Tibetan: unknown text

53RG10

New Member
Italian-Italy
Hello everybody,

I found this message in a pendant and I was wondering what it could mean.
I could not find any information about this language.

Here is the scan

Thanks for your time :)
 

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  • anthox

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    This is interesting. To me it superficially resembles Tibetan (if read left-to-right with red line on top), though I'm quite certain it's not. I suspect it reads right-to-left, with diacritic marks on top, and is probably syllabic, owing to the infrequent repetition of signs (though some occur right next to one another).

    OP, do you have any other context about the pendant (what it depicts, where you got it, etc.), and is there anything else on the sheet this text is printed on?
     

    anthox

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    What led me away from the idea that it is Tibetan, is the lack of "tshegs" separating the syllables, and the apparent directive to read the script right-to-left. However, I'm only superficially familiar with printed Tibetan scripts, and this appears handwritten. Looking closer at some of the letters, I see how some of them correspond to the standard printed form. We can also note the 'OIO' pattern which appears to be some kind of punctuation marker, such as is visible in the attached photo of Sanskrit rendered in Tibetan script. Possibly the text represents a mantra. Unfortunately, I can't read it.
     

    Attachments

    53RG10

    New Member
    Italian-Italy
    Thank you for your answers!
    I can confirm it is Tibetan; I forgot to mention that on the other side of this paper there are 5 stripes: violet, white, red, green and yellow, which are the colors of the Tibet flag.
    By the way, it looks like it is printed and not handwritten or if it is, then this should be a copy.

    There is also a symbol on the pendant, a bit difficult to see, I will take a picture soon and I will upload it.
    I will let you know if I discover anything new about it.

    Thank you again for your help!

    Happy New Year!

    P.S. I found the pendant on the sidewalk.
     

    SheilaS

    New Member
    English, Cantonese
    It's likely a Sanskrit mantra written in Tibetan script (hence all the crazy stacking to represent Sanskrit sounds) but I'm having a hard time figuring out which mantra. It starts (possibly) with "Om thi" or "om thin."
     

    Dib

    Senior Member
    Bengali (India)
    It's Tibetan script all right. But, I fail to make out any Sanskrit word in there. There are even weird conjuncts (from the Sanskrit point of view) like "th with subscript h" and "th-b-k-r". Is it all just gibberish in a pretend-Sanskrit orthography?
     

    SheilaS

    New Member
    English, Cantonese
    I definitely wondered about the gibberish possibility! Although it starts with a proper "Om," and is in reproduced handwriting (as opposed to computer generated font). The typeset (or handset depending on your definition lol) and ink color look very much like something that would have come out of India or Nepal, if not Tibet itself. I have, for the first half:

    Om thunk'a thhubba' bba' thbarth'a bbaha tha tṛṣā thha bbaod thurga thha bb[X] tsge med.

    In several spot, (for example the "me" of "med") is actually the Sanskrit rather than Tibetan character - very baffling. "Tṛṣā" or "strong desire" is certainly a perfectly good Skt word, and the "med" on the end (oddly with a Sanskrit "m") is certainly a good Tibetan word and in the proper place for its meaning, "not."

    The fact that the text is repeated twice leans toward mantra, as do the liturgical punctuation marks (like the small circle over small horizontal line over small circle).

    I almost wonder if it's code - someone trying to sneak out a message from Tibet disguised as a mantra. the "bbaod" jumped out at me; "bod" is Tibet, and the writer could be shrouding "bod" in some extra letters to make it harder for Chinese censors.

    Reminds me a bit of English children's code that renders (for example) "dog" as "dod-o-gog."

    Continuing to work on this!
     

    Dib

    Senior Member
    Bengali (India)
    I mostly agree with your reading except at two places.

    1) Instead of tṛṣā, I read ṭ.hya-śa
    2) Instead of bbaod, I read gbo-ta (which may still be a crypto-spelling for bot/bod = Tibet)

    I doubt, it provides any insight into the nature of the "text" though. Like you, I also suspect, it is either gibberish or a code.
     
    Last edited:

    SheilaS

    New Member
    English, Cantonese
    Very much appreciate your corrections! I suppose the far more boring possibility is that a Chinese trinket-maker simply wanted to sell something and was trying his hand at Tibetan calligraphy, lol. But...the proper use of the "om" followed by the proper punctuation (shad), the gter sprinkled in, etc., has me wondering. I realize the text is MUCH longer than I originally thought - hadn't realized the scroll bar could keep going! Will keep transcribing, and very much appreciate all observations.
     

    SheilaS

    New Member
    English, Cantonese
    Thank you for your answers!
    I can confirm it is Tibetan; I forgot to mention that on the other side of this paper there are 5 stripes: violet, white, red, green and yellow, which are the colors of the Tibet flag.
    By the way, it looks like it is printed and not handwritten or if it is, then this should be a copy.

    There is also a symbol on the pendant, a bit difficult to see, I will take a picture soon and I will upload it.
    I will let you know if I discover anything new about it.

    Thank you again for your help!

    Happy New Year!

    P.S. I found the pendant on the sidewalk.
    Hello 53RG10! Do you have a picture of the pendant yet, by chance? Thanks so much!
     
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