Tibetan language

Tibetan language

Infobox Language
nativename=བོད་སྐད་ "bod skad"
states=China, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan
region=Tibet, Kashmir, Baltistan
speakers=6,150,000Fact|date=September 2008
nation=Tibet Autonomous Region
agency=Committee for the Standardisation of the Tibetan Language (བོད་ཡིག་བརྡ་ཚད་ལྡན་དུ་སྒྱུར་བའི་ལ ས་དོན་ཨུ་ཡོན་ལྷན་ཁང་གིས་བསྒྲིགས / 藏语术语标准化工作委员会)
lc1=bod|ld1=Central Tibetan|ll1=Central Tibetan language
lc2=adx|ld2=Amdo Tibetan|ll2=Amdo Tibetan language
lc3=khg|ld3=Khams Tibetan|ll3=Khams Tibetan language

Tibetan refers to a group of languages spoken primarily by Tibetan peoples who live across a wide area of eastern Central Asia bordering South Asia, as well as by overseas Tibetan communities around the world. Several forms of Tibetan are also spoken by various peoples of northern Pakistan and India in areas like Baltistan and Ladakh, which are both in or around Kashmir. Its classical written form is a major regional literary language, particularly its use in Buddhist literature.

Tibetan is typically classified as a Tibeto-Burman language. Spoken Tibetan includes dozens of regional dialects and sub-dialects which, in many cases, are not mutually intelligible. Moreover, the boundaries between "Tibetan" and other Himalayan languages are sometimes unclear. In general, the dialects of central Tibet (including Lhasa), Kham, Amdo, and some smaller nearby areas are considered Tibetan dialects, while other forms, particularly Dzongkha, Sikkimese, Sherpa, and Ladakhi, are considered for political reasons by their speakers to be separate languages.

Ultimately, taking into consideration this wider understanding of Tibetan dialects and forms, what we might call "greater Tibetan" is spoken by approximately 6 million people across the Tibetan Plateau. Lhasa Tibetan is spoken by approximately 150,000 exile speakers who have moved from modern-day Tibet to India and other countries. Tibetan is also spoken by groups of ethnic minorities Tibet who have lived in close proximity to Tibetans for centuries, but nevertheless retain their own languages and cultures. Although the Qiangic peoples of Kham are classified by the Chinese government as ethnic Tibetans, Qiangic languages are generally not considered to be dialects of Tibetan, but rather form their own separate branch of Sino-Tibetan.

Although Classical Tibetan apparently was not a tonal language, some dialects have developed tones. This is particularly true in the Central and Kham dialects, while the Amdo dialect and some in the west remain without tones. Tibetan morphology can generally be described as agglutinative, although Classical Tibetan was largely analytic.


Tibetan comprises several dialect groups. Within Tibet Autonomous Region, China, the dominant dialects are as follows; these are also used prevalently in overseas linguistic and ethnographic studies and broadcasting:

*Lhasa/Ü-Tsang: based on the Lhasa standard (capital of Tibet AR), it is used as a "lingua franca" throughout Ü-Tsang; the Tibetan overseas dialect is also based largely on it.

The following is a dialect chart: [http://www.isw.unibe.ch/tibet/]

*Western Archaic Tibetan: Balti dialects (Pakistan, India), Purik dialects (India), Ladakhi dialects (India)
*Western Innovative Tibetan: Ladakhi dialects of Upper Ladakh and Zanskar (India), North West Indian Border Area dialects: Lahul, Spiti, Uttarakhand (India), Ngari dialects: Tholing (Tibet AR, China: Ngari Area)
*Central Tibetan: Ngari dialects (Tibet AR, China: Ngari Area), Northern Nepalese Border Area dialects (Nepal), Tsang dialects (Tibet AR, China: Shigatse Area), Ü dialects (Tibet AR, China: Lhoka Area, Lhasa municipality)
*Northern Tibetan: Ngari dialects (Gertse), dialects of Nakchu Area (Tibet AR, China), dialects of Southern Qinghai Province, China (Nangchen)
*Southern Tibetan: dialects of Sikkim (India), Tsang dialects (Tromowa valley), dialects of Bhutan
*Eastern Kham Tibetan: Kham dialects of Qinghai Province, Kham dialects of Chamdo Area (Tibet AR, China), Kham dialects of Sichuan Province, China, Kham dialects of Yunnan Province, China
*Eastern Amdo Tibetan: Amdo dialects of Qinghai Province, Amdo dialects of Gansu Province, China, Amdo dialects of Sichuan Province, and so on.


* P'al-skad (Phal-skad): the vernacular speech.
* Zhe-sa (She-sa) ("polite respectful speech"): the formal spoken style, particularly prominent in Lhasa.
* Ch'os-skad (Chos-skad) ("religious language"): the literary style in which the scriptures and other classical works are written.


Syntax and word order

*Tibetan is an ergative language. Grammatical constituents broadly have head-final word order:
** adjectives precede nouns in Tibetan.
** objects and adverbs precede the verb, as do adjectives in copular clauses
** a noun marked with the genitive case precedes the noun which it modifies
** demonstratives and numerals follow the noun they modify.


The classical written language has nine cases, although traditional Tibetan grammarians discussed only eight, based on those of Sanskrit.:
* absolutive (unmarked morphologically)
* genitive (-gi, -gyi, -kyi, -'i, -yi)
* ergative/instrumental (-gis, -gyis, -kyis, -'is, -yis)
* locative (-na)
* allative (-la)
* terminative ( -ru, -su, -tu, -du, -r)
* comitative (-dang)
* ablative (-nas)
* elative (-las)

Case morphology is affixed to entire noun phrases, not to individual words.

Nominalizing suffixes — "pa" or "ba" and "ma" — are required by the noun or adjective that is to be singled out;
* "po" or "bo" (masculine) and "mo" (feminine) are used for distinction of gender or for emphasis.

The plural is denoted when required by adding the morpheme (-rnams), when the collective nature of the plurality is stressed the morpheme (-dag) is instead used. These two morphemes combine readily (i.e. rnams-dag 'a group with several members', and dag-rnams 'several groups'). When several words are connected in a sentence they seldom require more than one case element, and that comes last.

There are personal, demonstrative, interrogative and reflexive pronouns, as well as an indefinite article, which is plainly related to the numeral for "one."


Verbs do not inflect for person or number. Morphologically there are up to four separate stem forms called by the Tibetan grammarians, influenced by Sanskrit grammatical terminology, present (lta-da), past ('das-pa), future (ma-'ongs-pa), and imperative (skul-tshigs), although the precise semantics of these stems is still controversial. The so-called future stem is not a true future, but conveys the sense of necessity or obligation.

The majority of Tibetan verbs fall into one of two categories, those which express implicitly or explicitly the involvement of an agent, marked in a sentence by the instrumental particle ("kyis" etc) and those expressing an action which does not involve an agent. Tibetan grammarians refer to these categories as "tha-dad-pa" and "tha-mi-dad-pa" respectively. Although these two categories often seem to overlap with the English grammatical concepts of transitive and intransitive, most modern writers on Tibetan grammar have adopted the terms "voluntary" and "involuntary", based on native Tibetan descriptions. Most involuntary verbs lack an imperative stem.

Many verbs exhibit stem ablaut among the four stem forms, thus "a" or "e" in the present tends to become "o" in the imperative "byed", "byas", "bya", "byos" 'to do'), an "e" in the present changes to "a" in the past and future ("len", "blangs", "blang", "longs" 'to take'); in some verbs a present in "i" changes to "u" in the other stems ("'dzin", "bzung", "gzung", "zung" 'to take'). Additionally, the stems of verbs are also distinguished by the addition of various prefixes and suffixes, thus "sgrub" (present) "bsgrubs" (past), "bsgrub" (future) "sgrubs" (imperative). Though the final -"s" suffix, when used, is quite regular for the past and imperative, the specific prefixes to be used with any given verb are less predictable, though there is a clear pattern of "b"- for a past stem and "g"- for a future stem, but this usage is not consistent.

Only a limited number of verbs are capable of four changes; some cannot assume more than three, some two, and many only one. This relative deficiency is made up by the addition of auxiliaries or suffixes both in the classical language and in the modern dialects.

Verbs are negated by two prepositional particles: "mi" and "ma". "Mi" is used with present and future stems. The particle "ma" is used with the past stem, and with the imperative in Classical Tibetan, although in modern Tibetan, prohibitions do not employ the imperative stem, rather the present stem is negated with "ma" due to the collapse of the four part verbal system in many cases. There is also a negative stative verb "med" 'there is not, there does not exist', the counterpart to the stative verb "yod" 'there is, there exists'

As with nouns, Tibetan also has a complex system of honorific and polite verbal forms, paralleling those found in Japanese. Thus, many verbs for everyday actions have a completely different form to express the superior status, whether actual or out of courtesy, of the agent of the action, thus "lta" 'see', hon. "gzigs"; "byed" 'do', hon. "mdzad". Where a specific honorific verb stem does not exist, the same effect is brought about by compounding a standard verbal stem with an appropriate general honorific stem such as "mdzad".


Unlike many other languages of East Asia, there are no numeral auxiliaries or measure words used in counting in Tibetan, although words expressive of a collective or integral are often used after the tens, and sometimes after a smaller number.

In scientific and astrological works, the numerals, as in Sanskrit, are expressed by symbolical words.

Writing system

Tibetan is written with an Indic script, although some inhabitants in the Ladakh area write it phonetically with Urdu script, based originally on the Arabic-Persian script. The Urdu or Arabic-Persian script used in parts of Ladakh is also used among Baltis in Pakistani Baltistan after the Tibetan script fell out of use hundreds of years ago upon the region's adoption of Islam. However, the increased concern among Pakistani Baltis for the preservation of their unique local language and traditions, especially in the face of strong Panjabi cultural influence throughout Pakistan, has fostered renewed interest among some Baltis in reviving Tibetan script and using it side by side with the Arabic-Persian script. Many shops in Baltistan's capital Skardu in Pakistan's "Northern Areas" region have begun supplementing signs written in the Arabic-Persian script with signs written in Tibetan script. Baltis see this initiative not as separatist but rather as part of an attempt to preserve the unique cultural aspects of their region which has shared a close history with neighbors like Kashmiris and Panjabis since the arrival of Islam in the region many centuries ago.

Wylie transliteration is the most common system of romanization used by Western scholars in rendering written Tibetan using the Latin alphabet (such as employed on much of this page).

* Among the initials, five — ག "g", ད "d", བ "b", མ "m", འ "'" — are regarded as prefixes, and are called so for all purposes, though they belong sometimes to the stem. As a rule, none of these letters can be placed before any of the same organic class. The language is much ruled by laws of euphony, which have been strictly formulated by native grammarians.

Historical phonology

Old Tibetan phonology is rather accurately rendered by the script. The finals were pronounced devoiced although they are written as voiced, the 'prefix' letters assimilated their voicing to the 'root' letters. The graphic combinations hr and lh represent voiceless and not necessarily aspirate correspondences to r and l respectively. The letter ' was pronounced as a voiced guttural fricative before vowels but as homorganic prenasalization before consonants. Whether the gigu "verso" had phonetic meaning or not remains controversial.

For instance, "Srong rtsan Sgam po" would have been pronounced IPA| [sroŋrtsan zɡampo] (now pronounced IPA| [soŋtsɛn ɡampo] in Lhasa Tibetan) and "'babs" would have been pronounced IPA| [mbaps] (pronounced IPA| [bapˤ] in Lhasa Tibetan).

Already in the 9th century the process of cluster simplification, devoicing and tonogenesis had begun in the central dialects can be shown with Tibetan words transliterated in other languages, particularly Middle Chinese but also Uyghur.

The concurrence of the evidence indicated above enables us to form the following outline of the evolution of Tibetan. In the 9th century, as shown by the bilingual Tibeto-Chinese treaty of 821–822 found in front of Lhasa's Jokhang, the complex initial clusters had already been reduced, and the process of tonogenesis was likely well underway.

The next change took place in Tsang (Gtsang) dialects: The "ra"-tags were altered into retroflex consonants, and the "ya"-tags became palatals.

Later on the superscribed letters and finals "d" and "s" disappeared, except in the east and west. It was at this stage that the language spread in Lahul and Spiti, where the superscribed letters were silent, the "d" and "g" finals were hardly heard, and "as", "os", "us" were "ai", "oi", "ui". The words introduced from Tibet into the border languages at that time differ greatly from those introduced at an earlier period.

The other changes are more recent and restricted to Ü and Tsang. In Ü, the vowel sounds "a", "o", "u" have now mostly umlauted to "ä", "ö", "ü" when followed by the coronal sounds "i", "d", "s", "l" and "n". The same holds for Tsang with the exception of "l" which merely lengthens the vowel. The medials have become aspirate tenues with a low intonation, which also marks the words having a simple initial consonant; while the former aspirates and the complex initials simplified in speech are uttered with a high tone, shrill and rapidly.

Phonology of modern Lhasa Tibetan

The following summarizes the sound system of the dialect of Tibetan spoken in Lhasa, which is the most influential variety of the spoken language


Tournadre and Sangda Dorje describe eight vowels in the standard language:

Three additional vowels are sometimes described as significantly distinct: [ʌ] or [ə] , which is normally an allophone of [a] ; [ɔ] , which is normally an allophone of [o] ; and [ɛ̈] (an unrounded, centralised, mid front vowel), which is normally an allophone [e] . These sounds normally occur in closed syllables; because Tibetan does not allow geminated consonants, there are cases where one syllable ends with the same sound as the one following it, with the result that the first is pronounced as an open syllable but retains the vowel typical of a closed syllable. For instance, "zhabs" (foot) is pronounced [ɕʌp] and "pad" (contraction of "padma", lotus) is pronounced [pɛʔ] , but the compound word, "zhabs pad" is pronounced [ɕʌpɛʔ] . This process can result in minimal pairs between sounds that are otherwise allophones.

Sources vary on whether the [ɛ̈] phoneme (resulting from [e] in a closed syllable) and the [ɛ] phoneme (resulting from [a] through the i-mutation) are distinct or basically identical.

Phonemic vowel length exists in Lhasa Tibetan, but appears in restricted set of circumstances. Assimilation of Classical Tibetan's suffixed vowels—normally "‘i" (འི་)—at the end of a word produces a long vowel in Lhasa Tibetan; this feature is sometimes omitted in phonetic transcriptions. In normal spoken pronunciation, a lengthened vowel is also frequently substituted for the sounds [r] and [l] when they occur at the end of a syllable.

The vowels IPA| [i] , IPA| [y] , IPA| [e] , IPA| [ø] , and IPA| [ɛ] each have nasalized forms: IPA| [ĩ] , IPA| [ỹ] , IPA| [ẽ] , IPA| [ø̃] , and IPA| [ɛ̃] , respectively. Historically, this results from a syllable-final [n] , such as [in] , [en] , etc. In some unusual cases, the vowels IPA| [a] , IPA| [u] , and IPA| [o] may also be nasalised.


The Lhasa dialect is usually described as having two tones: high and low. However, in monosyllabic words, each tone can occur with two distinct contours. The high tone can be pronounced with either a flat or a falling contour, while the low tone can be pronounced with either a flat or rising-falling contour, the latter being a tone that rises to a medium level before falling again. It is normally safe to distinguish only between the two tones, because there are very few minimal pairs which differ only because of contour. The difference only occurs in certain words ending in the sounds [m] or [ŋ] ; for instance, the word "kham" (bo|t=ཁམ་, "piece") is pronounced [IPA|kʰám] with a high flat tone, while the word "Khams" (bo|t=ཁམས་, "the Kham region") is pronounced [IPA|kʰâm] with a high falling tone.

In polysyllabic words, tone is only important in the first syllable.


*The unaspirated stops IPA|/p/, IPA|/t/, IPA|/c/, and IPA|/k/ typically become voiced in the low tone, being pronounced as IPA| [b] , IPA| [d] , IPA| [ɟ] , and IPA| [g] , respectively. These sounds are regarded as allophones. By a similar process, the aspirated stops IPA| [pʰ] , IPA| [tʰ] , IPA| [cʰ] , and IPA| [kʰ] are typically lightly aspirated in the low tone.
*The alveolar trill (IPA| [r] ) is in complementary distribution of the alveolar approximant IPA| [ɹ] ] ; therefore, they are treated as one phoneme.
*The voiceless alveolar lateral approximant IPA| [l̥] resembles the voiceless alveolar lateral fricative IPA| [ɬ] found in languages such as Welsh and Zulu and is sometimes transcribed as IPA|<ɬ>.
*The consonants IPA|/m/, IPA|/ŋ/, IPA|/p/, IPA|/r/, IPA|/l/, and IPA|/k/ may appear in syllable-final positions. The Classical Tibetan final IPA|/n/ is still present, but its modern pronunciation is normally realized as a nasalisation of the preceding vowel, rather than as a discrete consonant (see above). Note that IPA|/k/ is not pronounced in the final position of a word, except in highly formal speech. Also, syllable-final IPA|/r/ and IPA|/l/ are often not clearly pronounced, but instead realized as a lengthening of the preceding vowel. The phonemic glottal stop IPA|/ʔ/ appears only at the end of words in place of an IPA|/s/, IPA|/t/, or IPA|/k/ which were pronounced in Classical Tibetan but have since been elided. For instance, the word for Tibet itself was "Bod" in Classical Tibetan and is now pronounced IPA| [pʰø̀ʔ] in the Lhasa dialect.


Since at least around the 7th century when the Chinese came into contact with the Tibetans, phonetics and grammar of Tibetan have been studied and documented. Tibetans also studied their own language, mostly for translation purpose for diplomacy (with India and China) or religion (from Buddhism).

Western linguists who arrived at Tibet in the 18th and 19th century include:
* Hungarian Alexander Csoma de Körös (1784&ndash;1842) published the first Tibetan-European language dictionary (Classical Tibetan and English in this case) and grammar, [http://books.google.com/books?id=a78IAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=csoma "Essay Towards a Dictionary, Tibetan and English"] .
* H. A. Jäschke of the Moravian mission which was established in Ladak in 1857, [http://books.google.com/books?id=pmN_wah3GcEC&printsec=frontcover&dq=tibetan+grammar&lr= "Tibetan Grammar"] and [http://books.google.com/books?id=_RQTAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=subject:%22Tibetan+language%22&lr= "A Tibetan-English Dictionary"] .
* The Capuchin friars who were settled in Lhasa for a quarter of a century from 1719
** Francisco Orazio della Penna, well known from his accurate description of Tibet
** Cassian di Macerata sent home materials which were utilized by the Augustine friar Aug. Antonio Georgi of Rimini (1711&ndash;1797) in his "Alphabetum Tibetanum" (Rome, 1762, 4t0), a ponderous and confused compilation, which may be still referred to, but with great caution.
* At St Petersburg, Isaac Jacob Schmidt published his [http://books.google.com/books?id=MEwtAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=subject:%22Tibetan+language%22&lr=&as_brr=1 "Grammatik der tibetischen Sprache"] in 1839 and his "Tibetisch-deutsches Wörterbuch" in 1841. His access to Mongolian sources had enabled him to enrich the results of his labours with a certain amount of information unknown to his predecessors. His "Tibetische Studien" (1851&ndash;1868) is a valuable collection of documents and observations.
* In France, P. E. Foucaux published in 1847 a translation from the "Rgya tcher rol-pa", the Tibetan version of the "Lalita Vistara", and in 1858 a "Grammaire thibitaine"
* Ant. Schiefner of St Petersburg in 1849 his series of translations and researches.
* Theos Bernard, a PhD scholar of religion from Columbia University, explorer and practitioner of Yoga and Tibetan Buddhism, published, after his 1936/37 trip to India and Tibet, Citation | year=1946 | title=A Simplified Grammar of the Literary Tibetan Language. See the 'Books' section.

A good bibliography of Tibetan linguistic research is available. [http://www.southasiabibliography.de/Bibliography/Tibeto-Burman/Tibetan/tibetan.html]

Possible survival threats

In Tibet, primary education is conducted either primarily or entirely in the Tibetan language, and bilingual education is rarely introduced before students reach middle school. While it is true that Chinese is the main language of instruction of most Tibetan secondary schools, Tibetan language and culture continue to be emphasized through compulsory Tibetan literature, dance, and music classes. Students that continue on to tertiary education have the option of studying humanistic disciplines in Tibetan at a number of Minority colleges in China. [Postiglione,Jiao and Gyatso. "Education in Rural Tibet: Development, Problems and Adaptations". China: An International Journal. Volume 3, Number 1, March 2005, pp. 1-23] This contrasts with Tibetan schools in Dharamsala, India, where the Ministry of Human Resource Development curriculum requires academic subjects be taught in English beginning in middle school. [Maslak, Mary Ann. "School as a site of Tibetan ethnic identity construction in India". China: An International Journal. Volume 60, Number 1, February 2008, pp. 85-106] Literacy and enrollment rates continue to be the main concern of the Chinese government. A large proportion of the adult population in Tibet remains illiterate, and despite compulsory education policies, many parents in rural areas are unable to send their children to school.

In February 2008 Norman Baker UK MP, released a statement to mark International Mother Language Day saying "The Chinese government are following a deliberate policy of extinguishing all that is Tibetan, including their own language in their own country. It may be obvious, but Tibetan should be the official language of Tibet. The world must act. Time is running out for Tibet." The rights of Tibetans, under Article 5 of the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity are to "express themselves and to create and disseminate their work in the language of their choice, and particularly in their mother tongue", as well as being "entitled to quality education and training that fully respect their cultural identity". Whilst playing lip service to protecting the Tibetan language, the Chinese government seems intent on subverting and eventually eliminating the use of the Tibetan mother tongue. The Chinese authorities occupying Tibet are making life impossible for Tibetans who are not fluent in Mandarin Chinese by passing laws to minimise teaching of Tibetan in schools and by replacing Tibetan language with Chinese language in many spheres of public life. [ [http://www.freetibet.org/press/pr210208.html Norman Baker MP speaks about threats to Tibetian language] ]

Some scholars have questioned this claim, however, as over 87% of Tibetans continue to reside in rural areas where Chinese is rarely if ever spoken. In the Texas Journal of International Law, Barry Sautman stated that "none of the many recent studies of endangered languages deems Tibetan to be imperiled, and language maintenance among Tibetans contrasts with language loss even in the remote areas of Western states renowned for liberal policies...claims that primary schools in Tibet teach putonghua are in error. Tibetan was the main language of instruction in 98% of TAR primary schools in 1996; today, putonghua is introduced in early grades only in urban schools...Because less than four out of ten TAR Tibetans reach secondary school, primary school matters most for their cultural formation." [Sautman, B. 2003. “Cultural Genocide and Tibet,” Texas Journal of International Law 38:2:173-246]

Tibetologist Elliot Sperling has also noted that "within certain limits in the PRC does make efforts to accommodate Tibetan cultural expression" and "the cultural activity taking place all over the Tibetan plateau cannot be ignored." [Elliot Sperling, Exile and Dissent: The Historical and Cultural Context, in TIBET SINCE 1950: SILENCE, PRISON, OR EXILE 31-36 (Melissa Harris & Sydney Jones eds., 2000).]


See also

*Languages of China
*Tibetan transcription (PRC)
*Tibetan transcription (THDL)
*Tibetan transliteration (Wylie)

External links

* Dictionaries
** [http://www.nitartha.org/dictionary_searchback.html The Rangjung Yeshe Tibetan-English Dharma Dictionary]
** [http://mayor.lib.virginia.edu:8080/lex/public THDL Tibetan Collaborative Dictionaries]
** [http://www.thdl.org/tibetan/servlet/org.thdl.tib.scanner.OnLineScannerFilter?thdlBanner=on The Online Tibetan to English Dictionary and Translation Tool] A multi-word lookup dictionary. This is very practical since there are no word delimiters in Tibetan.
** [http://eng-tib.zanwat.org/ English to Tibetan dictionary]
** [http://www.dharmadictionary.net Dharma Dictionary, Tibetan language dictionary and encyclopedia]
* [http://www.isw.unibe.ch/tibet/ The Tibetan Dialects Project]
** [http://www.isw.unibe.ch/tibet/CDTD.htm The Comparative Dictionary of Tibetan Dialects (CDTD)]
* [http://www.thdl.org/xml/show.php?xml=/collections/langling/languages/index.xml&l=9 Languages on the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalayas] &mdash; Nicolas Tournadre
* [http://wordbridge.com/Tibeng/ Audio of Simple Phrases]
* [http://www.omniglot.com/writing/tibetan.htm The Tibetan Alphabet]
* [http://www.geocities.com/tibetanlanguage/language.html A Free Tibetan Grammar and Phrasebook]
* [http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=fc02e2e3-14bb-46c1-afee-3732d6249647&DisplayLang=en GB18030 Support Package for Windows 2000/XP, including Chinese, Tibetan, Yi, Mongolian and Thai font by Microsoft]
* [http://www.learntibetan.net The Tibetan Language Student]
* [http://www.people.cornell.edu/pages/hd34/TibHis.pdf The Reconstruction of Pre-Initials of Proto-Tibetan] by Hongyuan Dong (URL is dysfunctional!)
* [http://jigtenmig.blogspot.com/ Classical Tibetan Language Blog]
* [http://luminouslogic.com/tibetan-by-osmosis/ Tibetan by Osmosis Blog] Follow one man's attempt to learn modern colloquial Tibetan just by listening to hours and hours of Tibetan internet audio.
* [http://www.sakyaiba.edu.np/courses2007.html#TibetanLanguage International Buddhist Academy] Katmandu, Nepal
* [http://www.incks.com/en/tibetan.html Online Keyboard for Tibetan]
* [http://www.tibet.dk/pktc/download/TD_Tib_Signs3.pdf Duff, Tony (2000). Tibetan and Bhutanese Marks and Signs for Inclusion into Tibetan Unicode 3.0. (PDF)]
* [http://chris.fynn.googlepages.com/jomolhari Tibetan fonts]
* [http://www.elephantjournal.com/2008/07/dr-jules-levinson/ Video interview with Jules Levinson] , on translating Tibetan and preserving Tibetan culture and texts


last=H A Jäschke
year=1865, 2004 [Compendium ed.]
title=A short practical grammar of the Tibetan language, with special reference to the spoken dialects
place =London
publisher =Hardinge Simpole
pages=242 p.
isbn =1843820773 9781843820772 1843820714 9781843820710
. " ... contains a facsimile of the original publication in manuscript, the first printed version of 1883, and the later Addenda published with the Third Edition."--P. [4] of cover./ First edition published in Kye-Lang in Brit. Lahoul by the author, in manuscript, in 1865.
last=Nicolas Tournadre and Sangda Dorje
title=Manual of Standard Tibetan
place =New York
publisher =Snow Lion Publications
isbn =1-55939-189-8
last=Sarat Chandra Das
title=Tibetan-English Dictionary (With Sanskrit Synonyms)
place =Delhi
publisher =Motilal Banarsidass
isbn =81-208-1713-3
. (Reprint of the Calcutta : Bengal Secretariat Book Depot, 1902 edition.)
last=Hodge | first=Stephen
title=An Introduction to Classical Tibetan
place =
publisher =Orchid Press
isbn =974-524-039-7
last=Bernard | first=Theos C.
title=A Simplified Grammar of the Literary Tibetan Language
place =Santa Barbara, California
publisher =Tibetan Text Society
isbn =

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  • Sino-Tibetan language — noun the family of tonal languages spoken in eastern Asia • Syn: ↑Sino Tibetan • Regions: ↑China, ↑People s Republic of China, ↑mainland China, ↑Communist China, ↑Red China, ↑PRC …   Useful english dictionary

  • Sino-Tibetan language — n. family of languages of eastern Asia that includes Chinese Sinitic and Burmese and Tibetan …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Tibetan people — བོད་པ། 藏族 Top: Milarepa • Thubten Gyatso • Buton Rinchen Drub • Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme • Gendun Drup Bottom …   Wikipedia

  • Tibetan culture — Tibetan Monk churning butter tea Tibetan culture developed under the influence of a number of factors. Contact with neighboring countries and cultures including Nepal, India and China have influenced the development of Tibetan culture, but the… …   Wikipedia

  • Tibetan calligraphy — refers to the calligraphic traditions used to write the Tibetan language. As in other parts of East Asia, nobles, high lamas, and persons of high rank were expected to have high abilities in calligraphy. However, unlike calligraphy in China,… …   Wikipedia

  • Language contact — occurs when two or more languages or varieties interact. The study of language contact is called contact linguistics. Multilingualism has likely been common throughout much of human history, and today most people in the world are multilingual.[1] …   Wikipedia

  • Tibetan — can refer to: *Of or relating to Tibet *Tibetan people, an ethnic group *Tibetan language *Tibetan script, a writing system *Tibetan art *Tibetan culture *Tibetan food *Tibetan Spaniel dog breed *Tibetan Mastiff dog breed *Tibetan Buddhism …   Wikipedia

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