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Burmese    ဗမာစကား (Burmese [báma sákà])

The Burmese or Myanmar script developed from the Mon script, which was adapted from a southern Indian script during the 8th century. The earliest known inscriptions in the Burmese script date from the 11th century.

Notable Features

  • Type of writing system: syllabic alphabet - each letter has an inherent vowel [a]. Other vowels sounds are indicated using separate letters or diacritics which appear above, below, in front of, after or around the consonant.
  • The rounded appearance of letters is a result of the use of palm leaves as the traditional writing material. Straight lines would have torn the leaves. The Burmese name for the script is ca-lonh 'round script'.
  • Burmese is a tonal language with three main tones (high, low and creaky) and two other tones (stopped and reduced). The tones are indicated in writing using diacritics or special letters.

Used to write:

Burmese/Myanmar, a member of the Burmese-Lolo group of the Sino-Tibetan language spoken by about 21 million people in Burma (Myanmar).

The Karen languages, a group of languages related to Burmese and spoken by around 4 million people in Burma and Thailand.

Mon, a member of the Mon-Khmer group of the Austroasiatic languages spoken by about 200,000 people in Burma and Thailand.

Consonants

Burmese consonants

Vowels and vowel diacritics

Burmese vowels and vowel diacritics

Regular Rhymes

Regular Burmese Rhymes

Numerals

Burmese numerals

Sample Text in Burmese

Sample text in Burmese (Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Hear a recording of this text by Lynnie T. Htoo

Translation

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Information about Burmese | Tower of Babel in Burmese | Useful phrases in Burmese | Burmese learning materials

Links

Information about the Burmese language
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burmese_alphabet

Online Burmese lessons
http://www.seasite.niu.edu/Burmese/
http://salika.com/burmese/learnbur.html
http://www.youtube.com/user/BurmeseLanguage
http://www.glovico.org/en/burmese

Burmese phrases
http://ilanguages.org/burmese_phrases.php
http://www.asiapearltravels.com/language/lesson28.php
http://wikitravel.org/en/Burmese_phrasebook
http://seap.einaudi.cornell.edu/system/files/Burmese Language Phrases with Audio_0.pdf
http://www.asianhorizons.co.uk/tours-of-burma-phrases-burmese/

Online Burmese dictionaries
http://www.ornagai.com
http://www.lexilogos.com/english/burmese_dictionary.htm

Free Burmese fonts
http://www.seasite.niu.edu/seasite.htm
http://www.wazu.jp/gallery/Fonts_Myanmar.html
http://www.angelfire.com/country/burmesefont/

Online Burmese radio
http://www.voanews.com/burmese/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/burmese/
http://www.rfa.org/burmese/
https://soundcloud.com/dvbradio

Online Burmese news
http://www.dnevnik.bg
http://www.voanews.com/burmese/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/burmese/
http://www.rfa.org/burmese/

Tibeto-Burman languages

Burmese, Dzongkha, Garo, Kayah Li, Karen, Lepcha, Limbu, Lisu, Manipuri, Marma, Mizo, Mro, Naxi, Nepal Bhasa / Newari, Sunuwar, Tangut, Tibetan, Tshangla, Tujia, Yi

Languages written with the Burmese script

Burmese, Karen, Marma

Syllabic alphabets / abugidas

Ahom, Badaga, Balinese, Batak, Baybayin (Tagalog), Bengali, Brahmi, Buhid, Burmese, Chakma, Cham, Dehong Dai, Devanagari, Dives Akuru, Ethiopic, Evēla Akuru, Fraser, Gondi, Grantha, Gujarati, Gupta, Gurmukhi, Hanuno'o, Javanese, Jenticha, Kaithi, Kannada, Kharosthi, Khmer, Khojki, Kulitan, Lanna, Lao, Lepcha, Limbu, Lontara/Makasar, Malayalam, Manpuri, Modi, Mongolian Horizontal Square Script, Mro, New Tai Lue, Oriya, Pahawh Hmong, Pallava, Phags-pa, Ranjana, Redjang, Shan, Sharda, Siddham, Sindhi, Sinhala, Sorang Sompeng, Sourashtra, Soyombo, Sundanese, Syloti Nagri, Tagbanwa, Takri, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Tibetan, Tigalari (Tulu), Tikamuli, Tocharian, Tolong Siki, Varang Kshiti


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