Burmese might not be the most common language in the world, but as the national language of Myanmar, you may find yourself coming across it from time to time. If you’re in the country itself or have a Burmese friend or family member, you might want to wish them a happy birthday in Burmese. Let us share how you can do just that!
How to Say Happy Birthday in Burmese
Okay, let’s start things off with the main phrase in question. If you’re wanting to wish your Burmese friend, relative, or acquaintance a happy birthday, the phonetic pronunciation will sound like this: “Mwe nay mingalar pa”.
Happy Birthday in Burmese is written as ပျော်ရွင်ဖွယ်ရာမွေးနေ့
Give it a couple of goes before the person’s actual birthday. Burmese is a pretty difficult language to learn, so it’s worth putting in the time and effort to make sure it’s right.
Alternate Celebratory Phrases in Burmese
Occasionally, happy birthday doesn’t really work, so it’s always a good idea to have another celebratory phrase or word on hand to suit multiple situations. Maybe someone’s got a promotion at work, maybe they’ve got a new house, or perhaps they’ve just got married.
If you want a phrase that can be used in all of these different situations, then you’re probably going to need the Burmese word for congratulations.
You can pronounce it “Gunyuupartaal”. Again, give it a couple of practice goes before you need to use it, to get a feel for the word in your mouth.
How to Sing the Happy Birthday Song in Burmese
One of the most beloved traditions worldwide is singing the birthday song to the special birthday person. Normally followed by cake, it’s a fun and slightly awkward part of most birthday celebrations. Myanmar is no different.
The Burmese version of the birthday song follows the same tune as the English version, but of course, the lyrics are different. You can listen to the Burmese version of the birthday song here:
Once you’ve listened to it a couple of times, you should be able to get the hang of the lyrics and overall pronunciation.
Burmese Birthday Traditions
Contrary to Western notions of birthdays, in Myanmar, someone’s birthday is actually an opportunity for the birthday person to do something good for someone or something else. This might be giving some money to charity, spending time doing favors for others, helping out family members, or going to various temples to worship.
Although there is now more cake and singing involved in Burmese birthdays, this selflessness and appreciation of what you have are central to birthday traditions all across Myanmar.
So, there you have it, a comprehensive way to wish someone a happy birthday in Burmese. Whether you want to say it, wish them congratulations, or sing to them, the options are all here for you to learn and go away and practice.
Just remember Burmese birthdays aren’t like Western birthdays, so don’t expect mountains of presents and parties! It’s not really what’s done in Myanmar.
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Dayna Brockbank is a travel and language-learning blogger who has lived around the world but has now settled in Nice, France. She speaks 3 languages at varying levels of fluency: Spanish, Italian, and French, and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Spanish Education. She and her husband focus on making travel part of life by living cheaply and traveling on a budget.