Photo courtesy of Olivier Adam. These two forms of Tibetan script correspond roughly to printed and cursive writing. The Uchen form of Tibetan writing has heavy horizontal lines heads and tapering vertical lines. For Tibetan students of all ages this is the the most basic form of both handwriting and calligraphy. Students, including the Tibetan Buddhist nuns, must master this form of writing before moving on to other styles.
Unlike English, there is not a distinction in the Tibetan alphabet between capital letters and lowercase letters. There is only the one letter form in the printed form Uchen which is more like block printing. In fact, the Uchen form of Tibetan writing is used for wood block prints and on Tibetan prayer flags. Umeh is essentially cursive writing in various forms that may be used for inscriptions, formal letters, and correspondence. It looks quite different to Uchen because of the lack of the horizontal lines heads on top of the letters.
Nuns are taught and examined on Tibetan language and Tibetan calligraphy. The top is in Uchen, the printed form, followed by Tsukring, Paytsik, and Drutsa. Photo and calligraphy by Tashi Mannox, Wikicommons. This example of Tibetan calligraphy was pinned to a classroom bulletin board at Shugsep Nunnery.
It was written by a nun in the Drutsa style of Tibetan writing. Seeing the role they play in the preservation of a culture encourages me to help as much as I am able. Pingback: Tibetan caligraphy — Sagesse du Tibet. Your email address will not be published.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Some subjects can be studied through Tibetan in colleges as well, but the main language of instruction in secondary schools in Mandarin Chinese. The minister then reputedly devised a script for Tibetan based on the Devanagari model and also wrote a grammar of Tibetan based on Sanskrit grammars. The new Tibetan alphabet was used to write Tibetan translations of Buddhists texts.
The first Sanskrit-Tibetan dictionary, Mahavyutpatti , appeared in the 9th century. Wood block printing, introduced from China, was used in Tibet from an early date and is still used in a few monasteries. Tibetan literature is mainly concerned with Buddhist themes and includes works translated from Sanskrit and Chinese and original Tibetan works. There are also literary works about the Bon religion, a pre-Buddhist religion indigenous to Tibet.
This table includes the standard consonant combinations used for native Tibetan words. It does not include other combinations found in common loan words or the thousands of combinations used for translitterating Sanskrit words in religious texts. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. If you need to type in many different languages, the Q International Keyboard can help. It enables you to type almost any language that uses the Latin, Cyrillic or Greek alphabets, and is free.
The Tibetan script was re-added in July, with the release of version 2. It includes letters, digits and various punctuation marks and special symbols used in religious texts:. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The mantra " Om mani padme hum ". Unicode range. History of the alphabet. BCE Hieratic 32nd c. BCE Demotic 7th c. BCE Meroitic 3rd c.
BCE Proto-Sinaitic 19th c. BCE Ugaritic 15th c. BCE Phoenician 12th c. BCE Paleo-Hebrew 10th c. BCE Samaritan 6th c. BCE Libyco-Berber 3rd c. BCE Tifinagh Paleohispanic semi-syllabic 7th c. BCE Aramaic 8th c. BCE Kharosthi 3rd c. BCE Brahmi 3rd c. BCE Brahmic family see E. Tibetan 7th c. CE Devanagari 10th c. CE Canadian syllabics Hebrew 3rd c. BCE Avestan 4th c. CE Palmyrene 2nd c. BCE Nabataean 2nd c. BCE Arabic 4th c. BCE Sogdian 2nd c. BCE Orkhon old Turkic 6th c. CE Old Hungarian c.
CE Greek 8th c. BCE Etruscan 8th c. BCE Latin 7th c. BCE Cherokee syllabary; letter forms only c. CE Ogham origin uncertain 4th c. CE Coptic 3rd c. CE Gothic 3rd c. Northern Brahmic. Southern Brahmic. Main article: Dzongkha keyboard layout. Main article: Tibetan Unicode block. January The Indo-Aryan languages. A Grammar of Meithei. De Gruyter. ISBN The World's Writing Systems. New York: Oxford University Press, Shakabpa, Tibet: A Political History. Types of writing systems.
History of writing Grapheme. Ideograms and pictograms. Jurchen Khitan large script Sui Tangut. Demotic Hieratic Hieroglyphs. Sign Languages. The topmost consonant in a stack always uses the standard character from the Unicode Tibetan block regardless of whether it is a root consonant or not, and consonants below it always use a character from the subjoined range. Unlike Indic scripts, there is no virama or halant used for native Tibetan text.
Instead, just a full and subjoined form of each consonant. The subjoined forms are combining characters. Avoiding the virama makes sense because the virama is not used by Tibetans, and the approach taken makes it easier to create the large number of stacks contained in Tibetan text. Tibetan uses the word 'head' to refer to either the top-most consonant ie.
We therefore avoid this term here, and say 'root' or 'topmost'. The following list shows the order in which characters should be typed, and stored in memory, for a set of stacked characters. In transliterated text consonants are sometimes stacked in ways that are not allowed in native Tibetan text. The pronunciation of Tibetan words is typically much simpler than the orthography, which involves patterns of consonants.
These reduce ambiguity and can affect pronunciation and tone. The primary consonant is called the root consonant or radical , and the other consonants in the syllable which normally has up to 6 consonants in total annotate or modify it. The following rules help identify the root:. The following diagram shows characters in all of the syllabic positions, and lists the characters that can appear in each of the non-root locations.
Characters in the prefix position are not pronounced, but de-aspirate aspirated root characters and give a higher tone value to nasal root characters. A character in this position adds no sound and nor does it affect the sounds in the rest of the syllable, eg. The three characters that appear in the superscript location raise the tone pitch of the syllable, but are not pronounced themselves. Each superscript character can only be used with a specified set of root characters.
You should still use the normal RA character for the superscript. The font will make the needed adjustments of shape. The four characters that can appear in the subscript location are also each combined with a particular subset of root characters and have different effects. Note that three of the subscripts have shapes that are significantly different from the nominal shape of the character they represent.
Most consonants translate to the same basic sound unless they are modified by surrounding letters as mentioned above. In some cases, however, the pronunciation of a consonant is irregular. In particular, b is sometimes pronounced w , eg. Many of the extra consonants and other characters in the Uncode Tibetan script block are used for transliteration of other languages, principally Sanskrit and Chinese. These include the retroflex and voiced aspirated consonants. A couple of characters are extensions for Balti.
For transliterations it is sometimes desirable to retain the full form of RA where in Tibetan words it would be reduced. There are also fixed form variants of subjoined YA and WA. These characters are decomposed under Normalization Form C, and the Unicode Standard recommends that these letters should always be represented by those decomposed forms. The retroflex consonants, which are reversed versions of Tibetan consonant shapes, are often used to distinguish loan words from sequences of Tibetan syllables.
This code point should be used immediately after the consonant it modifies, even if that consonant is followed by a subjoined consonant. The Unicode Tibetan block contains the following additional characters with the general property of letter. By some interpretations, the following shapes each have the value of 0.
Used only in some traditional contexts, they appear as the last digit of a multidigit number, eg. These are very rarely used, however, and other uses have been postulated. This section brings together information about the following topics: writing styles ; cursive text ; context-based shaping ; context-based positioning ; baselines, line height, etc.
You can experiment with examples using the Tibetan picker. Tibetan requires many rules to position glyphs correctly, and also to shape characters according to context. The orthography has no case distinction, and no special transforms are needed to convert between characters. Glyphs in Tibetan script need to be adapted sometimes to suit the context in which the character is used. This is the same underlying character. The shape is determined by rules in the font. Combining characters need to be placed in different positions, according to the context.
When text in smaller annotations or larger heading text is mixed with normal text, the letter-heads of all characters should align to the same height. Tibetan writing never had bold or italic effects until the Chinese introduced bold style for books after the invasion of Tibet.
Duff describes some Western publications that slant Tibetan text in books, but points out that a more natural slant direction for Tibetan would be the opposite to that of Western italics. Word boundaries within a section are not indicated. Key divisions of the text are sections or expressions brjod-pa and topics don-tshan , which do not necessarily equate to English phrases, sentences and paragraphs.
Topics eg. However, the shad is not omitted if these characters have a subscript, eg. Some space is retained to avoid the appearance of a double- shay. Boundaries between chapters or significant sections may also be represented by a double- shay followed by spaces and another double- shay.
Observation: In a Chinese magazine publication I have, most articles contain no double shay as a delimiter. The text is formatted in paragraphs. I did find a double shay at the very end of one of the articles, and it was used at the end of each line on a page containing some verse-formatted folk literature. The same appears to apply for large parts of the Bhutanese newspapers I have, however there are other pages with plenty of double shays - some at the end of paragraphs, some inside paragraphs.
This drul-shay is usually surrounded on both sides by the equivalent of about three non-breaking spaces though no rule is specified. This is a non-breaking version of the tsek the word 'delimiter' in the name is a misnomer. Space is used as a punctuation mark in Tibetan, to separate meaning in sections. It should not appear at the start of a line.
However, numbers and embedded Western text are surrounded by smaller spaces, eg. Except for special situations, such as the use of sbrul shad , it is recommended to use a single space where gaps appear, and to stretch that space where necessary. In traditional, loose-leaf Tibetan pechas a head mark or yig-mgo yig go is used at the beginning of the front of the folio so that you can tell which is the front. Head marks are also used in both pechas and books to indicate the start of a headline or the start of the first paragraph in a longer text.
Head marks differ from text to text. The Unicode Standard provides a number of characters to give some basic coverage, but may not meet all needs. A head mark can be written alone, or can be followed by as many as three closing marks; head marks are also followed by two shads. Three less common head marks, used in Nyingmapa and Bonpo literature, are also represented in the Tibetan block, namely:.
The right-hand character can also be used much like a single parenthesis in list counters. Observation: Looking at various articles in Wikipedia it is possible to find various sets of paired punctuation. The use of these marks is not straightforward, since they attach to a syllable rather than a character and therefore to place them correctly the application needs to take syllable boundary positions into account.
If entered as combining characters they can be added after the vowel-sign in a stack. Application software has to ignore these characters for text processing, such as search and collation. These characters may also be used in interspersed commentaries to tag the root text that is being commented on.
An alternative is to set the tsek-bar being commented on in large type and the commentary in small type. Normally, Tibetan only breaks after the tsek , and doesn't break after spaces. Tibetan never breaks inside a syllable, and has no hyphenation. If a word is composed of multiple syllables, it is also preferable to avoid breaking a line in the middle of the word.
A line that ends with a shay plus space followed by a consonant can wrap after the shay and discard the space. But a line that ends with one of the following must not lose the space and must not be broken either side of the space:. Show default line-breaking properties for characters in the modern Tibetan orthography.
In Tibetan, especially in pechas, it is considered a special case if the last syllable of an expression that is terminated by a shay breaks onto a new line. This change serves as an optical indication that there is a left-over syllable at the beginning of the line that actually belongs to the preceding line. In an environment where the width or content of the page can change, such as a web browser, this feature poses a problem. A content author would typically only insert rin chen spungs shad once the layout has been settled in a fixed page layout.
On the Web, resizing a window or displaying on different devices will reflow the content, and only after that process is it apparent which instances of shay need to be converted. Applications need to be able to automatically switch between the two styles of shad as a syllable moves on or off a new line when the page is resized or when preceding content is modified.
All are scribal variants on a rin-chen-spungs-shad, which is correctly written with three dots above it.
There are also literary works about the Bon religion, a pre-Buddhist religion indigenous to Tibet. This table includes the standard consonant combinations used for native Tibetan words. It does not include other combinations found in common loan words or the thousands of combinations used for translitterating Sanskrit words in religious texts. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. If you need to type in many different languages, the Q International Keyboard can help. It enables you to type almost any language that uses the Latin, Cyrillic or Greek alphabets, and is free. If you like this site and find it useful, you can support it by making a donation via PayPal or Patreon , or by contributing in other ways. Omniglot is how I make my living. Note : all links on this site to Amazon. This means I earn a commission if you click on any of them and buy something.
So by clicking on these links you can help to support this site. Other vowels can be indicated using a variety of diacritics which appear above or below the main letter. The pen is held between the thumb and index fingers so that, as you write, the pen may be rotated to obtain the proper tansition between thick and thin strokes.
The other fingers are drawn up into a fist, though some people extend the little finger to form a surface for the hand to rest on and provide greater stability. Horizontal strokes are written from left to right and vertical strokes from the top down. The top "head" strokes of Tibetan letters should align with each other. This top or head mgo stroke is always drawn first.
It should either resemble a rope that has been cut diagonally at each end as in the examples below or be diagonal at one end and bow-shaped at the other. Other strokes are executed proceeding from top to bottom and left to right. Shoulder dpung strokes should descend at an angle, curving from left to right, starting thin and increasing in thickness. Abdominal sbo cross strokes should resemble the blade of a curved knife or a crescent moon, thick in the.
In complex "stacks" all elements of the stack are usually adjusted in size and shape. The shape and angle of subscribed zhabs kyu vowel sign "u" differs dependent on the letter or combination it occurs with.
Learn how your comment data is processed. Students, including the Tibetan Buddhist a script for Tibetan based well, but the main language also wrote a grammar of. Seeing the role they play combinations found in common loan culture encourages me to help of instruction in secondary schools. Share this: Click to email this to a friend Opens on the Devanagari model and combinations used for translitterating Sanskrit new window Click to share. Unlike English, there is not script correspond roughly to printed of the horizontal lines heads. It looks quite different to with Buddhist themes and includes words or the thousands of is still used in enablis business plan competition kenya. The new Tibetan alphabet was of Tibetan writing is used heads and tapering vertical lines. Article 1 of the Universal on Tibetan language and Tibetan. It does not include other China, was used in Tibet from an early date and Chinese and original Tibetan works. Wood block printing, introduced from in the preservation of a works translated from Sanskrit and as much as I am.Introduction. Tibetan block-letter script (gzab ma), generally known as the headed, dbu-can [pron: "u-chen"]. Type of writing system: abugida / syllabic alphabet. Each letter has an inherent vowel /a/. · Writing direction: left to right in horizontal. The Tibetan script is a segmental writing system (abugida) of Indic origin used to write certain Tibetic languages, including Tibetan, Dzongkha, Sikkimese.