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Useful Words & Numbers

Last Update: August 28, 2020

Tibetan language and Chinese Mandarin ( or Chinese Pinyin) are the two main languages of Tibet. In urban Tibet, almost all Tibetans speak Chinese. And Tibetan dialects would be more popular at remote villages in Tibet. Nevertheless, even if you have studied or picked up some Chinese in mainland China, it’s worth trying to get a few Tibetan script together. It will be much appreciated by Tibetans you encounter on your Tibet travel.

Tibetan script
An ancient book was written in Tibetan script.

Useful Words

Tibetan language has some tricky sounds for English speakers, it’s hard to master in a short time. However, learning some greetings and daily-used Tibetan words can be fun and helpful when shopping in Tibet or meeting emergencies.

Tashi dele must be the first Tibetan phrases you would hear in Tibet. It means hello, good luck,or may many good things come to you. It’s a common greeting in Tibetan daily life. You would speak Tashi dele to our Tibetan guide or hear it while enjoying your meal or making friends with Tibetans. Here we offer some English to Tibetan translation for some useful words in Chinese Pinyin.

CONVERSATION & ESSENTIALS

EnglishTibetan LanguageMandarin
Hello tashi dele nin hao
Goodbye (when staying) kalee pay zai jian
Goodbye (when leaving) kalee shu zai jian
Thank you. tujay chay xie xie
Sorry. gonda dui bu qi
I want… nga la…go wo xiang…
Good yag-po hao de
What's your name? kerang gi tsenla kare ray? nin jiao shenme mingzi
My name is… - and yours? ngai ming-la…sa, a- ni kerang-gi tsenla kare ray? wo jiao…-nin ne?
Is it OK to take a photo? par gyabna digiy-rebay? zheli keyi paizhao ma?

HEALTH & EMERGENCIES

EnglishTibetan LanguageMandarin
Help! rog nangda! jiu ming a!
Fire! may bahgi! qi huo la!
Thief! kuma du! zhua xiao tou!
Go away! phah gyuk! zou kai!
I'm ill. nga nagidu wo bing le.
It's an emergency. za dagpo ray! jin ji qing kuang!
Call a doctor! amchi kay tongda! qing jiao yisheng!
Call the police! korsoong-wa kay tongda! qing jiao jingcha!

ACCOMMODATION

EnglishTibetan LanguageMandarin
Where's a...? ...kabah yoray? ...zai nar?
Guesthouse dhon khang zhao dai suo
Hotel dru-khang bin guan/jiu dian
Do you have a room available? khang mi yobay? nimen you fangjian ma?
How much is it for one night? tsen chik la katso ray? duo shao qian yi wan?
I need some hot water. ngala chu tsapo go wo xu yao xie re shui

DIRECTIONS

EnglishTibetan LanguageMandarin
Where is the ...? ... kabah yo ray? …zai nar?
I'm looking for ... ... ka-bah yo-may mik tagiyo wo zai zhao…
Right yeba you bian
Left yonba zuo bian
Straight ahead shar gya zhi zou

LANGUAGE DIFFICULTIES

Do you speak English? Do you speak English? ni hui shuo yingyu ma?
Dose anyone here speak English? kayrang injikay shing-gi yobay zher you ren hui shuo yingyu ma?
I don't understand. ha ko masong wo ting de dong.
I understand. ha kosong wo ting bu dong.

SHOPPING & SERVICES

EnglishTibetan LanguageMandarin
I'd like to buy ... nga ... nyondo yo wo xiang mai…
How much is it? gong katso ray? duo shao qian?
It's expensive. gong chenpo resha tai gui le.
I don't like it. loh doh masong wo bu xi huan.
I'll take it. te nyogi yin wo jiu maizhei ge.

TIME & DATES

EnglishTibetan LanguageMandarin
What's the time? chutso katso ray? jidian?
... Hour ... Minute chutso ... karma ... …dian…fen
When? kadu? shen me shi hou?
Now tanda xian zai
Today tering jin tian
Tomorrow sangnyi ming tian
Yesterday kaysa zuo tian

Useful Numbers

Here we provide the telephone numbers for emergency, weather broadcast, and other useful Tibetan numbers that are frequently used by Tibet tourists. Area codes for major cities in Tibet are also available.

General Numbers:

Police: 110
Fire: 119
Ambulance: 120
Weather Forecast: 12121
Local Phone Number Inquiry: 114
Consumer Complain: 12315

Tibet Hospital:

People's Hospital of TAR: 0891-6332462
Lhasa People's Hospital Emergency Center: 0891-98120

Tibet Transportation:

Gonggar Airport Information Desk: 0891-6182220
Bus Station of TAR: 0891-6824469

Tibet Phone Area Code:

Lhasa: 0891
Shigatse (Xigaze): 0892
Lhoka (Shannan): 0893
Nyingchi: 0894
Chamdo (Qamdo): 0895
Nagqu (Nakchu): 0896
Ngari (Ali): 0897

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