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Language of Myanmar / Burma

The number of languages of Burma (Myanmar) is 107. Burmese, spoken by approximately 65% of the populace, is the official language. However, a wide variety of languages are spoken, especially by ethnic minorities, representing four major language families: Sino-Tibetan, Austro-Asiatic, Kradai, and Indo-European.

The number of languages of Burma (Myanmar) is 107. Burmese, spoken by approximately 65% of the populace, is the official language. However, a wide variety of languages are spoken, especially by ethnic minorities, representing four major language families: Sino-Tibetan, Austro-Asiatic, Kradai, and Indo-European.

Other major languages spoken include Shan (spoken by 3,200,000), Karen dialects (spoken by 2,600,000), Kachin (spoken by 900,000), Chin dialects (spoken by 780,000), Mon (spoken by 750,000) and Rakhine (a linguistic dialect of Burmese spoken by 730,000). Today, Burmese is the primary language of instruction, and English is the secondary language taught. Usage of minority languages is discouraged and is used at home.[  English was the primary language of instruction in higher education from late 19th century to 1964, when Gen. Ne Win mandated educational reforms to "Burmanize". English continues to be used by educated urbanites and the national government.

 

 
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