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Learn Tibetan

This is an official language of the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China and the Upper Mustang region of Nepal. It is also spoken in India. Tibetan is written with the same writing system as Dzongkha (spoken in Bhutan). Standard Tibetan is based on the speech in the capital, Lhasa, and is the most widely spoken of the Tibetic languages, with over a million speakers.

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Planet Earth

Where is it spoken?

Tibet

India

Nepal

People Talking

Number of speakers

1,200,000

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Language family

Sino-Tibetan

Tibeto-Burman

Bodish

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Fun facts about Tibetan

Tibetans show politeness by sticking their tongues out at each other. This shows they have no evil thoughts.

Tibetan has its own numerals, such as ༤ (four), ༥ (five) and ༦ (six).

The affectionate term of endearment nyingdu-la literally means 'most honoured poison of my heart'.

Standard written Tibetan, rather like French, has many silent letters. "Language" is spelled "skad" but pronounced "ke". The word "lama" is actually spelled "blama"!

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