Burmese is the national language of Myanmar and is spoken by around 32 million people as a first language, with many ethnic minorities there also speaking it as a second language. Burmese speakers in Australia may be first or second language speakers, depending on which ethnic group they belong to. Burmese is a tonal language. This means that changing the pitch when pronouncing a word can change the meaning of that word. Burmese uses a rounded script, written from left to right. Burmese is a member of the Lolo-Burmese branch of the Sino-Tibetan family. With significant linguistic differences from English, Burmese is challenging for native English speakers, but nonetheless rewarding.

Number of people in Australia who speak this language at home: 12,339 (ABS Census Data, 2011)

Language Category: Asian Languages

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