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Tibetan-language phones welcomed

[ 2012-08-14 11:09] 来源:中国日报网     字号 [] [] []  
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A new smartphone with a Tibetan-language operating system has become popular in the Tibet autonomous region since its launch in June.

The cell phone, made by China Telecom Tibet branch, is the first smartphone to feature the Tibetan language. It has received an enthusiastic reception as increasing numbers of Tibetan people start using cell phones and the Internet.

By the end of 2010, the Tibet autonomous region had a total of 1.2 million Internet users, nearly half the total population of the region.

About 90 percent of them access the Internet through cell phones. The remaining 10 percent use broadband services.

Users are able to switch between Tibetan and Chinese systems at ease with the new phone, said a spokesman from China Telecom Tibet branch.

Since the phone was introduced in villages and monasteries in Damxung and Maizhokunggar - counties located near Lhasa, the capital of Tibet - about 700 cell phones have been sold.

The inclusion of Tibetan, the most widely used language in the autonomous region, is set to allow more people to use modern technology.

"I can use my most familiar language to text friends. It brings us much joy that we can better express ourselves. I'm sure I'll find more friends," said Yongdhong Lhatso, a girl from the Qiangtang Grassland in northern Tibet.

"Tibetan-language phones will popularize the use of the Tibetan language through technology. I appreciate this," said Tashi Dawa, a senior middle school teacher from Xigaze prefecture.

Herdsmen, farmers and monks with poor Chinese are the main beneficiaries of the move, because most of them find it difficult to use Chinese or English on their cell phones.

"It will encourage Tibetans to use their own language, and is a great contribution to Tibetan-language preservation," said Sonam Dorji, a Tibetan monk from Qamdo in eastern Tibet.

Before this brand of cell phone, other mobile service providers had made efforts to introduce the Tibetan language on cell phones.

An iPhone application allows users to use Tibetan but its capabilities are limited and the iPhone is too expensive for many people in remote areas.


1. By the end of 2010 how many internet users did Tibet autonomous region have?

2. 90 percent of Internet access is used by what device?

3. When was the new smartphone Tibetan-language operating system launched?


1. 1.2 million.

2. Cell phones.

3. June.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Tibetan-language phones welcomed

About the broadcaster:

Tibetan-language phones welcomed

Rosie Tuck is a copy editor at the China Daily website. She was born in New Zealand and graduated from Auckland University of Technology with a Bachelor of Communications studies majoring in journalism and television. In New Zealand she was working as a junior reporter for the New Zealand state broadcaster TVNZ. She is in Beijing on an Asia New Zealand Foundation grant, working as a journalist in the English news department at the China Daily website.