In the first edition this grammar was published as the first part of a "Manual of Colloquial Tibetan," the second part consisting of an English-Tibetan Colloquial Dictionary. In this second edition both parts have not only been revised, but have also been considerably enlarged. The map accompanying this edition- the latest from the Indian Survey Department-is bulkier than the royal Geographical Society's map of 1904, with which the first edition was furnished. It has therefore been found best to bring out the Grammar and Dictionary as separate books. The map accompanies the Grammar.
The Tibetan words have been romanized throughout the Grammar for the convenience of those who lack either the time or the inclination to master the Tibetan character. Many additions have been made especially in the chapters on the Verb and in the Conversational Exercises which latter number thirty two as against eighteen in the first edition.
As Political Officer in Sikkim I was in Charge of the diplomatic relations of the British Government with Tibet and Bhutan also. Much material for framing rules and illustrations has therefore been gleaned from my Tibetan friends of all classes High Priests Cabinet Ministers civil and military officers shop-keepers mule drivers peasants etc., etc. during my fifteen years' service in Tibet and on the borderland. Among all these my thanks are especially due to Rai Sahib Kusho Pahlese of the noble family of Pahla in Lhasa. And Mr. David Macdonald British Trade Agent at Yatung Tibet has again rendered valuable assistance.
In addition to the grammars formerly consulted I have examined Mr. Hannah's careful work, which was not published until some years after my first edition had seen the light. My acknowledgment are also due to the Government of Bengal, who have defrayed the cost of this edition also in return for the copyright which I have made over to them.
This Grammar has been adopted as one of the text- book in the High Proficiency examination in the Tibetan language held under the auspices of the Government of India.
In conclusion I must express my pleasure at finding that a second edition was called for owing to the first edition being sold out,- a rare occurrence among books on Tibet,- for it may be hoped that some have found it useful.
Back of the Book
Sir Charles Bell's Grammar serves as a practical introduction to what has become one of the more important languages in the Sino-Tibetan group now to be found in Nepal, Sikkim and areas of North Eastern India (especially with the influx of Tibetan refugees following the Chinese repressions in Tibet). The book will serve as a very useable, practical introduction for non- linguists, being one of the few comprehensive grammars of the realms of Tibetan literature, art, philosophy and religion, making it easier for the reader to explore and absorb the vast knowledge that lies hidden there.
Sir Charles Bell the foremost authority of his times on Tibet and its culture was at one time British resident in Lhasa. Other books by the author include the Religion of Tibet the People of Tibet Past and Present and Portrait of a Dalai Lama.
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