Khams Tibetan (ཁམས་​སྐད)

Khams Tibetan is a Tibetic language spoken by about 1.38 million people, mainly in western China in an area that was known as Kham, and was one of the three traditional regions of Tibet. This area is now part of the provinces of Qinghai, Sichuan and Yunnan, and the Tibet Autonomous Region. There are also about 1,000 speakers of Khams Tibetan in eastern Bhutan, and about 300 speakers in Kachin State in northern Myanmar / Burma.

Khams Tibetan is also known as Kam, Kami, Kang, Khamba, Khampa, Khams, Khams Bhotia or Khams-Yal. Dialects include:

There is fairly low mutual intelligiblity between the Khams Tibetan dialects, however they are considered parts of a single language. Khams Tibetan is closely related to Central (Ü-Tsang) Tibetan languages such as Lhasa Tibetan, and they are mutually intelligible at a basic level.

Khams Tibetan is officially classified as a language of a recognized nationality in China. It is written with the Tibetan script, although Modern Literary Tibetan is the standard language of literature.

Khams Tibetan alphabet

Khams Tibetan alphabet

Download an alphabet chart for Khams Tibetan (Excel)

Details of the Khams Tibetan alphabet provided by Wolfram Siegel (PDF, in German)

Sample videos in Khams Tibetan


Information about Khams Tibetan

Bodish (Tibeto-Kanauri) languages

Amdo Tibetan, Choni, Dzongkha, Jirel, Kagate, Khams Tibetan, Khengkha, Ladakhi, Lhowa, Sherpa, Sikkimese, Tibetan, Tshangla

Languages written with the Tibetan alphabet

Amdo Tibetan, Balti, Bokar, Chocha Ngacha, Choni, Dzongkha (Bhutanese), Jirel, Khams Tibetan, Khengkha, Ladakhi, Sikkimese, Tibetan, Sherpa, Tamang, Tshangla

Page created: 25.11.21. Last modified: 31.01.24


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