Seminar on Tibet's Minority Languages

2015-05-26

On Tuesday, 26 May 2015, the Hugo Valentin Centre hosted a seminar on Tibet's minority languages, supported by funding from the Forum for South Asian Studies. 

Dr. Gerald Roche, whose research focuses on this topic, provided insights into the linguistic diversity of Tibet, based on data he has compiled over the past year and a half. According to his survey of contemporary linguistic literature, there may be as many as 52 languages spoken in Tibet – not including Tibetan. Many of these languages are presently endangered to varying degrees. Dr. Roche's presentation was followed by a talk from Dorji Tashi, a Tibetan from China who speaks one of the region's minority languages – Manegacha. Dorji Tashi gave his personal perspectives on some of the challenges facing speakers of the language today, including Manegacha's exclusion from most public domains, and discrimination from surrounding Tibetan populations. A lively discussion on the issue of Tibet's linguistic diversity followed, with audience members representing not only various institutes within the university, but also Sweden's Tibetan community.