Friday, March 28, 2008

Learning Letters - MA

There are many ways to learn the Tibetan letters. One basic system is based on how they are pronounced.

My take is to learn based on the frequency of letters, as well as starting with very simple letters and word combinations. I will try to test this out in the blog -- sorry for you you know the Tibetan lettering system inside out, but this is good for anyone totally new to Tibetan letters and are just starting to read Tibetan. I will classify the postings as Introduction entries.

If you look at Tibetan text, there's lots of overhanging dots and weird letters between. But at some point you start to see some of the letters showing up a lot. MA is one of the first ones you start recognizing.

You could see patterns like ་་་་་་བླ་མ་་་་་་  (lama), ་་་་་ཉི་མ་་་་་( nyima, sun), or སེམས། (sem, mind.) As you could see, it's really part of another word, as Tibetan makes words from small syllables, don't expect words much longer than two, three or four syllables, sometimes even one syllable.

You could actually find the word མ། ma, it means mother, or it's a negation in front of other constructs.

Anyway, by learning མ we will shortly see how various vowels are formed. Anyway, in some cases, མ is part of the word and is pronounced ma, or sometimes it's a lonely m. 

Below is Tibetan text, try to recognize the letter མ and how it shows up in various configurations.

།བླ་མ་དེས། དི་ལྟར་བཇོརྡ་དེ། ཁྱོད་ཀྱིས་བྱང་ཆུབ་ཏོ་སྨོན་ལམ་བྲབ་བམ། 


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