“How to say ‘coat’ in Tibetan” I googled with my phone brightness turned all the way down. The results were few, and the frustration quickly turned to shame that I had forgotten in the first place, so I just sat quietly in my grandmother’s company, gesturing that I liked her new coat.
‘How Do You Say That Again?’: The Grief & Guilt Of Language Loss For Second-Gen Immigrants
Tibetan is a dying language. Our claim to fame is that Ewoks from George Lucas’ Star Wars spoke a version of Tibetan, with some scenes even depicting perfectly understandable sentences. Well, to those who understand Tibetan in the first place.
Roughly just six million people worldwide speak the language today, and while that sounds like a lot, compare it to the 85 million who speak Italian, or the 15 million who are adept at Swahili. One of those six million humans is my grandmother. Having fled Tibet in the 50s, she eventually landed in Australia some thirty years ago, and we’ve always been close. Continue Reading