Burmese

As a geographic gateway to Southeast Asia and Eastern Asia, growing opportunities are emerging from Myanmar. This means Burmese speakers can take a leading role in this fast-changing country and rising region.

In 2012, after a 50-year period, Myanmar opened its borders to the outside world. Since then, Myanmar’s cultural dynamism and geopolitical importance is becoming increasingly clear, driving demand for Burmese speakers across the globe.

Burmese is the official language of Myanmar, a country of 54 million people. It is part of the Tibetan-Burman language group and has three tones. It is not a gendered language and uses no tenses so while some aspects of the language are challenging, the grammatical aspects are straightforward - making it a rewarding learning experience.

Program Aims

ANU is the only university in Australia to offer Burmese and offers a specialised and interdisciplinary approach. Home to the ANU Myanmar Research Centre, students gain access to world-leading language and country experts.

As well as mastering essential, everyday Burmese, students learn the basics of literary Burmese. This allows unique insights into the historical legacies and socio-political challenges facing contemporary Myanmar.

Students who study Burmese intensively are encouraged to study in-country through the University of Yangon or through in-country courses. Once connected with the language and culture, graduates often remain deeply attached to Myanmar’s rich culture and deeply invested the countries changing political landscape.

Career opportunities

As Myanmar transitions to a democracy and undergoes economic transformation, Burmese speakers find themselves in diverse but rewarding careers such as:

  • Communications
  • Consulting
  • Diplomacy/ Foreign Affairs
  • Entrepreneurism
  • International development
  • International business
  • Interpreting and translation
  • Journalism and media
  • Linguistics
  • Policymaking
  • Publishing
  • Research and academia
  • Start-ups
  • Think tanks, policy institutes and research centres

Courses on Offer

BURM1002        Burmese 1

BURM1003        Burmese 2

BURM2001        Burmese 3

BURM2002        Burmese 4

Study Online

The four Burmese language courses are not offered on campus, but are instead available 100% online. Burmese can be studied as part of an ANU degree, as a non-award subject or cross-institutionally, and is taught through Open Universities Australia.

Online classes are not self-paced, and students will need to log in to a weekly online classroom to attend a minimum of 1.5 hours of classes. All students will need access to a computer, camera (inbuilt or external), a headset with microphone, reliable internet and a smartphone or scanner.

Interested in learning more about the program or how to enrol? We would love to hear from you! Get in touch using our languages enquiry form.

Global Learning Options

Students have multiple opportunities to study in Myanmar throughout their degree. Most short programs and exchange programs are supported by the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan, with grants provided to students to assist with travel and/or living costs. Please contact the College Student Centre for more information or visit the global programs website.

Updated:  24 April, 2017/Responsible Officer:  Dean, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team