Burmese is the official, and most common, language spoken by two-thirds of the population in Myanmar. Ethic groups like the Shan, Karen, Kachin, Mon, and Chin people have their own indigenous dialect.
Master these Burmese phrases to help you naviate the country, bargain for a fair price, and build a good rapport with the locals you meet. It's just good manners!
See you again: Nout ma thway mae
Thank you: Cezu tin ba deh
My Name is _____: (Male) Ja nor na meh ____ ba/ (Female) Ja ma nau na meh ____ ba
What’s your name?: Nah meh be lou kor d’le?
How are you?: Neh kaun la?
I’m well: Neh kaun ba deh
Do you speak English?: Inglei saga go pyaw tat de la?
Sorry: Wun neh ba deh
Please: Kyeizu pyu yue
Yes: Ho de
No: Ma ho bu
Help: Keh ba
Cheers: Aung myin par say
Where is the bathroom?: Ein tha be ma shi tha le?
May I take a photograph?: Da poun yai lo ya mala?
How do you say …. In Burmese?: Bama lo … go balo pyaw leh?
I don’t understand: Na ma le ba bu
Bill/cheque: Sin meh
It’s polite to address a person based on their seniority and age in Myanmar.
Older males: U
Older females: Daw
Younger males: Ko
Younger females: Ma
Uncle: U lay
Aunty: Daw gyi
Big brother: A ko
Younger brother: Maung Lay
Older sister: A Ma Gyi
Younger sister: Nyi Ma Lay
When you’re shopping/haggling for a fair price, it’s helps to know the following phrases and numbers:
How much?: Be lau le?
Very expensive: Zei mya de
Can you reduce the price?: Nae nae htat shot pay par oo
Take it or leave it: Chin you ma you chin nay
1 = Tit
2 = Hnit
3 = Thone
4 = Lay
5 = Nga
6 = Chout
7 = Khoon nit
8 = Shitt
9 = Ko
10 = Tseh
Get more guidance on do's and don'ts in Myanmar here.
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