TBRC Phonetic Tulku Titles

We are pleased to announce the first in a series of phonetic name imports into the TBRC Library. This first import is of over 1700 new phonetic Tulku Titles, corresponding to Person records. These titles were entered and normalized as part of our ongoing research on Tibetan Tulku Lines and Networks. A list of tulku successions in the library can be found here, Tulku Lines.

These new phonetic titles now enable TBRC users to search the Tulku Titles in the romanized phonetic name and retrieve results, bypassing the need to enter the titles in Wylie transliteration or Tibetan script. An example of this is a search for the phonetic title, “Tai Situ” brings 12 results: Tai Situ 01 to 12. You can search for titles including, “Dalai Lama” or “Karmapa” or “Panchen Lama.” The TBRC convention is to add the numeric after the phonetic. An example would be, “Karmapa 01” and not, “First Karmapa.”

The guiding principles that determine the TBRC phonetic are based on the understanding that the primary purpose of a phonetic rendering is to capture common usages and intuitive spellings for native English and European language readers. A secondary use is to increase the search-ability of such terms in online resources. Accordingly, you will find the phonetic names in TBRC to be based on popular usage to the extent possible. With the release of more records, we will dedicate a future post to the TBRC phonetic principles in practice.

These new Tulku Titles and other name fields will eventually be indexed by the Google bot, and show-up in Google searches. See the post, Search Engine Optimization for TBRC Content.

This project takes initial steps towards making the TBRC Tibetan language library more globally accessible. Further iterations of this project will include:

  • An import of 5,000+ phoneticized Place names; enabling searches such as, “Potala” or “Shechen Monastery”
  • An import of phoneticized Person primary names and primary titles, based on popular authors; enabling searches such as “Jigme Lingpa” or “Gampopa”
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