|Local name:||မြန်မာဘာသာ (mranma bhasa) ‘Myanmar language’|
|Language family:||Sino-Tibetan > Tibeto-Burman > Lolo-Burmese > Burmish > Southern Burmish|
|Native speakers:||33 millions (ne.se, 2007)|
|Spoken mostly in:||Myanmar|
Burmese script is an adaption of the Mon script which derives from the Indian Brahmi scripts. Burmese has been written for at least 1000 years. Since the written language has been rather conservative in its nature, whereas the spoken language has developed naturally, a diglossia has developed (cfr. the situation for Tamil, Persian or Arabic). This means that the written form of Burmese don’t always mirror the pronunciation of the spoken form, also some particles of written Burmese are no longer used in the spoken standard. Proposals to modernize the script and adapt it to the spoken standard have not been popular, though, possibly because many dialects of Burmese exhibit conservative traits that are closer to the written standard.
The majority of Burmese words are native monosyllabic words, but the language also exhibits a number of loanwords, especially from Pali, English and Mon. Similar to neighboring languages, like Tibetan, Mandarin and Thai, Burmese is a tonal language. It differs between high tone, low tone, creaky voice and stop tone.
One problem that might occur when writing Burmese in the digital age is that several popular fonts used to write Burmese are not Unicode-compliant, and a text might look different depending on the font used. The original text of the fable below is downloadable as a pdf with the correct output.
Burmese: “Myaut Le Nae Ne Tou Ha”
Speaker: နီနီဝင္း Ywet Wai Aung Age at recording: 26 (2013) Geographical reference: Middle of the country, MM (Google Map) Transcription scheme: Arbitrary PDF version of the Burmese text: Download
ေၿမာက္ေလ နဲ႔ ေန တို႔ဟာ ဘယ္သူကပိုၿပီးေတာ႔ သန္မာသလဲလို႔ အၿငင္းပြား ခဲ႔ၾကပါတယ္။ အဲဒီအခ်ိန္မွာ ကုတ္အက်ႌအထူၾကီးကိုဝတ္ထားတဲ႔ခရီးသြားတစ္ေယာက္ ေရာက္လာခဲ႔ပါတယ္။
သူတို႔ဟာ ဘယ္သူပိုၿပီးေတာ႔ သန္မာသလဲဆိုတာ သိဖို႔အတြက္ ဘယ္သူက ခရီးသည္ရဲ႕အက်ႌကိုခၽြတ္နိုင္္လိမ္႔မလဲလို႔ သေဘာတူခဲ႔ၾကပါတယ္။
ေၿမာက္ေလဟာ သူတတ္နိုင္သမွ်ၿပင္းၿပင္းထန္ထန္တိုက္ပါေတာ႔တယ္။ ဒါေပမယ္႔ သူကခပ္ၿပင္းၿပင္းတိုက္ေလ ခရီးသည္ဟာ သူ႕ရဲ႕အက်ႌကို ခပ္တင္းတင္းဆုပ္ကိုင္ထားေလပါပဲ။
အဲဒီေနာက္မွာေတာ႔ ေနဟာ သူ႔ရဲ႕ေနပူခ်ိန္ကိုစတင္ပါတယ္။
ဒီအခါမွာ ခရီးသည္ဟာ သူရဲ႕အက်ႌကိုခၽြတ္ရပါေတာ႔တယ္။
ဒါေၾကာင္႔ ေၿမာက္ေလဟာ ေနကပိုၿပီးေတာ႔ သန္မာတယ္လို႔ဝန္ခံရပါေတာ႔တယ္။
Myaut Le Nae Ne Tou Ha/ Bae Thu Ka Po Pyi Toue/ Than Ma Tha Lae Lou/ A Nyin Poa Khe Kya Pa Tae.
Ae Di A Chain Mha/ Kut Ankyi A Thu Kyi Ko/ Waet Tha Tae/ Kha Yee Thua Tit Yaut/ Yaut La Khe Pa Tae.
Thu Tou Ha/ Bae Thu Po Pyi Toue/ Than Ma Tha Lae So Ta/ Thi Phou A Twae/ Bae Thu Ka/ Kha YeeThae Yae/ Ankyi Ko/ Kyut Naing Laie Ma Lae Lou/ Tha Boue tu Khe Kya Pa Tae.
Myaut Le Ha Thu Tat Naing Tha Myha/ Pying Pying Than Than/ Taut Pa Tau Tae. Da Pae Mae/ Thu Ka Khat Pying Pying Taut Le/ Kha Yee Thae Ha/ Thu Yae Ankyi Ko/ Khat Tin Tin Suat Kyle Tha Le Pa Pae. Naut Sun Mha Tau/ Myaut Le Ha/ A Shun Pay Light Ya Pa Tae.
Ae Di Naut Mha Toue/ Ne Ha/ Thu Yae A Pu Chain Ko/ Sa Tin Pa Tae.
Di A Kha Mha/ Kha Yee Thae Ha/ Thu Yae/ Ankyi Ko/ Khyut Ya Pa Toue Tae.
Da Kyaut/ Myaut Le Ha/ Ne Ka Po Pyi Toue/ Than Ma Tae Lou/ Win Khan Ya Pa Toue Tae.