Tibetan Language

Tibetans have their own language, which is known as “bod-yig” in the Tibetan-inhabited areas with the meaning of “Tibetan language”. Tibetan language belongs to the Tibetan-Burman branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. According to geographical divisions, it has three major local dialects: Weizang, Kang and Amdo. The first two dialects have their own tones in pronunciation while the latter don’t. Created in the early 7th century, the Tibetan language, a phonetic system of writing, was based on the writing system of the ancient Sanskrit language of India. Tibetan language consists of thirty consonant, four vowels, five inverted letters (for the renting of foreign words) and the punctuations. Sentences are written from right to the left. With two major written scripts namely the regular script and the cursive hand, Tibetan language is widely used in all areas inhabited by Tibetans. In 641 AD, Songtsen Gampo, a king in southern Tibet, married Wen chen Konjo of the Tang dynasty, which gave a boost to the development of the Tibetan culture. From the 10th century to the 16th century, the Tibetan culture developed dramatically. Throughout the centuries, the Tibetans bring to us not only the two well-known Buddhist master pieces, the Bka-gyur, and the Bstan-gyur, but also other great works on cadences, literature, philosophy, history, geography, arithmetic, calendar, medicine and so on.

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