How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

Most people you encounter will speak some English. You have a 50/50 shot at getting a taxi driver who speaks English. - May 2019

It's nice, but Myanmar people have low expectations of expats in this regard, and a lot of people speak a little English and try to help you out. There are tutors available. Keep in mind that there are hundreds of languages spoken in this country, so many from Myanmar don't even speak it as their first language. - Mar 2019

You don't need much at all in Yangon. A few basic phrases is more than enough to get around. - Sep 2018

You can get around with next to no Burmese language, as English is many people's second language, but I found it useful to know some phrases, particularly for taxis. Since the number of foreigners speaking more than a few phrases of Burmese is still very low, you may run into a scenario in which you demonstrate some Burmese language capability, and then the locals start speaking it to you like you're fluent, even though you're very much not. Classeas and tutors are available; I took classes through the embassy, but there are other alternatives. - Mar 2017

Embassy has a post language program available for staff and family members. Many people in Yangon speak English and some in the tourism industry will surprise you with how well they speak. Still it's helpful to have a few phrases for taxis and the market. - Feb 2017

It helps to learn basic phrases, but not required. People here are so nice that you can usually get by. - Oct 2016

A few phrases, to be polite - May 2016

You can live in Yangon without speaking any local language. - May 2016

It is good to know some basic words and phrases, though almost everyone speaks a little English in Yangon. Once you leave the city it's a different story. Burmese is not always useful in some parts of the country where the local language is different. - May 2016

That would be very useful, But rare is the expat who knows more than hello & thank you. Myanmar people love it when you say anything in their language. This is because they do not expect you to be able to and it is a pleasant surprise to them. They will pick up on your body language and many do speak at least a little English. - Apr 2014

Very little though a few words help. Most older Myanmar people and younger know basic English. Many signs are in English. - Feb 2014

Zero. I felt the language barrier more transiting through Europe on the way over. Most signs are in English and Burmese. That's not to say you won't have hilarious language barrier issues, but you can definitely get by and Burmese is extremely difficult to learn. - Jul 2010

Some helps, but none is necessary. Get a driver and a cook that speak some English and you're set. Most Burmese read English better than they speak it, so you may have better luck writing things out than repeating yourself over and over and louder and louder... - Apr 2009

Not much at all, most Burmese speak English. - Nov 2008

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