Compiled by the UNGEGN Working Group on Romanization Systems
Version 2.2, January 2003


No romanization systems for Burmese have been put forward at the United Nations conferences on the standardization of geographical names or at sessions of the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names. Currently there is no official system of romanization in Myanmar. In 1989 the government of Myanmar changed the spellings of the names of several cities in Myanmar to bring them closer to Burmese pronunciation but this was done on an ad hoc basis (Government of the Union of Myanmar Notification 5/89. Eighth United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names, Berlin, 27 August – 5 September 2002. Document E/CONF.94/INF.75.).

The only known romanization system of Burmese is that of the BGN and the PCGN (1970) which is based on the 1907 version of the Tables for the Transliteration of Burmese into English, published in 1908 by the Office of the Superintendent, Government Printing, Rangoon, Burma.

Burmese uses an alphasyllabic script. The romanization is not reversible to its original script form.

System of romanization

The BGN/PCGN 1970 System is given below.

I. Consonant characters

1 က kaA
2 kaA
3 ga
4 ga
5 nga
6 saA
7 saA
8 za
9 za
10 nyaB
11 taA
12 taA
13 da
14 da
15 na
16 taA
17 taA
18 da
19 da
20 na
21 paA
22 paA
23 ba
24 ba
25 ma
26 ya
27 ya
28 la
29 wa
30 thaC
31 ha
32 la
33 aD

II. Independent vowel characters (see also note 4)

1 i
2 i
3 u
4 u
5 eA
6 e
7 awB

III. Abbreviated vowel characters (က stands for any consonant character)

1 ကံ an
2 ကာ aA
3 ကိ i
4 ကီ i
5 ကု uB
6 ကူ uB
7 ကဲ è
8 ကော awA
9 ကော္‌ awA
10 ကုိ oB
11 ကေ e

IV. Other symbols (က or မ stands for any consonant character)

1 က္ရ -yA
2 က္ယ -yB
3 က္ဝ -w
4 မ္ဟ h-C
5 င္က in-D
6 က္‌ (E)

Symbols 1, 2 and 3 may also occur in combinations: က္ရ္ဝ -yw, က္ယ္ဝ -yw.

V. Syllable endings (က stands for any initial consonant character; syllables beginning with ဝ /w/ may have different romanization equivalents, these are also listed below)

1 ကက္‌ et
2 ကိက္‌ eik
3 ကုက္‌ ôk
4 ကုိက္‌ aik
5 ကောက္‌ auk
6 ကဂ္‌ et
7 ကင္‌ in
8 ကိင္‌ ein
9 ကုိင္‌ aing
10 ကောင္‌ aung
11 ကစ္‌ it
12 ကုစ္‌ ôk
13 ကဇ္‌ it
14 ကိဇ္‌ eik
15 ကည္‌ i, in, eA
16 ကတ္‌ at
17 ကိတ္‌ eik
18 ကုတ္‌ ôk
19 က္ဝတ္‌ ut
20 ဝတ္‌ wut
21 ကေတ္‌ it
22 ကဌ္‌ at
23 ဝဋ္‌ wut
24 ဝဍ္‌ wut
25 ကဒ္‌ at
26 ကိဒ္‌ eik
27 ကုဒ္‌ ôk
28 ကာဒ္‌ at
29 ကဓ္‌ at
30 ကိဓ္‌ eik
31 ကာဓ္‌ at
32 ကန္‌ an
33 ကိန္‌ ein
34 ကုန္‌ ôn
35 က္ဝန္‌ un
36 ဝန္‌ wun
37 ကဏ္‌ an
38 ကိဏ္‌ ein
39 ကုဏ္‌ ôn
40 ကုိဏ္‌ aing
41 ကပ္‌ at
42 ကိပ္‌ eik
43 ကုပ္‌ ôk
44 က္ဝပ္‌ ut
45 ဝာဘ္‌ wut
46 ကမ္‌ an
47 ကိမ္‌ ein
48 ကုမ္‌ ôn
49 က္ဝမ္‌ un
50 ဝမ္‌ wun
51 ကယ္‌ è
52 ကလ္‌ an
53 ကုိလ္‌ aing
54 ကသ္‌ at
55 ကိသ္‌ eik
56 ကဥ္‌ in
57 ကံ an
58 ကိံ ein
59 ကုံ ôn
60 က္ဝံ un
61 ဝံ wun
62 ကသ္သ္‌ at


  1. Certain consonant sounds change their value if used after any vowel letter or nasal consonant except as cited in note 5. The changes, as expressed in Roman letters, are the following:
    ch > gy
    k > g
    p > b
    s > z
    t > d
  2. In romanization, -a is always accompanying the Burmese consonant character unless this has got a dependent vowel character or an end-of-syllable mark: မဒမ madama.
  3. At the beginning of a word, the character အ should not be romanized, unless followed by a consonant character that does not bear a vowel character or an end-of-syllable mark, in which case the character အ should be romanized a: အကာ aga, but အုိဘဲ့ obè, အပ္‌ at. At the beginning of a medial or final syllable, အ should be rendered by a hyphen: မအူ ma-u, သီးပင္‌အုိင္‌ Thibin-aing.
  4. The independent vowel characters should be romanized with a hyphen at the beginning of medial and final syllables: က္ရေဧ kye-e.
  5. When two consonant characters are written one above the other without an end-of-syllable mark, the upper character should be romanized first, followed by the lower character, and then the vowel and consonant characters, if any: ပည္ဇ panyza, အန္တိမဘဝ andimabawa. Alternative romanizations, as indicated in note 1, do not apply to the upper character: သေတ္တာ thetta, မိစ္ဆာ missa, ဥက္ကဌ ukkada.
  6. When the letter n at the end of a syllable is followed by g or y at the beginning of the next syllable, hyphen should be added in between them; similarly hyphen should be used between t and h if they are in different syllables: အင္‌းက္ဝတ္‌ in-gut (but ဖ္ဝောငန္‌ shwengan).
  7. Tone marks ့ and း should not be romanized.