[skip to content]

Department of the Languages and Cultures of South East Asia

Burmese Language 1 (Postgraduate)

Course Code:
15PSEC039
Unit value:
1
Taught in:
Full Year

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

At the end of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate…

  1. knowledge and understanding of basic Burmese grammar
  2. knowledge and understanding of essential Burmese vocabulary
  3. knowledge and understanding of the appropriateness of basic Burmese structures and expressions in a given context
  4. the ability to understand short passages in written Burmese on everyday topics
  5. the ability to produce short compositions in written Burmese on everyday topics
  6. the ability to understand spoken Burmese and to engage in short spoken discourse on everyday topics
  7. knowledge and understanding of the role of language in general, and Burmese in particular, in language-based scholarship and research (specific learning outcome for PG students)

Workload

Total of 22 weeks teaching with 6 hours classroom contact per week. An additional 12 hours will be spent in lectures/ tutorials over the 22 week period.

Scope and syllabus

The course provides an introduction to spoken and basic literary style Burmese language with emphasis on practical written and spoken Burmese. All of the more important grammatical structures of the language are introduced.  Communicative practice is established through learning language around dialogues and readings dealing with a range of everyday situations, including travelling, buying, selling, eating in restaurants and family life.

The course equips students with a basic knowledge of Burmese and practice of using Burmese in a variety of everyday situations. It allows students to interact with Burmese speakers in Burmese and to use original Burmese-language sources within the level covered in the course. This provides students with a basis to approach research topics relating to Burmese language and the histories, societies and cultures associated with Indonesian.

A series of special PG lectures with associated seminars structured around the six themes Structure, Texts, Identity, Society, Translation and Transformation (provided for PG students studying different languages) introduces students to general questions of the role of language in language-based scholarship and research and provides them with the critical and methodological skills to relate their language acquisition to the thematic aspects of the studies.

Method of assessment

One three-hour written examination taken in May-June (50%); a 3000 word essay due on Friday of week 1, term 3 (30%); oral examination of 15 minutes (15%); 4x classroom tasks (5% total).

Suggested reading

  • Burmese by Ear by John Okell (text and recordings available on SOAS Website at http://www.soas.ac.uk/bbe/)
  • Burmese: an introduction to the spoken language, Book 2, by John Okell. Text and audio recordings.
  • Burmese: an introduction to the literary style, by John Okell. Text and audio recordings. ¬†

published by The Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Northern Illinois University, 1994