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Burmese Lessons for your Myanmar Travel
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Learn to speak Burmese. Learn Conversational Myanmar Language and Burmese expressions with the right tones. The Free Online Colloquial Burmese (Myanmar) Lessons with Burmese script and audio are developed by Naing Tinnyuntpu. Please send your comments, suggestions, and questions to

Are you a scholar, publisher, or a software developer who is interested in publishing Myanmar Language Learning Materials and/or software commercially? I am open to joint development projects where I can contribute. Just send me an e-mail.

Taxi in Myanmar


The table below is linked to sound files in MP3 format.

"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".
"dee" as in "deer".
"colt" with silent "lt".
as in "co-author".
"cold" wit silent "ld".
"u" in "Youth" with silent "th".
"u" as in "university".
"u" as in "user".
as in "shunt" with silent "t".
"shun" as in "chandelier".
as in "shun".
as in "auction".
as in "Australia".
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".
"aunt" with silent "t".
"un" in "understanding".
"un" as in "under".
"melt" with silent "lt".
"mel" in "melody" with silent "l".
"mare" of "nightmare".
"paint" with silent "t".
as in "Spain".
as in "pain".
as in "scientific".
as in "synergy".
as in "sign".
as in "don't".
close to "dominate".
as in "dome"
"doont" in "couldn't".
"mon" in "monastery".
"oon" as in "cartoon".
"bounce" with silent "ce".
"boun" in "boundary".
"bound" without "d" ending.
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

Burmese tone system is categorized and developed by Nine2 Tin2 Nyoon1 Pu1.

Survival Phrase Book 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.

Survival Phrase Book with Burmese Script You can download the PDF file that focuses more on useful survival phrases (Size: 217KB in 10 pages) 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".

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.

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

Show Burmese Script to Burmese words in this page. If you have slow Internet connection, it may take awhile to complete the loading of font file.

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:

Tak si -- taxi
khau2 -- call
pay3 -- to give
ba2 -- soft polite tone

Tak si khau2 pay3 ba2 -- Can you call a taxi for me, please?

MP3 Audio File

Sa1-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".

Sa1-ya2-woon2 khau2 pay3 ba2-- Can you call a doctor for me, please?

MP3 Audio File

Can you do this for me, please?

So, the general pattern of making such requests is:

xxxx pay3 ba2

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

A-wood shau2 pay3 ba2 -- Can you wash clothes for me, please?

MP3 Audio File

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

MP3 Audio File

Can you take me to xxxx ?

The general pattern of making this type of request is:

xxxx po1 pay3 ba2

lay2-yin2-pyun2 kwin3 -- airport ( airplane + field)
po1 -- to send
pay3 -- to give
ba2 -- soft polite tone

lay2-yin2-pyun2 kwin3 po1 pay3 ba2 -- Can you take me to the airport, please?

MP3 Audio File

Here's a list of some useful vocabularies that you can substitute in place of the airport.

bu2 da2 yome2 -- train station
say3 khun3 -- clinic
bun2 -- the bank
yeare3 sa1 khun3 -- police station
thun2 yome3 -- embassy
sa3 thout sine2 -- restaurant
in2-ta2-net sine2 -- Internet Cafe
ho2 teare2 -- hotel
za1-bin2 hnyut sine2 -- hair dresser

MP3 Audio File

Shopping and eating out

Beare2-loud leare3 -- How much?
Da2 beare2-loud leare3 -- How much is this?
Beare2-loud kja1 ma1 leare3 -- How much will it cost (for services, etc.)?

MP3 Audio File

Please refer to lesson 12 for numbers.

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

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

Ma1 weare2 thay3 bu3 -- "Not buying this time." ( negative + buy + yet to be + negative ending )

MP3 Audio File

Looking for a washroom or a toilet

De2-hma2 -- here
ain2-tha2 -- toilet
shi1 la3 -- is there?

De2-hma2 ain2-tha2 shi1 la3 -- Is there a toilet here?

MP3 Audio File

ain2-tha2 -- toilet
beare2 hma2 -- where
shi1 leare3 -- present or exist?

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

MP3 Audio File

( 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 + ? )

Beare2-dau1 la2 ma1 leare3 -- When will you come? ( when + come + ? )

Beare2-dau1 thwa3 ma1 leare3 -- When will you go? ( when + go + ? )

Beare2-dau1 thwa3 ja1 ma1 leare3 -- When will we go? ( when + go + plural + ? )

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.

MP3 Audio File

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

Da2 ba2-leare3 -- What is this? ( this + what )

MP3 Audio File

Beare2-ha2 leare3-- Which one? ( which + ? )

MP3 Audio File

Beare2 hma2 leare3 -- Where is it? ( where + location indicator + ?)

MP3 Audio File

Beare2 thu2 leare3-- "Who?" ( which + person + ?)
Thu2 beare3-- That's him! ( he + exactly! )

MP3 Audio File

Ba2 pfyit-lo1 leare3-- "Why?", "Why didn't you?", etc.. ( what + "because this happens" + ?)

MP3 Audio File

Beare2-lo2 leare3 -- How did it go? How is it going? ( how + ? )

MP3 Audio File

Da2 Beare2-lo2 khau2 leare3 -- What do you call this in Burmese? (this + how + call + ?)

MP3 Audio File

Beare2 hna1 yout leare --- how many persons?

MP3 Audio File

How to say "sorry" in Burmese

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

Woon3 neare3 ba2 deare2

MP3 Audio File

When Burmese people hear this phrase, it gets the expression 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

MP3 Audio File

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

Ga1-dau1 ... ga1-dau1, which is equivalent to "sorry".

MP3 Audio File

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?

pyan2 pyau3 ba2 ome3 - Can you say that again?

MP3 Audio File

Can I take photo?

dut pone2 - photo
yite - to strike (to take photo)
lo1 - to take the course of action
yah1 ma1 la3 - can be done?

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

MP3 Audio File

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?

MP3 Audio File

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

MP3 Audio File

Nun2-meare2 beare2-lo2 khau2 leare3 --What's your name?

MP3 Audio File

In3-ga1-late -- English
sa1-ga3 -- spoken language
pyau3 -- to speak, to tell, to say
tut -- able to
tha1-la3 -- ?

In3-ga1-late sa1-ga3 pyau3 tut tha1-la3 -- Can you speak English?

MP3 Audio File

neare3 neare3 -- a little
pyau3 -- to speak, to tell, to say
tut -- able to
deare2 -- affirmation.

Neare3 neare3 pyau3 tut deare2 -- Yes, I can speak a little.

MP3 Audio File

Kjay3 zu3 tin2 ba2 deare2 -- Thank you!

MP3 Audio File

Ah3-na2 sa1 ya2 ji3 -- You are so kind and hospitable!

MP3 Audio File

Yah1 ba2 deare2 -- No problem! (equivalent to "You're welcome!")

MP3 Audio File

Thwa3 ba2 ome3-meare2 -- Good-bye!

MP3 Audio File

Nout pyan2 tway1 ja1 meare2 -- See you again!

MP3 Audio File