The Lingo Xplorer-52 pocket translator helps English-speaking people communicate with Tibetan-speaking people; for each of its languages, it contains 20,000 words and 2,000 phrases.
As with Tibet itself, Tibetan language is surrounded by controversy. The controversy is in the area of spoken language, because there are actually several. The are called Tibetan due to politics and geography, not due to linguistics. And the linguistics vary so much among these languages that speakers of one Tibetan language usually cannot understand speakers of another.
All is not lost for the 6 million or so Tibetan speakers, however. They can communicate using the classical written form (and so can you, with this Lingo AMB-40 pocket translator). Buddhist literature uses this written form, and thus it's a major regional literary language. What region might that be? Not just Tibet, but also nearby areas such as Baltistan, Bhutan, Ladakh, Nepal, and Sikkim.
When you start reading about it, you find interesting details in the sordid story of the Chinese military invasion of Tibet or the exile of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Contrary to what the Chinese government says, China recognized Tibet as a sovereign nation hundreds of years ago and not very long before the invasion. The reason for the invasion has nothing at all to do with the claims the Chinese government is making, but it has everything to do with geopolitics. In short, Chinese military planners need a controlled buffer zone on that southwestern edge of China.
Since HH speaks English, you aren't likely to need a Tibetan translation device if you are so fortunate as to have an audience with HH. But you may have other reasons to translate Tibetan. For example, you travel to Lasa or you visit the exiled Tibetan people in India. In such a case, you might encounter some people who speak English as a second language. Some tips on communicating with Tibetan speakers (can also help with English speakers in the USA!):
Clearly annunciate your ending consonants. Midwesterners in the USA tend not to do this.
Use short words. They are easier to understand.
Speak a bit more slowly than usual. Your Tibetan counterpart can probably understand your rapid speech, but the opposite may not be true. By speaking more slowly and deliberately, you help slow the other person down so you can understand.
If you don't quite understand, ask the other person to repeat. But don't shout. The problem isn't deafness, but a difference in articulation.
Use the correct date format. In the USA, many people use a date format that is unclear to the rest of the world. Rather than say "3-9-2014," say "09 MAR 2014" or "03 SEP 2014" depending on which date you actually mean.
Xplorer 52 Quick Look
The 52-Language Xplorer translates words in all directions for: AArabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Burmese, Cambodian, Cantonese, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Laos, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay, Malayalam, Mongolian, Nepali, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Shanghai Hua, Singhalese, Slovakian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Thai, Tibetan, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese. It has foreign language characters; phonetics, voice output, over 1 million words and over 100,000 phrases.
The typical way it's used:
You look up a word or a phrase.
You use the phonetic results to pronounce the word or phrase to the other person
Alternatively, the other person can use the device to answer you. Remember, it translates in any direction. The controls are in English, so you may need to show the other person how to use it. This is pretty easy to do.
Translates Over 1 Million Words
100,000 Useful and Popular Phrases
New Oxford American Dictionary
8 Currency Conversions
8 Metric Conversions
Local Time 12/24 Hour Format
Voice / Memo Recorder
World Time in 360 Cities
8 Travel Games:
Soduko, Kakuro, Decoder, Mines, Number Slide,
Totem Pole, 24, Number Puzzle.