Burmese

Burmese

Burmese

Burmese is a language spoken mainly in Burma and belongs to the Sino-Tibetan family. Although the country’s official language is English, most of the population still uses Burmese as its main language. Because of the beauty, the history and the deep-rootedness of the language, people, not only in Burma but also in other surrounding countries, still prefer to use Burmese rather than English. This demonstrates the importance and role of this language.

It is worth mentioning that although the official name of this Burmese-speaking country is Myanmar, official institutions prefer to use the traditional name in unofficial texts: Burma. This country is located in Asia and its capital is Naipyidó. However, the most populous city, and therefore the city with the most Burmese speakers, is the former capital, Rangoon

Around 42 million people speak this language worldwide. Most of its speakers live in Burma, where there is a military dictatorship. This situation makes it an important foreign policy language. For this reason, Burmese translations also play an important role.

LINGUISTIC ASPECTS OF BURMESE

Burmese is both a binding and an isolating language. Three-quarters of Burma’s population speak this language. However, like most languages, Burmese has dialects, such as Arakanese, Tavoyan and Beik.

Burmese is written from left to right, does not use capital letters and traditionally does not separate words with spaces. It also has 43 letters: 11 vowels and 32 consonants. Their syllabic writing system began in the 11th century A.D. It is now known that the Burmese alphabet was derived from the Pyo script, which in turn was derived from the Brahmi script.

It is a language in which there is no grammatical gender and whose order is usually subject, verb and object. Moreover, it is tonal, its three tones are the high, the low and the flat. The treble is marked with a lower dot, the bass with two dots, one above the other, and the flat is distinguished by having no markings at all.

Interestingly, Burmese has levels of politeness and honorifics. These relate to the status and age of the sender relative to the receiver. This can be marked with a particle (ပါ) to express politeness, or depending on the pronouns used, which also express different degrees of respect.

It is also worth mentioning that when speaking Burmese and choosing vocabulary, Buddhist clergy must be distinguished from lay people and Bhikkhus monks. For example, the verb “to sleep” will be different depending on whether we are referring to one or the other of the above-mentioned groups.

THE ECONOMY, CULTURE AND BURMESE

The main Burmese-speaking country is currently under military dictatorship. In the past, however, because of its geographical location, the country has been very important in terms of exports. This explains why Burmese is spoken not only in Burma, but also in other countries such as Malaysia and Thailand. Thanks to trade routes carried by sea, rice, teak, etc. were exported.

Today in Burma, most exports are controlled by the state. Despite the country’s tensions with some Western countries, good relations are maintained with neighbouring countries, such as those mentioned above. This is because they share both a common history and a common language, in this case Burmese.

In this part of Asia, the majority of the population is Buddhist. Consequently, their art and literature are based on this religion. However, there are also Christian and Muslim minorities. This is why this area reflects the richness of the cultural diversity of these three religions.

IMPORTANCE OF BURMESE

Burma’s geographical location makes its most widely spoken language, Burmese, vital for overland communication between Burma, China, India and the Middle East. In addition, the large amount of natural resources in this area constitute a great and important wealth. Although there are political tensions following the 2021 coup in Burma and countries such as China prefer “not to inefere in its internal affairs”, this area remains a key maritime communication zone.

WHERE IS BURMESE SPOKEN?

Burmese is the official language in Burma, where it coexists with dialects such as Karen, Chin, San and Kachin. It is also an unofficial language in Thailand, Bangladesh, Malaysia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Laos and Singapore.

HOW CAN LINGUATRANS HELP YOU?

At LinguaTrans we are experts in this language, which is present in all the services we provide, for example: 

• Burmese translation

Burmese transcription  

Burmese  subtitling

Burmese  proofreading

Burmese  voice-over

We have excellent native professionals for each translation service and speciality. Count on  a highly reputed company in the market of linguistic services by  contacting us   contacting us You can also consult our rates or  request a free, no-obligation quote. We are standing by to take you far… including in Burmese!