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11:26 Mar 05 2009

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Information technology rejuvenates Tibetan language
11:24, March 05, 2009  

The Tibetan language is showing its vigor and vitality as it became the first to have international standard and obtained the global information highway permit in all the languages of ethnic minorities in China.


Dainzin of the Tibetan ethnic group attends class of the Tibetan language at No. 1 Primary School in Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, in this undated photo.(Xinhua/Purbu Zhaxi)

Tibetan, the most widely used language in Tibet Autonomous Region, continues to be the major instrument for Tibetan farmers and herdsmen to communicate and keep accounts in such an information age.

Since the democratic reform was launched in Tibet 50 years ago, the time-honored Tibetan language has been keeping pace with the times, thanks to the local government's endeavors to encouage the use of the language.

"Remarkable success has been made in the learning, usage, and development of the Tibetan language since the democratic reform was initiated 50 years ago," said Deki, vice chairman of Tibet Autonomous Regional Government.

Tibet's educational department paid equal attention to the teaching of Tibetan and Han languages, with the former playing a dominant role, according to the Tibetan Language Working Committee Office.

Now, all primary schools in agricultural areas and pastoral areas and some urban primary schools practice bilingual education in Tibetan and Han, with major courses taught in Tibetan. This is also the case in middle schools in Tibet. Furthermore, Tibetan courses are taught in middle schools in other parts of China. In addition, Tibetan is one of the test items in entrance exams for colleges and polytechnic schools.

Meanwhile, Tibet has 100 Tibetan translation institutions employing 1,000 people, in order to enable the Tibetan people to learn the related policies and regulations promptly. Preliminary statistics show that the annual translation amount reaches 50 mln Chinese characters.

The standardization of Tibetan terms is regarded as the foundation for the development of education, and science and technology, according to a leading official of the Tibetan Language Working Committee Office.

The Tibetan edition of the Tibet Daily expanded from 28 pages to 36 pages as of July 31, 2007. Moreover, the Tibetan technological department translated and published 108 kinds of popular science books and released the Tibetan version of Tibet Science and Technology News, in an effort to spread useful science knowledge to Tibetan farmers and herdsmen.

A large number of TV series and movies dubbed into Tibetan like The Journey to the West and Heroes of the Marshes are well received by the Tibetan people. In 2003, the Tibetan channel of Tibet TV was launched in Nepal, which began to broadcast programs in Tibetan around the clock in 2007. Now, there are altogether 20 Tibetan TV programs and 81.7 percent of the population has access to television.

Currently, professional with high academic qualifications in the Tibetan language are being hunted by Tibetan websites. "It gives me a great honor to use the Tibetan language to record and tell others all that has happened to the Tibetan ethnic group via the internet," said Nima Tsring, a young Tibetan working at a Tibetan website.

Source: Xinhua

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