An anonymous author submitted this introduction to a popular Tibetan language website on May 30, 2007.
Tibetan Language Website at http://www.tibettl.com/ is one the most popular Tibetan websites in Tibet. Four Tibetans from the Normal University of Qinghai Province created it in 2005. The website was largely funded by private donations. The purpose of the website is to promote Tibetan languages in Tibet, and, as they have said in their editorial, “to unify Tibetan languages in three regions and to promote Tibetan in the website.”
Nearly 600,000 people have visited the website since it was created. The website’s main focus is Tibetan language and is divided into several sections, including news about Tibetan language, the government’s policies on minority languages, the government’s regulations on Tibetan languages, essays on languages, standards of Tibetan vocabulary, translations, and introductions Tibetan scholars, books, and dictionaries. There is also information on Tibetan, Chinese and English dictionaries and Tibetan calligraphy.
Most of the news items focus primarily on non-political issues related to Tibetan language.
For example, current headlines on their news board include, “The oil painting pilgrimage to the snow mountain published,” “Tibetan Children in Datong County in Qinghai Province are able to learn Tibetan in their school,” “There are one hundred thousand minority language translators in China,” “Regong opened 2nd Minority Education Conference,” and “The first Farmer’s Minority Library is launched in Regong.”
The policy section includes many regulations and policies about minority languages that were promulgated by the provinces and prefectures in Tibetan regions and by China’s constitution. This is a good section to look to in order to understand how many regulations and policies on Tibetan languages in Tibet were developed and implemented.
Another section focuses specifically on the standardization of Tibetan language, such as unifying Tibetan phonetics in English, Latin and Chinese, as well as Tibetan printing systems and editing processing. There is also a section on computing, which includes the history of computers, typewriting, electronic dictionaries, and an explanation of the difference between CVD and DVD. This section also introduces different kinds of Tibetan fonts and keyboards, downloading methods, and so on.
Other sections cover new vocabularies and different scripts and offer analyses of topics on Tibetan language. Another provides a study guide for the national entrance examination for college. The website also makes some cultural, non-political announcements. For example, the website has a huge Tibetan New Year’s greeting banner and an announcement for the Trace Foundation’s 2007 Best Teachers competition.
Finally, there is a links section for Tibetan blogs. While this is a rich source of news and views from Tibetans of different regions and levels of society, it is also the most sensitive and most monitored section. The editors worry that some of these blogs may violate the national and provincial government’s regulations on websites by discussing topics that are illegal in China.
So far this website does not make any revenues by selling advertisements and selling products.