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There are a number of mutually intelligible Burmese dialects in the Burmese language, with a largely uniform standard dialect used by most Burmese speakers, who live throughout the Irrawaddy River valley and more distinctive non-standard dialects that emerge as one toward peripheral areas of the country. These dialects include Palaw, Beik/Myeik (Merguese), and Dawei (Tavoyan) in Taninthayi Division, Yaw in Magway Division, Intha and Danu in Shan State, Rakhine (Arakanese) in Rakhine State and Marma in Bangladesh. Despite vocabulary and pronunciation differences, there is mutual intelligibility among Burmese dialects, as for the most part, they share the same four tones, consonant clusters and the Burmese script. However, several dialects differ in Burmese with respect to vocabulary, lexical particles, and rhymes.
Upper Burmese and Lower Burmese
Despite its Upper Burmese origins, the standard dialect of Burmese today comes from Yangon, because of the largest city’s media influence. It used to be that the speech from Mandalay represented standard Burmese. Most differences between Yangon (Lower Burma) and Mandalay (Upper Burma) are in vocabulary usage, not in the accent or pronunciation. Upper Burmese speech still differentiates maternal and paternal sides of relatives whereas Lower Burmese speech does not.
Outside the Ayeyarwady basin
More distinctive non-standard dialects emerge as one move farther away from the Ayeyarwady River valley toward peripheral areas of the country. These dialects include Yaw, Palaw, Beik/Myeik (Merguese), Dawei (Tavoyan), Intha, Danu, Rakhine (Arakanese) and Marma. Despite vocabulary and pronunciation differences, there is mutual intelligibility among most Burmese dialects.