Note on Transliteration
In recognition of the need to standardize the phonetic rendering of the
Tibetan language and in keeping with conventions of recent publications,
we have primarily employed the Simplified Phonetic Transcription of Stan-
dard Tibetan of the Tibetan and Himalayan Digital Library (THDL), created
by David Germano and Nicolas Tournadre. While we have adhered to the pre-
scription of the THDL Simplified Phonetics system to “follow the pronuncia-
tion of the Central Tibetan dialect based upon the Tibetan spoken in Lhasa,”
Amdo pronounciations are provided for the many contemporary authors
from Tibetan areas in Qinghai and Gansu provinces of the PRC, where the
Amdo dialect is spoken. These pronunciations can be found in parentheses
following the standard phonetic spelling in appendix 1, “Glossary of Tibetan
Spellings.” We have also strayed from the THDL Simplified Phonetics system
in instances where Tibetan writers outside Tibet, especially those writing in
English, use a particular rendering of their name in the English language.
This applies to our Tibetan contributors as well, who are widely published in
English. Such names are asterisked in the appendix.
Readers may also refer to appendix 1 for the correct Tibetan spellings ren-
dered according to the Wylie system, introduced by Turrel Wylie as “A Stan-
dard System of Tibetan Transcription” in the Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies
22 (1959). The Wylie transliteration system has also been used in the text and
notes for the purpose of transcribing Tibetan titles, terms, and publishing
Chinese names are rendered in the pinyin system of romanization. In the
rare case of references to pre-1949 China, the reader should keep in mind
that we have used the pinyin system anachronistically―deciding to err in the
favor of consistency. We have also chosen to render the names of most Sino-
phone writers, even if they are of Tibetan ethnicity, in Chinese pinyin, with
the Tibetan name in parentheses at first mention. This will enable readers
to more easily locate their works. Appendix 2, “Glossary of Chinese Charac-
ters,” provides the Chinese characters for authors, place names, and technical
terms found in the text.
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