Languages of Burma

Languages of Burma

The number of languages of Burma (or Myanmar) is 107.cite book |last=Cliff |first=Goddard |title=The Languages Of East And Southeast Asia: An Introduction |year=2005 |publisher=Oxford University Press |id=ISBN 0-1992-4860-5 ] The official language is Burmese, which recognised as "Myanmar" in government contexts, and spoken by approximately 65% of the populace. [cite web |url= |title=Burmese, a language of Myanmar |accessdate=2006-12-26 |work=Ethnologue ] However, a wide variety of languages are spoken, especially by ethnic minorities, representing four major language families: Sino-Tibetan, Austro-Asiatic, Tai-Kadai, and Indo-European.cite web|url= |title=Languages of Myanmar |accessdate=2006-07-14 |last=Gordon |first=Raymond G., Jr. |year=2005 |publisher=SIL International]

Other major languages spoken include Shan (spoken by 3,200,000), Karen dialects (spoken by 2,600,000), Kachin (spoken by 900,000), Chin dialects (spoken by 780,000), Mon (spoken by 750,000) and Rakhine (a linguistic dialect of Burmese spoken by 730,000). Today, Burmese is the primary language of instruction, and English is the secondary language taught. Usage of minority languages is discouraged and is used at home. [cite book |last=MacKerras |first=Colin |title=Ethnicity in Asia |publisher=Routledge |id=ISBN 0-4152-5816-2 ] English continues to be used by educated urbanites and the national government, and was the primary language of instruction in higher education from the late 1800s until 1964, when Ne Win implemented the Burmese Way to Socialism, which mandated educational reforms to "Burmanise". [cite book |last=Thein |first=Myat |title=Economic Development of Myanmar |publisher=Institute of SoutheastAsian Studies |id=ISBN 9-8123-0211-5 ]


ee also

*Burmese language
*Burmese English
*Mon language
*Shan language
*Karen language

External links

* [ Linguistic map of Burma from]

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