This course is intended for beginners with little or no exposure to the language. It focuses primarily on Colloquial (or Spoken) Burmese, with some excursions into the Literary Style, reserved for written texts. 

This is a distance learning class conducted in Zoom video conferencing application from UC Berkeley. Students are required to attend and participate in live discussions during the designated times.

 Academic Year 2023-2024

Introductory Burmese 1A/B (15 units)
Wednesdays 4-6PM
Thursdays 4-6PM
Fridays 4-5PM

Fulfills one year of language requirement. Units at UC Berkeley can be transferred to UCLA.


Burmese 1A Fall 2023: September 28, 2023 to December 8, 2023

Burmese 1B Winter/Spring 2024: January 17, 2024 to May 3, 2024



  • Currently enrolled graduate or undergraduate student
  • Minimum GPA required: 2.0 for undergraduate students, 3.0 graduate students
  • Must be enrolled in minimum 12 units at UCLA



  • Pose and respond to yes-no questions

  • Pose and respond to who, what, where, when questions

  • Use the auxiliary verbs ဖူး (have done something), နိုင် (can do something), တတ် (have the skills to do something), ရဲ (dare to do something), and  (must do something)

  • Construct if-then statements using the particle ရင်

  • Use the conjunctions ဒါပေမဲ့(but), လို့ (since, because), and ဒါကြောင့် (therefore)

  • Read and write words in the six basic diacritic families: အ၊ အိ၊ အု၊ အေ၊ အဲ၊ အော (a, ee, u, ay, ae, aw)


  • Lyrics of the pop song ခွင့်လွှတ်ပေးဖို့တောင်းပန်ချင် (Want to ask you to forgive me) by ချယ်ရီသင်း (Cherry Thin)

  • A contemporary poem by ခရမ်းပြာထက်လူ (Khayan Byah Htet Lu)

  • A Telenor TV commercial



Kenneth Wong is the author of A Prayer for Burma (Santa Monica Press), a travelogue and memoir; Survival Burmese: Phrasebook and Dictionary (Tuttle); Easy Burmese: a Complete Language Course and Pocket Dictionary (Tuttle). His short stories, articles, poetry translations, and essays have appeared in Myanmar TimesIrrawaddySan Francisco ChronicleAGNI, and Two Lines Press, among others.



Because it takes a few weeks for the enrollment to be processed, students are asked to start the enrollment process at least four weeks before classes begin.

  1. If interested, contact the instructor Kenneth Wong at for an initial language assessment.
  2. To officially enroll, contact Sandy Valdivieso at to schedule a meeting. 
  3. The students should have the following forms ready when making the appointment:

Undergraduate students: Simultaneous Enrollment Form

Graduate students: Intercampus Exchange Program Application
(The form must be approved by the department chair.)



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Published: Tuesday, May 21, 2019