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.
I am lost for word as to how to say the opposite of "loudly" in English. Is there an English adverb which means "in low volume"? "Quietly" or "Silently" means no volume at all. You can say "whisper", "hush..hush" or speak "softly", but how do I tell someone to listen to the radio in low volume using the opposite of "loudly"?
In Burmese you don't indirectly say: "Please turn down the volume" because you can directly say: "Please listen unloudly." I have never heard of the word "unloudly" in English before. Have you? And I have never heard of anyone saying "Please listen softly or faintly" either.
Could it be that there is no English word for toe3-doe3 because English speakers always turn up the speakers and never play their music toe3-doe3?
By the way, the Burmese phrase is
(in low volume + open) to tell the teenager to turn on the latest electronic gadget in low volume.
CLICK TABLE HEADER COLUMNS TO SORT BY ASCENDING OR DESCENDING ORDER IN ENGLISH OR BURMESE.
Lesson 8: "How" and "When" Parts of Action Words - Burmese Adverbs
Imagine yourself driving a red Ferrari down the long and winding mountain road. Suddenly, at the steep corner turn, you lost control, and you find yourself in the clouds. You quickly press the emergency button with your shaken hand, and the parachute opens. As you take a deep breath, you see the blue mountain behind the clouds in your rear-view mirror. You will now never forget the meaning of MOUN3, (to drive) on the MOUNtain road.
That's a memory technique where you are learning to associate the word MOUN3 with MOUNtain. Here is a video clip with less power than a red Ferrari.
Imagine yourself driving a red Ferrari down the long and winding mountain road. Suddenly, at the steep corner turn, you lost control, and you find yourself in the clouds. You quickly press the emergency button with your shaken hand, and the parachute opens. As you take a deep breath, you see the blue mountain behind the clouds in your rear-view mirror. You will now never forget the meaning of MOUN3, (to drive) on the MOUNtain road. That's a memory technique where you are learning to associate the word MOUN3 with MOUNtain. Here is a video clip with less power than a red Ferrari. [28 seconds]
Verbs in the previous lesson are quite useful in telling others what you want to do. But, sooner or later you discover that you still
cannot communicate what you really want to say. Something seems to be missing. For example, you need to go to the embassy in a hurry. You know the words
— go, and
You have memorized some useful nouns such as
In addition, you know the general formula for constructing a sentence which says you want to do something:
— I want to xxxx.
So, you can tell the driver:
I want to go to the embassy.
You can follow up with the order:
moun3 — drive!
or using the softer tone:
moun3ba2 — Please drive!
You still find the sentence unsatisfactory because you have expressed only half of what you really want to say: You are in a hurry. You want him to drive fast.
I want to go to the embassy fast.
(embassy + quickly + go + want + affirmative)
myan2-myan2moun3ba2 — Please drive fast!
The five types of Burmese Adverbs
The Adverb in the Burmese grammar has a Pali origin, and is known as
refers to the action words (verbs), and
means to modify or to qualify. Burmese adverbs qualify the verbs similar to English. There are five types of Burmese Adverbs:
Words that describe "how" part of the action words known as a-mu2-a-ya2 pya1 ka1-ri1-ya2 we1-thay2-tha1-na1 belong to a type of Myanmar adverbs that show gestures, manner, facial expressions, and behavior of human and other living beings.
yo2-yo2 thay2-dthay2kine2ba2 — Please handle with care.
hnay3-hnay3 kway3-kway3 - sluggishly.
wone3-wone3 dine3-dine3 - noisily.
Myanmar grammar put the conditions of things such as road conditions affected by the heavy storm in a different classification of adverbs. It is called a-chay2-a-nay2 pya1 ka1-ri1-ya2 we1-thay2-tha1-na1.
We have this festival only once in a while. Let's be happy together. [29 seconds]
da1-jain2 ta1-kha2 - once in a while (adverb)
dtha2 - only (particle)
ya1 - have (verb)
dthau3 - (particle) convert the clause into adjective to mean "rare"
pweare3-dau2 - festive occasion (noun)
a-tu2-du2 - together (adverb)
pyau2 - be happy (verb)
Now, we will add adverbs to the verbs we have met in the previous lesson. The following are mixtures of complete sentences, verbal commands, suggestions and phrases. They are organized in the same sequence as in lesson 7.
a-mya3-ji3sa3 — Have your fill of the stomach!; eat
a lot. (a lot + eat)
chet-chin3thwa3 — Go immediately!(immediately + go)
koun3-koun3loat — Do it nicely! (good + good + do)
myan2-myan2pyay3 — Run quickly! (quick + quick + run)
a-thay2cha1 — Attack!; Charge!; fight till the death! (deadly + fight)
hmun2-hmun2la2ba2 — Please come regularly. (regularly + come + suggestion)
You will note that many of those Burmese adverbs are formed by doubling of words. For example, koun3 means good (adjective), and koun3-koun3 means nicely (adverb), or in a good manner.
Those double-word adverbs are frequently used in spoken form and they are further classified as hna1-kjain2-htut ka1-ri1-ya2 we1-thay2-tha1-na1 in Burmese grammar, which means "two-times-repeat adverbs".
Busy Street Activities
thate — so much (adverb)
ku2 — help (verb)
chin2 — want to (particle used as verb suffix to mean "ku2-chin2" - want to help)
da2 — modifies "want to help"(verb) to "the thought that wants to help" (noun)
Don't park obstructively; Don't obstruct the traffic.
(obstructively + negative prefix particle + stop or park + negative imperative)
lu2-dway2 — people (human + plural)
a-yan3 — too much (adverb)
toe3 — push and shove (verb)
nay2 — particle equivalent to present participle "ing"
ja1 — particle that modifies the verb "to push" to plural
deare2 — affirmation ending word (postpositional marker)
There's too much shoving and pushing going on.
pfyay3-byay3hsoat — Back up slowly.
(slow + slow + back up or reverse the car)
khut myan2-myan2kway1 — Turn quickly
(rather + quick + quick + turn)
thay2-dthay2 cha2-ja2kji1 — Look carefully!
(surely + look or watch)
neare3-neare3beare3weare2 — Buy a little only.
(a little + only + buy)
- Cross the road patiently with caution.
(patiently + look + afterwards + cross the road)
Wash your clothes quickly! (clothes + quickly + to wash)
take a shower in a hurry. (water + in a hurry + bathe)
Clean up the room briskly! (room + briskly + to tidy-up)
When you are sick
Please take your medicine regularly.
(medicine + regularly or correctly without fault + to drink + suggestion)
In Burmese, the word thout (to drink) is used for "taking" medicine in both liquid and tablet forms.
Call the doctor at once!
(doctor + at once; immediately + call + emphatic suggestion)
Waking up in the morning
Please wake up early!
(bed + early + wake up (or) stand upright + suggestion)
Preparing to go to work
mate-kuthla1-hla1 pa1 pa1lain3
Put on the make-up (beautifully); put on cosmetics to make oneself attractive and beautiful.
(cosmetic + beautifully + rub)
Morning Rush Hour
ma1-nettine3 — every morning (morning [noun] + every [particle])
a-loat — work (noun)
sau3-zau3 — early (adverb)
thwa3 — go (verb)
deare2 — affirmation ending word (postpositional marker)
[he, she, I] go(es) to work early every morning.
but-sa1-ka3 — bus (noun)
a-kja2-ji3 — for a long time (adverb)
soun1 — wait (verb)
nay2 ya1 — had to (particle)
deare2 — affirmation ending word. (postpositional marker)
I had to wait for the bus for a long time.
(work [noun] + diligently + work [verb] + polite suggestion)
(She) can speak pleasantly; Her speech is pleasant to hear.
(speech + pleasantly + speak + able to + ending affirmation)
Please show up for work without fail.
(work + without fail + attend + polite suggestion)
Please speak louder!
(loudly or louder + speak + suggestion)
a-chain2 — time (noun)
thate — too much (adverb)
ma1 — not (particle)
pfyone3 — to waste (verb)
ba2 — polite emphasis (particle)
neare1 — negative imperative (particle)
Don't waste too much time!
letkja1 kja1 na1 na1hsay3
Wash your hands properly!
(hand + good + properly + to wash)
Although let is a singular form meaning hand, it is understood to refer to both hands of a single person. The plural letdway2 refers to hands of many people. (See lesson 32 for singular and plural terms.)
kha1-na1 ta1-pfyoata-na3 yu2meare2
I am going to take a short rest!
(momentarily + a rest [noun] + to take + going to)
Near the end of Shift
na2-yi2ma1-kja2 kha1-na1 kji1
Watch the clock every now and then.
(clock or watch + not + take a long time + again and again + to look or to glance)
This word is interesting. ma1-kja2 kha1-na1 is a coined word using
which means not + take a long time, and
which means again and again. So,
ma1-kja2 kha1-na1 means you do something again and again before a long time. The appropriate English translation is every now and then.
End of Shift
I just finished work, as in "the shift is just over."
(now + just + work + go down + affirmation)
ain2 — house or home (noun)
chau3-chau3 moon2 moon2 — smoothly; smooth-sailing without obstacles on the way (adverb)
byi2 — ending word "has/have" (postpositional marker)
ain2chau3-chau3 moon2 moon2pyan2 youtla2byi2
[He, she, I] has/have come back home safely!
pfa1-nut — shoes, slippers, footwear (noun)
go2 — to (postpositional marker that makes slipper the "object" of the sentence.)
de2hma2 — here (pronoun + postpositional marker)
thut-thut yut-yut — neatly (adverb)
choot — remove from body; take off (verb)
ba2 — polite ending word (particle)
Please remove your shoes neatly here.
Time to cook
Cook rice in a rush.
(rice + in a rush + to cook)
hin3 — dishes such as fish, meat, chicken, and vegetable to be eaten with rice (noun)
dway2 — (particle that makes the noun plural)
pfyit ga1-dut-hsun3 — carelessly; not properly done (adverb)
ma1 — negative (particle)
chet — cook (verb)
ba2 — polite word (particle)
neare1 — negative imperative telling not to (particle)
Please don't anyhow cook the dishes.
Taking a bath
ay3-ay3 hsay3-zay3goun3 shau2
unhurriedly shampoo the hair.
(unhurriedly + head + wash hair or clothes)
leisurely take a bath. (leisurely + bathe)
ba1-gun2 — plates (noun)
sin2 — be clean; be free from impurities(verb)
oun2 — in order to (conjunction)
thay2-dthay2 cha2-ja2 — thoroughly (adverb)
hsay3 — wash (verb)
Thoroughly wash the dishes.
yay2 — water (noun)
lone2 — keep something tight (verb)
oun2 — in order to (conjunction)
beare2-lo2 — how (adverb)
pate — close (verb)
ma1-leare3 — ending question word.
How do I shut the faucet tight so that water will not be dripping?
The word oun2 is a positive word which means "to pass", such as in "to pass the exam" (verb). It can be appended to several other words as conjunction to mean "in order to make it happen". For example, sin2oun2 means "in order to make it clean", where sin2 means "be spotlessly clean".
ray2-de2-yo2 — radio
a-kjeare2 ji3 — loudly
na3 htoun2 — listen
ray2-de2-yo2a-kjeare2 ji3na3 htoun2
listen to the radio so loudly.
toe3-doe3 — opposite of "loudly"; in low volume
beare3 — only
pfwin1 — open
Don't turn on the TV volume so loud; watch TV with low volume
Note that in Burmese, the above sentence is not a negative imperative, but a positive suggestion.
Say your prayers
Always say your Grace [Christian rituals]
(wish or trophy + always + to ask for)
Say prayers regularly every night.
(night + every + God or the Buddha or a symbol representing the Buddha + regularly + to pay respect)
Later on, [I will be] sleepily switching off the light.
(later on + sleepily + with + light or fire + to close + going to)
Take note of the omission of "you" and "I" in the above Burmese phrases. They are implicitly implied and unnecessary in such phrases.
Pay me money now! (money + now + to pay)
a-pup-tine3 — every week (week + every)
hmun2-hmun2 — regularly (adverb)
zay3 — market (noun)
weare2 — buy (verb)
deare2 — affirmation (postpositional marker)
I shop regularly every week.
Myanmar housewives probably shop for dry goods every week. Majority of households in Myanmar buy fresh vegetables and small portions of meat, fish, or chicken almost every day in the neighborhood market. There are also sellers — usually women — going around some neighborhood every morning, each carrying a big basket of grocery items on their heads and crying out the melody of their signature voices.
Adverbs should be studied after the verbs. In Burmese language grammar,
particles and postpositional markers are also important because verbs or adverbs alone will not
work. Those parts of speech will be discussed later in detail.