The Info List - MLCTS

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The MYANMAR LANGUAGE COMMISSION TRANSCRIPTION SYSTEM (1980), also known as the MLC TRANSCRIPTION SYSTEM (MLCTS), is a transliteration system for rendering Burmese in the Latin alphabet . It is loosely based on the common system for romanization of Pali , has some similarities to the ALA-LC romanization and was devised by the Myanmar Language Commission . The system is used in many linguistic publications regarding Burmese, and is used in MLC publications as the primary form of romanization of Burmese .

The transcription system is based on the orthography of formal Burmese and is not suited for colloquial Burmese, which has substantial differences in phonology from formal Burmese. Differences are mentioned throughout the article.


* 1 Features

* 2 Transcription system

* 2.1 Initials and finals * 2.2 Tones * 2.3 Medial consonants

* 3 Abbreviated syllables * 4 See also * 5 References * 6 External links


* Coalesced letters transcribe stacked consonants. * Consonantal transcriptions (for initials) are similar to those of Pali. * Finals are transcribed as consonants (-k, -c, -t, -p) rather than glottal stops * Nasalized finals are transcribed as consonants (-m, -ny, -n, -ng) rather than as a single -n final. * The anunasika (ံ) and -m final (မ်) are not differentiated. * The colon (:) and the period (.) transcribe two tones: heavy and creaky respectively. * Special
transcriptions are used for abbreviated syllables used in literary Burmese.



The following initials are listed in the traditional ordering of the Burmese script , with the transcriptions of the initials listed before their IPA equivalents:

က k () ခ hk () ဂ g () ဃ gh () င ng ()

စ c () ဆ hc () ဇ j () ဈ jh () ည ny ()

ဋ t () ဌ ht () ဍ d () ဎ dh () ဏ n ()

တ t () ထ ht () ဒ d () ဓ dh () န n ()

ပ p () ဖ hp () ဗ b () ဘ bh () မ m ()

ယ y () ရ r ( or ) လ l1 () ဝ w () သ s ( or )

ဟ h () ဠ l () အ a ( or )

1Sometimes used as a final, but preceding diacritics determine its pronunciation.

The Burmese alphabet
Burmese alphabet
is arranged in groups of five, and within each group, consonants can stack one another. The consonant above the stacked consonant is the final of the previous vowel. Most words of Sino-Tibetan origin are spelt without stacking, but polysyllabic words of Indo-European origin (such as Pali, Sanskrit, and English) are often spelt with stacking. Possible combinations are as follows:


ka. က္က, က္ခ, ဂ္ဂ, ဂ္ဃ, င်္ဂ kk, khk, gg, ggh, and ng g respectively ang ga. lip (အင်္ဂလိပ်‌)1, meaning "English"

ca. စ္စ, စ္ဆ, ဇ္ဇ, ဇ္ဈ, ဉ္စ, ဉ္ဇ, cc, chc, jj, jjh, nyc, nyj wijja (ဝိဇ္ဇာ), meaning "knowledge"

ta. ဋ္ဋ, ဋ္ဌ, ဍ္ဍ, ဍ္ဎ, ဏ္ဍ tt, tht, dd, ddh, nd kanta. (ကဏ္ဍ), meaning "section"

ta. တ္တ, ထ္ထ, ဒ္ဒ, န္တ, န္ထ, န္ဒ, န္ဓ, န္န tt, htht, dd, nt, nht, nd, ndh, nn manta. le: (မန္တလေး), Mandalay
, a city in Myanmar

pa. ပ္ပ, ဗ္ဗ, ဗ္ဘ, မ္ပ, မ္ဗ, မ္ဘ, မ္မ, pp, bb, bbh, mp, mb, mbh, mm kambha (ကမ္ဘာ), meaning "world"

ya. ဿ, လ္လ ss, ll pissa (ပိဿာ), meaning viss, a traditional Burmese unit of weight measurement

1ang ga. liP is uncommonly spelt ang ga. liT (အင်္ဂလိတ်).

All consonantal finals are pronounced as glottal stops (), except for nasal finals. All possible combinations are as follows, and correspond to the colors of the initials above:


k -ak (-က် ), -wak (ွက် ), -auk (‌ောက် ), -uik (ိုက် )

c -ac (-စ် )

t -at (-တ်‌ ), -wat (ွတ် or ), -ut (ုတ် ), it (ိတ်‌ )

p -p (-ပ် or ), -wap (ွပ်‌ or ), -up (ုပ်), ip (ိပ်‌ )

Nasalised finals are transcribed differently. Transcriptions of the following diacritical combinations in Burmese for nasalised finals are as follows: