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Tibetan Language Facts and Information

Information About Tibetan Language

Tibetan language topics and discussion
Tibetan speakers in the Phrasebase community
Extinct: no
Family: Sino-Tibetan
Branch: Tibeto-Burman
Continent: Asia
Country: China
Region: Tibet, Sichuan, Qinghai. Also spoken in Bhutan, India, Nepal, Norway, Switzerland, Taiwan, USA.
Countries Where Spoken: 1,066,200 in China (1990 census), including 570,000 Dbus, 460,000 Gtsang, 40,000 Mngahris out of 4,593,000 in the official nationality. Population total all countries 1,254,000. Bhutan, India, Nepal.
Countries Where Official: China
Native Speakers: 1,066,200
Speakers Total: 1,254,000
Phrasebase members who speak Tibetan at a native level: 20
Phrasebase members who speak Tibetan at a conversational level: 20
Phrasebase members primary language they are trying to learn is Tibetan: 39
Phrasebase members secondary language they are trying to learn is Tibetan: 202
Three Letter Code: TIC
Summary: Drokba: do not know Chinese. Xifan (Hsifan) and Bhotia are general terms for Tibetan. One of the main official nationalities, called "Zang" in China. Probably officially includes many separate languages: Atuence, Choni, Groma, Niarong, Lhomi, Panang, Sherpa, Tseku, Tinan Lahul, Khams. Nomads in central and northern Tibet in Phala on the 15,000 foot Chang Tang plateau are known as "Drokba". They number around 500,000 (National Geographic June 1989.752-781). Dictionary. SOV; 4 tones. Literacy rate in second language: 30%. Motivation is high. Written Tibetan is reported to be based on a southern dialect. 2 scripts are known: U-chan is a common script used by all, the other is a less-widely known and more priestly script. Agriculturalists, pastoralists: yak, sheep, goats; weavers, salt traders (Drokba). Lamaist Buddhism, some Muslim. Bible 1948.

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