|This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Tibet article.|
|Archives: Index, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13|
|Tibet was one of the Geography and places good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.|
|Tibet has been listed as a level-4 vital article in Geography. If you can improve it, please do. This article has been rated as B-Class.|
|This article is of interest to multiple WikiProjects. Click [show] for further details.|
|Sources for development of this article may be located at|
Dialects and oral forms
Article currently reads "The language is spoken in numerous regional dialects which generally cannot be understood by the speakers of the different oral forms of Tibetan." This is hard to understand. What does it mean to say that a language "is spoken in" dialects? -- normally we say that a language has dialects. What is the difference between a "dialect" and an "oral form"? I propose the following wording: "The language has numerous regional dialects which are generally not mutually intelligible." Or does not capture the intended meaning? --Macrakis (talk) 22:53, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
- Although I won't deal with this now, do not assume that I definitely will be the user who answers edit requests on this page. GotR Talk 18:53, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
Legend on map
Tibetan language classification
The section of the article concerning the Tibetan language gives undue weight to the theory that the Tibeto-Burman languages are not related to Chinese. The Sino-Tibetan language family is generally accepted by linguists; and so is listed as legitimate on Ethnolouge. Additionally, the quote in the section is not from a linguist, and should be removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 08:59, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
- I agree. Kapstein's quote gives the impression that there is a controversy about whether Tibetan is related to Chinese, which may or may not be an accurate impression of the point he intended to make. Regardless, my understanding (I'm not a professional in the field by a longshot) is that the main controversy among historical linguists is not whether Tibetan is related to Chinese, but precisely how Chinese fits into the puzzle. Van Driem, for example, has argued that Tibetan and Chinese are most likely especially close to each other, and that together they are a bit more distantly part of the Trans-Himalayan family (which is what he calls Sino-Tibetan, to avoid implications about how Chinese fits in).—Greg Pandatshang (talk) 22:19, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
The first map under the section "History" suggests that the Tibetan empire had at one point controlled the Irrawaddy River Basin (Myanmar/Burma), which it never did. Consequentally, the map should be removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 126.96.36.199 (talk) 09:05, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
2008 unrest phrasing
Section 3.6 does not specify which human rights groups have critcized the Chinese government for its reaction towards the 2008 Tibetan Unrest. Additionally, while the article calls the government's reaction a "crackdown" which implies violence, this cannot be reliably verified through neutral sources, as only one foreign journalist, James Miles of The Economist, was allowed to stay in Tibet. According to him, the government's reaction was not violent, and violence was largely restricted to the activities of the rioters. The term "crackdown" should be accordingly replaced with more neutral terms, such as reaction. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.8.131.52 (talk) 09:25, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
- To respond specifically to your last point, I doubt very much that James Miles (or even government sources, for that matter) ever claimed that the government response to Lhasa 2008 was nonviolent. Miles observed that there was little reaction of any kind that he saw on the evening of March 14. Of course, there was eventually a violent response; the protestors and rioters didn't just get bored of protest and rioting and go home. Miles was commenting on a brief but striking delay in the beginning of a violent response.—Greg Pandatshang (talk) 22:29, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
Tibet vs Tibetan: editing war
User Zanhe and I disagree about the name of "Tibet" as written in Simplified and Traditional Chinese. I refuse to get into an editing war over this, so I will present these links and leave it alone.
I assert that the English word "Tibet" translates to Simplified and Traditional Chinese as 西藏. Zanhe asserts that the English word "Tibet" translates to 藏区 in Simplified Chinese and 藏區 in Traditional Chinese, and that 西藏 ONLY refers to the "TAR", which I assume means Tibet Autonomous Region. I assert that 藏区 and 藏區 both translate to the English word "Tibetan".
When Zanhe reverted my edit, the only explanation provided was "incorrect: Zangqu means ethnic Tibetan region, while Xizang refers to the TAR". No sources or authorities were cited.
In my original edit, I cited https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Definitions_of_Tibet This English language source unequivocally states that in written Chinese, Tibet is 西藏.
In addition to the English language version of Wikipedia, the Chinese language version explicitly says that the area is known as 西藏. It says, "西藏自治區 . . . 通稱西藏". Which uses Traditional Chinese and translates to "Tibet Autonomous Region . . . known as Tibet". https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/西藏自治区 This Chinese language source unequivocally states that in written Chinese, Tibet is 西藏.
On the following page, there is a picture of a newspaper article from 1955, written in Traditional Chinese, of course, announcing "the Decision on Setting up the Preparatory Committee of the Tibet Autonomous Region". The headline clearly refers to Tibet as 西藏. The headline does NOT say "Tibet Autonomous Region". In Traditional Chinese, "Tibet Autonomous Region" is 西藏自治區. See the Chinese language Wikipedia article above. The smaller text is difficult to read, but I cannot see any reference to "藏區", which is the name Zanhe asserts is the Traditional Chinese word for "Tibet". http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-03/05/content_10950101.htm
I have a few more sources open in other tabs, but I'm disgusted by this process, so I am done. If the above references, when compared to Zanhe's complete lack of references, are not enough then I don't know what would possibly be enough.
Which brings me to my last two points, which are possibly more important than this edit. First, despite how long I have had an account and despite how many articles to which I could contribute, I rarely edit articles. This experience leaves yet another sour taste in my mouth. I triple-checked my knowledge of this word, I explained my edit (which is directly supported by the article itself!), AND I cited a source. Nevertheless, my edit was summarily revised without any attempt to refute my explanation or source. Editing articles has less to do with knowledge than it has to do with persistence. If I fight and fight and fight to keep an edit in place, then my edits might stay in place. It does not matter if I am right or if Zanhe is right. In a war of editing, I will always lose to Zanhe because I will not persist in asserting that I am right. It has been many years since I tried to regularly edit, but it is obvious that the culture of editing has not changed: persistence trumps knowledge.
Second, this specific revision reeks. Multiple times, I have been called "老外" to my face and I've never felt insulted. The "explanation" for revising my edit was so dismissive and without reason, however, it might as well have ended with, "老外 你不明白."
Congratulations, Wikipedia editors! You have chased away another potential contributor, again.
- Reversions are common on Wikipedia, and a single reversion is not considered edit warring (see WP:BOLD). I did not mean any disrespect, and apologize if it was perceived that way. The question of Tibet is complicated. You are right to point out that Xizang (西藏) means Tibet, but in current Chinese usage Xizang/Tibet refers to the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), whereas the Tibet article on English Wikipedia is about the ethnic Tibetan region, whose Chinese equivalent is Zangqu (藏区, literally Tibetan region). That's why the wikidata link for this article on the Chinese wiki is zh:藏区 (see the languages bar on the left of your screen). The "incorrect" part was your assertion that "藏区 means Tibetan", while it actually means Tibetan region (different and bigger than Tibet Autonomous Region). I sincerely hope you will stay and continue to contribute to Wikipedia. -Zanhe (talk) 05:02, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
- I think it's worth having a discussion about what the common Chinese language name for Tibet is. The issue is a bit fraught. It seems to me that all three of the English term Tibet, the Chinese term 西藏, and the Tibetan term bod are ambiguous and can refer either to roughly the area of the TAR, to the entire Tibetan ethnic region (with its edges uncertain), or potentially to an area smaller than the TAR (as small, perhaps, as Ü-Tsang). Naturally, any set of ideas can be expressed in any language, but people who speak a particular language might have a strong tendency to favour some ideas over others; to wit, discourse about Tibet by Chinese people in any language is going to tend to be different than discourse by, say, Americans or Tibetan exiles. So, it's not surprising that the Chinese term 西藏 tends to be used to refer to a narrower area. This is not necessarily obligatory: the Tibetan government-in-exile has a Chinese language website which is called 西藏之页 (literally "Xīzàng's page"), and certainly the exile leadership are dedicated supporters of a "greater Tibet". I don't know for a fact, but I suspect that the alternative term 藏区 (Zàngqū) has, in practice, a politically correct sound to it, as do 图伯特 (Túbótè) and 博 (Bó), the latter two being phonetic approximations of the English/international and Tibetan names for Tibet. 藏区 is also an explicit description, as it means "(ethnic) Tibetan area" (PC polite term and explicit description are certainly not mutually exclusive). I don't object to this politically correct usage in non-encyclopedic writing (I prefer 博 in some contexts), but I think it's dubious in an encyclopedia to imply that this is the normal terminology.
- The above is the impression I've gathered. I would appreciate correction from people who are more literate than I am in Chinese writing about Tibet.
Sanitising the indefensible
For anybody who values truth, this is a shameful article, utterly shameful. There's no mention of the massive cultural colonialism of which the Tibetans continue to be victims, the massacres, the repression of all aspects of culture, the apartheid state where Tibetans are inferior to the Han colonialists, the destruction of monasteries and manuscripts, the marginalisation and ghettoisation of the native Tibetans, the repression of all indigenous voices of opposition, the settlement of Han Chinese and deplacement of the natives,and the general herrenvolk mentality of the Han Chinese settler-colonialists over the natives. What's happening to the Tibetans today in 2013 is strikingly similar in so many ways to what the British did to the Irish in the 17th century. I note not a scintilla of criticism of Chinese policy is viewable here; rather, Han cultural imperialism and repression of Tibetan culture and identity by imposing foreign Chinese values = "reforms" in the language used in this article. Shame on everybody involved in this Wikipedia article. 184.108.40.206 (talk) 23:47, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
- Calm down. This is only an overview article that touches a bit of everything but does not explore any specific aspect in detail. The issues you mention above are covered in greater detail in the more specific article Human rights in Tibet. -Zanhe (talk) 00:23, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
- I also have some concerns over the neutrality of the article. Coming to it as a reader wanting basic information, I was surprised that the the lead gave little emphasis to claims to independent statehood except in Tibet (1912–1951) (see eg http://www.culturalsurvival.org/ourpublications/csq/article/the-legal-status-tibet); also there is no mention of talks over genuine autonomy (see http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2013/12/30/exiled-tibetan-pm-china-must-implement-its-laws/ ). I wouldn't however agree it is totally "sanitised" where I read "During the Great Leap Forward between 200,000 and 1,000,000 Tibetans died, and approximately 6,000 monasteries were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution.", but given User:220.127.116.11's comments, is there any opinion about whether it needs a NPOV hatnote? I would at least suggest that Xinhua is not a reliable source for stories related to Tibet, so should be mentioned explicitly in the text where it is used as a source. --Cedderstk 20:40, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
- The lede is neither great nor awful. I don’t have an overall plan on how to improve it. I think the lede should emphasise the political controversy a bit more, without overdoing it. This is certainly one of the most prominent territorial disputes in the world today that is not currently the subject of an armed conflict. The way the lede is worded now is not only unnecessarily vague, but also grammatically dubious (“There are tensions regarding Tibet's political status and dissident groups which are active in exile.”). I think we'll need two or three sentences to summarise the state of the conflict in the lede.
- Let’s bear in mind, though, that a neutral summary is not necessarily easy to achieve. The Tibet issue touches on some pretty basic issues of political and legal theory about which political scientists disagree, to say nothing of politicians and the general public. At the same time, the issue is extremely emotional for both sides, which means that there is precious little goodwill on which to build a consensus even on the terms of the debate, let alone on solutions.
Ignoring the POV pushing by Anon IP at the top, I'll answer some of Cedders' concerns. I hadn't edited this article before today but had read it several times over. The lead of an article is supposed to be a summary of the whole article and so must include something about Language, art, religion, geography, music, architecture, government, demographics, economy and history, . It is limited to just 3 or 4 paragraphs. As a result, most things dealt with in depth later, only get one or two sentences in the lead. The current lead has quite allot on the later 20th century history considering all the things that also need to go in there.
Following the collapse of the Qing dynasty in 1912, Qing soldiers were disarmed and escorted out of Tibet Area (Ü-Tsang). The region declared its independence in 1913. Later Lhasa took control of the western part of Xikang Province. The region maintained its autonomy until 1951 when, following the Invasion of Tibet, Tibet became unified into the People's Republic of China(PRC), and the previous Tibetan government was abolished in 1959 after a failed uprising. Today, the PRC governs western and central Tibet as the Tibet Autonomous Region while eastern areas are mostly within Sichuan and Qinghai provinces. There are tensions regarding Tibet's political status and dissident groups which are active in exile.
That's nearly a quarter of the whole lead dedicated to one issue. If you want to add more info than that, it should go in the body of the article. Don't stuff the lead with one issue disproportionately to the coverage in the whole article. It could perhaps take rewording. The last sentence in particular is vague clearer. The word "tensions" is a bit of an understatement.
You are correct that Xinhua (and other partisan sources) should be used very sparingly on this article. However, they should not be omitted entirely. The idea of neutrality means that all view points, even the fringe ones, on both sides, get voiced. Thus you can source one comment from Xinhua as long as you balance that with the counter claim from the opposite side.
The first reference to Xinhua (currently reference No.44), regarding the British invasion in 1904 is probably fine. Xinhua may be anti-British here and so a neutral source would be better, however I don't think anyone is disputing that the British invaded in 1904 are they?
The the second reference to Xinhua (currently reference No.78) is an obvious propaganda report. It lacks balance and needs a counter from the other side about that national conference on Tibet and what may come of it.
The third reference to Xinhua (currently No.81) is an obvious propaganda report. However it is valid in this case because it is giving a response to a statement made by the Dalai Lama (currently reference No.80).
References to People's Daily (currently No.62) is probably superfluous given the sentence is double referenced. People's Daily should not be used in that way as it is organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. If the statement is true, I'm sure a neutral source can be found stating it.
The Tibet articles naturally bring editors with strong opinions, each wanting to front their own facts. The Tibet article is not a coatrack to hang politics on. It has to cover much more than just politics and there are other articles dedicated to the political issues which are the proper place to put such comments.
- I would say there is plenty (probably a little too much) coverage in the lede of 20th century history. I think there is a shortage of coverage of the current political controversy. They are not quite the same thing. When I say "shortage", I think the ideal amount would be not voluminous, but 2 or 3 sentences instead of 1 vaguely worded sentence as it stands.—Greg Pandatshang (talk) 00:45, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
Incomplete/Inaccurate History Section
In the section: Phagmodrupa Dynasty and the Dalai Lamas, there is no mention of the Fifth Dalai Lama and the significant reforms he made to the structure of government which remained in place until,1950 and the invasion by Mao's China. I just returned from a several week visit and can unequivocally say this history section is completely at odds with common understanding in Tibet. It appears this history section is written by people with either fear of China or more likely by Chinese partisans. This section is even inconsistent with other articles in Wikipedia regarding the history of Tibet and the importance of native Tibetans in managing thier own affairs, particularly in the period 1642 to 1950. I am quite surprised by the significant omissions of important dates, events and people in this period. Perhaps this is of broader problem with Wikipedia in general? This is clearly not a budget issue, so be careful of asking or giving money to this site. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5th_Dalai_Lama> is a starting point. Even this article has ominous notes as in the section on the 5th Dalai Lama and "Establishing Relations with China". The sentence "The 5th Dalai Lama's official visit, as an independent head of state, to Beijing in 1653 should be understood in the context of the prior relationship which existed between China and Tibet." is clearly an attempt to minimize the rule of the 5th Dalai Lama and suggest that China has an historical connection to China that does not exist as stated. Really, Wikipedia, on a sensitive topic like Tibet, you should be doing much better.
- Thank you for your input on the article, William! I agree completely that the historical information provided herein is sketchy and inconsistent. It simply fails to mention the creation of the Gandän Phodrang regime by the 5th Dalai Lama and his allies at all, which is very strange. I cannot say that the article is biased, since omissions may simply result from haphazard and perhaps ill-considered writing.
- When you say "you should be doing much better", there's really no "you" for you to be addressing. We own this article collectively. The fact is that Wikipedia is always at its worst trying to cover sensitive topics like this one, because it's very emotional and it's hard for people to agree on facts.
- So, I think we should definitely add a quick summary of the political developments under the 5th Dalai Lama, probably remove the part about Christian missionaries in Gugé (not really important enough to appear in a very brief summary like this), and then see what to do about the material on the 18th century. 18th century Tibet is really one of the hardest parts to write about, partly because there doesn't seem to be a lot of good material available on it in English. The events as described in the article currently are accurate, but there are arguments that these events are moments of Qing imperial interference as an exception to the general practice of Tibetan independence; thus, there are dramatically different views of how to contextualise these events. I believe there are also factual disagreements about whose idea it was to establish the Kashag, but I believe the version that emphasises the Qing government's role is more common.—Greg Pandatshang (talk) 00:41, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
- William you are quite right that the history section on this article omits some things, such as the 5th Dalai Lama. However, I suspect form you writing that you are new to Wikipedia and so will point you at the page: be bold. Wikipedia is written by volunteers and can be edited by everyone and anyone. If you think there is something that needs improving, go ahead and make changes directly to the article yourself. If you are unsure how, look at this tutorial. Otherwise you could just post a request on this talk page detailing precisely what sentences you want changed/added/removed and please provide references to books, journals, websites or other media, where we can verify the facts. An editor will then make the changes on your behalf. Rincewind42 (talk) 23:19, January 13, 2014 (UTC)