Burmese (မြန်မာဘာသာ mranmabhasa)
Native Speakers: 33 million; Total Speakers: 43 million
Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, Malaysia, United States
Official: Burma (Myanmar)
Follows a subject-object-verb word order, with an analytical grammar (i.e., uses ‘helper words’ instead of inflections/conjugations). Like other languages in the region, Burmese is a tonal language. It is also a diglossic language with two distinct registers (literary and spoken versions). Most Burmese vocabulary is derived from its Sino-Tibetan ancestors and is largely monosyllabic. There are numerous foreign loanwords that are multisyllabic. Burmese verbs are not conjugated but instead have suffixes added to them. These suffixes/particles express tense, intention, politeness, mood, etc. There are also no adjectives in Burmese. Rather, verbs take the meaning of “to be X” to express descriptions (with “X” representing an English adjective). Burmese also uses numerical classifiers, similar to the systems used in Chinese and Thai.
Standard form of Burmese comes from the Irrawaddy River valley region and is known as the Mandalay-Yangon dialect continuum. There are other dialects spoken throughout the country although they are largely mutually intelligible. More non-standard dialects begin to appear farther away from the Irrawaddy River valley.
Burmese alphabet (also used to write the liturgical languages of Pali and Sanskrit)
There are nearly 200,000 Burmese Americans living in the United States. They represent various ethnic groups from Burma, including Karen, Chin, Kachin, and others. Many of these groups have fled from persecution in their home country. The regions with the largest Burmese communities in the United States include Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota; Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas; New York; San Francisco Bay Area; and Atlanta. In Minneapolis, which has a community of roughly 10,000 Burmese Americans, around 2,500 are from the Karen ethnic group.
At Latitude Prime, we offer Burmese translation, Burmese interpretation, and Burmese localization services in numerous specialized subject areas and multiple dialects. Whether you need to translate a rental contract from Burmese to English, need a Burmese interpreter for a legal deposition, or want to localize your website into Burmese to market your products or services in Myanmar (Burma) or for Burmese-speaking populations in the Midwest, Latitude Prime has the customized language solution to meet all of your Burmese language needs.