Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Burmese)

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In naming Burmese-related topics and article titles, please follow these conventions.

Spelling[edit]

Because there is no standardized romanization system for Burmese, spellings for the names of people and places often vary widely depending on the source. When a certain spelling is widely predominant in English sources, that spelling should be used. For place names, An Introduction to the Toponymy of Burma, published by The Permanent Committee on Geographical Names for British Official Use, is a useful source; however, its spellings are not based on usage, but largely on the official spellings of the present Burmese Government.

Use full names[edit]

Burmese names are personal names that may consist of one or more words. Burmese people do not have first names or last names in the Western sense (although in informal speech many people use shortened nicknames). Thus when referring to Burmese people in Wikipedia articles, you should always use the full form of the person's name. For example, Mi Mi Khaing should never be referred to as just "Khaing" or "Daw Khaing".

Polysyllabic names[edit]

Longer, polysyllabic personal names have become increasingly common among the Burmese (3 syllables for males, 4 for females). Unless the name contains Sanskrit or Pali loan words, each syllable should be separated with a space. Examples:

  • Htet Htet Moe Oo (ထက်ထက်မိုးဦး)
    • All are native Burmese words
  • Yadanar Khin (ရတနာခင်)
    • Yadanar is a Burmese loan of Pali ratana, "jewel"
    • Khin is a native Burmese word
  • Khin Sandar Win (ခင်စန္ဒာဝင်း)
    • Sandar is a Burmese loan of Pali chanda, "moon"
    • Khin and Win are native Burmese words
  • Tayza (တေဇ) (also spelled Tay Za or Teza by media)
    • Tayza is a Burmese loan of Pali teja, "glory"

Honorifics[edit]

Although the Manual of Style for biographies generally prohibits titles and honorifics from being used before a person's name, Burmese names are sometimes an exception. As Burmese names are often very short, honorifics are sometimes treated as an integral part of a person's name, for example, U Nu or U Thant. If a Burmese person's name consists of a single short word, or their name is most commonly written with the honorific, you may leave the honorific in the title. (This applies to ethnic honorifics as well.) Names that are recognizable without the honorific, like U Than Shwe, should generally not include the honorific.

Please use {{Burmese name}} to indicate which part of a name is honorific.

Below are some common honorifics used in Burmese names:

Honorific Burmese Translation Notes
Ashin အရှင် Lord Used by monks, nobles, and rarely, for women
Bo/Bogyoke ဗိုလ်/ဗိုလ်ချုပ် Commander/General/Leader Used for military officers (e.g., Bogyoke Aung San)
Daw ဒေါ် Aunt/Ms Used for mature women or women in a senior position (e.g. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi)
Duwa ဒူးဝါး Chief Used for Kachin chiefs
Ko ကို Brother (older) Used for men of similar age (e.g. Ko Mya Aye)
Ma Sister/Ms Used for young women or women of similar age
Mahn မန်း - Used by Kayin men (e.g., Mahn Win Maung)
Mai/Me မယ် Used by some young women in lieu of , but exceedingly rare
Maung (abbr. Mg) မောင် Brother (younger) for boys Sometimes used as part of given name
Mi မိ Ms Used by some young women, usually as a nickname (e.g., Mi Swe)
Mi မိ Ms Used by Mon women
Min မင်း King Used as a suffix (e.g. Mindon Min)
Minh မင်း Used by Mon boys; equivalent to Maung
Nai နိုင် Mr Used by Mon men; equivalent to U (e.g., Nai Shwe Kyin)
Nang နန်း Ms Used by Shan women
Naw နော် Ms Used by Kayin women
Sai စိုင်း Mr Used by Shan men (e.g., Sai Htee Saing)
Salai ဆလိုင်း Used by Chin men (e.g., Salai Than Tun)
Sao စဝ် Used by Shan royalty (e.g., Sao Shwe Thaik)
Saw စော Mr Used by Karen men (e.g., Saw Bo Mya); archaic honorific meaning "lord"; also a common Burmese name
Sawbwa စော်ဘွား Chief Burmese approximation of Shan 'saopha', used as a suffix for Shan chiefs (e.g., Nyaungshwe Sawbwa Sao Shwe Thaik)
Saya ဆရာ Teacher Used for males of senior rank or age
Sayadaw ဆရာတော် Royal Teacher Used for senior monks (e.g., Sayadaw U Pandita)
Sayama ဆရာမ Teacher Used for females of senior rank or age
Shin ရှင် Lord Used by monks and noble women (e.g. Shin Arahan, Yawei Shin Htwe)
Tekkatho တက္ကသိုလ် University Used by writers (increasingly rare, e.g., Tekkatho Phone Naing)
Thakin သခင် Master Used by the members of Dobama Asiayone (e.g., Thakin Kodaw Hmaing)
Theippan သိပ္ပံ Science Used by writers (rarely used now, e.g., Theippan Maung Wa)
U ဦး Uncle/Mr Used for mature men or men in a senior position and monks (e.g., U Thant, U Ottama)