Tibetan-English sample sentences

It seems like a good time for something related to Tibet.

The newest rerelease from Sino-Platonic Papers comprises 900 sample sentences in romanized Tibetan and English, the Tibetan being specifically Kham Tibetan.

From the introduction:

The reader is undoubtedly aware that written Tibetan radically differs from what is spoken and that there are also many differences in, for example, written Tibetan in Amdo regions and that of Lhasa. The value of this material is that it presents one of the most widely used Tibetan dialects as it is actually spoken.

Renchin-Jashe, a native of Yulshul (Yushu) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai Province where Kham is spoken, wrote these sentences using a system that he devised. I then edited the sentences…. We have tried throughout to present sentences that reflect Tibetan culture.

This issue is Kham Tibetan Language Materials (2.7 MB PDF), by Renchin-Jashe and Kevin Stuart.

Here are the first 15 of the 900 sentences.

  1. Qa e tel.
    Hello.
  2. Chou ghale-jiele en?
    Is your life well?
  3. Nga Norbu Sangbho yin.
    I’m Norbu Sangbho.
  4. Chou Doje e rei?
    Are you Doje?
  5. Nga yin.
    Yes, I am.
  6. Chou dhemo yin nam?
    How are you?
  7. Nga dhemo yin, tujeche.
    Fine, thanks.
  8. Droma dhele ghale e ree?
    How is Droma?
  9. Mo ni dhele ghale ree tujeche.
    She is very well, thank you.
  10. Chou dhehi eyou, Avo Qalsang?
    How are you, Mr. Qalsang?
  11. Ghongmo zang, Ashe Yudron.
    Good evening, Ms. Yudron.
  12. Ghong mo chou dhemo en?
    How are you this evening?
  13. Da do nub dhe mo jie Tshering.
    Good night Tshering.
  14. Ghashou, Dondrub.
    Good-bye, Dondrub.
  15. Sang nyin tutree zei.
    See you tomorrow.

The work also contains a guide to pronunciation and sentences for learners at the intermediate level.

It was first published in November 1993 as issue no. 42 of Sino-Platonic Papers.

One thought on “Tibetan-English sample sentences

  1. Yuck. Its difficult to make sense of the transcription they used. Quote:

    q—similar to ‘k’ in sky
    k—similar to ‘c’ in country
    kh—voiced deeper than k
    gh—similar to ‘gh’ in ghost
    g—voiced clearer than gh
    gh—voiced thicker than gh

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