I'm working with a linguist who is writing a paper about Burmese. I'm trying to get his paper to work in latex. There're lots of symbols in Burmese. but I struggle to find the commands in latex to get them displayed. Can I please get some help with this. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks very much.

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    Welcome to TeX.SX! You should consider using fontspec and XeLaTeX, then you can input the characters directly.
    – TeXnician
    Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 13:41

2 Answers 2


If you use xelatex or lualatex then you can use fonts installed on your system. I made a sample text using google translate and firefox displayed it using a font "Mayanmar Text" which probably came with Windows, so I can access that font in xelatex as:

enter image description here

\setmainfont{Myanmar Text}


which hopefully says

one two three hello world


For any future people looking to write in a Myanmar language (Burmese, Kayin/Karen, Mon, etc.) I'll share what I've learned so far.

Use XeLaTeX, as that is the best way to get the script to render properly. I've had trouble with LuaLaTeX; i.e. it would not render the script properly. If you're familiar with Myanmar script, it was like looking at Zawgyi-encoded text with a Unicode font, or vice-versa. Also use Padauk or Padauk book as your font with the fontspec package; if you want to have clean line breaks an Open Type font is necessary here. Encoding should be UTF-8.

With the above applied, you should be fine writing with any Unicode keyboard (Padauk is a Unicode font, unlike the commonly used Zawgyi font and keyboard for Burmese). Windows has one built in, and you can find a few others on the web. Sample code below:

\XeTeXlinebreaklocale "my"  %Myanmar line and character breaks
\XeTeXlinebreakskip = 0pt plus 2.5pt
%under 2pt and I still was getting text going past the margins.
\setmainfont[Script=Myanmar]{Padauk Book}
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    Hi and welcome to TeX.SE. Would you mind clarifying what exact issues you ran into with LuaLaTeX? Thanks. Commented Jul 4, 2019 at 10:19
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    For use with LuaLaTeX, you’ll be interested in HarfTeX (tex.stackexchange.com/q/493180).
    – Thérèse
    Commented Jul 4, 2019 at 15:30
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    Another common technique for this is to declare \newfontfamily\myanmarfont{Paduak Book}[Script=Myanmar] followed by \DeclareTextFontCommand\textmyanmar{\myanmarfont}. This lets you write individual words or passages in the language.
    – Davislor
    Commented Jul 4, 2019 at 22:38
  • Is using the \newfontfamily and \DeclareTextFontCommand recommended over simply using {\fontspec{Padauk Book} sample text}? If so, why? What are the advantages?
    – Bryce M
    Commented Jul 5, 2019 at 2:59

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