Burmese is one of Scripts in which the Pali Tripitaka is recorded. The Script has expanded itself from the basic brahmic model to include more vowels and tone markers.
The following Character set is used to write Sanskrit/Pali.
a ā i ī u ū ṛ ṝ ḷ ḹ e ai o au aṁ aḥ
There are also other various vowel combinations used to write the native language.
ka kha ga gha ṅa
ca cha ja jha ña
ṭa ṭha ḍa ḍha ṇa
ta tha da dha na
pa pha ba bha ma
ya ra la va
śa ṣa sa ha ḽa(ळ)
There are other two consonants which represent geminate sounds /s/ & /ñ/
ka kā ki kī ku kū kṛ kṝ
kḷ kḹ ke kai ko kau kaṁ kaḥ
Burmese follows subjoined model for conjuncts except for /ra/ & /ya/. The second consonant takes a minature form below the first consonant to form the conjuncts cluster.
sta tpa kta hma jjha
Clusters with ./r/, /y/, /h/ & /v/ have special forms.
mra mya mha mva
Pure Consonant ṅ takes a special form above the base consonant, it is called as Kinzi.
Also, Note the change of shape for Vowel Sign aa with /ga/. Vowel Sign aa changes shape with consonants kha ga ṅa da pa va.
As combination with normal /aa/ could be mistaken for another consonant.
(For more information of Burmese script: see: http://people.w3.org/rishida/scripts/myanmar )
Burmese Unicode has undergone a great number of change from version 5.1. Both versions are nearly incompatible.
Until Version 5.0, The Burmese block nearly followed the Main Land Indic Model. It had a single Virama and Atomic Medial Signs were not encoded. Contextual shape changing for vowel sign aa was in place.
But from 5.1 the following changes were made
The converter can render the text in Old Unicode by selecting the corresponding Checkbox - Old Burmese Unicode. Do note that, that this text would be incompatible with fonts that support the new version.
Font Issues for displaying Sanskrit Text
Burmese has 3 good fonts for displaying Pali/Sanskrit. Padauk, Myanmar 1 & Myanmar 3 (and its variant Myanmar3h)
All these fonts have near full support of Displaying pali text, since Pali doesn't have complex conjuncts and consonant clusters similar to Sanskrit.
The fonts do not support conjuncts with 3 consonants or more (Except for ra, ya, va which have special forms). The subjoining consonants overlap below the base character. In that case,a visible Virama can be used to display the conjuncts properly.
It doesn't support combinations with Visarga. A dotted circle appears with Visarga, when combined with consonants. The same occurs with Vocalic Signs
However it supports various conjuncts like kṣa, jña etc which Padauk doesn't render properly. It also has problems with Tall aa & Kinzi combinations.
A great looking font which supports Visarga and Vocalic Signs. But strangely it doesn't render conjuncts such as kṣa, jña among others.
One work-around is to replace the subjoining Virama with the explicit Virama
Also complex conjuncts with ya like trya are not supported. In which case, one has to switch to Myanmar fonts.
This is a font based on the old Encoding. Mimics the Indic model as such. It supports Visarga and Vocalic Signs. Also renders complex combinations /trya/ properly.
However, does not render Media ra with SSA & SHA. The Medial sign is displayed after the consonant instead of the front of consonant.
It forms a explicit virama over conjuncts such as kṣa, jña etc automatically, as it doesn't have a base-below rendering for those consonants.
It is recommended to use Padauk (New Unicode) or Myanmar1 (Old Unicode) for displaying Sanskrit in Burmese.
For displaying for text complex conjuncts, the following technique can be followed:
Myanmar1 and Myanmar3 typefaces are more similar, Intelligent font switching can be used to render the text correctly. In a Myanamar1 text, the unsupported Conjunct text can be changed to Myanamar3, to display them correctly. The font size may also have to be changed to suit the text.
An example for Mixed font selection is shown below:
nirvikalpe namastubhyaṁ prajñāpāramitemite
yā tvaṁ sarvānavadyāṅgi niravadyairnirīkṣyase
Sample Sanskrit Text
अनिरोधम् अनुत्पादम् अनुच्छेदम् अशाश्वतम् ।
अनेकार्थम् अनानार्थम् अनागमम् अनिर्गमम् ॥
यः प्रतीत्यसमुत्पादं प्रपञ्चोपशमं शिवम् ।
देशयामास संबुद्धस्तं वन्दे वदतां वरम् ॥
အနိရောဓမ် အနုတ္ပာဒမ် အနုစ္ဆေဒမ် အၑာၑွတမ် ၊
အနေကာရ္ထမ် အနာနာရ္ထမ် အနာဂမမ် အနိရ္ဂမမ် ။
ယး ပြတီတျသမုတ္ပာဒံ ပြပဉ္စောပၑမံ ၑိဝမ် ၊
ဒေၑယာမာသ သံဗုဒ္ဓသ္တံ ဝန္ဒေ ဝဒတာံ ဝရမ် ။