To each country, its own language.
A tourist speaks English, while a traveller tries to discover as much as possible about his destination. If you also consider that in Myanmar only people working in touristic places speak English (and usually not fluently), it would be helpful to learn the basic words to communicate with the local population.
Don’t be sad, though, if the locals won’t understand you immediately – Burmese is quite a difficult language. Moreover, there are more than 130 ethnic groups each with its own language, so communication is not always easy. But you should try anyway – in the worst case scenario, your efforts will be rewarded by a loud laugh.

Here follows a short list of basic words. Of course, this is not the official translation (it doesn’t exist), but the written version of how they are pronounced.


Good morning / Good evening – Mingalarbar

How are you? – Min nay kow lar?

Very well, thank you. And you? – Kow par deh min yaw?

Goodbye – Tar tar

Welcome – Gyo so bar deh

Thanks (a lot) – Jay zu tin bar deh

Excuse me / please – Jay zu pyu jouer

My name is… – Ngar nam mae ka … phit par deh

Yes / No – Ma yu tot bou. Jay zu bae

Sì / No – Hoe tale / ma hoe bou

You’re welcome – Ya bar deh


One – Tit

Two – Nit

Three – Thone

Four – Lay

Five – Ngar

Six – Chauk

Seven – Khone

Eight – Shit

Nine – Koe

Ten – Tasae

Twenty – Nit sae

Thirty – Thone sae

Forty – Lay sae

Fifty – Ngar Sae

Sixty – Chauk sae

Seventy – Khone hnit sae

Eighty – Shit sae

Ninety – Koe sae

One hundred – Ta yar

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