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The Free Online Burmese Lessons
Learn Myanmar Language, History & Culture
Myanmar — The Land of the Fast and the Strong
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Learn Myanmar Language in conversational and literary form. Learn to speak and read Burmese. The Free Online Colloquial Burmese (Myanmar language) lessons include Burmese script, MP3 audio, PDF files and easy Burmese grammar study materials with color-coded parts of speech: nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, conjunctions, particles, postpositional markers, and interjections.

Naing Tinnyuntpu Naing Tinnyuntpu is no stranger to systematic and efficient approach. He came from manufacturing environment with Bachelor's and Master's degree in Industrial Engineering in the USA. His contributions to semiconductor industry include Administrative Quality Best Practices during his working years as a process engineer with Hewlett-Packard in Singapore. Having lived in 6 countries, he is exposed to different cultures and knowledgeable in unrelated areas. This includes newly acquired knowledge in programming languages. Currently, he is contributing to Tourism in Myanmar by making his online Burmese lessons freely available and accessible to all.


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Taxi in Myanmar


with MP3 AUDIO MP3 Audio File

"a" in "art" with silent "rt".
"ar" in "Argentina" with silent "r".
"ar" in "Artist" with slilent "r".
"de" in "deep" with silent "p".
"de" as in "demote"; "demand"
"dee" as in "deer"; "decent"
"colt" with silent "lt".
as in "co-author"; "cocaine"
"cold" wit silent "ld".
"u" in "Youth" with silent "th".
"u" as in "university"; "utensil"
"u" as in "user"; "Unix"
as in "shunt" with silent "t".
"shun" as in "chandelier".
as in "shun".
as in "auction""
as in "Australia";"auditor"
as in "August".
"maize" with silent "ze".
"may" as in "May I?"
"ay" in "amazing".
"sink" with silent "k".
"sin" as in "sincerely".
"sin" as in "sinful"; "Singapore"
"aunt" with silent "t".
"un" in "understanding"; "umbrella"
"un" as in "under".
"melt" with silent "lt".
"mel" in "Melbourne" with silent "l".
"mare" of "nightmare".
"taint" with silent "t".
"tain" as in "Captain".
"tain" as in "maintain".
"Bryant" without "r".
as in "carbine".
as in "combine".
as in "don't".
close to "dominate".
as in "dome"
"doont" in "couldn't".
"mon" in "monastery".
"oon" as in "cartoon".
"count" with silent "t".
"coun" in "counter-strike".
"coun" as in "counsel".
cake, jade, eight, paid, bake
wet, set, mad, yet
cook, put, look
out, south, mouse, doubt
sight, pipe, night, dice, like
up, nut, sucks
oat, coat, goat, soak
it, pit, sit

Survival Phrasebook with Burmese Script

As an alternative or in addition to speaking in Burmese, perhaps you can bring along printout of the words or phrases in Burmese Script and point that out to the local people. You will be better understood that way.

You can download the PDF file that focuses more on useful survival phrases that you can use when you are in the rural areas away from English speakers. When all other communications fail, just point out the phrase in Burmese script that says things like, "take me to the nearest hotel".

Survival Phrase Book with Burmese Script

Revision: I
Revised Date: 2015-06-17
File Size: 368 KB
Number of Pages: 14

Although the phrases are not explained in details, it is designed to help you to see the sentence patterns, and priority is placed in the emergency situations and words such as shouting, tha1 kho3...tha1 kho3 ( thief!...thief!) or mi3... mi3 (fire!!).

Do you want to learn to read and pronounce Burmese Script in a short time? In lesson 33, you can download Myanmar Script Learning Guide designed for the tourists.

Burmese Phrasebook MP3 Audio

Emergency Situations and making requests with MP3 audio to accompany the Burmese Phrasebook PDF.

Help! Help! MP3 Audio File
mi3 ... mi3
Fire! Fire! MP3 Audio File
thief! thief! MP3 Audio File
da1-mya1... da1-mya1
Robbery! Robbery! MP3 Audio File
lun3 pya1 pay3 ba2
Help me show the way MP3 Audio File
ku2-nyi2 pay3 ba2 ome3
Please help me! MP3 Audio File
hsay3-khan3 po1 pay3 ba2
Please take me to the clinic MP3 Audio File
hsay3-yone2 po1 pay3 ba2
Please take me to the hospital MP3 Audio File
bu2-da2-yone2 po1 pay3 ba2
Please take me to the train station MP3 Audio File
lay2-zate po1 pay3 ba2
Please take me to the airport MP3 Audio File
hsate-kun3 po1 pay3 ba2
Please take me to the seaport MP3 Audio File
a-way3-pyay3 ka3 gate po1 pay3 ba2
Take me to long-distance bus station MP3 Audio File
sa3-thout-hsine2 po1 pay3 ba2
Take me to the restaurant MP3 Audio File
teare3-kho2-khan3 po1 pay3 ba2
Take me to the guest house MP3 Audio File
a-ni3-zone3 hsay3-khan3 po1 pay3 ba2
Take me to the nearest clinic MP3 Audio File
a-ni3-zone3 ho2-teare2 po1 pay3 ba2
Take me to the nearest hotel MP3 Audio File
ain2-tha2 thwa3 chin2 deare2
I want to go to the toilet MP3 Audio File
ain2-tha2 shi1 la3
Is there a toilet MP3 Audio File
ain2-tha2 beare2-hma2 shi1 leare3
Where is the toilet? MP3 Audio File
a-yay3-pau2 pfone3 khau2 pay3 ba2
Please call emergency MP3 Audio File
hsa1-ya2-woon2 khau2 pay3 ba2
Please call a doctor MP3 Audio File
yeare3 khau2 pay3 ba2
Please call police MP3 Audio File
a-hnga3-yin2 khau2 pay3 ba2
Please call a rental vehicleMP3 Audio File
tet-si khau2 pay3 ba2
Please call taxi MP3 Audio File
lu2 khau2 pay3 ba2
Please call someone MP3 Audio File
myin3-hleare3 khau2 pay3 ba2
Please call horse-driven carriage MP3 Audio File
set-hlay2 khau2 pay3 ba2
Please call a motorized boat MP3 Audio File
eare1-lun3-hnyoon2 khau2 pay3 ba2
Please call me a tourist guide MP3 Audio File
a-pfau2 ta1-yout khau2 pay3 ba2
Please call me a companion MP3 Audio File
lun3-pya1 ta1-yout khau2 pay3 ba2
Please call me a guide MP3 Audio File
lun3-pya1 ta1-yout hteare1 pay3 ba2
Please include a guide MP3 Audio File
hna1-yet-sa2 yate-kha2 hteare1 pay3 ba2
Please pack supplies for two days MP3 Audio File
dau2-la2 leare3 pay3 ba2
Please exchange dollar for me MP3 Audio File
a-woot shau2 pay3 ba2
Can you wash clothes for me? MP3 Audio File
a-khan3 sha2 pay3 ba2
Can you find a room for me? MP3 Audio File
yin2-moun3 sha2 pay3 ba2
Help me find a driver MP3 Audio File
eare1-da2 theare2 pay3 ba2
Plese help me carry that MP3 Audio File

Lesson 28: Burmese Phrasebook for the Tourists

So far, we have covered a lot of grounds on useful basic Burmese vocabularies, words, and phrases. Although new lessons are added as time goes by, I will keep the Myanmar conversational phrases as simple as possible, so that you can jump in at any lesson without difficulties.

In this lesson, I am going to focus on essential travel phrases for the tourists. Some of the words and phrases are already covered in the previous lessons, so if you have been following me, this will be like a review. For the tourists who discover this page through the Internet search, this lesson will be a useful information put together in one page.

Welcome to Yangon

Calling a taxi or a doctor

As a traveler, you definitely need a transport. Although travel agencies like Asia Pearl Travels provide guided tours inclusive of transport, some tourists prefer to make adventures on their own. If you are one of such individuals, you can go to the front desk in your hotel and ask:

tet-si2 -- taxi
khau2 -- call
pay3 -- to give
ba2 -- soft polite tone

tet-si2 khau2 pay3 ba2 -- Can you call a taxi for me, please?

hsa1-ya2-woon2 -- doctor
khau2 -- call
pay3 -- to give
ba2 -- soft polite tone

You can use the same sentence construction with "doctor" in place of "taxi".

hsa1-ya2-woon2 khau2 pay3 ba2 -- Can you call a doctor for me, please?

Can you do this for me, please?

So, the general pattern of making such requests is:

xxxx pay3 ba2 where,

xxxx is the action word (verb).

pay3 means to give. In Myanmar grammar, when this word is used as a suffix word after an another verb, it becomes a particle meaning to do something for someone, or on the behalf of someone.

ba2 is a polite ending word which softens the tone, as opposed to a command.

If the request is the first phrase as you approach someone for help, and not in the middle of the conversation, include "for me", or "to me" in the beginning of the phrase.

kja1-nau1 -- me (male term)
go2 -- roughly means "to" or "for"
xxxx -- do something
pay3 ba2 -- polite ending word.

kja1-nau1 go2 xxxx pay3 ba2 - Please do xxxx for me (male).

kja1-ma1 go2 xxxx pay3 ba2 - Please do xxxx for me (female).

I have covered a list of verbs that you can use in lesson7. For example, you can say,

a-woot shau2 pay3 ba2 -- Can you wash clothes for me, please?

dau2-la2 leare3 pay3 ba2 -- Can you exchange dollar (into kyat) for me, please?

Can you take me to xxxx ?

The general pattern of making this type of request is:

xxxx po1 pay3 ba2

lay2-yin2-pyan2 kwin3 -- airport (airplane + field)[noun]
po1 -- to send[verb]
pay3 -- to give [verb]
ba2 -- soft polite tone [particle]

lay2-yin2-pyan2 kwin3 po1 pay3 ba2 -- Can you take me to the airport, please?

A shorter word for airport is lay2-zate. You will find this word on maps and road signs. The table below is a list of some useful vocabularies that you can substitute in place of the airport.

Independence Park Yangon

Vocabulary List of places

bu2-da2-yone2 MP3 Audio File
train station
thin3-bau3 zate MP3 Audio File
river jetty
hlay2 zate MP3 Audio File
jetty for motorized boats
hsay3-khan3 MP3 Audio File
hsay3-yone2 MP3 Audio File
bun2 MP3 Audio File
yeare3-sa1-khan3 MP3 Audio File
police station
xxxx yone3 MP3 Audio File
xxxx office
thun2-yone3 MP3 Audio File
xxxx hsine2 MP3 Audio File
xxxx shop
sa3-thout-hsine2 MP3 Audio File
in2-ta2-net hsine2 MP3 Audio File
Internet Cafe
sa2-oat hsine2 MP3 Audio File
a-hmut-ta1-yah1 pyit-si3 youn3-hsine2 MP3 Audio File
souvenir shop
za1-bin2 hnyut hsine2 MP3 Audio File
hair dresser
xxxx ho2-teare2 MP3 Audio File
xxxx Hotel
teare3-kho2-khan3 MP3 Audio File
Guest House
yay2-ku3 kan2 MP3 Audio File
swimming pool
gout kwin3 MP3 Audio File
Golf Course
kun3-chay2 MP3 Audio File
kun3-na3 MP3 Audio File
xxxx pan3-chan2 MP3 Audio File
xxxx Garden/Park
xxxx lun3 MP3 Audio File
xxxx Road
xxxx pfa1-ya3 MP3 Audio File
xxxx Pagoda
xxxx zay3 MP3 Audio File
xxxx Market
a-youn3 pya1-khan3 MP3 Audio File

Shopping and eating out

beare2-lout leare3 -- How much? (how much + ending question word)

da2 beare2-lout leare3 -- How much is this? (this + how much + ending question word)

beare2-lout kja1 ma1 leare3 -- How much will it cost? (bow much + cost + will + ending question word)

Please refer to lesson 12 for numbers.

Use the phrase "xxxx yah1 ma1 la3 to ask if something is available or if it is OK to get something done. (Please see lesson 15 for more on ordering food and drinks including restaurant menus.)

yah1 - is the verb "to get" or "to obtain" in Burmese grammar, but it can also be roughly translated as an adjective "available". For example

be2-ya2 yah1 ma1 la3 - Can I get beer? roughly means: "Is beer available here?"

If someone tries to sell you something that you don't want, say:

ma1 weare2 thay3 bu3 -- Not buying this time. (negative + buy + still not + negative ending)

Can I take photo?

Thingyan Myanmar Water Festival

dut-pone2 -- photo
yite -- to strike (to take photo)
lo1 -- to take the course of action
yah1 -- get it done
ma1 -- will be
la3 -- ending question word

dut-pone2 yite lo1 yah1 ma1 la3 -- Can I take photo?

Looking for a washroom or a toilet

de2-hma2 -- here (this place + at)
ain2-tha2 -- toilet
shi1 -- exist
la3 -- ending question word

de2-hma2 ain2-tha2 shi1 la3 -- Is there a toilet here?

ain2-tha2 -- toilet
beare2-hma2 -- where (where + at)
shi1 -- exit
leare3 -- ending question word for "what","why","which","where","when","how","how many", "how much".

ain2-tha2 beare2-hma2 shi1 leare3 -- Where is the toilet (or) where can I find the toilet?

( Refer to lesson 5 for location and direction words.)

When will it be?

beare2-dau1 yout ma1 leare3 -- When will it or he or she arrive? (when + arrive + will + ?)

beare2-dau1 la2 ma1 leare3 -- When will you come? (when + come + will + ?)

beare2-dau1 thwa3 ma1 leare3 -- When will you go? (when + go + will + ?)

beare2-dau1 thwa3 ja1 ma1 leare3 -- When will we go? (when + go + plural + will + ?)

Take note that there is no "you" "we" or "it" stated explicitly in the phrases. For the answers to such questions regarding time, please refer to time expressions in lesson 13.

Simple questions using "what", "which", "where", "who", "why", "how", and "how many"

da2 ba2-leare3 -- What is this? (this + what)

beare2-ha2 leare3 -- Which one? (which + object + ?)

beare2-hma2 leare3 -- Where is it? (where + at + ?)

beare2-thu2 leare3 -- Who? (which + person + ?)

thu2 beare3 -- That's him! (he + exactly!)

ba2 pfyit-lo1 leare3 -- Why?, Why didn't you?, etc.. (what + happen + because + ?)

beare2-lo2 leare3 -- How did it go? How is it going? (how + ?)

da2 beare2-lo2 khau2 leare3 -- What do you call this in Burmese? (this + how + call + ?)

beare2-hna1 yout leare3 -- how many persons?

How to say "sorry" in Burmese

Some Burmese authors attempt to translate "sorry" word from English novels as

wun3-neare3 ba2 deare2 - (be sorry + polite + ending word)

When Burmese people hear this phrase, it gets the impression that the speaker is a Westerner. The phrase does not catch on to become a common usage.

The more colloquial phrase for "sorry" as in "I'm sorry to hear that" is

sate ma1 koun3 ba2 bu3 - (mind or spirit + not + good + polite + negative ending word)

When someone accidentally touches an another person, especially to an elder person, Burmese people will say,

ga1-dau1 ... ga1-dau1 - (show of respect and/or gratitude). This word is equivalent to "sorry".

Another usage of "sorry" in English is when you did not hear or understand what the other person said, which is like saying "excuse me, can you say that again?"

beare2-lo2 leare3 -- how? - (how + ?)

pyan2 pyau3 ba2 ome3 -- Can you say that again? - (prefix: "repeat" + speak + polite + ending word)

Meeting, greetings, saying thank you and good-bye

I have already covered basic greetings, meeting, questions and answers in previous lessons, so I will just summarize them here without giving detailed explanations. For details on basic questions and answers, please refer to lesson 2.

nay2-koun3 la3 -- How are you?

Tway1 -- to meet (verb)
yah1 ta2 -- as for being able to (particle)
wun3-tha2 -- be glad(verb) equivalent to happy (adjective in English)
ba2 deare2 -- polite affirmative ending words. (particle + postpositional marker)

Tway1 yah1 ta2 wun3-tha2 ba2 deare2 -- Nice to meet you!

nun2-meare2 beare2-lo2 khau2 leare3 -- What's your name? - (name + how + call + ?)

in3-ga1-late -- English
za1-ga3 -- spoken language
pyau3 -- to speak, to tell, to say
tut -- suffix particle: know how to
tha1-la3 -- ?

in3-ga1-late za1-ga3 pyau3 tut tha1-la3 -- Can you speak English?

neare3 neare3 -- a little
pyau3 -- to speak, to tell, to say
tut -- suffix particle: know how to
deare2 -- affirmation.

neare3 neare3 pyau3 tut deare2 -- Yes, I can speak a little.

kjay3 zu3 -- a good deed done on an another person.

tin2 -- to explain the fact as in tin2-pya1

ba2 deare2 -- polite ending word with emphasis on tin2.

kjay3 zu3 tin2 ba2 deare2 -- Thank you!

ah3-na2 sa1 ya2 ji3 -- You are so kind and hospitable!

What does ah3-na2 mean? See lesson 20 for explanation.

yah1 ba2 deare2 -- No problem! (can be done + polite + ending word) equivalent to "You're welcome!"

thwa3 ba2 ome3-meare2 -- Good-bye! (go + polite + action to be taken first + ending word indicating future: "will")

nout pyan2 tway1 ja1 meare2 -- See you again! (next time + repeat + see + plural + ending word indicating future: "will")