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First edition of the first Tibetan-English grammar, printed by Calcutta's prominent Baptist Mission Press

A grammar of Tibetan language in English. Prepared, under the patronage of the government and the auspices of the Asiatic Society of Bengal.
Calcutta, the Baptist Mission Press, 1834. Small folio (27 x 20 cm). Printed in Tibetan and English, complete with a 40-page syllabic schema of the Tibetan language and the Tibetan alphabet in Bámyik, Bruts'ha and Lánts'ha characters. 20th-century red cloth, title in gold on spine. XII, 204, [1 blank], 40, [1 blank] pp.
€ 6,500
Rare first edition of the first Tibetan-English grammar book, written by the Hungarian philologist, orientalist and linguist Alexander Csoma de Kõrös (1784-1842). Csoma de Kõrös studied oriental languages in Göttingen from 1816 to 1818, where he was known for the fact that he mastered at least 13 languages. Afterwards he travelled to the East, to Lahore. He met the famous English explorer William Moorcroft (1767-1825), who was employed by the East India Company, who asked him to learn the Tibetan language, and by his various travels through the Middle East, Central Asia and India, he became one of the first Europeans to master the Tibetan language. He owed much of his success to several local lamas who tutored him and to the fact that he could immerse himself in a study of not only the Tibetan language, but also of the core of the Indo-Tibetan Buddhist literature.
With an owner's inscription dated 7 July 1954 and two leaves written in another hand of someone who was practising Tibetan words and their meaning. In very good condition. A complete copy of the first Tibetan-English grammar book, rarely offered for sale complete. Trübner's catalogue of dictionaries and grammars of the principal languages and dialects of the world (1882), p. 157; Cf. Prem Singh Jina, Famous western explorers to Ladakh (2004), pp. 28-29.
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