Tibetan is the language chiefly used in Tibet. Linguists hold different opinions on its origin, but most believe that it was created according to Sanskrit in the early 7th century under the rule of Songtsen Gampo, a king of Tibet who married a princess of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and introduced Buddhism into Tibet. In China, the number of papers and documents recorded in Tibetan is only second to that of those written in Chinese. These documents contribute enormously to the record of Tibetan history and the spread of Tibetan culture. Tibetan falls into the Tibetan-Berman group of the Sino-Tibetan Language Family. As a language with alphabetic writing, it consists of 30 consonants and 4 vowels. Like many other languages, it has a large vocabulary and a well-formed system of word classes, senses, grammar, sentence structures, and tones. Nevertheless, with centuries of development, spoken Tibetan is not totally consistent with written Tibetan.
Tibetan is a language abundant in dialects. Some of these dialects are similar, but some are so different that a Tibetan speaker may be confused when speaking with a Tibetan from another region. To reduce the difficulty in communication, some scholars are calling for the standardization of Tibetan. They are making efforts toward this purpose and have gained a series of achievements
As in all languages, Tibetan never stops developing. It assimilates new words continuously and adds new expressions from other languages, becoming more and more vivid and expressive. Now it is not only used by 90% of Tibetans but is also adopted by many other ethnic groups. Today there are newspapers, magazines, and even websites in Tibetan. In recent years, scientists have also developed a kind of typing software to input Tibetan into the computer. This helps greatly with the spread of the language
In addition to Tibetan, there are many other languages in Tibet. In fact, in some places in Tibet, many local people can speak more than one language. Besides Tibetan, they also know Mandarin, English, or Nepali. There is not too much difficulty for tourists to understand them or to be understood.