Saturday, November 20, 2010

བོད་ཡིག་ བོད་སྐད་ འཕེལ་རྒྱས་ གཏོང་བའི་ ཐབས་ལམ་ བཅུ།།

ཁ་བརྡ་ རྩོམ་སྒྲིག་ ཚོགས་ཆུང་ གིས་ བསྒྱུར་བའི་ བོད་སྐད་ བོད་ཡིག་ འཕེལ་རྒྱས་ གཏོང་བའི་ ཐབས་ལམ་ བཅུ་ འདིར་ གཟིགས་རོགས།།
ཐབས་ལམ་ ཚང་མ་ ལས་སླ་བོ་ ཤ་ཏག་ རེད།

Ten Ways to Promote Tibetan Language

Tibetans in Tibet are taking great risks to fight for their right to study in their mother tongue while China tries to marginalize the Tibetan language. To support the conservation of Tibetan language, we can all contribute by taking some simple actions. Tibetan version of this guide can be found here:

1. Listen to Tibetan news at RFA (, VOA (, and VOT ( weekly. Watch VOA’s incredibly popular Kunleng TV twice a week:

2. Read Tibetan news at least once a week at Bodkyi Dusbab (, Bodkyi Bangchen (, Read poems and essays by persecuted writers: Tashi Rapten, Kunga Tsangyang (, Shogdung, Kalsang Tsultrim, Dolma Kyab, and Jamyang Kyi at

3. Install Tibetan unicode on your computer so that you can type in Tibetan. Download the software at It’s as easy as ཀ་ ཁ་ ག་ ང་། and it’s compatible with Mac as well as Windows.

4. Write Facebook status updates in Tibetan on Wednesdays. “བོད་ ནང་ སློབ་ཕྲུག་ མང་པོས་ སྐད་ཡིག་ རང་དབང་ ཆེད་ སྐད་འབོད་ བྱེད་འདུག” If you don’t have Tibetan installed in your computer, you can use the Tibetan Virtual Keyboard

5. Send an occasional email in Tibetan – it will surprise your parents, delight your friends, and confound the hackers!

6. Stop worrying about spelling. One day soon, there will be Tibetan spell-check on your computer. For now, bad spelling is better than no spelling. Besides, you can download Monlam’s online Tibetan dictionary at

7. Give a Tibetan comic book or picture book to a kid as their holiday gift. If you have a kid, read a Tibetan story to put them to bed. གཟིམས་འཇག་གནང་ངོ་།

8. Listen to contemporary Tibetan music (this is too easy not to). No matter what your taste you will love Rangzen Shonu (, JJI Exile Brothers, Yadong, Kunga, Sherten, Techung, Phurbu T Namgyal, etc.

9. Buy Tibetan books, magazines, CDs ( and DVDs. Tibetan writers and artists are churning out works of art and literature, and we must build a global market to consume their products. Let’s vote for Tibetan language with our wallets.

10. Speak in Tibetan whenever possible, not just when sharing secrets on the subway.

This guide is brought to you by the Tibetan staff members of Students for a Free Tibet.
བོད་རང་བཙན་ སློབ་ཕྲུག་ཚོགས་པའི་ བོད་པའི་ ལས་བྱེད་པ་ རྣམས་ ནས་ ཕུལ།།

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cough up a Yuan for every Chinese word

Tibetans in Zachukha are taking matters into their own hands. As Chinese authorities attempt to further marginalize the Tibetan language by replacing it with Chinese as the medium of instruction in schools, Tibetans in Sershul Monastery have hit upon a brilliant idea to protect their language from Chinese invasion.

The plan works like this: everyone makes an effort to speak in pure Tibetan in the monastery. Every time someone utters a Chinese word, they get fined a yuan!

"...Chinese government officials including the County leaders and an official from the local United Work Front Department arrived at Sershul monastery and confiscated boxes containing money collected as fine for speaking “Drak kay”, a reference used to describe mix of spoken Tibetan and Chinese languages. The government officials told the monks that the system of levying fine on people over spoken language must be stopped. The monks told them that they had forced no one to comply with the fine system and that the people of the area had voluntarily agreed to be fined if they spoke “Drak kay”."

The news article in Tibet Times goes on to say that since 2008, "Tibetans in the area have been following a rule of sorts to levy penalty of one Yuan on anyone who does not speak pure Tibetan."

It appears that this new self-imposed rule is spreading through other parts of Tibet. It's hard to imagine a better way to preserve our language.