Cracking Burmese Phrasebook Apps
You want to talk to the locals and look for a Phrasebook Burmese App on your phone and crack the language barrier?
Read our review below of the most popular learn Burmese Phrasebook Apps to find out what is right for you!
We tested four Phrasbook apps and there are a few things that all these apps have in common so I will just menation it here before going into each app.
Categories: All Apps are organised accross main categories like “Travel” or “Emergencies” and put the phrases inside these categories.
Search and Bookmarks: All apps also let you search for phrases and let you bookmark certain phrases for easier access.
Phoentics: Fortunately for none of below apps you need to know the Burmese script as all apps offer phonetics. However as there is no standardised romanisation of Burmese, all apps use a different system.
Formal / Informal language: Unfortunately none of the below apps separate between formal and informal language and also does not highlight if a phrase is informal or formal. So make sure you are not using too informal phrases when talking to a person of respect.
Learn Myanmar is available for iPhone and Android and its main screen shows a list of categories like e.g. “Meet the People”. The main UI has four tabs for easy navigation: Home (Categories), Search, Favorites and Settings. It contains approx. 200 phrases in the free version and the paid version gives you 800 more phrases but sets you back USD 7.99.
It is one of the few apps that lets you set the gender of the speaker which is important in Burmese as woman / man sometimes use different grammatical structures.
Simply Learn Burmese
Simply Learn Burmese has a tile style layout for its main categories but clusters these categories into three sections: Beginner, Travel Basics, Traveller Advanced and Expat. It also offers a tab based navigation with three items (Phrases, Quiz and Study).
What sets Simply Burmese apart from the other apps is its integrated Quiz and Spaced Repetition system. So it goes beyond being a simple phrasebook and also targets language learners. However its the most expensive app in our review as the full version will cost you USD 10.99 and unlock around 700 additional phrases (the trial version contains 300).
What could be problematic for serious learners is that it does not distinguish between male / female user so you might use a non – gender appropriate phrase.
Speak Burmese uses some cute icons as main categories but its main navigation is not as clear as it does not have tabs. Instead the search is in the navigation bar and the bookmarks are inside a separate category. This makes it more difficult to quickly access bookmarks.
It only offers 500 phrases in the full version but for this it also only cost you USD 1.99.
It is the only app in this review that actually offers you a slow speech option. This is a great feature if you need to listen to a new phrase carefully and to practise your pronunciation.
Similar to Simply Learn Burmese it does not offer any gender specific phrases, so you need to be careful that you do use your gender appropriate phrase.
MMSpeaker is the only FREE app in our review but unfortunately it is incomplete. Some of its features e.g. a so called “Dialogue Browser” says “not available”.
The phrasebook part however seems to work fine and offers the usual features like bookmarks and search. However since it only offers approx. 300 phrases you will probably not get very far if you do some serious travelling in Burma.
In MM Speaker the phrases are spoken quite fast. So it is difficult to understand and repeat them as a Burmese beginner.