Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Simple Words - DANG

I have this crazy idea that to inspire someone to learn Tibetan, you could take the most common words and expressions, and from that build up the Classical Tibetan vocabulary. There are theories that if you have a word range of about 1000 words, you start to get a feeling of having control of the knowledge domain, and from that you could expand the knowledge.

So, let's see if I could end up with 1000 blog postings!

Usually when you learn a language you want to learn words such as "me", or "hello", but this is classical Tibetan, so let's start with common words you see in texts. I'm using Wylie, as you never know what fonts are installed on the system, and we are still a year off from when Unicode Tibetan fonts work OK across platforms.

First word, dang, means and, but it's a a starting point. This word is usually at the end of sentences, or between nouns, and there are many cases you can't just translate it as 'and', even if it's a good start. You could sometimes translate it as: "as well as", "together with", "because of", "when", and so on. So you need to look at the binding of the two sentences and figure out what sounds best.


S. said...

That's a good idea! I'm just a beginner. I try to train my ears when listening to listen to teachings in tibetan.
If you know these words, you can get the gist of the teachings while waiting for the translation.
1000 words are very very welcome.

Marieke van Vugt said...

I wholly agree with the other comment. I will follow this website until the time comes that I can devote myself to some study of Tibetan (hopefully within some reasonable amount of time).Thanks a lot for putting your time and effort in this project.

Kent Sandvik said...

Thanks for the kind words. Yes, even a little bit Tibetan language study now and then is beneficial, especially if it's periodic, in other words, happens frequently. Learning dharma terms and sentences will add up to the total understanding of the teachings.