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

Burmese is the official language of Myanmar and spoken as a first language by 70% of Myanmar's popularion of 54 million. The language is the main lingua-franca in the country as well as in Burmese communities worldwide. Burmese also has a long history of use in traditional literary works and music. Despite the country’s strict censorship system, which lasted half a century from 1962, Myanmar always saw vigorous publishing activities covering a range of genres and styles from novels to cartoons. Since the Burmese government lifted censorship in 2012, Burmese publication culture has constantly expanded. Online platforms and social media also have become avenues that connect Burmese speakers domestically and internationally. 

The ANU 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 the spoken-style Burmese language skills essential to everyday life at home, university, and in the workplace. Students will also learn the basics of literary-style Burmese which will enhance their reading skills and access to a wider range of authentic Burmese publications as well as develop their conversational ability. The Burmese minor promotes students' deeper understanding of Myanmar culture and the challenges presented by historical legacies facing contemporary Myanmar.

The four courses needed to complete the minor are offered 100% online. They are not self-paced and students are required to attend two live, online classes per week. Students who complete this language minor will reach a Pre-Intermediate level of Burmese skills and knowledge.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Use the spoken-style Burmese in Burmese script in speaking, reading and writing at a pre-intermediate level.

  2. Demonstrate the basic knowledge of the literary-style Burmese grammar and vocabulary in selected authentic materials at an pre-intermediate level.

  3. Use an active vocabulary of around 1,600 items in both the spoken and literary styles.

  4. Use appropriate grammatical patterns of the spoken-style Burmese in speaking, reading and writing in topics such as current affairs, history, gender roles, education and business at a pre-intermediate level.

  5. Demonstrate a deeper understanding of the cultural diversity and social practices of Myanmar with awareness of the history of the country.

Other Information

Proficiency equivalent to CEFR A2-B1; Myanmar Language Test M1-2

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 enroll 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.

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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

ASIA3108 - Research Topics in Asian and Pacific Languages (L)*

*The course is offered in semester 1 and 2 each year. Students may enrol in this course code up to 4 times, under different topics of Burmese to be included in this minor. Enrolment in this course is subject to the availability and agreement of an appropriate supervisor. It is a requirement that students confirm the approval of the potential supervisor before enrolling in the course.

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