Appendix:Burmese transliteration

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Burmese transliteration[edit]

There are four systems of romanizing Burmese in use at Wiktionary. Two of these put more emphasis on the orthography in the Burmese script (transliterations), and two put more emphasis on the pronunciation of the Burmese word (transcriptions).

The two transliterations are the MLC Transcription System (see also the Wikipedia article) and the ALA-LC Romanization. The two transcriptions are the BGN/PCGN romanization (in slightly modified form) and the system used by John Okell in A Reference Grammar of Colloquial Burmese.

When entering Burmese translations to English-language entries, please use only the modified BGN/PCGN romanization (highlighted in yellow in the tables below) to transliterate the Burmese. For example, in the entry cat, under "Translations" the Burmese line should read:

Burmese: ကြောင် (my) (kraung)

(input as: Burmese: {{t|my|ကြောင်|tr=kyaung}}).

Similarly, where Burmese words occur in the "Etymology" section of entries in other languages, only the modified BGN/PCGN romanization should be used for transcription. For example, in the entry longyi, under "Etymology" it should read:

From Burmese လုံချည် (lumhkyany)

(input as: From {{etyl|my|en}} {{term|လုံချည်|lang=my|tr=lon-gyi}}).

In Burmese-language entries, the romanization template Template:my-roman is used. It shows all four romanizations. For example, at ကြောင် (kraung), at the "Noun" header you should type:

===Noun===
{{my-noun}}
{{my-roman|mlc=kraung |ala=kroṅ‘ |bgn=kyaung |okell=cauñ}}

The romanization box will render as: (Romanization: MLCTS: kraung | ALA-LC: kroṅ‘ | BGN/PCGN: kyaung | Okell: cauñ)

The details of these four romanization systems are described below.

Syllable onsets[edit]

Syllable onsets (also called "initials") are romanized as follows:

Burmese IPA MLCTS ALA-LC BGN-PCGN Okell
က /k/ k k k k
ကျ /tɕ/ ky ky ky c
ကြ /tɕ/ kr kr ky c
ကျွ /tɕw/[1] kyw kyv kyw cw
ကြွ /tɕw/[1] krw krv kyw cw
ကွ /kw/[1] kw kv kw kw
/kʰ/ hk kh hk hk
ချ /tɕʰ/ hky khy ch hc
ခြ /tɕʰ/ hkr khr ch hc
ချွ /tɕʰw/[1] hkyw khyv chw hcw
ခြွ /tɕʰw/[1] hkrw khrv chw hcw
ခွ /kʰw/[1] hkw khv hkw hkw
/ɡ/ g g g g
ဂျ /dʑ/ gy gy gy j
ဂျွ /dʑw/[1] gyw gyv gyw jw
ဂွ /ɡw/[1] gw gv gw gw
/ɡ/ gh gh g g
/ŋ/ ng ng ng
ငှ /ŋ̊/ hng ṅh hng hng
ငြ /ɲ/ ngr ṅr ny ny
ငြှ /ɲ̥/ hngr ṅrh hny hny
ငွ /ŋw/[1] ngw ṅv ngw ngw
ငွှ /ŋ̊w/[1] hngw ṅvh hngw hngw
/s/ c c s s
စွ /sw/[1] cw cv sw sw
/sʰ/ hc ch hs hs
ဆွ /sʰw/[1] hcw chv hsw hsw
/z/ j j z z
ဇွ /zw/[1] jw jv zw zw
/z/ jh jh z z

/ɲ/ ny ñ
ññ
ny ny
ဉှ
ညှ
/ɲ̥/ hny ñh
ññh
hny hny
ညွ /ɲw/[1] nyw ñv nyw nyw
ညွှ /ɲ̥w/[1] hnyw ñhv hnyw hnyw
/t/ t t t
/tʰ/ ht ṭh ht ht
/d/ d d d
/d/ dh ḍh d d
/n/ n n n
/t/ t t t t
တွ /tw/[1] tw tv tw tw
/tʰ/ ht th ht ht
ထွ /tʰw/[1] htw thv htw htw
/d/ d d d d
ဒွ /dw/[1] dw dv dw dw
/d/ dh dh d d
/n/ n n n n
နှ /n̥/ hn nh hn hn
နွ /nw/[1] nw nv nw nw
နွှ /n̥w/[1] hnw nvh hnw hnw
/p/ p p p p
ပျ /pj/ py py py py
ပြ /pj/ pr pr py py
ပြွ /pw/[1] prw prv pw pw
ပွ /pw/[1] pw pv pw pw
/pʰ/ hp ph hp hp
ဖျ /pʰj/ hpy phy hpy hpy
ဖြ /pʰj/ hpr phr hpy hpy
ဖွ /pʰw/[1] hpw phv hpw hpw
/b/ b b b b
ဗျ /bj/ by by by by
ဗြ /bj/ br br by by
ဗွ /bw/[1] bw bv bw bw
/b/
/pʰ/
bh bh b
hp
b
hp
ဘွ /bw/[1] bhw bhv bw bw
/m/ m m m m
မှ /m̥/ hm mh hm hm
မျ /mj/ my my my my
မျှ /m̥j/ hmy myh hmy hmy
မြ /mj/ mr mr my my
မြှ /m̥j/ hmr mrh hmy hmy
မြွ /mw/[1] mrw mrv mw mw
မွ /mw/[1] mw mv mw mw
မွှ /m̥w/[1] hmw mvh hmw hmw
/j/ y y y y
ယှ /ʃ/ hy yh sh hy
ယွ /jw/[1] yw yv yw yw
/j/
/ɹ/[2]
r r y
r
y
r
ရှ /ʃ/ hr rh sh hy
ရွ /jw/[1] rw rv yw yw
ရွှ /ʃw/[1] hrw rvh shw hyw
/l/ l l l l
လှ /ɬ/ hl lh hl hl
လျ /lj/
/j/
ly ly ly
y
ly
y
လျှ /ɬj/
/ʃ/
hly lyh hly
sh
hly
hy
လွ /lw/[1] lw lv lw lw
လွှ /ɬw/[1] hlw lvh hlw hlw
/w/[1] w v w w
ဝှ /ʍ/[1] hw vh hw hw
/θ/
/ð/
s s th
dh
th
သွ /θw/[1] sw sv thw thw
/h/ h h h h
ဟွ /hw/[1] hw hv hw hw
/l/ l l l
/ʔ/ (none) (none) (none)
Footnotes
  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 But see below for what happens before တ်, န်, ပ်, မ် and with .
  2. ^ In some loanwords only

Syllable rhymes[edit]

Syllable rhymes (also called "finals") are romanized as follows. The following table uses the letter က /k/ as a basis, but of course any other syllable onset could be substituted.

Burmese IPA MLCTS ALA-LC BGN-PCGN Okell
က /ka̰/ ka. ka ka.
ကက် /kɛʔ/ kak kak‘ ket keʔ
ကင် /kɪ̀ɴ/ kang kaṅ‘ kin kiñ
ကစ် /kɪʔ/ kac kac’ kit kiʔ
ကည် /kì/
/kè/
/kɛ̀/
kany kaññ‘ ki
ke
ki
kei
ke
ကဉ် /kɪ̀ɴ/ kañ‘ kin kiñ
ကတ် /kaʔ/ kat kat‘ kat kaʔ
ကန် /kàɴ/ kan kan‘ kan kañ
ကပ် /kaʔ/ kap kap‘ kat kaʔ
ကမ် /kàɴ/ kam kam‘ kan kañ
ကယ် /kɛ̀/ kai kay‘ ke
ကံ /kàɴ/ kam kaṃ kan kañ
ကာ /kà/ ka ka ka
ကိ /kḭ/ ki. ki ki.
ကိတ် /keɪʔ/ kit kit‘ keik keiʔ
ကိန် /kèɪɴ/ kin kin‘ kein keiñ
ကိပ် /keɪʔ/ kip kip‘ keik keiʔ
ကိမ် /kèɪɴ/ kim kim‘ kein keiñ
ကိံ /kèɪɴ/ kim kiṃ kein keiñ
ကီ /kì/ ki ki ki
ကု /kṵ/ ku. ku ku.
ကုတ် /koʊʔ/ kut kut‘ kok kouʔ
ကုန် /kòʊɴ/ kun kun‘ kon kouñ
ကုပ် /koʊʔ/ kup kup‘ kok kouʔ
ကုမ် /kòʊɴ/ kum kum‘ kon kouñ
ကုံ /kòʊɴ/ kum kuṃ kon kouñ
ကူ /kù/ ku ku ku
ကေ /kè/ ke ke ke kei
ကဲ /kɛ́/ kai: kai kè:
ကော /kɔ́/ kau: ko kaw:
ကောက် /kaʊʔ/ kauk kok‘ kauk kauʔ
ကောင် /kàʊɴ/ kaung koṅ‘ kaung kauñ
ကော် /kɔ̀/ kau ko‘ kaw ko
ကို /kò/ kui kui ko kou
ကိုက် /kaɪʔ/ kuik kuik‘ kaik kaiʔ
ကိုင် /kàɪɴ/ kuing kuiṅ‘ kaing kaiñ

ကွတ်, ဝတ်, etc.[edit]

In sequences with ွ or ဝ before တ်, န်, ပ်, မ် or together with ံ, the vowel pronounced is /u/ rather than the expected /(w)a/. This is reflected in the BGN/PCGN and Okell transcriptions, but not in the MLCTS and ALA-LC transliterations.

Burmese IPA MLCTS ALA-LC BGN-PCGN Okell
ကွတ် /kʊʔ/ kwat kvat‘ kut kuʔ
ကွန် /kʊ̀ɴ/ kwan kvan‘ kun kuñ
ကွပ် /kʊʔ/ kwap kvap‘ kut kuʔ
ကွမ် /kʊ̀ɴ/ kwam kvam‘ kun kuñ
ကွံ /kʊ̀ɴ/ kwam kvaṃ kun kuñ
ဝတ် /wʊʔ/ wat vat‘ wut wuʔ
ဝန် /wʊ̀ɴ/ wan van‘ wun wuñ
ဝပ် /wʊʔ/ wap vap‘ wut wuʔ
ဝမ် /wʊ̀ɴ/ wam vam‘ wun wuñ
ဝံ /wʊ̀ɴ/ wam vaṃ wun wuñ

Independent vowel letters[edit]

The independent vowel letters are transcribed the same as the vowels formed with , except in ALA-LC, where those formed with take a preposed apostrophe (’):

Burmese IPA MLCTS ALA-LC BGN-PCGN Okell
အိ
/ḭ/ i. ’i
i
i. í
အီ
/ì/ i ’ī
ī
i i
အု
/ṵ/ u. ’u
u
u. ú
အူ
/ù/ u ’ū
ū
u u
အေ
/è/ e ’e
e
e ei
အော
/ɔ́/ au: ’o
o
aw: ò
အော်
/ɔ̀/ au ’o‘
o‘
aw o

Tones[edit]

The low tone and checked tone are represented as shown in the table above. The representation of the high tone and creaky tone varies depending on the respective syllable rhyme: sometimes they are inherent in the vowel symbol used, and sometimes they are indicated by a diacritic mark. The ALA-LC romanization indicates these two tones explicitly only in cases where diacritic marks are used; the other three romanizations indicate them regardless of how they are spelled. Examples:

Tone Burmese IPA MLCTS ALA-LC BGN-PCGN Okell
High ကဲ /kɛ́/ kai: kai kè:
ကော /kɔ́/ kau: ko kaw:
ကား /ká/ ka: kā″ ka:
ကန်း /káɴ/ kan: kan‘″ kan: kàñ
Creaky က /ka̰/ ka. ka ka.
ကိ /kḭ/ ki. ki ki.
ကု /kṵ/ ku. ku ku.
ကဲ့ /kɛ̰/ kai. kai′ kè.
ကန့် /ka̰ɴ/ kan. kan‘′ kan. káñ

Minor syllables[edit]

Minor syllables in Burmese contain only the vowel /ə/ in the rhyme and do not bear tone. They are always followed by a major syllable (any other kind of syllable). In the orthography, they are most commonly spelled as if their rhyme was /a̰/ (i.e. with no vowel diacritic at all), but are often spelled in other ways. In the MLCTS and ALA-LC systems, minor syllables are romanized exactly as they are spelled in Burmese orthography. In the modified BGN/PCGN system and in the Okell system, minor syllables are indicated by the letter ă regardless of the Burmese orthography. Examples:

Burmese IPA MLCTS ALA-LC BGN-PCGN Okell
ခလုတ် /kʰəloʊʔ/ hka.lut khalut‘ hkălok hkălouʔ
စာရေး /səjé/ care: cāre″ săye: săyeì
ငါးဥ /ŋəʔṵ/ nga:u. ṅā″u ngău. ngăú
သူငယ် /θəŋɛ̀/ su-ngai sūṅay‘ thăngè thănge

Syllable division[edit]

Where two consonants appear next to each other between two vowels in a romanization, use hyphens as necessary to avoid ambiguity. For example (the following are not necessarily real words of Burmese):

Burmese IPA MLCTS ALA-LC BGN-PCGN Okell
အက်ယန်
အာကျန်
/ʔɛʔjàɴ/
/ʔàtɕàɴ/
ak-yan
a-kyan
’ak‘yan‘
’ākyan‘
et-yan
a-kyan
eʔyañ
acañ
ကတ်ဝက်
ကာတွက်
/kaʔwɛʔ/
/kàtwɛʔ/
kat-wak
ka-twak
kat‘vak‘
kātvak‘
kat-wet
ka-twet
kaʔweʔ
katweʔ
တန်ဂါ
တာငါ
/tàɴɡà/
/tàŋà/
tan-ga
ta-nga
tan‘gā
tāṅā
tan-ga
ta-nga
tañga
tanga

Consonant voicing[edit]

In many words, a written voiceless (aspirated or unaspirated) consonant is pronounced voiced when it appears after a vowel or /ɴ/. This is indicated in the BGN-PCGN and Okell transcriptions, but not in the MLCTS and ALA-LC transliterations. In BGN-PCGN, the letter for the voiced consonant is used; in Okell, the letter for the voiceless consonant is used but underlined. Examples:

Burmese IPA MLCTS ALA-LC BGN-PCGN Okell
ဆီပုံး /sʰìbóʊɴ/ hcipum: chīpuṃ″ hsibon: hsipoùñ
အုန်းဆီ /ʔóʊɴzì/ un:hci ’un‘″chī on:zi oùñhsi
အညာသား /ʔəɲàðá/ a.nyasa: ’añāsā″ ănyadha: ănyathà

Note on the modifications to BGN-PCGN[edit]

As mentioned above, Wiktionary uses a modified version of the BGN-PCGN. The modifications are necessary because the original version does not represent all meaningful contrasts found in the Burmese language. For example, Burmese contrasts the unaspirated sounds /p, t, k, s/ from the aspirated sounds /pʰ, tʰ, kʰ, sʰ/, but the original BGN-PCGN uses just p, t, k, s to represent both series. The modified version transcribes the aspirated /pʰ, tʰ, kʰ, sʰ/ as hp, ht, hk, hs, like the MLCTS and Okell systems.

The original version of the BGN-PCGN does not distinguish between low tone (e.g. /à/), high tone (e.g. /á/), and creaky tone (e.g. /a̰/), so the modified version uses the colon (:) to indicate high tone and the period/full stop (.) to indicate creaky tone, like the MLCTS system.

The original version of the BGN-PCGN has no dedicated character for /ə/, so the modified version uses ă, like the Okell system.

The original version of the BGN-PCGN uses indicates voicing of word-internal consonants in all contexts except after the checked tone (e.g. /aʔ/), but in fact word-internal consonants are not always voiced in pronunciation. This modified version indicates consonant voicing only in cases where the word is actually pronounced with a voiced consonant.

Finally, the modified version replaces ô with o in the sequences ok (/oʊʔ/) and on (/oʊɴ/), since the circumflex serves no purpose there.