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Resources and Helpful Information

 

Especially Suited for Newcomers: Basic Buddhis Etiquette:(click here)

Some helpful information and/or suggestions especially suited for newcomers to Buddhism, or for first time visitors to a Center or Temple.

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Resources:

For more information on Tibetan Buddhism and it's teachings DharmaNet

Mahayana Sutras in English: http://www4.bayarea.net/~mtlee/

 

Information and Resources on the Tibetan Alphabet:

Two Power Point slideshows on Tibetan alphabet recently developed by a student attending Tibetan language classes at MSTC-WDC: (you'll need Microsoft Power Point to view these files properly)

*Tibetan Alphabet In order

*Tibetan Alphabet Scrambled

 

Tibetan   Description: བོད་སྐད

Origin

During the 7th Century AD Songstem Gampo (569-649AD), the 33rd king of the Yarlung Dynasty of southern Tibet and the first Emperor of Tibet, sent Thonmi Sambhota, one of his ministers, to India to gather information on Buddhism. The minister then reputedly devised a script for Tibetan based on the Devanagari model and also wrote a grammar of Tibetan based on Sanskrit grammars.
The new Tibetan alphabet was used to write Tibetan translations of Buddhists texts. The first Sanskrit-Tibetan dictionary, Mahavyutpatti, appeared in the 9th century. Wood block printing, introduced from China, was used in Tibet from an early date and is still used in a few monasteries.
Tibetan literature is mainly concerned with Buddhist themes and includes works translated from Sanskrit and Chinese and original Tibetan works. There are also literary works about the Bon religion, a pre-Buddhist religion indigenous to Tibet. The most unusual genre of Tibetan literature is that of gter-ma or 'rediscovered' texts - reputedly the work of ancient masters which have been hidden in remote caves for many centuries.

Notable features

  • The Tibetan alphabet is syllabic, like many of the alphabets of India and South East Asia. Each letter has an inherent vowel /a/. Other vowels can be indicated using a variety of diacritics which appear above or below the main letter.
  • Syllables are separated by a dot.
  • Consonant clusters are written with special conjunct letters.

Used to write:

Tibetan, a Sino-Tibetan language spoken by about 6 million people in China (Tibet, Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan), India, Bhutan, Sikkim, Ladakh and Nepal. In Mongolia Tibetan is considered the Classical language of Buddhism and was widely taught until quite recently.

Before 1949-50, Tibet comprised of three provinces: Amdo, now split between the Qinghai, Gansu and Sichuan provinces; Kham, now largely incorporated into the provinces of Sichuan, Yunnan and Qinghai, and U-Tsang, which, together with western Kham, is now known as the Tibet Autonomous Region, which was created in 1965.
The Tibetan alphabet
The form of the alphabet shown below, known as u-chen is used for printing. Cursive versions of the alphabet, such as the gyuk yig or 'flowing script' are used for informal writing.
Consonants:
Description: Tibetan consonants

Vowels diacritics

Description: Tibetan vowel diacritics

Conjunct consonants

Description: Standard letter combinations in Tibetan

Note

This table includes the standard consonant combinations used for native Tibetan words. It does not include other combinations found in common loan words or the thousands of combinations used for transliterating Sanskrit words in religious texts.
Source: http://sites.google.com/site/chrisfynn2/home/tibetanscriptfonts/thetibetanwritingsystem/tibetanlettercombinations

Numerals

Description: Tibetan numerals

Punctuation and other symbols

Description: Tibetan punctuation and other symbols

Downloads

Download a Tibetan alphabet chart in Excel, Word or PDF format

Sample text - Tibetan: u-chen script)

Description: Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Tinetan (u-chen scipt)

Sample text - Tibetan (རྒྱུག་ཡིག་: gyuk yig script)

Description: Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Tibetan (gyuk yig script)

Translation

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Useful phrases in Tibetan
Description: books  Tibetan language courses, dictionaries and other materials

Tibetan script for Sanskrit

These are the Tibetan letters used to write Sanskrit. Some of them are not used in Tibetan.
Description: Tibetan consonants for writing Sanskrit words

Links

Information about the Tibetan language and alphabet
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_Tibetan
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tibetan_script

Online Tibetan lessons
Currently researching other sites!
Tibetan dictionaries
http://eng-tib.zanwat.org
http://www.nitartha.org/dictionary_search04.html
http://rywiki.tsadra.org/index.php/Main_Page
Nitartha international - Tibetan software and online dictionary
http://www.nitartha.org/home.html
Languages and dialects of Tibet
http://www.langues-du-tibet.net
The Tibetan language Institute - teaches Tibetan in Hamilton, Montana, USA
http://www.tibetanlanguage.org
Tibetan calligraphy
http://www.asianart.com/exhibitions/calligraphy
http://www.tibetan-calligraphy.com
Online Tibetan language news and radio
http://www.rfa.org/tibetan/
http://www.tibettimes.net
Tibetan fonts and software
http://www.wazu.jp/gallery/Fonts_Tibetan.html
http://tsampa.org/tibetan/software/
http://www.otani.ac.jp/cri/twrp/TLK/
http://www.thubtenrigzin.fr/en.html
Tibetan & Himalayan Digital Library (THDL)
http://thdl.org
Tibetan Government in Exile's Official Web Site (includes information on Tibetan language and culture): http://www.tibet.com
Khagyun: Stories from the Tibetan Diaspora
http://www.khagyun.org

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