Preserve the precious cultural heritage! Tibetan Initiative is an effort since 2019 to improve the supports for Tibetan language and culture in the digital worlds. Started at Google, it tries to connects various companies and organizations to make it helpful at a larger scale.
Importance of Tibetan Tradition
The heritage of Tibetan civilization is far from fully recognized by the modern world. Classical Tibetan literature, as well as covering a range of subjects of traditional knowledge such as medicine, craftsmanship, mathematics, poetry, is a vast repository of Buddhist teachings, which are often viewed as "the science of mind." More complete in its scope and range of approaches than any of the other great collections of Buddhist writing, Tibetan literature’s rich explorations of psychology, spirituality, and human experience continue to serve as a consistent source of inspiration to Western philosophy and psychology, as well as other modern sciences.
Just as the civilization of the Arabic world preserved for centuries the ancient knowledge from Greece, later re-introducing it to Europe to become the indispensable foundation of modern sciences, the learning, wisdom, and accumulated experience of the great classical period of Buddhist culture in India was transplanted into Tibet not long before its demise in India, and for almost a thousand years was preserved, investigated, debated, extended, and above all experientially put into practice, in Tibet.
Tibetan literature and its living oral tradition, carefully nurtured over the centuries in virtual isolation from the rest of the world, has the potential to influence positively some of the destructive tendencies of the modern, Western world, as well as to open new perspectives on some areas of knowledge that remain opaque to contemporary scientific investigation.
Besides classics, the usage of contemporary Tibetan language is growing over the time. There are more and more Tibetan books and movies published. Tibetan community is also growing in its internet usage.
Many technologies and processes being developed here to support Tibetan can be easily adapted to help other languages and knowledge traditions. For example, most of the Computer-assisted Translation (CAT) softwares holds assumptions based on the Latin script. We make them support Tibetan scripts, and languages using other non-Latin scripts will also be benefited.