Hidden Words Hidden Worlds

A review by T. F. Rhoden of Hidden Words Hidden Worlds: Contemporary Short Stories from Myanmar, edited by Lucas Stewart and Alfred Birnbaum.

The crisis of recent months between the majority Buddhist Burmese and minority Islamic group calling themselves Rohingya serves as a reminder that Myanmar (Burma) is not a unified country in the sense of one nation, one state. The central government’s overreaction to an increase in Islamic radicalization in some rural areas by the brutal expulsion of 600,000-plus souls across the border into Bangladesh—though violent and tragic—should not be mistaken as unique in Myanmar’s history.

Stretching back at least seventy years to Myanmar’s independence in 1948, the various conflicts between the majority ethnic Burman along the central Irrawaddy valley down to the delta and the hundred or so different ethnolinguistic groups that populate the republic’s borders with Bangladesh, India, China, Laos, and Thailand attest even more vividly to disunity. The response to the Rohingya crisis is not without precedent. Wave the compass in the direction of northeast Myanmar and another ferocious struggle comes into purview between the central government and the Kachin peoples. Despite valid steps toward democratization—maybe less valid toward political liberalization—these types of communal conflicts have never not been an empirical reality for independent Myanmar. This cruel misalignment between majority-versus-minority aspiration is well documented both inside and outside Myanmar.

Less well documented are those perspectives that often never make their presence felt outside the smaller linguistic communities in Myanmar. The literary anthology Hidden Words Hidden Worlds: Contemporary Short Stories from Myanmar, edited by Lucas Stewart and Alfred Birnbaum, is a fascinating reversal to the usual absence of non-Burman viewpoints. The short stories gathered here are an eclectic mix by fourteen different authors. The writers are… [click here to continue to read full text]

hidden words hidden worlds

*Review of edited book by Lucas Stewart and Alfred Birnbaum originally published in Asian Review of Books by T. F. Rhoden; photo image credit of Rakhine Hills for this re-post goes to the talented DG-Photography via a post by Nada Haensel in Destinations Magazine. Unless otherwise stated, all posts on this website are under Creative Commons licence. 

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Dataset of Burmese Migration-Concept Crossover in Thailand

Abstract

Purpose of survey: Original dataset of quantitative analysis section of dissertation research for PhD in political science from Northern Illinois University. Estimated graduation date for fall 2016. Others are encouraged to use this dataset for their own research (see license below).

Description

Title: Dataset of Burmese Migration-Concept Crossover in Thailand
Researcher/Author: T. F. Rhoden
Published: 25-Nov-15
Survey period: 20-Jun-15 to 19-Oct-15

Survey location: Thai side of Thailand-Myanmar border (see dataset for specific locations).
Total surveys given out: 4,000
Total surveys answered: 3,784
Response rate: 96.85% (note that response rate will vary per individual question/data point; see dataset).
Original population: 2,629,242 (estimated number of total migrants from Myanmar in Thailand from pg. 9 of Rhoden, T. F., and Danny Unger. 2015. “No Burmese Returning: Economics across Myanmar-Thailand Border.” International Journal of East Asian Studies 19(2): 51-70. http://tinyurl.com/ow4cll7.)

Data points/observations: 50 per respondent (see codesheet).
Survey demographics: See dataset.
Languages: Survey was printed in Burmese and English. Any responses in Burmese were translated into English for ease of use here. See dataset for challenges/issues of some translations. Note that some respondents answered in Karen, which were also translated into English here.
Contact info: tfrhoden [at] niu [dot] edu

License: This dataset is under creative commons license. It is free to use in any way, including, but not limited to, academic research, governmental- and nongovernmental-organization research, journalism, and/or others. Commercial use is prohibited.

Acknowledgements

Part of this survey timeframe overlaps with financial assistance from a Boren Fellowship to learn the Sgaw dialect of the Karen language(s) in Northern Thailand. For volunteer assistance in data collection outside of the refugee camps, author would like to thank Khin Soe Mon, education program manager at Help Without Frontiers (HWF) Thailand, Naing Naing Htun and the team at Burma Migrant Teachers Association (BMTA), along with a handfull of other local Burmese- and Karen-speaking volunteers who wish to stay anonymous. For assistance in data collection inside of the refugee camps, author would like to thank Maria Clara Naranjo, instructor with Karen Refugee Committee Education Entity (KRCEE), and other research assistants who wish to keep their identity anonymous. Author would also like to thank Kyaw (David) Pyae Sone of HWF for helping with translating the Internal Review Board (IRB) forms into Burmese and Ma (Zulu) Khin with the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners Burma (AAPPB) with help in translating the questions on the survey from English to Burmese. Any mistakes are the author’s own.

Suggested Citation

Rhoden, T. F. 2015. “Dataset of Burmese Migration-Concept Crossover in Thailand.” ResearchGate (November 24), doi.10.13140/RG.2.1.3285.6409.

*Originally published on Research Gate by T. F. Rhoden; image credit for post via World Education. Unless otherwise stated, all posts on this website are under Creative Commons licence. 

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Making Out in Burmese

Zaniest book on Burmese language ever!

New language phrasebook by T. F. Rhoden entitled Making Out in Burmese, published by Tuttle Publishing. Find a traditional book stores and online at Amazon.

Description

Making Out in Burmese is a fun, accessible and thorough Burmese phrase book and guide to the Burmese language as it’s really spoken.

Nihn yeh myiht lohn goh jait deh. Beh daw teht-dway ja oo me-lah?—(You have beautiful eyes. When can I see you again?) Answer this correctly in Burmese and you may be going on a hot date. Incorrectly, and you could be hurting someone’s feelings or getting a slap! Burmese classes and textbooks tend to spend a lot of time rehearsing for the same fictitious scenarios but chances are while in Myanmar (Burma) you will spend a lot more time trying to make new friends or start new romances—something you may not be prepared for.

If you are a student, businessman or tourist traveling to Myanmar and would like to have an authentic and meaningful experience, the key is being able to speak like a local. This friendly and easy-to-use Burmese phrasebook makes this possible. Making Out in Burmese has been carefully designed to act as a guide to modern colloquial Burmese for use in everyday informal interactions—giving access to the sort of catchy Burmese expressions that aren’t covered in traditional language materials. As well as the Romanized, each expression is now given in authentic Burmese script (myanma bhasa), so that in the case of difficulties the book can be shown to the person the user is trying to communicate with.

This Burmese phrasebook includes:

– A guide to pronouncing Burmese words correctly.
– Explanations of basic Burmese grammar.
– Romanized forms of words and phrases.
– Complete Burmese translations including Burmese script (myanma bhasa).
– Useful and interesting notes on the Burmese language and culture.
– Lots of colorful, fun and useful expressions not covered in other phrasebooks.

Titles in this unique series of bestselling phrase books include: Making Out in Chinese, Making Out in Indonesian, Making Out in Thai, Making Out in Korean, Making Out in Hindi, Making Out in Japanese, Making Out in Vietnamese, Making Out in Burmese, Making Out in Tagalog, Making Out in Hindi, Making Out in Arabic, Making Out in English, More Making Out in Korean, and More Making Out in Japanese.

Series: Making Out Books
Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing; Bilingual edition (2011)
Language: English, Burmese
ISBN-10: 080484173X
ISBN-13: 978-0804841733
Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.3 x 7.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces

9731887

*Original copyright for book is held by T. F. Rhoden; photo credit for image of this post via Jessica Mudditt. Unless otherwise stated, all posts on this website are under Creative Commons licence. 

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