor. (doctor + show)
မိတ်ကပ် လိမ်း | mate-kutlain3 — put on make-up and cosmetics. (cosmetic+ to rub)
သနပ်ခါး လိမ်း | tha1-nut-kha3lain3 — put on burmese traditional cosmetic made from bark of a type of tree. Burmese women and children use this paste for protection from the sun.( a type of tree bark + to rub)
Note: Public buses are now called လိုင်းကား | 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 http://ygnbusdirectory.com/.
အလုပ် တက် | a-loattet — start work as in start of the shift. (work + go up)
အလုပ် လုပ် | a-loatloat — to work (work [noun] + to work [verb])
ဆွေးနွေး | hsway3-nway3 — discuss
တွက်ချက် | twet-chet — calculate; do the math.
ရေတွက် | yi2-twet — count
ပြင်ဆင် | pyin2-hsin2 — prepare
ကြော်ငြာ | kjau2-nya2 — advertise
စဉ်းစား | sin3-za3 — think
စေ့စပ် | say1-sut — negotiate
လူ ငှား | lu2-hnga3 — hire people. (people + rent/hire)
ခြင်းလုံး ခတ် | chin3-lone3khut — 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 + toss with foot)
သီချင်း ဆို | tha1-chin3hso2 — sing a song (song + sing)
ရုပ်ရှင် ကြည့် | yoat-shin2kji1 — watch movie (movie + to watch)
ဘုရားပွဲ သွား | pfa1-ya3 bweare3thwa3 — 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 + go)
ဖဲ ရိုက် | pfeare3yite — play cards (playing cards + hit or strike)