Update: 2014-06-03 03:28 AM +0630


Dictionary of Noble Words of Lord Buddha


by U Myat Kyaw & U San Lwin, MLC (Myanmar Language Commission), 2002
to be read with which may be checked with The Student's Pali English dictionary , by U Pe Maung Tin, Rangoon College, BRITISH BURMA PRESS, RANGOON. 1920. - PMT-indx.htm (link chk 140503) An ink-on-paper copy is in the TIL library, however you can see my downloaded pdf file
from http://www.thisismyanmar.com/nibbana/books/pali-pmtin.pdf 140503.

Set in HTML, and edited, with additions from other sources, by U Kyaw Tun (UKT) (M.S., I.P.S.T., USA), Daw Thuzar Myint, and staff of Tun Institute of Learning (TIL) . Not for sale. No copyright. Free for everyone. Prepared for students and staff of TIL  Computing and Language Center, Yangon, MYANMAR :  http://www.tuninst.net , http://www.softguide.net.mm , www.romabama.blogspot.com

For serious Pal-Myan scholars - not me, I am just an interested person - you will need to study the PTS publications of the 19th century such as: Dhammasaṅgaṇi , by Edward Mller, PTS publication, 1885, a pdf copy of which is included in {sa.}-folder. Dhammasaṅgaṇi-pdf (link chk 140524).
From it, you will come to know that the tech. term asaṅkhatā dhātu 'the immaterial element' may be replaced by nibbāna -- see Introduction, p.roman06. We need to know things like these to explain what nibbāna is to the non-Buddhists and to many Buddhists who thought that it means "Heaven" of the Christians and the Hindus.

If you are interested in how the Buddha spoke - his pronunciation
- read my note Gautama Buddha speaks

index.htm | Top

Contents of this page

TOC of contents seem complicated unless you are familiar with killed {a.t} consonants.
Remember Romabama is a transcription, but what UMK-USL has given is the International Pali in IAST transliteration. Transcription gives tells you about pronunciation, whereas transliteration usually gives the wrong pronunciation.

TOC is order of Bur-Myan consonant-matrix of 33 aksharas, followed by Bur-Myan vowel-order of 12 aksharas. It is not the way Skt-Dev dictionaries are presented. In Skt-Dev dictionaries vowels comes first and consonant second. In Bur-Myan dictionaries it is the other way round: consonants and then vowels. Again Bur-Myan consonant-matrix is subdivided into {wag}-consonants of 25 aksharas, and {a.wag}-consonants of 8 aksharas.

Introduction by UKT -- intro.htm
Intro-Childers, 1874 -- intro-childers.htm
Foreword-PTS-Dict, 1999 -- pts.htm

Vowel associated with {ka.} is free

{ka.} -- ka1.htm
{ka} -- ka2.htm  ka2ya1.htm  ka2ya2.htm
{ki.} -- ki1.htm {kri.}, {k~ri.}, and {kRi.} is differentiated in Romabama.
{ku.} -- ku1.htm
{kaw:} -- kaw3.htm : derived from Open-O /ɔ/ differentiated in Romabama

Vowel associated with {ka.} is checked by IPA plosive-stops /k/ /t/ /p/
& nasals /n/ /m/, and thibilant /θ/.
Note: Thibilant /θ/ (non-hissing) becomes hissing-sibilant /s/ in Sanskrit.

{koak~} -- koak.htm
{kauT~} -- kaut.htm
   {kn~} -- included in above
{kp~} -- kup.htm
   {km~} -- kum.htm
   {ka~} -- horizontal conjunct included in above
------------------- Is this the precursor of {kSa}, the pseudo {hka.}, in Sanskrit?

{hka.} -- hka1.htm
{ga.} -- ga1.htm
{Ga.} -- GGa1.htm
  {nga.} and its counter-part in Mon-Myan, a very important onset consonant,
is absent in Pal-Myan and Skt-Dev

{sa.} -- sa1.htm - palatal plosive-stop
{sait} (Bur-Myan) -- sait.htm : {sait~ta.} (Pal-Myan)

In Skt-Dev {sa.} is written as equivalent to tenuis {kya.} or voiceless {hkya.}. These two are taken as allophones in Eng-Lat and commonly written as <ch> /ʧ/.
Note: Both IPA and IAST gives wrong representations for this row of consonants. The inconsistencies between Tib-Bur speakers and those of IE is due to the difference in mode of articulation of consonants. Tib-Bur speakers always begin deep in the interior of the mouth, but IE speakers begin from the front.

{hsa.} -- hsa1.htm

The instrument for comparison of BEPS (Burmese, English, Pali, Sanskrit speeches written in Myanmar, IPA-English, Devanagari) languages is Romabama (Burmese-Myanmar transcribed into extended-Latin script) . Please note that the base consonants and the medials (pronounceable conjuncts) are different. The medials are probably unique to Bur-Myan.

Myanmar-akshara shape is unique in the world in being the only glyph based on perfectly-rounded circles. To see how they are formed see Romabama Lakkwak presented elsewhere. See also a Canadian abugidas developed by missionaries which is based on triangles and other easily recognizable shapes. 

UKT Notes
Base consonants and vowels
  of BEPS
Gautama Buddha speaks 
Doggie's Tale - copy-paste

The following from the first trial version will be scrutinized and if found to be suitable for this new version, will be brought up to the present TOC above. Those that TIL deemed unacceptable because of many reasons including political, will not included, but for fairness sake, we will give the present links:
Buddhist Nuns in Burma by Dr. F. Lottermoser  http://www.enabling.org/ia/vipassana/Archive/L/Lottermoser/burmeseNunsLottermoser.html 140509
TIL reason for rejection: "There is a world of unconcileable difference between the two words "nun" and "bhikkuni". First and foremost the word "nun" is pure English with Christian connotation with its root in the Atta doctrine. The word "bhikkuni" is Pali with Theravada Buddhist connotation with its root in the Anatta doctrine. Secondly, the  word "bhikkuni" means a "female monk", whereas the "nun" is the "bride of Christ". What we have in present-day Myanmarpr are not bhikkunis. Neither are they "brides" of anybody. They are lay-women who have taken upon themselves of their own free will to keep the Nine precepts or even the Ten precepts and are not bounded the the rules of the Bhikku & Bhikkuni. They are termed "Sila-keepers" or "Silashin".

The links below have been broken for further study.
The {htra. wada.} Buddhist meditation practice
Myanmar script in Pagan
Myanmar and Pali | A New Myanmar alphabet for Pali
Myanmar and Sanskrit |
Edicts of King Asoka | A sample of Brahmi in Asoka edicts.
13th-century Myanmar-script at an Asoka-pagoda in India

Contents of this page


In Bur-Myan

Basic Pali Glossary, http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/glosary2.htm
Online Sanskrit Dictionary http://www.alkhemy.com/sanskrit/dict/
   -- for comparison to Sanskrit
Pali-derivatives in Bur-Myan (UTM-PDMD) exclusively in Myanmar script
  U Tun Myint, Asst. Editor, Translation and Publication Series number 31, Universities Directorate, Myanmar, 1968
The Universal Burmese-English-Pali Dictionary (UHS)
  U Hoke Sein, Myitzythaka Sarpay, First Edition, Rangoon, 1981

In English or Eng-Lat:

Pali-English Dictionary (PTS), ed. by T. W. Rhys Davids and William Stede,
  The Pali Text Society, Oxford, 1999
  -- with English-Pali characters
A Dictionary of Pali Language (Childers), R.C. Childers, Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co, London, 1909, 5th impr: 1974. Devanagari characters included

Contents of this page

UKT Notes

Base consonants and vowels of BEPS

-- UKT 120526, 130518, 130818, 131117, 140327, 140415
Rewritten for this index on: 140423

The instrument for comparison of BEPS languages is Romabama (Burmese-Myanmar transcribed into extended-Latin script) . The table of BEPS consonants is given above. Bur-Myan & Pal-Myan are so interwoven that they can be spoken seamlessly.

Watch and listen a video in Bur-Myan with Pal-Myan words:{m~boad~D}
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYyTBTjW26E 140211
The first three lines from the video are given:

Now refer to the table of BEPS consonants given above. Columns #2 and #4 have been described as "aspirated", and an <h> is added to the names of the consonants. For example, the columns are traditionally described as:

c1 - voiceless, c2 - voiceless-aspirated, c3 - voiced,   c-4 - voiced-aspirated , e.g. row#5
-----  प pa, ------   फ pha, --------------  ब ba, ------------  भ bha

In my table above, I have named the columns differently removing the English notion of "aspiration". The notion of aspiration is best illustrated in the Cockney dialect of British English, where the <h> is dropped: "Henry Higgins" becomes  'enry 'iggins . This phenomenon has been caricatured by George Bernard Shaw (1856-1960) in his play Pygmalion with the principal character "Professor Henry Higgins" based on real-life phonetician Henry Sweet (1845-1912).

Listen and watch: Just you wait 'enry 'iggins':
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbdVvIbB1KU 140327

To the speakers of Bur-Myan, the sounds of Kagyi Kha-khw, the name of our akshara-system comes naturally. We call it the Thinpoangyi - the basic grammar or sounds of our language. Thinpoangyi literally means 'the Big-Board' set up against the wall of the class-room. The akshara-letters are written on it one by one, and recited over and over by the instructor with a rattan cane in his hand pointing the akshara-letters and making the students repeat again and again, until the students can write the akshara-letters out on their slate-boards and say the name clearly and precisely.

On learning English, it came as a surprise to find out that the English speakers cannot differentiate the sound of Kagyi [k] (column c1) from that of Kha-khw [kʰ] (column c2). Kagyi [k] is pronounced back in the mouth in the area of the velum, and Kha-khw [kʰ] just to the front but still in the velar area. The English speakers "hear" and articulate only Kha-khw [kʰ], and think it is the same as Kagyi [k]. They can "hear and articulate" Kagyi [k] only when they have to produce a hissing sound first. They say [k] & [kʰ] are the allophones of /k/. No, we say, they are separate phonemes . They say it is just a matter of voice lag and aspiration. I say it is more.

Similarly, I am not satisfied with column c4. I had called it "voiced pharyngeal" at one time because the POA seems to be way back in the throat - the pharynx. Since the pharyngeals are connected with IPA /h/, I am now calling it deep-h.

My intermediary script, Romabama, has its beginnings in my (U Kyaw Tun's) childhood dream in 1940s. In my pre-teen years I have tried to type the Burmese language on my father U Tun Pe's English typewriter. However, Romabama in the present form was launched only in the late 1990s on the Internet from Canada. By that time I had already learned (online) Phonetics, and Learning & Teaching a Second Language (or Applied Linguistics.

I was already advanced in age to go back to school, and I had to learn those subjects online using my analytical skill as a scientist and engineer. I was assisted by my young wife Daw ThanThan Tun who was also a chemist. She had been my classmate and life-long companion since our teenage years, until she died in 2004. I welcome anyone more capable than me to improve my basic requirements.

To come up with a comprehensive alphabet, I have to improvised more than once, such as the one shown for Romabama alphabet r2c4 cell.

My aim in integrating IPA into BEPS is to come up with a reliable transcription -- which would not be perfect for theorists -- of Bur-Myan to Eng-Latin and back. I am finding that I cannot apply the IPA strictly, and transcriptions such as // & /ʝ/ for palatal fricatives, and /ʂ/ & /ʐ/ for retroflex fricatives are taken to be unpronounceable.

For the fricatives, I have taken only /θ/ , /s/, /z/ , /ʃ/ as pronounceable. The English affricates /ʧ/ & /ʤ/ are taken to be mis-pronunciation due to the Western phoneticians not being capable of distinguishing the tenuis {ka.}, {sa.}, {ta.}, {pa.} from the voiceless {hka.}, {hsa.}, {hta.}, {hpa.}.

One of the obstacles is to find a place for Bur-Myan Nya'gyi {a.kri:}, & Nya'le {a.l:}, both of which have to be pushed into one cell r2c5. Until, I realized that monosyllabic medials are found only in Bur-Myan, and not in Skt-Dev, I could not make any progress. When I looked into Skt-Dev conjuncts closely I realized that they are disyllabic conjuncts. I need to come to this understanding to explain the medial-conjunct problem in Pal-Myan, where Nya'gyi {a.kri:} is deemed to be the horizontal conjunct of two Nya'le {a.l:}:

{} + {a.} --> {a.} : only in Pal-Myan

Pal-Myan {a.} cannot be killed without destroying the conjunct. However, Bur-Myan can be killed:
Bur-Myan {a.} + viram --> {}  . Because of this, it is a palatal-approximant, and is similar to
{ya.} + viram --> {} , which is a velar approximant.

Then looking into the killed Bur-Myan Nya'gyi {a.kri:}, & Nya'le {a.l:}, I found that killed Bur-Myan Nya'gyi {a.kri:} is almost the same as killed Ya'palak {ya.}. This shows that Nya'gyi {a.kri:} is not a basic nasal, but a basic nasalized approximant. I moved Ya'palak {ya.} to velar position, which provides a position for Nya'gyi {a.kri:} in the palatal position.

Most of the Westerners are sibilant speakers. Of the BEPS, languages, Burmese and English speakers are used to non-hissing thibilant /θ/ sounds. An example of an English thibilant word is <thin> /θɪn/. Sanskrit speakers mix up this sound with /s/. Romabama has to make allowances for all these conflicting patterns of sounds, and has to come up with a compromise. It is summarized in the table below.

In order to present a comprehensive picture, the IPA table itself has to be extended to include, what the Westerners hear as "aspirated sounds" - those of c2 & c4 consonants such as {hpa.} & {Ba.} sounds shown below.

Now that I am including Mon-Myan into my study, I am putting in another perspective. My references for vocabulary in script and sound are given in my collection
Speaking Mon-Myan Language -- MV1874-indx.htm
which is based on the following sources.
  1. Learn Mon Yourself : 61 lessons: --  http://www.youtube.com/ (link chk 130311)
  2. Grammatical notes and Vocabulary of the Peguan Language 
    - Haswell, J.M., American Mission Press, Rangoon, 1874 (hardcopy in TIL lib.), and its sequel
  3. A vocab of English & Peguan with some geographical names 
    - Stevens, E.O., 1896 - downloaded: avocab-stev.pdf (link chk 140417)
 4. Basic Method of Teaching Mon Speech and Script
    - Naing Maung Toe (in Bur-Myan), Yangon, 2007 (quote as NMT) - downloaded: Mon-Bur-NMT.pdf


The Plosive-stops

In the above IPA table the plosive-stops occupy the first row, followed by nasals in the second row. The IPA gives only the column #1 (tenuis), column #3 (voiced), and column #5 (nasals). The IPA table has to be extended to accommodate column #2 (voiceless), and column #4 (deep-H).


The Nasals

In update 130818, compromises made to bring Indo-European languages, Eng-Lat & Skt-Dev, and Tibeto-Burman languages, Bur-Myan & Pal-Myan together. In doing so, the first problem I have met is with the nasals. The nasals are basic phonemes and are placed in a separate column, #5, among the {wag}-consonants. Bur-Myan recognizes five in r1c5 /ŋ /, r2c5 /ɲ/, r3c5 /ɳ /, r4c5 /n/, r5c5 /m/, compared to two in Eng-Lat : r4c5 /n/, r5c5 /m/. In the IPA consonantal table, the nasals are placed in a special row.

You will find another problem similar to the nasals which I am calling the Sibilants in r1c1, r4c1, & r5c1 such as /sk/, /st/ & /sp/, and in column #5 and in approximants.


The Approximants

Strictly speaking approximants are neither vowels nor consonants though they been described as semi-vowels which is the same as semi-consonants. The only language among the BEPS in which they seem to play a unique role is Bur-Myan. The approximants may be divided into three subgroups:

Semi-consonants aka semivowels: {ya.}, {ra.}, {la.}, {wa.}
   - capable of forming monosyllabic medials
   {ya.ping.}, {ra.ric}, {la.hsw:}, {wa.hsw:}
   - the process is known as secondary articulation in Phonetics. See
   Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secondary_articulation 140327

Fricative: (non-hissing) {a.}. & (hissing) {hya.}.
   - Skt-Dev has husher {sha.}, and hisser {Sa.}.
   - Incapable of articulating non-hissing thibilant /θ/, {a.} is classified as a hisser in Skt-Dev.

Deep-H: {ha.} - capable of forming monosyllabic medial {ha.hto:}

Our interest is the effect of the approximants on the vowel - either free or bound as an inherent vowel in an akshara. They do not seem to change the vowel, say from {a.} to {i.}, but to effect their nature: make it palatal {ya.ping.}, rhotic {ra.ric}, lateral {la.hsw:}, rounded {wa.hsw:}, or glottal {ha.hto:}. Because of these, it is best that they be treated separately from both vowels and consonants.


The Vowels

-- UKT 140423
Rewritten for Bur-Myan and Pal-Myan

The vowels are the biggest problem because their production depends on the hyoid bone, the most important part in the voice-box deep down in the throat, behind the Adam's Apple. Hyoid bone is the only bony structure in the human body not connected to any rigid structures except by means of muscles. It is in total isolation, and is connected to the top of the skull with a muscle, to the jaw-bone with another set of muscles, to the lips with still another set of muscles, etc. There are a fairly large number of muscles, and members of different linguistic groups use differing sets of muscles to control the hyoid bone. The result is the vowel sounds of the IE speakers are quite different from Tib-Bur speakers. Here in BEPS languages we are meeting four ethnics who are quite different in external features and who, therefore, should be expected to be different in the use of sets of muscles connected to the hyoid bone. Thus BEPS basic vowels are a compromise. Below is the table of BEPS vowels.

From Lonsdale:

-- UKT 130520, 140129, 140327:
When you refer to Daniels Jones' vowel quadrilateral, the four corners correspond to Bur-Myan vowels, {a.}, {i.}, {u.}, {au:}. Of these, the first 3 correspond to Skt-Dev short-long vowels. These are what are known as {a.wuN} vowels. The problem lies in the open-back vowel {au:}. The vowels that are most troublesome are the mid-vowels, especially because, the IE languages do not have the corresponding vowel to {o} which is the same as IPA /o/. I also have trouble in pinning down what vowel corresponds to IPA /ɔ/ 'open o'.

To describe my effort to bring BEPS vowels to conform to Daniel Jones' quadrilateral and IPA is an impossibility. The only way is to show with a diagram as given above. My comparison of the BEPS languages is based on 4 corners vowels only:  {a.}, {i.}, {u.}, {au:}. These vowels will be studied both as free vowels, and as bound vowels (present in the consonantal aksharas).

Go back base-con-vow-note-b

Contents of this page

Gautama Buddha's pronunciation

- UKT 140423

Not a single one of us who are living today has ever heard the Gautama Buddha speaking. There were no electronic recordings of his voice. You will be told that since the Place of Articulation (POA) of Consonants are well-define, and since the Manner of Articulation of of the Vowels are known, we know Buddha's pronunciation. It is the greatest lie believed by many in Myanmarpr. Why?

Imagine yourself listening to a sermon preached by Gautama Buddha himself. How would your brain have recorded the sounds? Unless, you belong to the same linguistic group as the Buddha, your brain would not be able to record it perfectly.

HUMAN VOICE - indx-HV.htm (link chk 140415)
How sound is produced and heard [former hv6.htm] - snd-hear.htm (link chk 140415)

Thus, I speculate, that the Tib-Bur speakers would hear it and reproduce it in a non-rhotic non-hissing form, whereas IE (Indo-European) speakers, and Dravidian speakers, would have heard and recorded it in a rhotic hissing form. Since Magadha is within "walking distance" from Taguang in northern Myanmarpr, Pyus and others from our land, would surely be among his audience. And what they heard was brought back into Myanmarpr, and so our Pal-Myan is more close to the Buddha's speech than that of International Pali which was derived from SriLanka Pali.


Pali Canon

Whatever language or dialect Buddha spoke, the texts that first were in the form of oral recitations were, as Dalai Lama explains, later put down in writing, and these works are the basis for all subsequent Buddhist literature (in Bodhi, 2005). Oral texts were recorded in hand-strokes, and how to pronounce them were rigorously trained by the teacher pointing out the POA and Manner of articulation to the individual student. It is what we mean by transcription - "put down in writing". As is now commonly known in this computer age, this type of recording can never approach that of electronic recording.

The oral texts were put down in writing in Sri Lanka in the first century BCE. The written text ought to be called the Lanka-Pali - an artificial language derived from Magadha (the area of where the Buddha was born and where he lived mostly, and Lanka the language of SriLanka.

Lanka-Pali language resembles Sanskrit which had already made its way into SriLanka and western India. Mahayana discourses that correspond to Pali Sutras, employ Sanskrit terms. Since I am now somewhat familiar with Sanskrit terms, I agree with scholars that Pali words are easier than Sanskrit. 

As for Myanmar-Pali or Pal-Myan, since there had been continual going back and forth between northern Myanmarpr of Tagaung area and northern India over land-routes across the mountains, even before the days of the Gautama Buddha, it would be more akin to other Tibeto-Burman languages extending from Afghanistan along the foot-hills of Himalayas extending into the present-day Myanmarpr. However, because of religious reform of King Anawrahta in the 11the century AD, Myanmar-Pali has come to be mixed up with Lankan-Pali or International Pali.

Go back Buddha-speak-note-b 

Contents of this page

Doggie's Tale

Mnemonic The Doggie Tale: 
Little doggie cringe in fear -- ŋ (velar),
  Seeing Ella's flapping ears -- ɲ (palatal)
  And, the Shepard's hanging rear -- ɳ (retroflex).
Doggie so sad he can't get it out
  What's that Kasha क्ष when there's a Kha ख ?
  And when there's Jana ज्ञ what I am to do with Jha झ?

Note to digitizer: you can copy and paste the following:
Ā ā Ē ē Ī ī Ō ō Ū ū
Ḍ ḍ Ḥ ḥ Ḷ ḷ Ḹ ḹ Ṁ ṁ Ṃ ṃ
Ṅ ṅ Ṇ ṇ Ṛ ṛ Ṝ ṝ Ś ś Ṣ ṣ Ṭ ṭ ɕ ʂ
Instead of Skt-Dev ः {wic~sa.} use "colon" :
Avagraha ऽ use apostrophe
Root sign √ ; approx ≅
IAST Dev: च ca छ cha  श ś [ɕ] /ʃ/ ; ष ṣ [ʂ] /s/; स s [s] /θ/ ; ऋ {iRi.} & ॠ {iRi},
  viram ् , rhotic ऋ ृ
Skt-Dev special phonemes: Ksa
Undertie in Dev transcription: ‿ U203F
IPA-, Pali- & Sanskrit nasals: ŋ ṅ ṅ ,  , ɳ ṇ ṇ, n n n , m m m
  Pali- & Skt {::ting}: aṁ , aṃ 
IPA symbols: ɑ ɒ ə ɛ ɪ ɯ ʌ ʊ ʃ ʧ ʤ θ ŋ ɲ ɳ ɴ ɔ ɹ ʔ /kʰ/ /ː/
  <church> /ʧɜːʧ/ (DJPD16-097)
  <success> /sək'ses/ (DJPD16-515)
  <thin> /θɪn/ (DJPD16-535),
  <thorn> /θɔːn/ (DJPD16-535)
  circumflex-acute :
  ấ U+1EA5 , ế U+1EBF
  upsilon-vrachy  ῠ 
  small-u-breve  ῠ u

Go back Dog-tale-note-b


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End of TIL file