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ΤΙ Β Ε Τ Α Ν.
FOR SPECIMEN OF THE TIBETAN CHARACTER, SER PLATE 2., PAGE 20.
1.-EXTENT AND STATISTICS. The vast and mountainous tract of country in which the Tibetan language is spoken lies directly north of Hindoostan, from which it is separated by the Himalaya Mountains. Its eastern frontiers border on China; to the west, it extends as far as Cashmere, Afghanistan, and Turkestan, while on the north it is bounded by the countries of the Turks and the Mongols. It is for the most part comprised within the Chinese empire; the western parts, however, appear to be independent of China. On account of the extreme jealousy of the Chinese government, Tibet has hitherto been almost inaccessible to foreigners; our knowledge of the country is in consequence extremely limited, and no correct estimate appears to have been ever formed of its area or population.'
II.-CHARACTERISTICS OF THE LANGUAGE. Tibetan is the language of “ Tibet,” (in Chinese Tih-Bot, “ The land of Bod," the native name for “ Tibet.") It is sometimes called Bhotanta or Bootan, because spoken in the country of Bootan as well as in the adjacent regions of Tibet; it is supposed by some to be a link between the Monosyllabic, Indo-germanic and Shemitic classes. In the Mithridates, Adelung unhesitatingly ranks it among the monosyllabic languages, but Remusat does not altogether assent to this classification, for while he admits that there are many monosyllabic sounds in Tibetan, he contends that there are likewise compound and polysyllabic words. Some of the very fundamental words of the language, as well as almost all the derivative terms, are of undoubted Chinese origin, and in many cases, the original Chinese vocables seem to have undergone but slight alteration. In the construction, too, of sentences, the Tibetans appear to follow the Chinese idiom. If compared with English, the words of a Tibetan phrase will be found to stand exactly in a reverse order. The sentence, “in a book seen by me,” would be rendered in Tibetan (if translated word for word) in the following manner: me by seen book a in." The articles both definite and indefinite always follow the noun, the nouns in general precede their attributes, and the verb, for the most part, stands at the end of a sentence. The several cases of a declension are formed by suffixes, and the place of prepositions in English is supplied by postpositions. The language, which is as it were twofold, as spoken to superiors or to inferiors, is rendered difficult not only by prefixes to verbs, which change in the different tenses, in a manner analogous to the change in initials in the Celtic languages, but also by the numerous impersonal verbal expressions; for the general mode of conjugating verbs is by prefixing or affixing certain letters to a kind of past participle of the verb, which are, however, most frequently silent: but the grammatical forms are in general few, vague, and seldom used. The alphabetical character is evidently borrowed from the Devanagari, and like it, is written from left to right. There are thirty consonants divided into eight classes, and four vowel signs. There are likewise compound consonants, representing sounds not strictly occurring in their alphabet. Although a single letter often constitutes an entire word, yet the orthographical system is, for the most part, clumsy and burdensome; for initial, quiescent, subscript, and final letters are introduced upon every possible occasion; and though completely disregarded in the colloquial articu
1 An elaborate account of the geography of Western Tibet, by Captain Strachey, of the Bengal army, is found in the twenty-third volume of the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society (London, 1853). The Eastern portion of Tibet was visited, in 1846–7, by Huc and Gabet, two enterprising French missionaries, the narrative of whose journey has been published. There exists also a description of Tibet in Russian, translated from the Chinese, and published at St. Petersburgh in 1828 : 8v0.—without name of Author.
Copied from Bodonio "Oratio Dominica in CAV Linguas: Parmae 1806.
from the coapele printed for the BSF Bible Society, London 4 to 1829
ܒܟܵܫܝܼܬ݂ ܐܝ̣ܬܵܘܗܝ ܗ݇ܘ̣ܬܵܐ ܚܸܠܬܼܵܐ. ܘܗܘܼ ܚܸܠܬܼܵܐ
ܒܲܪܢܵܫܵܐ ܐܸܬ̣ܕ݁ܪ ܡ̣ܢ ܐܸܠܵܗܵܐ: ܫܡܸܗ ܝܘܼܚܲܢܵܢ.
ܘ̣ܠܝܵܫܢܞܝܡܸܢ ܒܐܝܼܕܸܗ. ܠܐ ܗ̄ܘ݂ ܗ̄ܘܹܐ ܢܘ̣ܗܟܵܐ.
ܓܸܝܪ ܢܘ̣ܗܪܵܐ ܢܸܫܪܵܝܵܐ: ܕܡܲܢܞܪܠܟܠܢܵܫܟܼܐܵܬܸܐ
ܠܥܲܠܡܵܐ. ܒܢܿܠܡܵܐ ܗܸܘܸܐ. ܘܥܿܠܡܵܐ ܒܐܝܼܕܸܗ
ܘܕܝܼܠܸܗ ܠܵܐ ܩܲܒܠܘܼܗܝ.
Pag 20 Plate 11
Engraved for 'THE BIBLE
OF EVERY LAND
Samuel Bagster & Sons, Paternoster Row, London,
܀ ܢܘܙܘܬܐ '
lation of words, they add materially to the labour of reading and writing the language, which is harsh and heavy when spoken.
III.-VERSION OF THE SCRIPTURES IN THIS LANGUAGE.
An attempt was made by the Church Missionary Society, in 1816, to furnish the inhabitants of this vast region with a version of the Scriptures in their own language, but unhappily this important undertaking ultimately proved abortive. Mr. Schræter, a missionary of that Society, after having devoted himself with much stedfastness and success to the acquisition of the language, was cut off by death at the very moment that he was about to begin the translation of the Scriptures. Mr. Le Roche, another missionary of the same Society, was appointed to succeed him, but the climate of India proved fatal likewise to his constitution, and he died on his return homewards. Major Latter, who had been chiefly instrumental in originating the mission, died in 1822, and since that event no further attempts towards the preparation of a Tibetan version appear to have been made. A Dictionary, however, Tibetan and Italian, executed by some Roman missionary, and collected and arranged by Schræter, has been printed at Serampore, with a fount of types cast for the purpose. It consists of nearly 500 quarto pages, and was completed in 1826. Since that time Tibetan has been more cultivated in Europe, through the excellent Grammar and Dictionary of Csoma de Körö, together with his other works, and those of Dr. Schmidt, Fouceaux, Wüllner, etc.
Dr. Hæberlin, an agent of the British and Foreign Bible Society, after journeying through Tibet in 1843, again enforced the necessity of a Tibetan version upon the attention of Christian societies; and his suggestions appear to have been met by the American missionaries, who, it is said, have now this work in contemplation. Dr. Hæberlin states as the result of his observations and inquiries in Tibet, that, “as far as the Tibetan language is spoken, and the Lamas have any sway, so far literature exercises an important influence on the people. If there were a version of the Scriptures,” continues he, “ in the Tibetan language, thousands of volumes might annually be sent into the interior of Asia from five different points, along the immense frontier of British India; and the millions of people speaking that language, and inquisitive as the Chinese are, might thus have a profitable opportunity of being made acquainted with the things that belong to their salvation.”
FOR SPECIMEN OF THE LEPCHA VERSION, SEE PLATE 10, PAGE 115.
The Lepcha language is spoken by the Lepchas, the undoubted aborigines of the mountain forests near Darjeeling. The district they occupy is perhaps about 120 miles in length, from N.W. to S.E., extending along the south face of the Himalaya Mountains, until its limits become undefined in the mountains of Bootan. Little is known in Europe concerning the Lepcha dialect, but recent researches have shown it to be allied to, if not derived from, the Tibetan language. The Rev. W. Start, of Darjeeling, has commenced a translation of the New Testament in this language, and has recently caused 1000 copies of the Gospel of St. Matthew to be printed at his own expense.
CLASS II.-SHEMITIC LANGUAGES.
II E B B E W.
SPECIMEN, FROM EXODUS, CHAP. XX. v. 1 to 17.
ס יאָנכִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתִיךְ וַיְדַבֵּר אֱלֹהִים אֶת כָּל־הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה לֵאמֹר:
ו מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם מִבֵּית עֲבָדִים: לֹא-יִהְיֶה לְךְ אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים עַל־פָּנָי: • לֹא־תַעֲשֶׂה לְךָ פֶסֶל וְכָל־תְּמוּנָה אֲשֶׁר בַּשָּׁמַיִם וּמִמַּעַל וָאֲשֶׁר בָּאָרֶץ מִתָּחַת וַאֲשֶׁר בַּמַיִם וּמִתַּחַת לָאָרֶץ: לֹא־
* הִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה לָהֶם וְלֹא תָעָבְדֶשׁ כִּי אָנֹכִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֵל קַנָּא פֹּקֵד עֲוֹן אָבֹת עַל־בָּנִים
ס * וְעֶשֶׂה חֶסֶד לַאֲלָפִים לְאֹהֲבֵי וּלְשֹׁמְרֵי מִצְוֹתָי : עַל־שְׁלֵשִׁים וְעַל־רְבֵּעִים לְשְׂנְאֶי : תִשָּׂא אֶת־שֵׁם־יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לַשָּׁוְא כִּי לֹא יְנַקֶה יְהוָה אֵת אֲשֶׁר־יִשָׂא אֶת־שְׁמָוֹ לִשֶׁוֶא :
* זָכוֹר אֶת־יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת לְקַדְּשׁוֹ: שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים תַּעֲבֹד וְעָשִׂיתָ כָּל־מְלַאכְתָּךְ : 19 וְיוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי שַׁבָּת לַיהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לֹא־תַעֲשֶׂה כָל־מְלָאכָה אַתָּה ו וּבִנְךְ־וּבְתָּךְ עַבְדְּךָ וַאֲמָתְךָ וּבְהֶמְתֵּךְ וְנֶרֶךְ אֲשֶׁר בִּשְׁעָרִיךְ : 11 כִּי שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים עָשָׂה יְהוָה אֶת־הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֶת־הָאָרֶץ אֶת־הַיָּם וְאֶת־כָּל־ אֲשֶׁר־בָּם וַיָּנָה בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי עַל־כֵּן בֵּרַךְ יְהוָה אֶת־יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת וַיְקַדְּשֵׁהוּ : ס 18 כַּבֵּד אֶת־אָבִיךְ וְאֶת־אָמַךְ לְמַעַן יַאֲרִכוּן יָמֶיךְ עַל הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר־יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לָךְ: ס 13 לֹא תִּרְצָחַ :
וּ לֹא לֹא־תַעֲנֶה בְרֵעֲךָ עַד שֶׁקֶר : ܪܐ ܕܼ ܕܼܿܕܼܕܵܒ: : לֹא תִּנְשֶׁף : תַחְמָד בֵּית רֵעֶךָ ס לֹא־תַחְמֹד אֵשֶׁת רֵעֶךָ וְעַבְדּוֹ וַאֲמָתוֹ וְשׁוֹרוֹ וָחֲמֹרוֹ וְכָל אֲשֶׁר לְרֵעֶךָ :
Tus Specimen portion exhibits the twofold use of the Hebrew accents. The one series is employed when the Decalogue is read by itself, and the other series is used when these verses are read as a continuation of the preceding section of the Pentateuch. The accents are also used in this twofold manner in Deuteronomy, where the Decalogue is repeated.
The Hebrew language is one of the three principal branches of the Shemitic languages, which have been divided thus:
1. To the northward, the Aramean, which comprehends the West-Aramæan, or “Syriac," and the East-Aramean, or “Chaldee.” 2. To the westward, the Canaanitish, or Hebrew, in Palestine and Phænicia; of which the Punic is an offshoot. 3. To the southward, the Arabic; to which also partly belongs the Ethiopic. The Samaritan is a mixed dialect, it consists of Aramæan, Hebrew, and many foreign terms.
As regards the name “ Hebrew," some, like St. Augustine, etc., derive it from Abraham, but
beyond," i.e., the Euphrates; Abraham being a native of * עבר wrongly. Others, again, derive it from