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Travel to Myanmar

Vocabulary au Myanmar

The most widely spoken languages of Burma are Burmese and English. English is normally enough to cope with the most touristy places in the country. For the other places, it is necessary to disentangle yourself with great reinforcement of English, French and body language. Sometimes you can meet a guide speaking a few words of French or English. Do not hesitate to inquire in the tourist places. For the others, well, the Burmese speak Burmese and, if there is, the local dialect (there are more than 100!).

As for place names, thanks to the colonial past and the diversity of Burma, most places have more than two names. Here are some examples of popular Burmese phrases and vocabulary:
• Hello → Min-ga-la-ba
• How are you? → Ne-kaun-there (Pronounce Ne-Kaoun-la)
• Fine, thanks → Ne-kaun-ba-deh (Pronounce Ne-kaoun-ba-de)
• Nice to meet you. Twé-ya-da wùn-tha-ba-deh (Pronounce Twé-ya-da wouéna-ba-dé)
• My name is Pierre (male) → Kya taw ka Pierre bar (Pronounce Tché tow ka Pierre ba)
• My name is Marie (female) → Kya ma ka Marie bar (Pronounce Tché ma ka Marie ba)
• You speak English? → ìng-guh-lay loh byāw da’-thuh-there? (Pronounce Ingulè loh byow té la)
• Thanks • cè-zù tin-ba-deh (Pronounce Tchè zou tin ba dé)
• Yes → Ho of
• No → Ma ho bu (Pronounce Ma ho bou)
• The addition → shin-meh
• How much does it cost? → beh-lau-leh
• Where are the toilets? → eain da bae ma lae? (Pronounce èn da bé ma lé)
• A bottle of water → yè tan (de boo)
• Tea → lae pae ye (Pronounce lè pè yé)

During your Burma tours, try not to be discouraged by the communication problems that may arise. With a determined effort and patience, you will get out of most situations, and have an unforgettable journey.

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