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Language Information

Tibetan is spoken by about 1½ million people in what was formerly Tibet, now the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. Another 3 million speakers live in the Chinese provinces of Szechwan, Tsinghai, and Kansu. Additionally about one million people in Nepal speak Tibetan as a second language.

Of the major languages of Asia, Tibetan has the most in common with Burmese. The two languages belong to the same branch of the Sino-Tibetan family. The Tibetan alphabet dates from the 7th century A.D. It is based on the Sanskrit, having been adapted by a Tibetan minister sent to study Sanskrit in Kashmir.

Tibetan is spoken/used in the following countries:
China, Nepal, Tibet.

Language Family
Family: Sino-Tibetan
Subgroup: Tibeto-Burman

Copyright © Kenneth Katzner, The Languages of the World, Published by Routledge.

Writing Sample

Writing Sample


Let us salute the Teachers!
Bow to the feet of the Venerable Lord of Living Beings!
Abide in the spiritual essence of the Eternal Teacher!
Abide in the spiritual essence of Avalokitecvara!
Abide in the spiritual essence of the All-Merciful One!
Abide in the spiritual essence of Than-ston rgyal-po!
Abide in the spiritual essence of the sublime Pandita!
You, country-folk, recite the six-lettered mani! Om ma-ni padme hun!

The Ceremony of Breaking the Stone