Myanmar Palindrome

10 Feb 2011

A palindrome is a word, phrase, number or other sequence of units that can be read the same way in either direction.

ရှေ့ကဖတ်ဖတ် နောက်ကဖတ်ဖတ် အတူတူဖြစ်တဲ့ စာလုံး၊ စာကြောင်း၊ ဝါကျ၊ ကိန်း နဲ့ အခြားသော ယူနစ်များကို ပယ်လင်းဒရုမ်း​လို့ ခေါ်တယ်။


civic, radar, level, rotor, kayak, reviver, racecar, and redder
“Was it a rat I saw?”, “Step on no pets”, “Able was I ere I saw Elba”, “Dammit, I’m mad!”, “Rats live on no evil star”
Famous quotations
Three famous English palindromes are “Able was I ere I saw Elba” (which is also palindromic with respect to spacing), “A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!”, and “Madam, I’m Adam” or “Madam in Eden, I’m Adam”

Well, these were English palindromes paragraphs I copied from Wikipedia. Myanmar also have infamous “ဘူးသီး​မသီးဘူး” (Bottle gourd is not fruiting) palindrome. Anymore? Nah!… Not many more.

Burmese is a complex script in which words are formed by single or multiple syllables. Vowels are mostly dependent which make nearly impossible to make character level palindromes. But we can still make a few short palindromes combining characters without dependent vowels.

Burmese character level (အက္ခရာ) palindromes:
ဝဝ မဝဝ (fat or not)
ကက မကက (dance or not)
စစ မစစ (tease/start or not)
The character list for xxမxx palindromes: ကခစဆတထနမရဝသဟအ
There are also some rare palindromic vocabularies (more than 2 characters).
မဒမ (မျောတိုင်)
ကရက (ကရား)

Syllable level palindromes:
Syllable level (ဝဏ္ဏ) is more suitable for making Burmese palindromes. There can be hundreds (or) even thousands combination we can make using syllables. For example,
စားစားမစားစား (eat or not)
စားချင်စား/စားရင်စား (eat if you want)
စားကစား/စားမှစား (eat a lot)
စားလည်းစား (eat too)
စားသာစား (eat all you want)
စားတော့စား (eat, but) etc.

There are some syllable level palindromic words too.
ကြီးတော်ကြီး (Big aunt)
စင်ကိုးစင် (nine stages)
ပုံတစ်ပုံ (one picture)
ရေခဲရေ (ice water)

Ok. Here comes the main part. There never has been a proper Burmese palindrome which is more than 10 syllables. I played a bit with words in my sketch book.

မလေးအမေ – မေအလေးမ
ကညာအပျို – ပျိုအညာက
စားသောက် – သောက်စား
လှလှ မလှလှ
ထထ မထထ

And I combined them together to get a reasonable sentence and finally got a 21 syllables palindrome.

“ကညာအပျို မလေးအမေ ထထ မထထ မေအလေးမ၊ ပျိုအညာက။”
Ma Lay’s virgin mom (or Virgin Ma Lay’s mom) is waking up or not, May from Ah Nyar is lifting weights. (Ah Nyar /a̱nja/ is upper reaches of Irrawaddy river.)


ဟန်သစ်ငြိမ်ရဲ့ ငြိမ်သစ်ဟန် inspired me.


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