Burmese

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A language of Myanmar

Alternate Names
Bama, Bamachaka, Myanmar, Myen
Population

32,000,000 in Myanmar (2000 D. Bradley), increasing. Population total all countries: 32,035,300.

Location

Widespread in central Myanmar. Also in Malaysia, Thailand, United States.

Language Status

1 (National). Statutory national language (1974, Constitution, Articles 102, 152(b), 198).

Dialects

Beik (Merguese, Mergui), Mandalay Burmese, Yangon Burmese, Yaw. Diglossic high and low varieties. Beik (250,000) and Yaw (20,000) are distinct varieties (Bradley 1997). Bangladesh speakers use a non-standard variety called Bomang [mya].

Typology

SOV

Language Use

10 million as L2. Many Mon, some Shan, some Karen are monolingual in Burmese. All domains. All ages. Positive attitudes. May also use English [eng] or Chinese [cmn].

Language Development
Taught in primary and secondary schools. Fully developed. Bible: 1835–2006.
Writing
Braille script. Myanmar (Burmese) script, primary usage.
Other Comments

The official language name is Myanmar. Educated speech has many Pali borrowings. Buddhist.