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Teacher develops China's first Tibetan-Chinese-English electronic dictionary

January 17, 2009

LHASA, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- The words "computer" and "energy conservation" were not in the lexicon of some Tibetan farmers far away from Lhasa until a teacher developed a handheld electronic translator.
With one keyboard, users can switch between Tibetan, Chinese and English languages.
"The dictionary is popular among people learning Tibetan and Tibetan farmers in pastoral areas," said Losang, the device's developer.
Losang, who also teaches at Tibet University, used 35 dictionaries to compile the translator's vocabulary. It now contains more than 350,000 words which can be read and even heard from a speaker on the device.
"I hope the dictionary can help popularize the Tibetan language and further communication between the Tibetan people and the outside world," Losang said.
The device has been sold on the Chinese market since November 2008. Already, its impact can be seen.
"With the help of the dictionary, some farmers far away from Lhasa understand the phrases of modern technologies and government reports, such as 'computer' and 'energy conservation and emission reduction'."
The hand-held device, the first of its kind, does more than just translations. It also provides users with information about Tibetan medicine, Tibetan Buddhism and folklore.
As one of the oldest ethnic languages in China, The Tibetan language is more than 1,300 years old. The first Tibetan language dictionary came out in 1949, engraved on wood.
Editor: Zhang Xiang
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