Burmese script

Languages Burmese, Shan, Mon, Karen, others.
Time period
11th century - present
Parent systems
Child systems
Burmese, Mon, Sgaw Karen, Shan
Direction Left-to-right
ISO 15924 Mymr, 350
Unicode alias

The Burmese script is the basis of the alphabets used for modern Burmese, Mon, Shan and Karen.


An adaptation of the Old Mon script or the Pyu script, the Burmese script was originally used to write the Mon and Pyu languages, respectively. In modern times, besides being used to write the Burmese language, it has been adapted for use in writing other languages of Burma, most notably Shan, Mon (using a version of the script more similar to that used for Burmese than the original Old Mon script) and the S'gaw Karen language. It is also used for the liturgical languages of Pali and Sanskrit.


The Burmese script was added to the Unicode Standard in September, 1999 with the release of version 3.0. Additional characters were added in subsequent releases.

Until 2005, most Burmese language websites used an image-based, dynamically-generated method to display Burmese characters, often in GIF or JPEG. At the end of 2005, the Burmese NLP Research Lab announced a Myanmar OpenType font named Myanmar1. This font contains not only Unicode code points and glyphs but also the OpenType Layout (OTL) logic and rules. Their research center is based in Myanmar ICT Park, Yangon. Padauk, which was produced by SIL International, is Unicode-compliant. Initially, it required a Graphite engine, though now OpenType tables for Windows are in the current version of this font. Since the release of the Unicode 5.1 Standard on 4 April 2008, three Unicode 5.1 compliant fonts have been available under public license, including Myanmar3, Padauk and Parabaik.[1]

Many Burmese font makers have created Burmese fonts including Win Innwa, CE Font, Myazedi, Zawgyi, Ponnya, Mandalay. It is important to note that these Burmese fonts are not Unicode compliant, because they use unallocated code points (including those for the Latin script) in the Burmese block to manually deal with shaping that would normally be done by the Uniscribe engine and they are not yet supported by Microsoft and other major software vendors. However, there are few Burmese language websites that have switched to Unicode rendering, with many websites continuing to use a pseudo-Unicode font called Zawgyi (which uses codepoints allocated for minority languages and does not intelligently render diacritics, such as the size of ya-yit) or the GIF/JPG display method.

Burmese Support in Microsoft Windows 8

The Microsoft Windows 8 operating system includes a Unicode-compliant Burmese font named "Myanmar Text". Windows 8 also includes a Burmese keyboard layout.[2] Microsoft Windows 8 was the first operating system to include Burmese support by default without any font installation. Due to the popularity of the font in Microsoft Windows 8 Microsoft kept support of the font in Microsoft Windows 10 Operating System


The Unicode block called Myanmar is U+1000–U+109F. It was added to the Unicode Standard in September 1999 with the release of version 3.0:

Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
U+100x က
1.^ As of Unicode version 11.0

The Unicode block called Myanmar Extended-A is U+AA60–U+AA7F. It was added to the Unicode Standard in October 2009 with the release of version 5.2:

Myanmar Extended-A[1]
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
U+AA7x ꩿ
1.^ As of Unicode version 11.0

The Unicode called Myanmar Extended-B is U+A9E0–U+A9FF. It was added to the Unicode Standard in June 2014 with the release of version 7.0:

Myanmar Extended-B[1][2]
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
1.^ As of Unicode version 11.0
2.^ Grey area indicates non-assigned code point


  1. Zawgyi.ORG Developer site Archived 7 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. To install this keyboard layout, open Desktop, then Control Panel, then open the "Language" control panel. Click "Add language". Type "Burmese" into the search box in the upper-right (if you skip this step, Burmese fails to appear in the language list). After using the search box, Burmese appears and you can double-click it to choose it.
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