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Pocket Burmese Dictionary: Burmese-English English-Burmese (Periplus Pocket Dictionaries) Paperback – December 15, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

This beginners dictionary is designed to help learners of Burmese to gain a solid foundational vocabulary for all further progress.

About the Author

Stephen Nolan has taught in several Asian countries. He has spent seven years collaborating with a Burmese linguist on a new revised Burmese dictionary.
Nyi Nyi Lwin, a native of Mandalay, Burma, is an experienced editor and layout designer.
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Product Details

  • Series: Periplus Pocket Dictionaries
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Periplus Editions (HK) ltd.; Poc Blg edition (December 15, 2008)
  • Language: English, Burmese
  • ISBN-10: 0794605737
  • ISBN-13: 978-0794605735
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.2 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #338,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I work with Myanmar/Burma refugees who have come to Charlotte, NC. When I found this dictionary on amazon.com, I was "over the moon" with joy. My students will be so glad to have this dictionary for easy reference when out in public.
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Every since I started studying Burmese, I have been on the lookout for a solid "pocket" Burmese-English/English-Burmese dictionary to carry around instead of retreating to later lookup the words from the large dictionaries on my bookshelf. Alas, after finding several small dictionaries they were either inadequate, poorly organized or just plain too difficult to use. Nothing seemed to bridge the gap. And as much as I appreciate phrasebooks, their dictionaries in the back tend to be very limited.

But this dictionary is exactly what I've been looking for! As a low-intermediate speaker of Burmese, I took this dictionary along on a recent trip to Myanmar and found it quite useful for day-to-day conversations. I was able to look up many words quickly and likewise when conversations came to a halt, some of my Burmese friends were able to find the word they were looking for and show it to me so I could understand.

Is this dictionary perfect? No. Could it include some more words? Yes. But I loved it and found it quite helpful. And since the product only advertises itself as a pocket dictionary and not more, I give it five stars.
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Format: Paperback
A dictionary of this size could hold more word translations and meanings than this one does. This book is OK but limited in number of words available.
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Like other reviewers, I think this dictionary is too limited in scope. I would have been happier with a dictionary that had many more words. This is better than some Burmese dictionaries that I've used (including the very limited one by Lonely Planet), so I don't feel like complaining too much, but it frustrates me when I want ot look up a fairly common word and it's nowhere to be found. If you're a learner like me, you end up buying 4 or 5 different dictionaries in order to form a basic vocabulary.

One thing I found unnecessary was the first half of the book; the Burmese-English section that lists transliterated versions of the words in alphabetical order by the "sound" of the word. Maybe some learners like having this to use as an option, but I rarely look at that part of the book. Really, it's just a waste of space that they could have used to list more words. And some of the definitions in the English-Burmese section are defintely open to debate, such as telling you that "saga mya-de" is the phrase for "argue " Every Burmese that I show that to tells me that's not correct. But at least this book gives you proper tone markers (essential for correct pronunciation) and the transliteration system is the same as that one that most other Burmese courses use. All in all this is a very useful dictionary for beginners and the slim/thin size makes it easy to carry with you. Truly, a "pocket" dictionary. If you are looking for bigger, more complete Burmese dictionary, there is a much more comprehensive one (and much thicker) from Paiboon Publications.
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Format: Paperback
I've found this dictionary really helpful. Like it says, it's got about 3000 of the most common kinds of words you'll need. That's enough words to talk about daily things, but it won't have every word you can conceive of. It's easy to carry - with a lot of useful words in it - but it's not massive - probably why it's called a 'pocket' dictionary hey!

I've found that every single word in it I've come across on a daily basis. They reckon languages have 100,000 words in them (who knows, that's just what I heard) but some words (about 1000-3000) recur a lot and make up most of what we say. They're the ones you've got to learn to be able to talk to people. It's good to know that too, it means you can spend your time learning useful words that'll occur and reoccur. This dictionary has heaps of foundational words from daily experience like eating, time, jobs etc.

The best way to use this dictionary is to just learn all the words in it because they're all really common. There's only 3000 so it's not an impossible task. Get a bigger dictionary for use at home, but make sure you think about the transliteration systems of rendering Burmese into English. This one uses the same system as the Lonely Planet phrasebook and John Okell's textbook series (get them, they're good). Also, make sure you get a dictionary like this one that you can look up the Burmese words in Roman letters (not just Burmese letters).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
On one hand, this dictionary is reasonably priced and small enough to fit conveniently in a handbag or backpack. Therefore you are likely to have it when you need it.

On the other hand, it is extremely limited. On page iv of the introduction it says that it contains 3,000 of the most frequently countered Burmese words. 3,000 is hardly anything and much less than is normally used in daily speech.

Whenever I've tried to use this dictionary, I've often run into problems. i.e. the other day when trying to teach a refugee how to drive the roadbook stated "Research shows that awareness is the key to reducing risk of collisions."

"Research," "awareness," "risk" and "collision" are all words that are not in this dictionary.

There are some words in this dictionary that are not in the Lonely Planet Phrasebook, but not terribly many. I still carry it around when I visit refugees but I don't really expect much from it.
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