Burmese is the language of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, and belongs to the Tibetan language family and that comes from the Mon writing system. The earliest evidence of writing in the Burmese script dates back to the eleventh century.
* Writing system: it uses a syllabic alphabet, i.e. each letter carries an inherent vowel.
* The vowel sounds are indicated by single letters or by diacritical marks that lie ahead or behind, above or below a consonant.
* Rounded letters: This round or circular appearance is due to the fact that in the beginning it was written with palm leaves, and these leaves gave the letters a round appearance. From there it became the popular form of writing. Moreover, the Burmese name used to refer to this writing system is ca-lonh, which means rounded writing.
* Burmese, like Chinese, is a tonal language. This means that the way a tone is pronounced changes the meaning of a word or sentence.
* Writing is from left to right.
* The words are joined together.
* Grammatically: no inflections as in Latin languages. The verb is always at the end of the sentence. And the tense, gender and number are expressed by prefixes and suffixes.
As always we feel the need to touch on the influence of culture on a language. In Burmese, as also happens in Chinese, the question, “Have you eaten yet?” is often used as a greeting; this does not mean they are really asking me if I ate or not . This and many other examples are clear evidence that show that anyone who knows a language can act as a translator, but they must have a much deeper understanding of both languages and both cultures.
If you have any questions about these Tibetan languages, you can consult our “Translation Services“.