Learn Burmese

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About Burmese

Burmese is the official language of Myanmar. It is the first language of 32 million people - over half the country’s population - and is spoken as a second language by about 10 million more. Its vocabulary is mostly monosyllabic, as is common with other members of the Sino-Tibetan language family. In Burmese, a polysyllable will often indicate a loan word from a European language. Burmese is tonal, which means that the pitch, duration or loudness of a vowel can modify the meaning of a word.

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Fun facts — Burmese

  • The Burmese for 'it’s business as usual' is 'go come eat drink live'!
  • Burmese writing does not need any spaces between words.
  • Burmese has its own ancient alphabet but the spelling preserves sounds that are no longer pronounced – 'Myanmar' is actually spelled 'Mranma' in Burmese script.
  • The letters in Burmese are curvy because it used to be written on leaves which would tear if straight lines were drawn on them.

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