Update: 2016-08-19 07:21 AM -0400


A Vocabulary of English & Peguan
to which a few pages of geographical names are added, 1896


-- by U Kyaw Tun (M.S., I.P.S.T., USA), Daw Khin Wutyi and staff of TIL (Tun Institute of Learning, Yangon, MYANMAR. Not for sale. No copyright. Free for everyone. Prepared for students and staff of TIL Research Station, Yangon, MYANMAR :  http://www.tuninst.net www.romabama.blogspot.com

2. A vocabulary of English and Peguan, to which are added a few pages of geographical names , by Stevens, E.O., ABM Press, Rangoon, 1896
- MonMyan-Stevens-vocab<> / bkp<> (link chk 160819)


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UKT notes :


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-- Stevens

UKT note to TIL editor 140419: I am digitizing from the pdf pages. Preface begins on roman05. The whole roman05 is cut into roman05-1, roman05-2, roman05-3, ..., with just enough lines for me to read, and type it out. Then comes roman06. It is also cut into roman06-1, roman-06-2, roman06-3, ..., as before for me to read and type. Once, the job is done delete these cuts to save disc space. However, if a cut is a good reference, leave it pasted.

Although the two tongues are radically different from each other, the Mons hold a number of words in common with the Burmans. [UKT ]

This fact is indicated here and there upon the following pages by the abbreviation "Bur". That however does not necessarily denote that the term to which it is attached, was derived from the Burmese. [UKT ]

According to the late Maj. Gen. Sir A. P. Phayre, and other eminent scholars, the Burmese language was reduced to writing by borrowing from the Mons, just as the Mon language had been reduced to writing by borrowing from the Tamil and Telugu. [UKT ]

Hence it is more than probable that many of the words now common to the two tongues were adopted by the ancestors of the Burmans, when, migrating from the far north, they came in contact with Mon kingdoms possessing a higher type of civilization than their own.

The Burmese language would be greatly enriched by borrowing still more from the Mons; for their written character possesses combinations, which are capable of expressing, sometimes approximately, often quite perfectly, many English names and words, which the Burmans are rapidly adopting without being able to spell them, except in some arbitrary, outlandish fashion. [UKT ]

After the overthrow of the kingdom of Macedonia, the ancient Romans did not consider it beneath them to learn from their Grecian subjects. [UKT ]

The lexicographer and the philologist would unite with the historian and the philanthropist in the wish that the Burmans after the downfall of Pegu, instead of attempting to destroy the literature and inscriptions of the vanquished, had pursued a more enlightened policy towards the Mons, as well as towards the other races and tribes which they subjugated. (roman05end-roman06begin).

In several instances the Mons have preserved the original pronunciation of Deva-Nagari consonants, which have long been mispronounced by the Burmans. This is much more marked in the Martaban pronunciation than in the Peguan. [UKT ]

UKT 140419: It is regrettable that the Westerners do no appreciate our differentiation of script {sa} from speech {sa.ka:}. Devanagari is a script and it is used to write Sanskrit. The pronunciations are Sanskrit - not Devanagari. In fact Devanagari can be used to write other speeches such as Hindi, and Nepali, even Mon speech or Burmese speech.

In solemn style perhaps it would be better to follow the Peguan pronunciation of the vowels, as a general rule, and thus effect a compromise between  provincialisms. That no letter should have been invented for f  , [labio-dental /f/ not present in Tib-Bur languages], a sound so characteristic of the Talaing, as now spoken, seems very remarkable.

With my limited knowledge of Talaing (Peguan), it would have been the height of presumption for me to put my hand to an undertaking like this, had I not been able to avail myself the literary labors of the Rev. J. M. Haswell, D.D., the only white man of the century in Burma who ever mastered the Mon language. When the absence is noted of great numbers of common English words, let it be borne in mind that the completeness of a dictionary has not been my aim. [UKT ]

The plan at first was simply to turn over the "Peguan and English Vocabulary", and , after rearranging the materials according to the order of the letters of the English alphabet, to append it to the "Grammatical Notes and Vocabulary of the Peguan Language".

Dr. Haswell published this work only two years before his death, which occurred just twenty years ago. The printing of a second edition having been unexpectedly delayed, it was deemed best to issue from the press the "English and Peguan Vocabulary" by itself. To the contents of Dr. Haswell's vocabulary I have added the definitions of about seven hundred and fifty English words and terms, -- also a small appendix of Geographical Names. Pastor U Reuben relieved me of much of the drudgery of compilation. Mr. Alfred E. Hudson, author of the Talaing and Burmese Thinbongyi Reader, kindly furnished me with  a few words, and rendered valuable assistance in the task of correction and verification. (roman06end-roman07begin)

This little book will have performed its part, if it shall serve to prepare the way for a dictionary proper, and to deepen the newly awakened interest in the Mons, a nation, which, with Pegu for its capital, only a hundred and fifty years ago was in possession of the whole of Burma, but, since the days of Alompra, a people either ruthlessly proscribed or to a great extent persistently ignored by their conquerors.

UKT 140419: "the Mons, ... with Pegu for its capital, ... was in possession of the whole of Burma" is a gross distortion of historical fact. All throughout the recorded history, since the days of Anawrahta of Pagan, through the reign of Bayinaung, to their being routed by a headman of Moaksochoan village who later became known as Alaungpaya (Alompra) had the Mon ever possessed the whole of Burma. See Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Burma 140419

Edward O. Stevens
Moulmein, September, 1896

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UKT notes


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