The Burmese Language website looks like a good resource; they have a series of graduated lessons (with audio files) to teach the script and grammar. Unfortunately, in their words, “You need to use the NETSCAPE to view the fonts correctly,” so all I’m seeing is Latin-alphabet symbols, but it’s easy enough to download Netscape if you want to take advantage of it. (Via Plep.)


  1. I wonder how hard it would be to extend Padma to auto-convert the fonts to Unicode. It only supports Indic stripts now, but the problem seems exactly the same to my over generalizing mind. Without actually looking at the extension source, I’d guess it’s just a mess of javascript hash tables (“objects”).

  2. michael farris says

    The Burmese site is part of a larger site devoted to SEASian languages, with interesting, informative and useful information on Thai, Khmer, Lao, Vietnamese, Indonesian and Tagalog as well.
    A truly wonderful resource. I tried to use the flashcards to learn the Burmese alphabet. It was fun, but I found the relentless march of minimally distinct semi-circles to be far too much for my (mostly) casual interest.

  3. Andrew Dunbar says

    I wonder how hard it would be to extend Padma to auto-convert the fonts to Unicode.
    Do you know of a Unicode Burmese font? The only one I could find that was half-decent only worked properly with the specialized Graphite editor made by SIL.
    And man was it hard to use, needing all kinds of exotic things such as zero-width nonjoiners. But that’s partly the fault of the complicated script, partly the fault of the Unicode encoding, and partly my fault for not knowing which visual glyphs were ligatures of which underlying characters…

  4. There are fundamental problems with Unicode Burmese, which is why there is currently only one full Unicode implementation of it. However, last month a meeting was held in Yangon, where a solution to the problems was agreed to by all the participants (representatives of Myanmar organizations as well as Western experts) : Proposal to encode seven additional Myanmar characters. If accepted by Unicode and ISO this proposal will result in the simplification of Burmese, and remove the need to use exotic things such as zero width non-joiner.

  5. You could try this font; I don’t have the support for opentype rendering of Burmese (or sufficent knowledge of the script) to test it myself.

  6. MyaZedi also looks promising; it’s brand new from a Myanmar outsourcing company. Myanmar1 is the font used on the NIU page; is it really Unicode inside?
    I find it interesting that because tones are mostly inherent to the vowel, and visarga is used to mark high tone, you only end up needing one tone marker in the encoding, viz. U+1037 for creaky.
    Followers of this kind of subthread may want some of these. There’s a sticker on the machine here with the 漢字入力装置.

  7. All they’re doing is using <font face=”Myanmar1″> tags. I don’t know why they’re insisting on Netscape. Does some version of Netscape come with this font? Oddly, they are also using some inline style properties, so it’s not just an old site. In any event if you have the “Myanmar1” font on your system you can probably force your browser to use it on these pages.

  8. For a free Unicode Burmese font, see also:

  9. SEASite does have a page where you can download the Myanmar1 font. And yes, it does display as intended in IE and Firefox once you have them installed without further messing about.
    Unicode is just nice to have, particularly for those of us who did multilingual with fonts over twenty years ago.

  10. Thanx for the link buddy…I’ve downloaded the Myanmar1 font…I was looking out for it for some days.

  11. I’m all for Unicode too, MMcM, I was just trying to see what the Netscape requirement was about, since that’s a pretty odd browser to specify these days.

  12. Well, part of the problem is that the NIU site hasn’t had any significant updates since at least four years ago.

  13. I’d already downloaded and installed Myanmar1 at sometime in the past (probably on an earlier visit to SEASite) but the font still wasn’t coming up for me in Mozilla on Mac OS X. So I went into Mozilla prefs, and set all the fonts for User Defined encoding to Myanmar1, OK’d the prefs, then set the page encoding to User Defined, and there they are! Of course, I have no idea whether they are correct.

  14. I spoke too soon. Not only does it display the Burmese using Burmese characters, it also displays English (such as “Lesson 1”) using Burmese characters. I hate when that happens.

  15. My bad. It works just fine in Western Encoding as long as you have “Allow documents to use other fonts” checked in your preferences under Fonts > Western Encoding.. I normally don’t have it checked, since I have very picky font preferences and don’t enjoy seeing Comic Sans MS and stuff like that. I’ll just have to remember that I do that when it doesn’t work.

  16. Thanks for explaining how to do that, Charles. I was pretty sure Firefox and Mozilla would let you do that, but I wouldn’t have been able to tell you just how.

  17. please try new features myanmar unicode which is so-called maykha and malikha at http://www.fontmm.com. It’s also included very simple keyboard. It would be useful for burmese language learner. It’s also employed syllable patterns checking very similar as myanmar spelling check.

    It’s conform with current unicode 4.1 version. We are preparing to release next unicode version.

    And Linux user can try burmese text representing at Myanmar Pango Modules Under Sourceforget project.

  18. Thanks, Ngwe Tun!

  19. I am a Burmese typist. I started using Mac font on Apple machines. However, in 1996, I defected to PC Win Inwa font on PCs as I could type very fast and with extreme ease with this font. However, I cannot use this font on my Compaq laptop which runs Windows XP and Office XP! It works with my older PCs and laptops which run Windows 98. I have used all tricks in the options. Can anyone suggest what I should do to make this font appears correctly on the screen and in the printout? Does Win Inwa font appear correctly on other PCs such as Dell or Sony or Toshiba which run current OS software and Office XP?

  20. Earlier today at a computer shop, I have checked my little gem and a Burmese language document on different types of PCs running Windows XP with Word 2003. It works well on all machines. To my surprise, it also works well on all compaq machines in the shop too. So this problem is a fixable problem on my compaq laptop and not a universal one. And it is not compaq’s fault either. So please disregard my call for help.

  21. Tayokekyi Ne Win says

    So far,(Sept 01,2006) .there is one and only full-comply to Unicode standards Burmese Padauk Graphite font.
    More at these sites:-

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