Tuesday 15th March 2011

by Lionslayer

I’ve been learning IPA symbols for a while for the purpose of using in Wikipedia and Wiktionary. IPA stands for International Phonetic Alphabet. Most people think IPA is quite difficult and only suited for linguists and geeks. The fact might not be wrong for learning IPA for professional purpose. But translating IPA to Burmese is not that difficult since Burmese had it’s own phonetic writing system. Burmese syllables (ဝဏ္ဏ) are limited which means Burmese phonetic is easy enough to learn. Here is the link to Burmese phonetic guide, by Myanmar Language Commission, which was scanned from Burmese Dictionary.

There are only a few sources I can collect IPA samples for Burmese sounds. So English Wikipedia articles about Burma written by Wiki Project Burma members and entries from Sealang Burmese dictionary were my main sources to learn. Whenever there were conflicts between sources, I listened to sample voice clips of IPA so that I can be confident in my decision to define a IPA-Burmese pair. I tried to compiled all possible syllables in Burmese last weekends and tried to develop a converter between Burmese and IPA. Though the logic was not difficult, developing a javascripts converter for a non-coder myself was a challenge. Burmese to IPA is working well now while IPA to Burmese has a lots of things to fix. Moreover, Burmese doesn’t have enough syllable to simulate all IPA combinations.

Burmese Phonetics – IPA Converter

  • The Burmese phonetic input needs to follow the standard set by Myanmar Language Commission.
  • Add “dash”(-) symbol in the place of half tune(အသံဝက်). This is not in the standard but to save my lazy coding.
  • Full set of Burmese Phonetic – IPA list compiled by me is available here.
  • Burmese Phonetic guide is available here. You can easily find it in every Burmese dictionary front pages.

Examples: သှ-ဒင်းဇ-ဂါး (သတင်းစကား) သက်ကျာ့မုနိ (သကျမုနိ) မင်ဂ-လာဇောင် (မင်္ဂလာဆောင်) အေယာဝ-ဒီမျစ် (ဧရာဝတီမြစ်) နိုင်ငန်ဒေါ်ဝင်ဂျီးဂျုတ် (နိုင်ငံတော်ဝန်ကြီးချုပ်) ပ-ယွက်ဆိတ် (ပုရွက်ဆိတ်) အ-ယှုတ်အ-ယှင်း (အရှုပ်အရှင်း) ဗော်လုန်းဗွဲ (ဘောလုံးပွဲ) ဗွတ်ဇင်ဂါ့သုတ် (ဗောဇ္ဈင်ဂသုတ်) ဗ-မာ့တတ်ပေါင်းဇုတတ်မ-ဒေါ် (ဗမာ့တပ်ပေါင်းစုတပ်မတော်)

##And, of course, input texts have to be in Unicode encoding.

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7 Responses to “IPA Vs Burmese Phonetic – ʔaipiʔenɛ̰ mjəma ʔəθãdweʔ”

  1. Kaung Thant says:


  2. Jacker says:

    Need a person to teach me myanmar phonetic

  3. […] မလိုပါ။ မြန်မာ အသံထွက်ရေးနည်းကို ဒီမှာ လေ့လာပြီး ဒီကွန်ဗာတာကို သုံးပြီး […]

  4. […] မလိုပါ။ မြန်မာ အသံထွက်ရေးနည်းကို ဒီမှာ လေ့လာပြီး ဒီကွန်ဗာတာကို သုံးပြီး […]

  5. […] Burmese. So I refreshed a few times and got “Mingalaba” (မင်္ဂလာပါ) IPA:/mì̃ɡəlàbà/ MLCTS:/min ga̱la ba/ as Burmese greeting. It made me smile though I expected it. […]

  6. saturngod says:



  7. myintkt says:

    >> နိုင်ငန်ဒေါ်ဝင်ဂျီးဂျုတ်

    Ban Him!!! 😀

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