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China to compile polylingual dictionary on Buddhist manuscripts

Updated: Mar 2,2015 4:12 PM

BEIJING — Chinese scholars will start to compile a four-language dictionary this year on palm-leaf manuscripts of Buddhist sutras and valuable ancient records, a Tibetan scholar and national political advisor told Xinhua on March 2.

To push forward research and study on palm-leaf manuscripts, a Sanskrit-Tibetan-Chinese-English dictionary was needed, said Drongbu Tseringdorje, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

Palm-leaf manuscripts are mostly written in Sanskrit, and they feature ancient records of culture, philosophy, history and the sciences in South and Central Asia.

Tibet has numerous, important palm-leaf manuscripts. A central government survey on palm-leaf manuscripts in the region began in 2006, confirming nearly 60,000 pages dating back over 1,000 years.

Researchers are preparing for the second round of the survey, according to Drongbu Tseringdorje, who is also head of China’s first and only research institute specializing in palm-leaf manuscripts.

As for the dictionary, Drongbu Tseringdorje said research institutes and universities in Beijing will be contacted after this year’s national legislative session.