Burmese

Language History

Burmese belongs to the Lolo-Burmese sub-branch of the Tibeto-Burmese branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. In its long history, this language has been influenced by speakers of other languages such as Pali and Mon, as these were the first to occupy the country of Burma in the 12th-13th centuries. Later, other European languages such as Portuguese, Dutch, English and French had impact on Burmese in the 16th-19th centuries. These languages only affected the spoken language of Burmese, meaning its written form differs quite drastically.

According to Ethnologue, Burmese is spoken by approximately 32 million people worldwide.

Where is Burmese Spoken?

Burmese is the official language of Myanmar (formerly Burma). However, this language is also spoken in other countries in the world such as Bangladesh, Malaysia, Thailand, and the U.S.

Myanmar_inner page

Did you Know?

There are no last names in the Burmese language. Often, names would be rhymed and would use two words.T

Population vs. Internet Penetration

Myanmar Population:

54,409,800

Internet Users:

18,000,000

Penetration:

29.4%

As of 2020. Source:
www.internetworldstats.com

Dialects

According to Ethnologue, there are several dialects of Burmese such as Beik (Merguese, Mergui), Mandalay Burmese, Yangon Burmese, and Yaw.

MustGo report that there are also two registers – a formal (used in official publications, radio and TV broadcasts, literary works, and formal speech) and a colloquial one (used in everyday speech).

“Burmese is a tonal language that requires a very careful ear and tongue to be able to speak and understand it correctly”

4 Easy Phrases in Burmese!

BurmeseEnglish
Mingâlaba (formal)(Formal greeting)
Thwa dau meGoodbye
Kyeizu pyu yuePlease
Kyeizu tin ba deThank you

Burmese Translation Tips

• Nouns in the Burmese language are not marked for gender, number or case.

• Plenty of Burmese verbs have a root plus separate particles that signify mood,
aspect, tense, positive/negative, and politeness.

• There are various politeness markers in the Burmese language and their use
relies on who is speaking to who.

• The word order in Burmese is Subject-Object-Verb.

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