Burmese Language Resources?

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ThomasC
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:35 am

Burmese Language Resources?

Post by ThomasC » Thu Dec 10, 2015 5:04 pm

Hello! Any Burmese speakers here, or recommendations for learning materials? Particularly as relates to Buddhism/talking to monks? I've seen some Youtube videos as well as a book for free download, but am wondering if some of the basic phrases they teach are too informal to use with monastics. I don't want to accidentally say "Hey, what's up?" when I mean "How are you this evening, Sayadaw?" :embarassed:
Burmese language resources seem pretty scarce compared to many languages, and the monastic angle makes this even more specific, ha, but any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!

:anjali:
Thomas

P.S. For anyone interested, here is the link to the free download of Burmese By Ear, complete with the audio files.

https://www.soas.ac.uk/bbe/

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:17 pm

Re: Burmese Language Resources?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Dec 10, 2015 5:54 pm

The resources that SOAS has to offer may be as good as it gets.

Burmese is complicated. You need different pronouns for talking to monks, men, and women. Many things one might say to a lay person like "Hello, how are you," are probably inappropriate anyway.

Are you planning to travel to Burma, or just trying to communicate with Burmese monks in your area?

It took me a month just to learn how to read the alphabet.
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ThomasC
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:35 am

Re: Burmese Language Resources?

Post by ThomasC » Thu Dec 10, 2015 8:24 pm

Thank you for the info, Bhante. So everyday phrases like "Ne-kaun-dhala?" and "Twe-ya-da wun-tha-ba-deh" should be avoided when addressing a monk?

And yes, while travel to a center or monastery in Burma is something I would think about in the future, my immediate goal is to be able to talk a bit to the monks in my area. The Sayadaw at the temple speaks English with me, so it's not really necessary, but it would still be nice to learn some spoken Burmese as I love languages in general. I've been holding off on learning the script, but that might make a nice winter project...

:anjali:
Thomas

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