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Burmese English: Wikis


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Burmese English is an English language dialect used in Burma (also known as Myanmar). After Britain successfully conquered the Burmese Empire and designated it a colony of British India, education in English became highly regarded, although it did not fully replace Burmese as the vernacular. Burmese English resembles Indian English to a degree, because of historical ties to India during British colonisation.

English remains entrenched in the Burmese educational system, and is a required subject from reception (kindergarten) onward. From secondary school onward, English is the primary language used in textbooks, except for Burmese language and other Burmese-related studies. Because of this, many Burmese are better able to communicate in written English rather than in spoken English, due to emphasis placed on writing and reading. English English is the primary dialect of English taught in Burma.


Burmese Romanisation is based on English, despite the lack of an official system. The preferred system of spelling is based on those of the British, although American English spellings have become increasingly popular. Because Adoniram Judson, an American, created the first Burmese-English dictionary, many American English spellings are common (e.g. color, check, encyclopedia). The '-ize' form is more commonly used than the '-ise' form.

Burmese English is often characterised by its unaspirated consonants, similar to Indian English. It also borrows words from standard English and uses them in a slightly different context. For instance, "pavement" (British English) or "sidewalk" (US English) is commonly called "platform" in Burmese English. In addition, many words retain British pronunciation, such as vitamin (pronounced vit-a-min). Burmese English is non-rhotic.

For units of measurement Burmese English use both those of the Imperial System and those of the International System of Units interchangeably, but the values correspond to the SI system. Burmese English continues to use Indian English numerical units such as lakh and crore.


Burmese names represented in English often include various honorifics, most commonly "U", "Daw", and "Sayadaw". For older Burmese who only have one or two syllables in their names these honorifics may be an integral part of the name

Such honorifics only apply to the Burmese.




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