Burmese Language (pronounced: [mjəmà bàðà]; MLCTS: myanma bhasa) is the official language of Burma and some ethnic minorities like the Mon. It is the native language of the Bamar, a dominant ethnic group of Burma (Myanmar). This language was also derived from the Old Mon script which is called the Brahmi script. According to Thant Myint- U Author of the book The Making of Modern Burma, Burmese Language is closely related to the language called Yi, a group of language now spoken in remote parts of Burma situated in the north and some parts of western Yunnan and south of Sichuan in China. It is also distantly related to Tibetan language. It is a tonal language and is a pitch- register and syllable- timed language, an analytic language, largely monosyllabic with a subject- object- verb word order.
Burmese is spoken by 32 million people as their first language and 10 million as their second language. There are smaller communities that are found in Bangladesh, Malaysia, Thailand and United States who speaks Burmese. Speakers of the minority language are encouraged to learn and use the Burmese Language. There are two Burmese dialects which is Mandalay and Yangon (or Rangoon). The difference between the two is lexical and with different intonation. However there are Burmese dialects where the differences are in the consonants and the vowel rhymes. Each dialect has its own specialized vocabulary; namely: Arakanese is spoken by 2 million living in Rakhine in Burma, south- eastern in Bangladesh, and North- eastern in India. It is separate from the spoken Burmese for 500 years. 90,000 people spoke Intha in the lake Inle region of Myanmar. Danu and Taungyo are also spoken in that region. In Myit- tha Valley about 24,000 people speaks Yaw. In the Tavoy district in the south- eastern coast of Burma 400,000 people spoke Tavoyan.
Colloquial Burmese or formal Burmese language has levels of politeness that depends on the age of the speaker towards the person or audience he is speaking to. There are words that is used only to the person who is close to you or someone who is the same age as you; example of this is nga which means “I, me” and nang means “you”, which is if you use it to an elder or to a stranger you are disrespectful, extremely rude or vulgar. In Burmese language, you have to use polite speech and feudal- era third person instead of the first and second person pronouns in speaking to elders, teachers and strangers.
Thant Myint- U believed that the diffusion of the Yi Language which was from the Nan Chao kingdom, which is the Yunnan of today; and the native languages namely: Mizo- Chin language spoken along the Chindwin river, the language of the North which is the Sak- Kadu, and Pyu which is in the upper and middle valley is the result of the modern Burmese language of today. It was on the 1800 that Burmese language showed linguistic uniformity, and within this year English was also introduced when the British came to Burma and made trade with the Bamar people and was under colonial rule.
According to BBC News business Burma’s Economy is set to accelerate, with a forecast growth of 6% for the next year and 5.5% in the current year. Burma has a strong agricultural base, timber, natural gas and fishery reserves and one of the world’s largest source of gems and stones; 90% of the rubies of the world is exported from Burma. According to Rajiv Biswas, writer of thediplomat.com, Burma’s economy is expected to accelerate with the new reforms of the government focusing on foreign investments and currency.
In relation to Burma encouraging foreign investors, it will generate the need for translation and interpretation services of their language and documents. To have a harmonious business transaction with Burma, you have to have a knowledgeable and competent translator so that conflicts within the business will not arise and that your products, services and company profile will totally be understood by the Burmese people. It is also said that foreign investors does not need a local partner to be able to invest in their country, as long as it will have 100% local workers that are skilled and trained. Foreign investors will have the need to translate their product manuals and company policies into Burmese and for assistance with Burmese translation services please contact our Malaysia office based in Johor Bahru on Tel. no. +607 2327413