The Burmese or Myanmar script developed from the Mon script, which was adapted
from a southern Indian script during the 8th century. The earliest known inscriptions
in the Burmese script date from the 11th century.
Type of writing system: syllabic alphabet - each letter has an inherent vowel
[a]. Other vowels sounds are indicated using separate letters or diacritics which
appear above, below, in front of, after or around the consonant.
The rounded appearance of letters is a result of the use of palm leaves
as the traditional writing material. Straight lines would have torn the leaves.
The Burmese name for the script is ca-lonh 'round script'.
Burmese is a tonal language with three main tones (high, low and
creaky) and two other tones (stopped and reduced). The tones are indicated
in writing using diacritics or special letters.
Used to write:
Burmese/Myanmar, a member of the Burmese-Lolo group of the Sino-Tibetan
language spoken by about 21 million people in Burma (Myanmar).
The Karen languages, a group of languages related
to Burmese and spoken by around 4 million people in Burma and Thailand.
Mon, a member of the Mon-Khmer group of the Austroasiatic languages
spoken by about 200,000 people in Burma and Thailand.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They
are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another
in a spirit of brotherhood. (Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)