Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Tibetan Lessons

So we started Tibetan lessons on Monday. We found that it is a tonal language. Which means you can have two words like "ma" and "ma" and they mean two different things depending on the tone you are using. Kind of like "road" and "rode" but the spelling wouldn't be changed.

We found out today that on top of the root letters you can also have subscripts

I have no idea what this says, forgive me if you know Tibetan and it isn't appropriate. I am just using it for an example.

A main letter would be the first one without the vowel on top.

If you look at the 5th and 6th letter they have the main letter and then something added to it on the bottom.

After going through the new sounds each of these make I realized there were 3 patterns that we could follow.

1. If the root letter was unaspirated then a superscript was added, the sound remains the same.
2. If the voiceless root letter had a low tone then a superscript was added the sound then became the voiced equivalent.
3. If the nasal root letter has a superscript it is changed from a low tone to a high tone.

That may sound confusing to you, but to me it makes perfect sense. If I had not gone to for school I would be way behind. Now I have  a predictable pattern to follow!!

Thank you to the Cobbs, Alfords, & the Schnells for our training!