A few pronunciations

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A few pronunciations

Postby Jainarayan » Thu May 23, 2013 6:00 pm

I looked through this forum and through the Wiki and Wylie transliterations and found a few things, like ö being close to German ö. But I have not found these. The http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:IPA_for_Tibetan isn't much help.

lhündrubpé - what do I do with that!? :?

In be'u is the apostrophe a glottal stop like in uh-oh?

How different are tsa and cha?

I think dz is like j in jeep?

In drakpé does the accent mark indicate stress on the syllable? drak-pe

sangye chö dang gendün pakpé tsok is a humdinger. Is sangye like "sung-yeh", and the ge- of gendün like get or yet?

These are examples from the Verses of the Eight Noble Auspicious Ones http://www.lotsawahouse.org/tibetan-mas ... cious-ones I'd like to recite the Tibetan.
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Re: A few pronunciations

Postby Ayu » Thu May 23, 2013 6:46 pm

lhündrubpé - what do I do with that!?

I think, in English there is not a single word with "ü"-sound?
But you can find it in French: lhün = lune (? I'm not totally sure.)
http://defr.dict.cc/?s=lune
(Here you can click on the loudspeaker-button to listen to the word "lune") :smile:
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Re: A few pronunciations

Postby Nilasarasvati » Thu May 23, 2013 6:52 pm

I'm endlessly boggled with the transliteration (supposedly phonetic) of much Tibetan.

One thing that seems the most confusing (Why would they choose this?) is that "G" is used for both J and G sounds. "Sangye" is really is pronounced "sanjye" Yeshe Tsogyel is "Tsojyel" However if the G begins the syllable it's often a hard "g" sound like Gelugpa. Why the inconsistency? So simple to fix.
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Re: A few pronunciations

Postby Jainarayan » Thu May 23, 2013 6:55 pm

Ayu wrote:
lhündrubpé - what do I do with that!?

I think, in English there is not a single word with "ü"-sound?
But you can find it in French: lhün = lune (? I'm not totally sure.)
http://defr.dict.cc/?s=lune
(Here you can click on the loudspeaker-button to listen to the word "lune") :smile:


That's great, thanks. :)
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Re: A few pronunciations

Postby Jainarayan » Thu May 23, 2013 6:57 pm

Nilasarasvati wrote:I'm endlessly boggled with the transliteration (supposedly phonetic) of much Tibetan.

One thing that seems the most confusing (Why would they choose this?) is that "G" is used for both J and G sounds. "Sangye" is really is pronounced "sanjye" Yeshe Tsogyel is "Tsojyel" However if the G begins the syllable it's often a hard "g" sound like Gelugpa. Why the inconsistency? So simple to fix.


I agree. I've seen Turkish and Hungarian transliterations of names that made me quit reading.
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Re: A few pronunciations

Postby yegyal » Fri May 24, 2013 12:55 am

Nilasarasvati wrote:I'm endlessly boggled with the transliteration (supposedly phonetic) of much Tibetan.

One thing that seems the most confusing (Why would they choose this?) is that "G" is used for both J and G sounds. "Sangye" is really is pronounced "sanjye" Yeshe Tsogyel is "Tsojyel" However if the G begins the syllable it's often a hard "g" sound like Gelugpa. Why the inconsistency? So simple to fix.


Ok, now I'm really starting to feel like I'm a Tibetan tutor, but I'm sure that's more helpful than the other nonsense I post in this site, (sigh).

Anwyay, so what you're talking about here is not how things are "really prounced", but rather how they are pronounced by Khampas. If you have a y-dag or a "y" attached to the consonants of the first row of the alphabet, ka,kha or ga, like you see in the word sangye, turns into a ca, cha, or ja sound, just it like would if you added a ya-dag to the consonants, ba, pa, or pha, like you see in the word jampa (byams pa).

Ok, so that's probably not going to make sense if you haven't studied Tibetan at all, but the point is what you're referring to here is a regional accent
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Re: A few pronunciations

Postby yegyal » Fri May 24, 2013 1:21 am

Jainarayan wrote:I looked through this forum and through the Wiki and Wylie transliterations and found a few things, like ö being close to German ö. But I have not found these. The http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:IPA_for_Tibetan isn't much help.

lhündrubpé - what do I do with that!? :?

In be'u is the apostrophe a glottal stop like in uh-oh?

How different are tsa and cha?

I think dz is like j in jeep?

In drakpé does the accent mark indicate stress on the syllable? drak-pe

sangye chö dang gendün pakpé tsok is a humdinger. Is sangye like "sung-yeh", and the ge- of gendün like get or yet?

These are examples from the Verses of the Eight Noble Auspicious Ones http://www.lotsawahouse.org/tibetan-mas ... cious-ones I'd like to recite the Tibetan.


So to pronounce these attempts at phonetic transliteration of Tibetan words you need to first follow the rules of phonetic renderings that you find in most of the romanizations of Asian language. So "a" is like the vowel in 'spot', 'e' is like the vowel in 'pay', 'i' is like that in 'see', 'o' like in 'bow' and 'u' like in 'boo'. In Tibetan, as in Sanskrit, the addition of an 'h' after a consonant means that consonant is aspirated, i.e you should feel the breath if you put your hand over your mouth. So having said that, the three syllables in lhundrupe would be pronounced with the "lhun" like look (replace the 'k' with an 'n' and add aspiration to the 'l'), drup with the 'u' pronounced like the vowel in 'look', and pe as you would the word 'pay'.

In be'u, the apastrophe is actually the consonant 'small a' so there's no stop. It would be pronounced like the phrase 'hey you' though Tibetans sometimes gloss over this as these words tend archaic and more common in literature, i.e. some Tibetans don't know how they should be pronounced either.

Tsa and cha are not pronounced the same and neither is dza and ja, unless they are transliterating Sanskrit and then tsa, tsha, ja or used to transliterate ca cha and ja, hence Jambhala is written Dzambhala in Tibetan.

The 'accent' in drakpe is a phonetic mark just indicating that the pe is pronounced with a long "a" like 'pay'. It has nothing to with emphasis or stress, as you say.

As for the sentence, you should be able to pronounce it properly based on what I already mentioned in terms of vowel pronunciation, though there are exceptions (like an "a" followed by a "l" or "n" like in 'pal' or 'ban" would be pronounce like the words 'bell' or 'den').

Well, that's today's lesson. Hope it helps.
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Re: A few pronunciations

Postby Jainarayan » Fri May 24, 2013 2:10 am

Yes, that did help. Especially considering I'm familiar with the usage of long and short vowels in Sanskrit, and the aspirations. Sanskrit would be pē (pay or pey). It seems they're just marked differently. A short u in Sanskrit is like "put", short a is like "about", but you probably know that. Now I can relate, lhündrubpé is the perfect example. That's the one that threw me for a loop. Now, if we don't have the problem with intoning Tibetan, that some say we have with Sanskrit i.e. an accent that sucks (unless it's pronounced flawlessly, the mantra or sloka has no value) I should be good to go.

Thanks. :smile:


yegyal wrote:So to pronounce these attempts at phonetic transliteration of Tibetan words you need to first follow the rules of phonetic renderings that you find in most of the romanizations of Asian language. So "a" is like the vowel in 'spot', 'e' is like the vowel in 'pay', 'i' is like that in 'see', 'o' like in 'bow' and 'u' like in 'boo'. In Tibetan, as in Sanskrit, the addition of an 'h' after a consonant means that consonant is aspirated, i.e you should feel the breath if you put your hand over your mouth. So having said that, the three syllables in lhundrupe would be pronounced with the "lhun" like look (replace the 'k' with an 'n' and add aspiration to the 'l'), drup with the 'u' pronounced like the vowel in 'look', and pe as you would the word 'pay'.

In be'u, the apastrophe is actually the consonant 'small a' so there's no stop. It would be pronounced like the phrase 'hey you' though Tibetans sometimes gloss over this as these words tend archaic and more common in literature, i.e. some Tibetans don't know how they should be pronounced either.

Tsa and cha are not pronounced the same and neither is dza and ja, unless they are transliterating Sanskrit and then tsa, tsha, ja or used to transliterate ca cha and ja, hence Jambhala is written Dzambhala in Tibetan.

The 'accent' in drakpe is a phonetic mark just indicating that the pe is pronounced with a long "a" like 'pay'. It has nothing to with emphasis or stress, as you say.

As for the sentence, you should be able to pronounce it properly based on what I already mentioned in terms of vowel pronunciation, though there are exceptions (like an "a" followed by a "l" or "n" like in 'pal' or 'ban" would be pronounce like the words 'bell' or 'den').

Well, that's today's lesson. Hope it helps.
Worthy, wise and virtuous: Who is energetic and not indolent, in misfortune unshaken,
flawless in manner and intelligent, such one will honor gain. - Digha Nikaya III 273
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Re: A few pronunciations

Postby Nilasarasvati » Fri May 24, 2013 2:35 am

yegyal wrote:Anwyay, so what you're talking about here is not how things are "really prounced", but rather how they are pronounced by Khampas. If you have a y-dag or a "y" attached to the consonants of the first row of the alphabet, ka,kha or ga, like you see in the word sangye, turns into a ca, cha, or ja sound, just it like would if you added a ya-dag to the consonants, ba, pa, or pha, like you see in the word jampa (byams pa).


AHA! Confirmation!
I've always wondered if it was those redneck Nyingmapas from Kham.... :applause:
I wonder--is that dialect more prevalent?? More common in certain schools?
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Re: A few pronunciations

Postby yegyal » Fri May 24, 2013 4:41 am

I don't think I would say more prevalent in particular schools, but particular areas of Tibet often had a dominant school, especially if there were large monasteries in the vicinity. However, those distinctions are very localized, so I wouldn't say that Khampas are more likely to be Nyingmapa, though at times it does seem like that because most of the Khampas I know happen to be. But in terms of crazy accents, Khampas are nothing compared to how they speak in Golog. Or Ladhakis who pronounce words as if you were just reading the wylie.
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Re: A few pronunciations

Postby conebeckham » Fri May 24, 2013 5:03 pm

You should study Tibetan with a teacher, then you'll have no need of wondering how the phonetics are to be pronounced.

Just me and my cheap two cents! :smile:
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Re: A few pronunciations

Postby Nilasarasvati » Fri May 24, 2013 8:02 pm

It's good advice...but doesn't come cheap! Anybody wanna buy me a ticket to Dehli? :broke:
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Re: A few pronunciations

Postby yegyal » Sat May 25, 2013 2:22 am

Wow. And here I thought I was being nice and helping some people out based on my experience of teaching Tibetan at the university level. I'll tell you, the old timers really have a way of making a guy feel like the new kid at school around here.
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Re: A few pronunciations

Postby Jainarayan » Sat May 25, 2013 1:38 pm

yegyal wrote:Wow. And here I thought I was being nice and helping some people out based on my experience of teaching Tibetan at the university level. I'll tell you, the old timers really have a way of making a guy feel like the new kid at school around here.


I appreciate the help. ;)
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