• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Burmese
  • Areas of interest Asian Languages, Asia Pacific Studies, Language Studies, Asia-Pacific Studies
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Yuri Takahashi
  • Mode of delivery Online
  • Offered in First Semester 2024
    See Future Offerings

Burmese is the official language of Myanmar and is also the main lingua-franca in the country as well as in Burmese communities worldwide. Myanmar embraces many ethnic groups and a diversity of cultures while being a Buddhist country. Burmese also has a long history of use in literary works and music, and now the language is a key medium that connects the Myanmar communities domestically and internationally via the internet. Students will develop an understanding of basic cultural practice in Myanmar societies through this course.


In this course students will be introduced to the spoken-style Burmese language and gain communicative commands at an introductory level. The course will emphasise conversations in everyday situations such as greetings, shopping and family gatherings. Students will also learn how to use the language appropriately in different social situations as well as familiarise themselves with reading and writing Burmese script. 


Students will study short conversations and scripts, learning the main aspects of phonology, pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary of Burmese. Students are given opportunities to practice their Burmese listening, speaking, writing, reading and translation skills with the help of a dictionary.  


Throughout the semester, students will role-play conversations and occasionally interact with Burmese guest speakers sharing their lived experiences of their own places and cultures to enhance their receptive, interactive and productive skills. 

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Use an active vocabulary of around 300 Burmese words in spoken and written forms.
  2. Recognise and pronounce the basic 32 Burmese consonants, 7 basic vowels, and 3 tones, including other distinctive features of Burmese pronunciation with Burmese scripts.
  3. Reproduce Burmese pronunciation according to a romanization system to support the basic use of English-Burmese and Burmese-English dictionaries.
  4. Recognise and produce sentence structures in the spoken style Burmese used in short conversations and reading and writing of short, basic texts.
  5. Communicate using correct grammar and pronunciation for everyday situations such as greetings, small talk with friends and family and shopping.
  6. Develop and demonstrate an understanding of basic cultural practices such as honorifics for Burmese names and the custom of birthdays of the week.

Other Information

Equivalent to CEFR A1; MLT (Myanmar Language Test) MB 


On successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to engage at an introductory level of Burmese. 


Students with native speaker proficiency (may include cognate languages and dialects) must review the language proficiency assessment site and contact the CAP Student Centre for appropriate enrolment advice. Students with previous “language experience or exposure” are required to take a language placement test 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 placement test should seek advice from the course or language convenor. Students who intentionally misrepresent their language proficiency level may be investigated under the Academic Integrity Rule 2021 as having failed to comply with assessment directions and having sought unfair advantage. This may result in a penalty such as reduced grades or failure of the course. 

Indicative Assessment

  1. Participation (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
  2. Weekly Online Quizzes (15) [LO 1,2,4,5,6]
  3. Midsemester Written and Reading Assessment (10) [LO 1,2,4,5,6]
  4. Midsemester Listening Comprehension and Oral Assessment (20) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
  5. Final Written and Reading Assessment (20) [LO 1,2,4,5,6]
  6. Final Listening Comprehension and Oral Assessment (25) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


The total workload for the subject is 130 hours over 12 weeks of class and the examination period.   


Each week students are expected to study for 6 hours as follows:    

1. 90 minutes in total, before each online class, working on the written and audio materials for the week, and, memorising the written and spoken forms of that week’s vocabulary;   

2. 180 minutes in total, participating in two 90-minute online classes;    

3. 90 minutes in total, completing online follow-up exercises regarding listening, speaking, reading and writing skills and vocabulary.   


It is also expected that students should spend at least 4 hours of individual study practicing the week’s written and spoken language forms and vocabulary and reviewing feedback on their work.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

Incompatible with BURM6002.

Prescribed Texts

Original ANU weekly teaching materials will be available on the BURM1002 - Burmese 1 Wattle site.

Students are strongly recommended to obtain this dictionary. Pocket Burmese Dictionary (Burmese-English / English-Burmese) Publisher: Periplus, Edition: 2008, EBook (2014) is also available.


1.     Burmese by Ear or Essential Myanmar

Author: John Okell

Notes: Available for free download from here.


2.     Burmese: An Introduction to the Spoken Language Book 1

Author: John Okell (Northern Illinois University Press, 2010)


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $4080
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $5280
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
ANU Online
2520 19 Feb 2024 26 Feb 2024 05 Apr 2024 24 May 2024 Online View
OUA Online
3376 19 Feb 2024 26 Feb 2024 05 Apr 2024 24 May 2024 Online View

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