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Myanmar language Burmese

The Myanmar language - Burmese, belongs to the Tibeto-Myanmar language group of the Sino-Tibetan family. Like Thai, Vietnamese, and Mandarin, Myanmar (Burmese) is a tonal language.

Spoken Language

Tibet Connection

The linguistic relativity between Myanmar, Rakhine, Intha, Danu and Dawei are as distinct as it sounds. According to a historian, Major Ba Shin, Intha were in the same group when Maran people migrated probably from Nanzhao. Before they came down to the central plain around Kyauk-se, a small group left behind in the present Inle lake and later called themselves Intha. Danu are another splinter group who have settled down in the Shan Hill along with Intha. The Rakhine accent (Arakanese) is most reminiscent of archaic Myanmar language, especially in its usage of the [r] sound, which has become a [j] sound in standard Myanmar language. Dialects in Tanintharyi Division (such as Beik) often reduce the intensity of the glottal stop. The Dawei dialect has preserved the [-l-] medial, which is only found in Old Myanmar transcriptions. Dialects of Akha, Lahu and Lisu from the vicinity of Kyaing Tong (formerly Kengtung) are also related to Myanmar-Lolo languages, though they are not mutually intelligible to Myanmar speakers.


Myanmar Scripts and Alphabet

Myanmar Alphabet

There are 33 consonants in the Myanmar alphabet combined with twelve vowels. The Myanmar script was originally adapted from the Mon language. Both scripts were derived from Pali, the ancient Indian language of the sacred text of Theravada Buddhism.

Almost all early Burmese writing was religious. Before printing became common, the Bamar wrote in stone and on palm leaves, using a sharp metal point. Modern Burmese has undergone many changes and is substantially different form Old Burmese of ancient stone inscriptions, some of which date back to the eleventh century.