On this page about Tibetan language, you can learn the basics of spoken and written Tibetan. In addition to the online Tibetan-English dictionary, and links to online radio stations broadcasting in Tibetan, you will find here the Tibetan alphabet, using of the Tibetan script, Tibetan phrases with English translation, short story in Tibetan translated into English, examples of Tibetan Buddhist terms and names of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
Tibetan language (tib. bod-skad – བོད་སྐད་ ) belongs to Tibeto-Burman language family. Tibeto-Burman language family contains except Tibetan and Burmese also a lot of smaller languages mainly in the Himalayas, on the Tibetan plateau and in vicinity of the Mekong and the Salween. The Tibeto-Burman group of languages is part of the Sino-Tibetan superfamily, which compares in size and diversity with the Indo-European family.
About Tibetan Grammar
Tibetan is basically a syllabic language. By that I mean that most of the syllables in Tibetan have meaning independent of the compound word in which they are found. For example, just as the English word “soldier” is disyllabic, so too is the Tibetan word for “soldier” (dmag mi). However, unlike the English word where neither of the syllables by itself has meaning, both of the Tibetan syllables have independent semantic content (dmag = war and mi = man). This syllabic nature of Tibetan affords tremendous flexibility with respect both to the expression of new ideas and concepts and to the expression of old ones in new ways. In fact, it is mark of literary ability and accomplishment to manipulate and recombine these meaning-laden syllables creatively.
- Manual of Standard Tibetan – Language and Civilization, Nicolas Tournadre and Sangda Dorje, Snow Lion Publications 2003
- Translating Buddhism from Tibetan, Joe Bransford Wilson, Snow Lion Publication, Ithaca, New York, 1992
- Tibetan Grammar, H. A. Jäschke, Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., New York 1954
- Základy gramatiky moderní hovorové Tibetštiny, Karolinum, Praha 2005