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Burmese

A language of Myanmar

ISO 639-3mya

Population  32,000,000 in Myanmar (2000 D. Bradley). Population total all countries: 32,319,700.
Region  South, central, and adjacent areas. Also in Bangladesh, Malaysia (Peninsular), Thailand, United States.
Alternate names   Bama, Bamachaka, Myanmar, Myen
Dialects  Merguese (Mergui, Beik), Yaw, Danu (Taruw), Burmese, Palaw. Diglossic high and low varieties. Preferred variety is spoken in Mandalay. Merguese (250,000), Danu (100,000), and Yaw (20,000) may be separate languages and are distinct varieties (Bradley 1997). Bangladesh speakers speak Bomang [mya], not Standard Burmese.
Classification  Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Lolo-Burmese, Burmish, Southern
Language use  National language. 10 million as L2. Many Mon and some Shan are monolingual in Burmese. Native Burmese speakers seldom speak a second indigenous language. If they have one, it is usually English.
Language development  Fully developed. Bible: 1835–2006.
Writing system  Myanmar (Burmese) script.
Comments  Burmese dominates the nation’s publishing production. Myanma is the largest ethnic group; another is Baramagyi (Barua). Educated speech has many Pali borrowings. SOV. Peasant agriculturalists; fishermen; craftsmen; industrialists. Buddhist.

Also spoken in:

Bangladesh

Language name   Burmese
Population  300,000 in Bangladesh (Johnstone and Mandryk 2001).
Region  Myanmar border area.
Language map  Bangladesh
Alternate names  Bama, Bamachaka, Myen
Dialects  Bomang.
Comments  Buddhist.