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English is spoken by very we people in Tibet, and French or German by even ewer! The best language for communication is Tibetan, and for a brief outline of the dialects Of the Tibetan language (To-ke, Tsang-ke, U-ke, Kham-ke, Amdo-ke etc), see the Background, page 695. Recent decades Chinese has become something of a lingua franca, preferred even by Tibetans from different parts of the plateau when communicating with one another. There have been conscious attempts to reverse this trend by moving towards a universally standard form o Tibetan, but the obstacles are formidable. One should not forget the minority languages spoken within Tibet: the Qingic dialects of East Tibet, the Monpa and Lhopa dialects of South Tibet, the Mongol, Tu, and Salar languages of the northeast, and so forth.

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