Archive for the ‘Language’ Category

pet peeves

Turning 27 will probably make you think about life, and death. I am not feeling well to go out and enjoy some expensive dinner with my other half so making friend with keyboard while lying down in bed. Here’s a list of my ultimate pet peeves that always get on my nerve.

All-men Team

Yes, I’ve heard gazillion times. Meritocracy over anything. But I personally don’t believe in all-men team irregardless of what they are doing. I don’t believe in all-men cabinets that might contribute to higher chance of ignoring women’s welfare. I don’t believe in all-men start-up founders who might not take working moms’ conditions into account. I don’t know. Whenever an all-men team photo pops up on my newsfeed, I instantly mumble “eww!”. And you might ask, how about “all women” teams? I feel almost the same but the number is relatively low. There’s no all women cabinet, is there? But for other activities, all women team doesn’t sound so good to me either unless their purpose is to highlight women’s rights.

Serious People Those Pretending to be Serious People

This needs much explanation, I suppose. I am a happiness-oriented person and I do not really care the world around me as long as I am happy. Judge me but I do not believe in hard work. Passion over hard work to me anytime. And when someone is not actually successful (by any ruler – be it money, fame or happiness) yet they like to boast how hardworking they are by showcasing all the dramas they seemed to have struggle to which all K-drama scripts writers would bow down, I feel pissed. You chose that path with your functioning brain and why in the world you are whining about it? I just don’t get it. And I hate such people who pretend to be serious in public like telling kids “Work hard. Be successful. Don’t waste time” shit while they are almost nothing more than blob in the society. Being said, I adore those who prove their hard work with results, say Bill Gates.


Many people might share the same perception with me on this. We are all hypocrites at some point of our life. But those all-time 24/7 hypocrites make me cringe. If you do not enjoy other bashing your religion, don’t bash others’. If you do not want to be asked many questions when others need help, don’t ask others the same when you need help. If you do anal or oral sex, don’t criticize gays. Life is simple. I don’t know why some people make effort to be considered as hypocrites.

Those who Copy Their Haters

This one! How can such people exist in this world? I have an array of disgusting people whom I strongly dislike. But copying them is the last thing I would do in this life. It is totally sensible to hate someone with or even without any reason as we are all humans. But copying them especially for your benefit? Recently, I have stumbled upon a quotation for some digital marketing services from the company run by someone who apparently mentioned several times that they hate me and assume I am a useless person. But that was almost identical to mine. And his came out months later mine. Why? I just don’t understand.

Mixture of Spoken and Written Burmese

Many people might ask “What’s the matter?” But it annoys me as hell when I get to read a paragraph with a mix of spoken and written Burmese. There’s colloquial Burmese which is obviously very different from literary Burmese. D-I-F-F-E-R-E-N-T WORDS. “သည်” and “တယ်”, “သောအခါ” and “တော့”, “များ” and “တွေ”. They aren’t even similar. If you are a native Burmese speaker, you should at least know the difference, aren’t you? Like in same paragraph, how can you end one sentence with “သည်” and another with “တယ်” if you are sane?

The list can go on. But I’ll stop here.

[This is a backdated post.]

To be able to pronounce Burmese words correctly by readers, I use MLCTS.

Which was your favourite subject in high school? Though I did well on more than a couple of other subjects, I loved Myanmar subject most while most of the students disliked to study it deeply. Myanmar is the easiest subject to pass and the most difficult one to get distinction. Why? The simple answer is you can’t get it only by studying by-heart though it is a language matter. What you need is a passion to it; a heartily passion to stand its complication, creative usage and god know spelling. Here are obvious examples.

Vocabs about relatives

I can speak three languages and know a bit about another one but I haven’t found such a complicated usage among the relatives except my mother tongue; Burmese. Have you ever thought of  differentiating your uncles from father side and mother side by a word? Well, not only for your parents’ side differentiation but also for the rank between your relatives and parents, there are enough words in Burmese. Let’s see.

We use different words for mother & father side. Plus, we call in different ways according to whether the uncle is older or younger than your parents.

  • Uncle older than father = ဘကြီး /ba gji׃/
  • Uncle younger than father = ဘထွေး  /ba dwei׃/
  • Uncle older than mother = ဦးကြီး/u׃ gji׃/
  • Uncle younger than mother = ဦးလေး /u: lei:/

So only of uncle, there are four types of usage. It similarly implies for “Aunt”, too. And next is depending on your husband/wife. In English, whether she is your husband/wife’s sister or your brother’s wife, you call her only “Sister-in-law” regardless of your gender and same goes for “brother-in-law”. But in Burmese, it goes as follow.

If you are a female,

  • Your husband’s elder brother / Your elder sister’s husband = ခဲအို /khe׃ou/
  • Your husband’s younger brohter / Your younger sister’s husband= မတ် /ma’/
  • Your husband’s sister / Your brother’s wife = ယောက်မ /jaun: ma/

If you are a male,

  • Your wife’s elder sister / Your elder brother’s wife= မရီး /ma ji:/
  • Your wife’s younger sister / Your younger brother’s wife = ခယ်မ /khe ma./
  • Your wife’s brother / Your sister’s wife= ယောက်ဖ /jaú hpa./

Next, if you are a male, you should not call your younger brother as your elder sister does. If you follow the language rules pretty strictly, the usage for

1)elder brother referred by younger sister/brother, အစ်ကို /a̱kou/
2)younger brother referred by elder brother, ညီ / nji/
3)younger brother referred by elder sister, မောင် /maun/
4)younger sister referred by elder sister, ညီမ / nji (nja̱) ma./
5)younger sister referred by elder brother, နှမ /hna̱ ma./

are all way too different! In modern Burmese, not all of above are differentiated accurately, though. Gosh! I just realized that such a number of words are used by us almost daily!


Language is arbitrary. Yes, I know. But Burmese is pretty much more arbitrary especially when it comes to spelling. I guess 80% of native Myanmar can’t spell correctly for some daily words. I am addicted to spelling. Let’s see why it should be named “God know spelling”.

As an instance for the word “ကျပ်” /kja’/ (Myanmar Currency), you can spell it in two ways to get the exactly same pronunciation. But only one can use for the correct spelling. Another one is used for the other meanings of “ကျပ်” /kja’/ (Fully packed, tight, strict). Absolutely same pronunciation but totally different ways to spell. There are thousands of such words in Myanmar language. Not everyone can remember how to use it correctly. And there are mostly no reasons to differentiate it, too. (You can find the very old source and attempt to be able to understand it, though.)


There are many ways to count different things correctly in Japanese. Likewise, in Burmese, it has many more ways. We use different units to count TV, flowers, man, animals, car, etc. I had to try pretty hard to get those usages of Japanese so I guess that of Burmese will not go too easily for foreigners as well.

That is what all I can think of for the moment. But this is not to scare you. It is always fun to learn a new language with right approach. Check out this guy, he can speak Burmese quite amazingly. And this Japanese who can speak Burmese, too. He shocked me even with first greeting sentence when we introduced each other. Way too perfect.