Wanting to learn Tibetan

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Wanting to learn Tibetan

Postby elake » Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:17 am

Hello i am wanting to learn tibetan.. How to read/write tibetan.. Can anyone help?

I want to do this so i can get closer and learn more about buddhism!
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Re: Wanting to learn Tibetan

Postby mutsuk » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:28 am

You should try launching that research on Google, there are lots of websites teaching alphabet and basics of Tibetan. The best would be that you find a tibetan living next to your place and learn directly with him or her (at minimum twice a week). If you live near a University where they teach tibetan, you should not hesitate. Try to NOT specialize into either written or spoken tibetan, try to do both at the same time. Of course it's a lot of work but it will be more helpful for you later. There are lots of translators who are really good at written tibetan and who suck totally at spoken and the reverse is true. So work on both, you will only benefit from that.
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Re: Wanting to learn Tibetan

Postby kirtu » Wed Dec 04, 2013 3:04 pm

It is impossible to learn spoken Tibetan without learning directly from a native speaker (just as it is impossible or nearly impossible to learn spoken any language from anyone but a near native speaker or better). However most Tibetans will not agree to help you learn spoken Tibetan. Some lamas will of course.

It is easy to learn Tibetan for the purpose of reading prayers and sections of text. Most people need to devote 2 hrs or so min. a day to do so. You can begin to learn Tibetan for that purpose by going through Cathy Kielsmeier's texts. Then you can begin going through Wilson's "Translating Buddhism From Tibetan" (Classical) or "Manual Of Standard Tibetan" (Modern).

However everyone emphasizes the wide variety of practically mutually unintelligible Tibetan dialects. As I am only learning Classical Tibetan (and really only getting started after years of slowly starting up) I cannot speak to this from experience. English and esp. German, two languages I am fluent in, also have mutually unintelligible dialects (English not so much but one such dialect does exist for sure [I found out that my mother and some of her relatives spoke it] and I personally have extreme difficulty understanding people with typical Bostonian area accents - also most people who haven't lived in Hawaii cannot understand Hawaiian Pidgin which is a real dialect). Linguistically dialect means nothing really other than a marker for variation. Minor variations aren't enough to constitute a separate language. Extreme variations are but people usually just group such extreme variations under a specific language, often for political reasons. However even Tibetans are said to have difficulty understanding one another.

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