Languages of Security in the Asia-Pacific

College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University

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Entries Tagged as 'Burmese'

Burmese – Introduction

May 25th, 2011 · No Comments · *Introductions, Burmese

The military is deeply embedded within the structure and ideology of the state such that the security discourse pervades Burmese politics, society, and history. This chapter analyzes key terms in Burma’s security discourse, in particular terms that might not be easily understood to a reader unfamiliar with Burma, and terms with nuanced meanings that are […]

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Burmese – Akyan hpet thama

May 25th, 2011 · No Comments · Burmese, Terrorism; terrorist

Akyān hpet thamā Relates to terrorist A threat to security, the Burmese word for terrorist suggests a person of proficiency (thamā), who embraces or throws (hpet), crudeness or violence (akyān); the Burmese words for fear and terror are etymologically distinct.  Government propaganda reserves the term exclusively to individuals and non-state groups which operate in ways […]

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Burmese – Achokacha ana

May 25th, 2011 · No Comments · Burmese, Sovereignty

Achokacha ana Relates to sovereignty Achokacha ana is a broad concept encompassing security, referents of security, threats, and strategies to deal with threats.  In the Burmese security discourse, sovereignty is closely tied to conceptions of the motherland, the nation, and independence.  State propaganda frequently warns that the country’s sovereignty is under constant threat, and thus […]

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Burmese – Hsawri, Taung ban, Wun ne

May 25th, 2011 · Comments Off on Burmese – Hsawri, Taung ban, Wun ne · Apology, Burmese

Hsawrī; Tāung ban; Wūn nē Relates to sorry; apology; and regret Depending on the context, apologies and regrets are expressed with ‘sorry’ for a small offense, ‘tāung ban’ to apologize for a graver offense, and wūn nē to express regret.  The differences between the words are significant, and to use the improper term could easily […]

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Burmese – Lon chon yei athaik awun

May 25th, 2011 · No Comments · Burmese, Security Community

Lon chon yēi athaik awūn Relates to security community The Burmese term for ‘security community’, lon chon yēi (security) athaik (nest or group) awūn (circumference) is a neologism, used primarily to describe Burma’s inclusion within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) Security Community. A predominate concern of the Burmese military government is regime security, […]

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Burmese – Lon chyon yei

May 25th, 2011 · No Comments · Burmese, Security

Lon chyon yēi‘ Relates to security Lon chyon yēi literally implies a sense of comforting envelopment as if wrapped in a blanket.  It may also be combined with the verb suffix seik cha (literally, mind-place down) or seik cha let cha (literally, hands-place down); both variants mean ‘trust’ or ‘rest assured’.  In contrast to its […]

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Burmese – Tayok Pye Thu Thamada Naing Ngan Se Pwa Yei Hpunhpyo Tung Tīn The Naign Ngan Apyit Paw Htwet La Chin

May 25th, 2011 · No Comments · Burmese, Rise of China

Tayok Pye Thu Thamada Naing Ngan Sē Pwā Yēi Hpunhpyō Tung Tīn The Naign Ngan Apyit Paw Htwet La Chīn Relates to ‘Rise of China’ Depending on the party, the rise of China is either a security referent or a threat to security.  The Burmese government portrays China as an intimate relative and important ally, […]

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Burmese – Dei Tha Swe

May 25th, 2011 · No Comments · Burmese, Region

Dei Tha Swē Relates to regionalism A threat to security, dei tha swē has the connotation of politicized localism or provincialism.  It is generally translated as regionalism.  The government associates dei tha swē, with ethnic irredentism, regards it as a hindrance to an all-encompassing national identity, and as such deems it a threat to national […]

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Burmese – Lu myo yei than sin hmu

May 25th, 2011 · No Comments · Burmese, Race

Lu myō yēi than sin hmu Relates to racial purity A referent of security, racial purity emerged as a rallying point in the early nationalist movement, and appears to have increased in prominence after 1962.  The formal term for racial purity is a compound noun combining lu myō (c.f. separate entry) and than sin hmu, […]

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Burmese – Amyo, lumyo, taing yin tha lumyo

May 25th, 2011 · No Comments · Burmese, Nation

Amyō, lumyō, tāing yīn thā lumyō Relates to race; nation; ethnicity; national race; ethnic nationality; indigenous race The Burmese language lacks precise terms for the English language concepts of race, ethnicity, and nationality, which are variously concepts, referents and threats to security.  Sometimes very specific meanings are imputed to amyō, lumyō, tāing yīn thā lumyō, […]

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Burmese – Nyein chan yei ahpwe | Chit kji yei ahpwe | Let net ne Nyein chan yei le lae thi ahpwe | apyit ahkat yat se yei ahpwe

May 25th, 2011 · No Comments · Burmese, Ceasefire

Nyēin chān yēi ahpwe ‘Peace Group’ Chit kji yēi ahpwe ‘Goodwill Group’ Let net ne Nyēin chān yēi le lae thi ahpwe ‘Arms for Peace Group’ Apyit ahkat yat se yēi ahpwe ‘Ceasefire Group’ A referent of security, ‘peace groups’ are former insurgent organizations (See terrorist) that have agreed to stop fighting the government and […]

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Burmese – Nyein chan yei

May 25th, 2011 · No Comments · Burmese, Peace

Nyēin chān yēi Relates to peace Eī chan tha ya yēi Relates to peace; tranquility Sit pyei nyēin; Hseik nyein Relates to peace; quiet   Key concepts in the Burmese government’s security discourse, nyēin chān yēi and eī chan tha ya yēi, imply much more than simply an end to violence. Nyēin chān yēi means […]

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Burmese – Myo chit seik, Myo chit’ seik dat

May 25th, 2011 · No Comments · Burmese, Patriotism

Myō chit seik, Myō chit’ seik dat Relates to patriotism; nationalism Depending on the breadth of its membership, myō chit seik is variously regarded as a threat to security, or a source of insecurity.[1] In contrast to English, the Burmese words for patriotism and nationalism share the same suffix, and do not designate substantively different normative […]

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Burmese – Zati (chet kywei)

May 25th, 2011 · No Comments · Burmese, Region

Zati (chet kywei) Relates to native region; birthplace Zati is often an important element of one’s national, regional, ethnic, or racial identity, and for this reason it figures prominently within the government’s security discourse as both a referent and threat to security.  Despite its significance, the concept of zati is often lost in translation. Zati […]

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Burmese – Nyein wut pi pya yei

May 25th, 2011 · No Comments · Burmese, Order

Nyein wut pi pyā yēi Relates to law and order; public order Nyein wut pi pyā yēi features prominently in the state’s security discourse as a referent of security.  However, the term is ominous both in its tone and in its application, such that citizens often associate it with insecurity.  Moreover, the common translation of […]

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Burmese – Ana (Pana)

May 25th, 2011 · No Comments · Burmese, Inhibition

Āna (Pāna) Relates to inhibition A pervasive aspect of Burmese culture, āna literally means to have one’s strength (ā) hurt (na); the optional suffix pāna literally means ‘cheek hurts’.  Āna can be interpreted as a security strategy employed in one’s social interactions with others of unknown, equal, or greater power so as not to offend […]

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Burmese – Lutha lon chon hmu

May 25th, 2011 · No Comments · Burmese, Human Security

Luthā lon chon hmū Relates to human security Colloquially, the idea of human security is expressed with the phrase sā wu tnēi yēi lon chon hmū, which translates literally as ‘eat-wear-shelter-safe-enveloped as in a blanket’ (See security). Bawa lon chon hmū, literally ‘life-security’, is also understood to imply a broad idea of security of livelihood […]

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Burmese – Lok-a pei

May 25th, 2011 · No Comments · Burmese, Forced Labour

Lok-ā pēi Relates to contribute labour; forced labour Lok-ā means labor, service, help, or assistance.  Lok-ā pēi (literally, work-strength-give) is an ambiguous term meaning ‘give labor’, which describes neither the nature of the work in question, nor the conditions under which it is provided.  It is variously translated as ‘contribute labor’, ‘volunteer one’s services’, ‘voluntary […]

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Burmese – Hpun hpyo to tet hmu

May 25th, 2011 · No Comments · Burmese, Development

Hpun hpyō tō tet hmu Relates to development Hpun hpyō tō tet hmu, and its absence, is a focal point of ideological contestation in Burma, functioning as both a concept relating to security, as well as a strategy for dealing with insecurity.  Hpun literally means to become plump, or grow fat.  Hpyō means bountiful, or […]

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Burmese – (Khuhkan) kakweyei

May 25th, 2011 · No Comments · Burmese, Defence

(Khuhkan) kakweyēi Relates to defence; protection Variously translated as defence or protection, khuhkan kakweyēi, and its more common form kakweyēi, are among the most prominent security concepts in Burma.  As in English, the word elements that comprise khuhkan kakweyēi imply benevolent actions that are primarily focused on maintaining the status quo.  The government’s discourse about […]

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Burmese – Yon kyi hmu te hsauk chin

May 25th, 2011 · No Comments · Burmese, Confidence

Yon kyi hmu te hsauk chīn Relates to confidence-building A security strategy, confidence building is used to describe efforts to build consensus between the SPDC, the NLD, and armed ethnic groups (See peace group). However, the rhetoric of confidence building is often misleading.  Although mistrust is clearly a factor complicating the resolution of Burma’s political […]

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Burmese – Myanma | Bama

May 25th, 2011 · No Comments · Burmese, Nation

Myanma | Bama Relates to Burma (bama) and Myanmar The etymology of Burma and Myanmar is disputed.  The Hobson-Jobson Dictionary traces both words to Mran-mā, with Bam-mā enjoying broader colloquial usage while Mran-mā became restricted to formal and written language.  Theories variously ascribe the word Mran-mā to a corruption of Bramma (Brahmin) adopted from Buddhist […]

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Burmese – Ne sat

May 25th, 2011 · No Comments · Border, Burmese

Ne sat Relates to frontier;  border; boundary Burma’s nebulous borders have been a nerve-wracking security concern from the time of its independence, and figure prominently in the government’s security discourse as a referent, threat and focal point of its security strategies. Ne sat is a vague word, which may variously refer to a distinct boundary […]

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Burmese – Thwei

May 25th, 2011 · 1 Comment · Burmese, Ethnicity

Thwēi ‘Blood’ Relates to ethnicity The salience of blood (thwēi) in the Burmese security discourse is often lost in English language translations, especially in government propaganda.  However, thwēi figures prominently in the Burmese security discourse as a referent of security, and is also central to important security related concepts including race, nation, ethnicity, unity, and […]

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