• Total units 24 Units
  • Areas of interest Asian Languages, Asian Studies, Language Studies
  • Minor code BURM-MIN

Burmese is the official language of Myanmar, which has a population of 54 million, where around 70% are mother-tongue speakers of the language. Burmese is also the main lingua-franca in the country as well as in Burmese communities worldwide. It has a long history of use in traditional literary works and music. Despite the country’s censorship system, which lasted half a century, Myanmar saw vigorous publishing activities, covering genres from novels to cartoons. Since the Burmese government lifted censorship in 2012, Burmese publications have constantly expanded. The language is widely used on the internet as well. 

The University’s Burmese courses equip students with a solid foundational knowledge of the Burmese language and an awareness of Myanmar’s culture and history. Students will gain knowledge of colloquial style Burmese language skills essential to everyday life at home, in universities, and in the work place. Students will also learn the basics of literary style Burmese, which will give them a solid basis in reading skills to approach a wider range of authentic Burmese publications, as well as develop their conversational ability. This minor helps students to understand more deeply Burmese culture, the challenges presented by historical legacies, and political and economic issues facing contemporary Myanmar.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Recognise and pronounce the basic Burmese consonants, vowels, and tones, as well as other distinctive features of Burmese pronunciation.
  2. Reproduce Burmese pronunciation in Burmese script, including words drawn from both the colloquial and literary styles.
  3. Use an active vocabulary of around 1,600 items, including both colloquial style words and literary style words drawn from Pali.
  4. Use sophisticated grammatical patterns in colloquial Burmese conversation and writing on matters encountered in everyday life, the university, the work place, and at leisure; demonstrate basic knowledge of and analyse the grammar of literary Burmese and appropriate vocabulary for the style, largely drawn from Pali.
  5. Demonstrate a solid knowledge of colloquial style Burmese by engaging in short conversations and reading and writing texts on a range of general topics and some academic themes, with an awareness of formal and informal registers; comprehend basic, longer passages and short essays written in the literary style.
  6. Appraise in an academic manner the cultural and social practices of Burmese societies, with awareness of the history of the country.

Other Information

Proficiency equivalent to CEFR A2-B1; Myanmar Language Test M2-3

Students with previous “language experience or exposure” are required to take a language proficiency assessment to ensure enrolment at the most appropriate level. 

Relevant past experience includes:

  • Previous study of the language (both formal and informal, for example but not limited to, at school, or, home, or through online activities, etc.)
  • Being exposed to the language in childhood via a family member or friend
  • Travel or living in a country where the language is spoken
  • The language being spoken in your home (even if you do not speak it yourself)

Students who are not sure if they need to take a proficiency assessment should seek advice from the course or language convenor. 

Students who intentionally misrepresent their language proficiency level may be investigated under the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 as having failed to comply with assessment directions and having sought unfair advantage. This may results in a penalty such as reduced grades or failure of the course.

Students are not permitted to enrol in a language course below one that they have already successfully completed, except with permission of the language and/or course convenor.

International students who are studying all or part of their program on a student visa are advised that this minor is only available for online study. Under the Education Services for Overseas Student Act 2000 (ESOS Act), international students on a student visa cannot do more than 33% of their study online. International students interested in enrolling in these courses should contact the CAP Student Centre (cap.student@anu.edu.au) for advice prior to enrolling.

Back to the top


This minor requires the completion of 24 units, which must consist of:

24 units from completion of the following compulsory courses:

BURM1002 Burmese 1

BURM1003 Burmese 2

BURM2001 Burmese 3

BURM2002 Burmese 4

Back to the top

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions