April 24, 2014

Learning Burmese


Unlike learning English / Chinese where you can find abundant materials: books, websites, youtube, free online courses, mobile apps, flash card apps; self-learning Burmese resources are still few. There is a great challenge on the "font" (encoding) too. When you google "世 上 只 有 妈妈好", you can find plenty of good results. When you try to google မိုက်တယ်ကွ, before anything, you need to check is that unicode or zawgyi?

Learning a Language

For me, language is a bridge for people to understand each other. Smile and body language are not enough, we need words.
  • Self-study from books, recording and online website,
  • Online learning,
  • Tutor (costly): 1 on 1 or a group of students,
  • Language class: good chance to be in a class where you can learn from others experiences, and opportunity to practice,
  • Language exchange partner,
  • Youtube, and Facebook! (can find short Burmese paragraphs and videos on Myanmar companies Facebook pages)
There are gifted people able to learn a language more easily. For others, commitment and hard work are crucial. You might not forget your mother language but when you don't use it much for a long time you might forget some words. When we learn a new language, it is important to memorize the words, in Burmese, we also need to memorize the tone; and if we don't keep using it much, no practice, we forget.
It is believed that adult cannot learn a language as good as a child; but who cares? William Shakespeare said: “If there is a good will, there is great way.
When I study, I like to breakdown things and organize it nicely:
  1. Understanding basic & Alphabets
  2. Memorize the word (vocabulary): the character itself and 'pinyin' (romanization). Moreover, a spoken language might be a bit different from written.
  3. Listening - Speaking
  4. Mimic the sound (pronunciation)
  5. Mimic the tone
  6. Grammar
  7. Reading
  8. Writing
Next steps are to memorize idiom, clause, slang, etc.

Please find Learn Burmese resource list on BAMA Learn Burmese website.


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