SEAlang Library Burmese Dictionary
About the SEAlang Library Burmese Dictionary Resources 
These resources are primarily based on the Myanmar-English Dictionary (1993, Myanmar Language Commission; republished 1996, Dunwoody Press ISBN 1-881265-47-1, and used here with their permission).
   The dictionary contains about 35,000 entries, including spoken and literary styles, the names of common flora and fauna, and archaic and obsolete words. Many entries include usage examples and/or etymologies. Burmese spelling follows the standard orthography established by the Myanmar Language Commission in 1986.
   Please see the Features for Teachers and Features for Students sections at the SEAlang Library for tips on using the dictionary and corpus tools.
Fonts (new and important)
You must use a Unicode 5.1-compliant font.  Please read the Burmese/Karen/Mon/Shan Unicode 5.1 Font Notes.
    IPA input and display prefers Charis SIL or Doulos SIL for proper rendering. For convenience, we display both traditional and IPA phonetics.
Ongoing development
This resource is still under active development. Not all compound words are properly associated with their proper head sense, and roman letters (used internally for coding problems) may appear in compound segmentations. Please see med-tasks.htm for more information.
Approximate matching
The most interesting feature of the dictionary tool is its ability to find words by sound, using the IPA phonetic alphabet. Because even phonetic spelling may be a little confusing, IPA searches allow approximation within groups of consonants or vowels that have similar sounds. In addition, these single letters can stand in for any single character:
    T     any tone or nasalization:    ʔ,x̀,x́,x̰,x̃
    V     any vowel:    ɛ,ə,ɔ,a,e,i,o,u,ei,ai,oʊ,au
    C     any consonant:    ɲ,ŋ,ʃ,ʧ,ʤ,θ,ð,b,c,j,d,f,h,k,l,m,n,p,r,s,t,w,y,z + xʰ x̊ x̥
                  a consonant may be aspirated (xʰ) or modified by a ring, as above
    For example, a search for IPA CəoʊT allows any consonant or final tone, but requires a particular vowel sequence. Try it! Or, try entering eTiT to find (among many others) the word for house.
    Below, we have the complete table. These approximate matches with only be invoked by clicking the V or C buttons when you search.
enter one of these         to match any of these
b / p / pʰ b, p, pʰ
c / j c, j
d / t / tʰ d, t, tʰ
g / k / kʰ k, g, kʰ
l / r / l̥ l, r, l̥
m / m̥ m, m̥
n / n̥ n, n̥
s / sʰ / z / ʃ s, sʰ, z, ʃ
w / w̥ w, w̥
y / ɲ / ɲ̥ y, ɲ, ɲ̥
ʧ / ʤ / ʧʰ ʧ, ʤ, ʧʰ
θ / ð θ, ð
ŋ / ŋ̊ ŋ, ŋ̊
a / ə a, u, ə
e / ɛ / ei e, ɛ, ei
o / oʊ / aʊ / ɔ o, oʊ, aʊ, ɔ
u u, ə

Many thanks to Lwin Moe, Stephen Morey, Julian Wheatley, and Justin Watkins for their assistance. Development of Burmese tools is ongoing; please contact doug at with any bug reports.
Copyright notices
Source material is copyright 1993 Myanmar Language Commission / 1996 Dunwoody Press.