Tibetan, Central

A language of China

ISO 639-3: bod

Population 1,066,200 in China (1990 census). About 86% are monolingual. Population includes 570,000 Dbus, 460,000 Gtsang, 40,000 Mngahris out of 4,593,000 in the official nationality. Population total all countries: 1,261,587.
Region Tibet, Sichuan, Qinghai. Also spoken in Bhutan, India, Nepal, Norway, Switzerland, Taiwan, USA.
Alternate names   Wei, Weizang, Bhotia, Zang, Phoke, Dbus, Dbusgtsang, U, Tibetan
Dialects Gtsang (Tsang, Lhasa), Dbus, Mngahris (Ngari). In the exile community a so-called diaspora Tibetan has developed. This is based on Central Tibetan.
Classification Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tibetan, Central
Language use Official regional language. Vigorous. Speakers of other languages in the area can also speak Tibetan. All domains. All ages. Positive language attitude.
Language development Literacy rate in second language: 30%. Motivation for literacy is high. Taught in primary and secondary schools. Magazines. Newspapers. Radio programs. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1948.
Comments Part of the Tibetan nationality called Zang. Xifan (Hsifan) and Bhotia are general terms for Tibetan. Probably officially includes many separate languages: Atuence, Choni, Groma, Niarong, Lhomi, Panang, Sherpa, Tseku, Tinan Lahul, Khams Tibetan. Nomads in central and northern Tibet in Phala on the 15,000 foot Chang Tang plateau are known as 'Drokba'. They number around 500,000. Written Tibetan is reported to be based on a southern dialect. 2 scripts are known: U-chan is a common script used by all, the other is a less-widely known and more priestly script. SOV; tonal, 4 tones. Plateau. Very high altitude. Agriculturalists; pastoralists: yak, sheep, goats; weavers; salt traders (Drokba). Buddhist (Lamaist), Muslim.

Also spoken in: Bhutan
Language name   Tibetan
Population 4,673 in Bhutan (2000).
Alternate names   Bhokha
Comments Refugees from Tibet since 1959. People of Tibetan origin are referred to as 'Bhotia'. Buddhist (Lamaist).

Language name   Tibetan
Population 124,280 in India (1994).
Region Tibet border, Himachal Pradesh; Uttaranchal; Arunachal Pradesh; Assam; Delhi; Sikkim. The Darjeeling-Kalimpong area of West Bengal has been heavily settled by Tibetans since at least 1900.
Alternate names   Central Tibetan, Bhotia, Pohbetian, Tebilian, Tibate, Bod Skad, Poke, Phoke
Dialects Aba (Batang), Dartsemdo (Tatsienlu), Dru, Gtsang, Hanniu, Jad (Dzad), Kongbo, Marchha, Nganshuenkuan (Anshuenkuan Nyarong), Panakha-Panags, Paurong, Takpa (Dwags).
Comments Tibetan is a Scheduled Tribe in India. In Himalayan countries 'Bhotiya' means 'people of Tibetan origin' and is applied to those speaking various languages. Buddhist (Lamaist), Christian.

Language name   Tibetan
Population 60,000 in Nepal (1973 SIL).
Region Mainly Kathmandu and Pokhara. Some scattered refugee communities in few districts along the China border.
Alternate names   Bhotia, Zang Wen, Bod Skad, Poke, Phoke, Central Tibetan
Dialects Utsang.

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Agriculturalists; pastoralists; weavers. Buddhist (Lamaist).