Update: 2007-02-10 11:07 PM -0500



Burmese Written Language in Roman Script


U Kyaw Tun, M.S. (I.P.S.T., U.S.A.), Deep River, Ontario, Canada. Not for sale. No copyright. Free for everyone. Prepared for students of TIL Computing and Language Center, Yangon, MYANMAR .

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Group {a. a a:}
With medials:
- {ya.ping.}; {ra.ris}; {wa.hsw:}; {ha.hto:}
- {ya.ping. wa.hsw:}; {ra.ris wa.hsw:}; {ya.ping. ha.hto:}; {ra.ris ha.hto:}; {wa.hsw: ha.hto:}
- {ya.ping. wa.hsw: ha.hto:}; {ra.ris wa.hsw: ha.hto:}
Action-result pair - friction and aspiration
Who is {thu-rath~tha.ti}?

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Group {a. a a:}

In Romabama, {weik-hkya.} and {mauk-hkya.} will not be differentiated.

With medials

The vowel sign for this subgroup is written to the right of the consonant.

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02. With medial {ya. ping.}

{kya. kya kya:}
{kya.} - v. 1 fall; drop (as in "temperature drop"); descend; come down (as in "come down from the top"); settle (as in "sediment settling"). 2 fall (as in "fall into enemy's hands" and "fall in battle"). 3 fail (as in "fail in examination"). etc. -- MEDict026
{kya-pwut} - n. whip -- MEDict027
{kya:} - n. tiger -- MEDict027

{hkya. hkya hkya:} or {cha. cha cha:}
{hkya.} - v. 1 put down; bring down; drop; lower (as in "lower from a higher level to a lower level" and "lower one's eye lids"). 2 lead a recitation; teach (as in "to teach word by word and making the student repeat the teacher word by word. 3 strike; hit (as in "to hit someone's back with the flat of your palm"). etc. -- MEDict066
{hkya} - adj. poor; inferior (in quality) -- MEDict066
{hkya:} - n. merry-go-round -- MEDict067

Action-result pair: {hkwa}-{kwa} is another example of action-result pair. See more on action-result pairs.

{gya. gya gya:}
{gya. po:} - n. See {kram:po:}. 1 bed bug. 2 figuratively tramp; hobo.  -- MEDict088, 045
{gya-n} - n. journal (periodical) (English: journal) -- MEDict088

{tya. tya tya:}
{tya-hkying:} /|taja gjin:|/ - n. kind of Burmese-Myanmar classical song with the same opening and closing note. -- MEDict191

{nya. nya nya:}
-- This group was invented to transcript words like <neutron>. In fact its sister group {nra. nra nra:} does not exists. The {nya. nya nya:} group has a pronunciation similar to that of {a. a a:} and {a. a a:}. {na.} does not ordinarily form a medial with {ya.} as can be seen in the existence of the word {na.yoan} and a similar word {na. ra:}.
{nyu-hta.rwun} /|nju htarun|/   - n. neutron -- MEDict239
{nya-tha. kyam:} /|nja tha. kjan:|/ - n. Same as {ath kyam:} ({a-tha} - from Sanskrit)
  -- MEDict239

{pya. pya pya:}
{pya.} - n. aphis; plant louse. -- MEDict280
{pya} - v. be in a flurry; be flurried; be flustered. -- MEDict280
{pya:} - n. bee. -- MEDict280

{hpya. hpya hpya:}
{hpya.} - adj. minute; tiny (as in "tiny louse") -- MEDict305
{hpya} - n. mat -- MEDict305
{hpya:} - v. have fever -- MEDict305

{bya. bya bya:}
{bya.} - part affix used by Burmese males at the end of a speech (to indicate politeness)
  -- MEDict316
{bya} - part abbreviation of {hking-bya} -- MEDict316
{bya:} - part 1. polite form of address used by a man [UKT similar to "please do come in"]
   -- MEDict316

The word {bya.} has another form spelled with a sub-dot or {auk-mris} . Since, the two forms have exactly the same meaning and pronunciation, Romabama does not have a separate spelling for .

{mya. mya mya:}
{mya:} - v.  1 be many; be much -- MEDict359

{lya. lya lya:}
{lya.} /|lja.|/ - adj. 1. slight; slender; trim; lean; thin; attenuated -- MEDict460
{lya-hta:} /|ja hta:|/ - v. appropriate (as in "appropriate a sum of money for a project") -- MEDict460
{alya:} /|alja:|/ - n. length -- MEDict595

UKT: Note the sound of {la.} disappearing in {lya-hta:} /|ja hta:|/

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03. With medial {ra. ris}

{kra. kra kra:}
{kra.} - part particle suffixed to verbs to denote plurality. -- MEDict036
{kra} - n. 1 water-lily; lotus. -- MEDict036
{kra:} - n. in-between; interval; interim. -- MEDict037

{hkra. hkra hkra:}
{hkra.} - n. termite; white ant. -- MEDict075
{hkra} - v. occur at intervals (as in "interval of one day") -- MEDict075
{hkra:} - v. 1. keep separate or apart; be separated. 2. differ -- MEDict075

{gra. gra gra:}
no entry in MEDict

{ngra. ngra ngra:}
{ngra} - v. shout -- MEDict097
{ngra:} - part. particle suffixed to a verb as an emphasis -- MEDict097

UKT: The pronunciation of {ngra. ngra ngra:} is the same as {a. a a:}: "{ngra-than-p:} - v. make a rallying cry" is pronounced as /{a-than-p:}/.

{tra. tra tra:}
no entry in MEDict

{dra. dra dra:}
{dra.bya.geiN:} - n. name of a treatise on medicine in Sanskrit. -- MEDict216

{pra. pra pra:}
{pra.} - v. 1. show; display; exhibit. -- MEDict284
{pra} - adj. blue (colour) -- MEDict285
{pra:} - adj. flat -- MEDict285

{hpra. hpra hpra:}
{hpra} - v. spread out in all directions -- MEDict306
{hpra:yaung:} - v. mislead; deceive; seduce -- MEDict306

{bra. bra bra:}
{bra-ma.} - n. ash-coloured cow or hen -- MEDict318
{bra:si:} - adv. 1. (scatter) all over -- MEDict318

UKT: Referring to {bra-ma.}, I am wondering whether the word {bra} (vd.) is derived from  {pra} (blue), because an ash-coloured cow is often called {nwa:pra}, in which {pra} is the vl. form of {bra}: point to be checked with my peers.

{mra. mra mra:}
{mra.} - n. emerald -- MEDict366
{mra} - n. colloquial appellation for young woman
   (equivalent to English slang <skirt>) -- MEDict366
{mra:} - n. arrow -- MEDict366

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04. With medial {wa. hsw:}

{kwa. kwa kwa:}
{kwa.} - adj. bandy-legged -- MEDict046
{kwa} - v. become detached -- MEDict046

{hkwa. hkwa hkwa:}
{hkwa.} - v. sit astride -- MEDict079
{hkwa} - v. 1. leave; pull away -- MEDict080
{thahkwa:} - n. cucumber, Cucumis sativus. -- MEDict485

Action-result pair: {hkwa}-{kwa} is another example of action-result pair. See more on action-result pairs.

{gwa. gwa gwa:}
{gwa.hkyau:} - n. dried fish or fish preserve made from large and medium-sized fish only.
  -- MEDict089

{ngwa. ngwa ngwa:}
{ngwa:ngwa: swing.swing.} - adv. prominently and loftily. -- MEDict097

{swa. swa swa:}
{swa.} - part. particle usually used as final sentence marker in an interjection for emphasis.
  -- MEDict127.

UKT: {swa.} used as above in {kaung:p-swa.} is highly voiced, and is pronounced as /{zwa.}/.

{zwa. zwa zwa:}
no entry in MEDict

{wa. wa wa:}
no entry in MEDict

{twa. twa twa:}
{twa.} - v. (of limbs) feel stiff. -- MEDict191
{twa:} - v. crawl; creep. -- MEDict191

{htwa. htwa htwa:}
{htwa} - v. measure by hand span. -- MEDict206
{htwa:} - adj. large; stout; burly; chubby. -- MEDict206

{dwa. dwa dwa:}
{dwa-ra.} - n. opening; door. (Pali: {dwa-ra.}) -- MEDict216

UKT: The <door> is not {dwa-ra.} in Burmese-Myanmar. It is {tanhka:}. However, {dwa-ra.} is sometimes used for body-orifices, particularly the anus.

{nwa. nwa nwa:}
{nwa:} - n. 1. bull; cow; ox. -- MEDict239

UKT: The <cow> generally stands for <cattle> in Canada. I have a picture of a Myanmar bullock cart on a wall in my home in Canada, and whenever I asked a Canadian child what that animal in the picture was, the response was the same: "cow"! And they all know that the "beef" from <cow> is in the hamburger. Note the word <ham> in hamburger.

{pwa. pwa pwa:}
{pwa.} - v. 1. spread; swell; leaven up. -- MEDict293
{pwa:} - v. 1. grow or increase in number; proliferate; replicate; duplicate. -- MEDict293

{hpwa. hpwa hpwa:}
{hpwa.} - v. 1. ruffle (as in "to ruffle hair); fluff. 2. mess up. -- MEDict310
{hpwa} - v. puff (as in smoking) -- MEDict310
{hpwa:} - v. 1. give birth. -- MEDict310

Action-result pair: {hpwa.}-{pwa.} is another action-result pair. Notice that this pair has no nasalization by aspiration. See more on action-result-pairs.

{bwa. bwa bwa:}
no entry in MEDict

{Bwa. Bwa Bwa:}
{bwa-hkat} - n. 1. ask for a respite (while playing games) -- MEDict329
{bwa:} - n. grandmother -- MEDict329

UKT: common usage:
{am} (mother) --> {ahpwa:} (grandmother) --> {abwa:} (great-grandmother)
-- point to be checked with my peers.

{mwa. mwa mwa:}
{mwa.} - v. 1. be spongy (as in "a cake being spongy"); be flaky (as in "a meat-puff being flaky");
   be loose (as in "the soil being loose"). -- MEDict374

{ywa. ywa ywa:}
no entry in MEDict

{rwa. rwa rwa:}
{rwa.} - adj. crisp; crunchy. -- MEDict413
{rwa} - n. village. -- MEDict414
{hso:rwa:} - adj. very bad; very wicked. -- MEDict136

{lwa. lwa lwa:}
{lwa.} - adj. archaic  and poetic 1. dazzling -- MEDict461

{thwa. thwa thwa:}
{thwa.rath~tha.ti} - n. see {thu-rath~tha.ti}. -- MEDict523
  {thu-rath~tha.ti} - n. 1. Svarasvati: Hindu goddess of learning, poetry, and music.
  2. female celestial deity believed to look after the Tipitakas. (Sanskrit: (tha.ra.thwa.ti})
  -- MEDict499

Who is {thu-rath~tha.ti}? See my notes on this topic.

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05. With medial {ha. hto:}

{ngha. ngha ngha:}
{ngha.} - v. distribute equally. -- MEDict099
{ngha} - n. possession; belonging; thing. -- MEDict099
{ngha:} - v. 1. borrow; hire (on payment); rent. -- MEDict099

{ha. ha ha:}
{a} - v. 1. be considerate; show concern for somebody; favour. -- MEDict159

{nha. nha nha:}
{nhama.} - n. man's younger sister -- MEDict241
{nha} - n. 1. nose -- MEDict241

{mha. mha mha:}
{mha.} - n. ppm. postpositional marker equivalent to the locative preposition <from> -- MEDict375
{mha} - v. 1. send word; leave word. -- MEDict375
{mha:} - adj. wrong; incorrect; erroneous. -- MEDict375

{yha. yha yha:} -- pronounced as tones of /ʃ/
no entry in MEDict

{rha. rha rha:} -- pronounced as tones of /ʃ/ <sha>
{rha.} - v. cut superficially -- MEDict415
{rha} - v. search; look for -- MEDict416
{rha:} - n. cutch, Arecia catechu -- MEDict416

Burmese-Myanmar represents the tones of /ʃ/ by three glyphs: {yha.  rha.  thhya.}. None of them are satisfactory from the point of view of English-Latin which represents /ʃ/ by <sh>. If we are to transliterate <sh> we get: {sha.}.

{lha. lha lha:}
{lha.} - adj. pretty; good-looking; comely; presentable. -- MEDict463
{lha} - part. Same as {la} (used as rhyming device for euphony). -- MEDict463

{wha. wha wha:}
{awha} - pron. pronoun used for a person or thing you cannot (or wish to) identify
  -- ed. from -- MEDict597

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06. With medial {ya.ping. wa.hsw:}

{kywa. kywa kywa:}
no entry in MEDict

{hkywa. hkywa hkywa:}
no entry in MEDict

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07. With medial {ra.ris wa.hsw:}

{krwa. krwa krwa:}
{krwa.} - v. 1. rise up. -- MEDict050
{krwa:} - v. 1. boast; brag. -- MEDict050

{hkrwa. hkrwa hkrwa:}
{hkrwa.} - v. lift up; raise.-- MEDict083

Action-result pair: {hkrwa.}-{krwa.} (<activate> in chemical sense --> <activate>). Pronounced as /{hkywa.}-{kywa.}/.

{prwa. prwa prwa:}
no entry in MEDict

{mrwa. mrwa mrwa:}
{mrwa} - n. see {mhrwa}. -- MEDict379

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08. With medial {ya.ping ha.hto:}

{mhya. mhya mhya:}
{mhya.} - v. 1. share; share and share alike. -- MEDict380
{mhya:} - v. 1. lure; bait; catch with a bait. -- MEDict380

{lhya. lhya lhya:}
{lhya} pronounced as <sha> - n. 1. tongue. -- MEDict468
{lhya-hking} (the first syllable pronounced as <sha> - n. 1. uvula. -- MEDict468

{thhya. thhya thhya:}
{thhya:phyu} - n. same as {hsi:hpru} -- MEDict527

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09. With medial {ra.ris ha.hto:}

{nghra. nghra nghra:}
no entry in MEDict

{mhra. mhra mhra:}
no entry in MEDict

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10. With medial {wa.hsw: ha.hto:}

{hwa. hwa hwa:}
no entry in MEDict

{nhwa. nhwa nhwa:}
{nhwa} - v. 1. peel -- MEDict248

{mhwa. mhwa mhwa:}
{mhwa:} - n. 1. tick; parasite which infests cattle, horses, goats, etc. -- MEDict381

{rhwa. rhwa rhwa:}
no entry in MEDict

{lhwa. lhwa lhwa:}
{lhwa.} - n. saw. -- MEDict470
{lhwa} - v. cut into thin layers or slices. -- MEDict470
{lhwa:} - v. hurdle over. -- MEDict470

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11. With medial {ya.ping. wa.hsw: ha.hto:}
No such combination is found in MOrtho.

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12. With medial {ra.ris wa.hsw: ha.hto:}

{mhrwa. mhrwa mhrwa:}
{mhrwa} - v. cut into segments; be in segments. ed. MEDict 381

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UKT notes

Action-result pair:

Note that {hkya.} --> {kya.} an action-result pair: {hkya.} is the action and {kya.} is the result. They form a pair, and such pairs are always troublesome to non-native-Burmese speakers. {hkya.} is pronounced at the back of the mouth and is voiced, whereas {kya.} is pronounced at the front and is voiceless. I was of the opinion that  {hkya.}-{kya.} involves nasalization. However, U Tun Tint pointed out that what is involved is not nasalization, but friction. We both agree that the result is the formation of fricatives. Other action-result pairs involve aspiration: 

{hkya.} --> {kya.} (<
{hpyak}-{pyak} (<destroy> --> <be destroyed>)
{hkwa}-{kwa} (<stay separate> --> <separated>),
{hpwa.}-{pwa.} (<make a mess> --> <messed up>)
   /{hkywa.}-{kywa.}/ (<activate> in chemical sense --> <activate>).

Orthographically, this pair does seem to belong to the above class. It does not involves nasalization due to {ya.ping.}, and instead involves rhoticization, and I had difficulty in forming my own theory on action-result pairs until I realized that this pair is pronounced as /|chwa.|/ - /|kywa.}/. Action-result pairs of this class:

{hkrwa.} /|chwa.|/ and {krwa.} /|kywa.|/
, {hkrwing:} /|chwin:|/ and {krwing:} /|kjwin:|/

The formation action-result pairs are based on pronunciation -- not orthography.

Two words, which probably belong to this type, is found in {hsu}-{su} . See vow05.htm. The action is "being scolded" and the result is "lip pouting". Since this pair is a nasalized pair, we will tentatively hold that such pairs always involve nasalization. I intend to look into it further when I came to study the Burmese-Myanmar verbs.

Go back act-result-b1 | act-result-b2 | act-result-b3

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 Who is {thu-rath~tha.ti}? -- a point for later research

Was this goddess, or {nat tha.mi:}, a Hindu goddess or pre-Hindu goddess? The goddess is believed to be the guardian of a river of the same name. This river was mentioned as a very large river in Rig Veda, but as it now stands the river has shrunk. Was "Hinduism" a pre-Brahminic (i.e. pre-Aryan) religion of ancient India? If so, could {thu-rath~tha.ti} be a pre-Aryan goddess? Was she worshipped in northern India in the times of Buddha and Asoka? How did she became a celestial being or {nat tha.mi:} of the Burmese-Buddhists? These questions have been plaguing me for sometime because of the fact that of all the present-day Hindu goddesses, she is supposed to be the only one without weapons in her hands? Another point that is troubling me is the possibility of the ancients presenting the flow of air from the lungs to the lips in sound production, to the flow of water (laminar flow and turbulent flow) along a channel (or river) across restrictions.

{thu-rath~tha.ti} {pu-zau-pw:} or Saraswati Puja, the Hindu ceremony (I was told by my good friend, Malay Pundit in Deep River, Ontario, Canada) is held in February. The period mentioned by Malay Pundit coincided with the period of the new-moon to full-moon of the Burmese-Myanmar lunar month {ta.po.tw:}. (Don't forget my background in Hindu astrology, specializing in Astakavaga system.) The Moon plays a very important role in Burmese as well as Hindu astrology, and its fullness is measured in "degrees" 0 to 15. At the exact moment I was born -- by my father's watch -- the moon was getting to the full: 14 deg. plus -- almost 15 deg. And so, according to astrology, {thu-rath~tha.ti}, the goddess of learning, has always played an important role in my life: I have been a university teacher from the age 20 to 58, and even now, my favorite past time is to educate myself in various branches of knowledge. I started out as a chemist (age 20), a historian, a financial analyst, and now a linguist at the age 73.

See my collection on {thu-rath~tha.ti} or Saraswati in TIL library:
Lakshmi and Saraswati - Tales in Mythology and Art, Article of the Month - December 2000 -- by Nitin Kumar, Editor, www.exoticindia.com , www.exoticindiaart.com/article/lakshmiandsaraswati/2/
How old is the Rig Veda? (Part 3) -- by Arun Gupta , www.sawf.org/newedit/edit02192001/musings.asp
The Saraswati: Where lies the mystery -- by Saswati Pai k, GIS Development, www.gsbkerala.com/saraswati.htm

Go back who-is-thurath-thati-b

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End of TIL file