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Romanization of Burmese

Romanization of the Burmese alphabet is representation of the Burmese language or Burmese names in the Latin alphabet.

Official transcription systems

The MLC romanization system (1980) is promoted inside Myanmar. Inside and outside Myanmar several other systems may also be used. Replicating Burmese sounds in the Latin script is complicated.[opinion]

Academic and language-teaching transcription systems

Academic and language-teaching transcription systems include:

  • Mendelson's system: i.e. E. Michael Mendelson (1975)[3]
  • Cornyn-Roop system: i.e. William S. Cornyn, D. Haigh Roop Beginning Burmese (1968)[4]
  • John Okell A Guide to the Romanization of Burmese (2002) - conventional transcription with accented tones.[5]
  • Minn Latt The Prague method romanization of Burmese (1958) - method was created as author was teaching burmese in Charles University in Prague. Method is based on system of William Cornyn (1944).[6]

Personal names

Several colloquial transcription systems have been proposed, but none is overwhelmingly preferred over others. Transcription of Burmese is not standardized, as seen in the varying English transcriptions of Burmese names. For instance, a Burmese personal name like ဝင်း ([wɪ́ɴ]) may be variously romanized as Win, Winn, Wyn, or Wynn, while ခိုင် ([kʰàɪɴ]) may be romanized as Khaing, Khine, or Khain.


  1. ^ J. Okell A Guide to the Romanization of Burmese 2002- Page 7 "3. SURVEY OF THE THREE METHODS OF ROMANIZATION 3.l Transliteration The Burmese use for writing their language a script which is also used for Pali, and as there is a widely accepted romanization system for Pali this can be applied ..."
  2. ^ Library of Congress table for romanization of Burmese
  3. ^ John P. Ferguson Essays on Burma 1981 Page 77 "4 Romanization of Burmese in this paper follows Mendelson's system in cases of commonly used terms, with a romanization given in parentheses based upon a modification of the Cornyn-Roop system (for details, see Ferguson 1975, ..."
  4. ^ Bardwell L. Smith Religion and legitimation of power in Thailand, Laos, and Burma - Page 83 1978 "... by Mendelson (1975). For those trained under the American system, Burmese words will also, on first mention, be romanized on the basis of a literal (as opposed to aural) transcription of written Burmese according to the Cornyn and Roop .."
  5. ^ V. I. Braginskiĭ Classical Civilisations of South East Asia: An Anthology University of London. School of Oriental and African Studies - 2002 Page 57 " ... Burmese is romanized in this article according to John Okell's system of ' conventional transcription with accented tones "
  6. ^ Minn Latt. The Prague method romanization of Burmese. In Archiv Orientální: journal of the Czechoslovak Oriental Institute, Prague, 26, 1958, pp. 145-167. ProQuest 1304093578
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Romanization of Burmese
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