Burmese vowel “e” (ေ) is up-side-down of English “e” shape and is a dependent vowel. Some people complained why vowel e is behind the consonant in Unicode encoding. I tried to answered that it’s according to logical and linguistic approach for a Brahmi based script and it doesn’t affect on how we type the character sequences. But some really conservative and stubborn people keep saying that it’s not “Myanmar’s Way”. They think that Burmese script was invented by ancient genius Burmese last 2000 years ago. Geez!
Well, the more the resistant, the more the motivation I get to learn new things. Burmese language was originally based on Mon and Arakan scripts. Mon and Arakan scripts came from Grantha scripts which was a southern family of Brahmi script. Brahmi script was the origin of most of south and west Asian scripts.
As you can see in the image, vowel e was originally just a modifier to the consonant. All the vowels stayed on top of or below the consonants. People changed writing styles in time. Sometimes, when time passed, people started forgetting the origin of certain history. But in internet age, we can research and dig up easily when we couldn’t do it two decades ago.
- Arakan Coins by U San Tha Aung, The Buddhist Art of Ancient Arakan by U San Tha Aung.