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(6) a certain number of additional current words added by the Revisers. With regard to these last two, it is a still greater pity that they were not marked by some distinguishing sign.
(7) Philosophical explanations of Buddhistic religious terms.
It is perhaps under this last head that the chief amount of additional matter may be said to fall.
To take a couple of concrete examples of common words. Under dus, “ Jäschke's
Sve dus, “ time," in Jäschko's we find four columns equivalent to nearly five columns of the present Dictionary. In Desgodins"(including garaña
དུས་ཚེགས་ which in the other dictionaries fall under དུས)
we find nearly three columns, equivalent to less than two columns
of the present Dictionary, whereas the present Dictionary gives seven-anda-half columns. Again, take the common word 5 rta, “a horse,” in Jäschke's we find rather more than two columns, equivalent to two-anda-half columns of the present Dictionary; in Desgodins' four-and-threequarter columns, equivalent to two-and-a-half columns of the present Dictionary; whereas in the present Dictionary we find nearly seven columns, which contain (inter alia) besides various literary references, a list of mythical medicinal properties' which various parts of a horse are supposed to
possess, some zoological information about the horse-ibex (རྟ་སྐྱིན) and where specimens of it have been found ; some geographical information about the source of the River Brahmaputra (རྟ་ མཆོག་ཁ་འབབ) " the horse-mouth river ;” and the life of a Buddhist saint 5 GARN Rta Dbangs. The first two are new, but the two latter occur in Jäschke but with only a brief reference.
To go more into detail, under the heading of “ Horse" in the present Dictionary there are 80 separate words and phrases explained, besides 41 synonyms referred to. Of these synonyms 17 are for " horse 8 for a mythical horse of Indra, 4 for "rider, ” 5 for "foal," and 7 for "horse tail, " the name of a medicinal plant. Of these 80 words and phrases 41 occur in Jäschke, who also has 30 other words not included, 25 of which are names for the various colours of a horse; and 22 occur in Desgoding, who also has 34 other words not included in the present Dictionary, of which 23 are names of the various colours of a horse, and also 8 synonyms for “horse" are given. I have noticed the entries under this one word in detail, because being an ordinary word it serves as a typical example of the difference between the three dictionaries. In the case of words of a Religious or Philosophical meaning the articles in the present Dictionary are in most cases not merely an explanation of the word, but short essays on the subject. As typical examples of these I would cite the words གར་ཟག་ I. gang-zag,
an animated being,"
ཐེག་པ་ II. thes-pa,“ a method of doctrine," and རྟེན་ འབྲེལ་
“inter-dependence of causes." In the case of names of places also, besides the reference, some information with respect to them is almost invariably given.
To sum up, as a Dictionary of the literary language, no praise is too great both for the labour and research of the compiler; and for the care and sound judgment of the Revisers; and the excellence of the result obtained well rewards them for their labours. The assistance given by Pandit Satis Chandra Acharya in the Revision of the Sanskrit synonyms has already been referred to; but a notice of the present Dictionary would be incomplete without a word of praise to two other collaborators whose names may be overlooked, as they do not appear in either the Authors or Reviser's Prefaces, but whose aid is fully acknowledged in the Tibetan dedication on the Title pages -Lama Sherab Gyatsho, the late head Lama of the Ghoom Monastery, a Mongolian of great erudition in all Tibetan literature and lore; and also Rai Lama Ugyen Gyatsho Bahadur, originally a Lama of the Pemiongchi Monastery in Sikhim, and whose services were subsequently obtained when the Bhutea School in Darjeeling was founded, as its first Tibetan teacher, who was the companion of Rai Sarat Chandra Das iu both his journeys in Tibet, and who also materially assisted him in the compilation of the Dictionary.
Before closing this reference to the existing dictionaries, a further tribute of appreciation and thanks is due from all students of Tibetan to M. Desgodins and the French missionaries before him, who since 1852 have been steadily labouring to accumulate, test, and revise the material which has now been published in his Dictionary, and which has brought to light a great number of words and expressions not formerly ascertained or recorded. The authority for these necessarily rests on that of the compilers, but we may accept their assurance in the Preface that no word has been admitted except after severe and repeated tests by independent persons, of its correctness and use. This Dictionary will have a special value when the Standard Dictionary of Modern Tibetan comes to be compiled.
From what has been already said, it will be seen that although the present Dictionary has fulfilled what it purposed to be, namely, a complete Dictionary of Literary Tibetan, so far as our present sources of knowledge go, it does not fulfil the requirements of a Standard Dictionary of the entire language, and the Standard Dictionary of the Modern and Current Tibetan language has yet to be written. As already noted, Literary Tibetan, of which probably three-fourths of the present Dictionary consists, is not intelligible to the modern Tibetan. One might as well address the Modern Londoner in the once literary language of Norman French, or, for comparison with later Tibetan literary works, in the later but still more or less unintelligible language of Langland, Mandeville, or Chaucer.
It therefore remains to see what a Dictionary of Current and Modern Tibetan should consist of. These requirements I propose now to consider.
(1) All purely literary words and references should be excluded.
(2) The words and idions taken as the Standard Tibetan should be those of the language of Lhasa and Central Tibet, and all variants from these in other dialects should bear a distinguishing mark shewing the dialect to which they belong.
On this point it is perhaps necessary to notice briefly the question of dialects. Even with our present knowledge of this subject, the number of different dialects prevalent in different parts of Tibet is very large, and a further acquaintance with the country would doubtless disclose many more. Desgodins who had himself many years' acquaintance both with the dialects of the Eastern Provinces, and also those of Central Tibet, as spoken by the merchants who come over the Darjeeling Frontier, has referred to this difficulty in the Preface to his Grammar of Spoken Tibetan, to which I have already referred; and I cannot do better than translate the following extract carrying, as it does, the weight of his authority. “Even if there were, as in China, a sort of Mandarine language known and spoken almost everywhere! But no; every country has its dialect or its particular patois. All that one can affirm is that the dialects of the two Eastern Provinces, Khams and U, have sufficient affinity between themselves; while they differ considerably from those of the Western Provinces, Tsang and Ngari. These differences are sufficiently great for an inhabitant of Tashilhunpo who arrives for the first time at Bathang or Tachienlu to be obliged to take a Tibetan interpreter to be able to speak Tibetan with his hosts. However, after some time Easterners and Westerners end by understanding one another. If there are differences in the use of words in the turn and terminations of phrases, in the pronunciation, etc., there are also resemblances, general usages, pronunciations which resemble more or less and indicate a common origin, one same language; but it is this which practice alone can distinguish.”
The language of Lhasa and Central Tibet does, however, to a great extent supply this common language, and it has been aptly termed the lingua franca of Eastern and Northern Central Asia.
The reason for this lies mainly in the vast central university which the three great monasteries of Sera, Depung, and Gaden, in the immediate neighbourhood of Lhasa, form for the priesthood from all parts of Tibet, and even from Mongolia, Higher Asia, and China ; and to a less degree, to the great number of pilgrims that visit Lhasa from all parts of Tibet.
I have myself made certain enquiries as to the mutual intelligibility of Central Tibetan, Sharpa, Sikhim, and Bhutanese languages. I have consulted several Tibetans about the mutual differences between them and their relative intelligibility to one another. The general opinion is that, taking Central Tibetan as the Standard, the Bhutanese is the least intelligible of these four to persons of the other languages.
A Bhutanese will understand a Tibetan better than the Tibetan will understand him, but they can make themselves mutually understood.
A Sharpa would at first hardly understand a Bhutanese at all; as in their case the variation from the Central Tibetan is in another direction.
A Bhutanese will understand a Sikhimite more easily than the Sikhimite will understand him; as the Sikhim language is spoken more slowly and distinctly, but they are mutually understood. Between the Sikhim language and Central Tibetan there is great resemblance, and they readily understand each other. The Sikhim language is spoken more slowly and the consonants are more distinctly sounded.
A comparative list of a number of Tibetan, Sharpa, and Bhutanese words have been given by Hodgson in his comparative Vocabulary of the several languages or dialects of the Eastern Sub-Himalayas.
1 On this subject see also pages 330-332, Census of India, 1901. Volume VI, Bengal. Part I. Report. Calcutta, Bengal Secretariat Press, 1902.
% J. A. S. B. 1844: and " The Languages, Literature, and Religion of Nepal and Tibet," by B. H. Hodgson. Trübner and Co., 1874.
I have referred to these dialects to shew tbat the main difference is one of pronunciation and idiom, and, as Deagodins says of the man from Tashilhunpo who arrives at Tachienlu, " After some time the Easterner and Westerner end by anderstanding one another."
Another reason why Central Tibetan is the best language for the foreigner to take as the colloquial standard is that the pronunciation is far more difficult than in the other dialects, owing to the large number of silent letters, which are sounded to a much greater extent in the outlying dialects; so that the foreigner who has learnt as his colloquial the central language will have less difficulty in learning from it the more easily pronounced dialects than he would by the reverse process.
Apart from the above reasons, Ceutral Tibetan should be the standard because it is the language of Government and of official and general correspondence throughout the country.
(3) There should be a carefully prepared comparative table giving the pronunciation of every letter and combination in each of the known dialects.
Jäschke gives such a table in his Dictionary for certain of the dialects of Western Tibet, and also marks words and phrases peculiar to those languages in his Dictionary with a (W.), but this is for a portion only, and how different is the pronunciation in the eastern dialects will be seen from the table of pronunciation which Desgodins prefixes to his Dictionary, where many of the pronunciations given, though not specially stated, are clearly those of Eastern Tibet.
(4) There should be a recognised standard of spelling of colloquial words, which, where the word is also found in literature, should be the liter. ary spelling (as given in Jäschke's Dictionary).
This condition may appear to a person not acquainted with the Tibetan language to be self-evident and unnecessary, but as a matter of fact it is not so.
In Tibetan "things are not what they seem," and the pronunciation of a word gives, within certain limits, little clue as to its spelling.
When Skra (“hair") is pronounced “ța," D-Bus is pronounced ü, Grogs is “do," spyod is “cho," and A-Brus-Ljong is “Denjong," and where the mountain Kangchenjanga (" Kinchenjunga") is spelt GangsChhen-Mzod-Lnga; and where any one of these words as sounded could have equally well, phonetically, have been correctly spelt in a variety of different ways, it will be seen that spelling in Tibetan, especially in the central dialect, presents a difficulty to the learner such as is not met with in any other language. I will give an actual example. The word
ready,” pronounced “ tandi,” is spelt spara Gral-Sgrig in Hen