Sunday, January 01, 2006

Learning to Read Fuzzy Pecha Pages

Sooner or later you will sit and hunk over Tibetan pages, printed by possibly old woodblocks, or you have access to xerox copies made of earlier copies. Such texts sometimes makes it hard to see all the tiny tseks for separation of syllables, or seeing what a letter really is. In such cases, the more you know about words and expressions, you could use elimination to separate out the actual words. This is even helpful in case you encounter spelling errors that you see now and then.

Here's an exaggerated example:This is a good example as there's some indication of a tsek, or is there. Look at the first word. Is it mig or migl? Well, to start with there are no such words as migl, you will never see a g following an l in Tibetan. But there's a word mig, eye. Secondly, doesn't the la sogs pa look familiar (we looked at this entry before)? It's an expression that means and so on. So this sentence start is about the eyes and so on...

Another case that's, at least for me, sometimes buffling is the difference between a da and nga letter, sometimes the end is longer than expected concerning nga, but not long enough to see it's a da. Again, it's good to know about words and expressions. For example, rlung exists, wind, but rlud is not a word. There are plenty of dang (and) words, but ngang does also exist, means continuity. But from the sentence you should be able too see which one makes sense.

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