I. The Spoken and Written Tibetan Language Is Widely
Studied and Used, and Being Developed
The Tibet Autonomous Region is an area where Tibetan people live in concentrated communities, constituting more than 95 percent of the population of the region. In Tibet, the spoken and written Tibetan language is universally used. In accordance with the stipulations of the Constitution and the Law on Ethnic Regional Autonomy, the Tibet Autonomous Region has paid great attention to maintaining and safeguarding the Tibetan people's right to study, use and develop their spoken and written language. It promulgated and implemented Some Provisions of the Tibet Autonomous Region on the Study, Use and Development of the Spoken and Written Tibetan Language (Draft) and the Rules for the Implementation of "Some Provisions of the Tibet Autonomous Region on the Study, Use and Development of the Spoken and Written Tibetan Language (Draft)" in 1987 and 1988, respectively. These two laws put the work related to the study, use and development of the spoken and written Tibetan language on a legal track. The governments at all levels in Tibet have implemented the provisions on protecting and developing the spoken and written Tibetan language according to law, safeguarding the Tibetan people's right to study and use their native language, and making the language develop continuously together with the development of politics, economy and culture.
The spoken and written Tibetan language is widely used in every aspect of social life in Tibet. Since the Democratic Reform in 1959, the Tibetan and Han Chinese languages have been used for all the resolutions, laws and regulations adopted by the People's Congress of the Tibet Autonomous Region, and the official documents and proclamations issued by the governments at all levels or their departments in Tibet. In judicial proceedings, the spoken and written Tibetan language is used in trying cases and in the relevant legal documents if the litigant participants are Tibetans. Both the Tibetan and Han Chinese languages are used for all work unitsĄŻ official seals, certificates, forms, stationery, and signs, and signboards of institutions, factories, mines, schools, railway stations, airports, stores and shops, hotels, cinemas, theaters and gymnasiums, street and road signs, and traffic signs
At present, the radio and TV stations in the Tibet Autonomous Region broadcast in the Tibetan language for over 20 hours per day. On October 1, 1999, the Tibet Television started its satellite broadcasting channel, which broadcast telefilms and other programs in the Tibetan language every day. The cinema is oriented toward grassroots and farming and pastoral areas, guaranteeing that at least 25 movies newly dubbed into the Tibetan language are shown in the various places in Tibet every year. Meanwhile, the publication of Tibetan books, magazines and newspapers has made rapid progress. Since 1989 alone, 441 titles of books have been published in the Tibetan language, of which many have won domestic or international awards. There are altogether 14 magazines and 10 newspapers published in the Tibetan language in Tibet. The Tibetan edition of the Tibet Daily is published every day, with a large number of articles and news dispatches written or edited in the Tibetan language directly. The newspaper has said good-bye to sort typesetting by investing a considerable sum of money to establish Tibetan computer editing and typesetting systems. Both Tibet Science and Technology News and Tibet Scientific and Technological Information have their Tibetan-language editions, which are very popular among the farmers and herdsmen. All the art troupes in Tibet create programs and perform in the Tibetan language.
The study of the Tibetan language is protected by law. Educational institutions in the Tibet Autonomous Region universally practice a bilingual educational system whereby teaching is done principally in the Tibetan language. Furthermore, the teaching and reference materials for all the courses from primary school to senior high school have been edited in or translated into the Tibetan language.
As the times progress and society advances, the Tibetan language develops in tandem, with its vocabulary and grammar continuously enriched. Much headway has been made in the normalization of technical terms and standardization of information technology in the Tibetan language. The encoded Tibetan language has been formally recognized by the Chinese state and international standards, and the promotion of the Tibetan language as an Internet communication tool is proceeding apace.