Tibetan Language

Learn Tibetan LanguageOM MANI PADME HUM

The opportunity to study Tibetan language is one of the range of activities offered by the society. Lama Choedak Rinpoche is one of the finest teachers of the Tibetan language living in the west. He has put together training programmes and has been teaching for the past 20 years in the west including at Australian National University. His Eminence Chogye Trichen honoured him with the title "Lochen", meaning Great Translator.

"Learning Tibetan language is key to understand the Tibetan people, their way of life, religion and history. Studying Tibetan will also help to preserve the Tibetan culture which is facing great threat under the repressive policy of the communist regime in Tibet. People who are interested in Buddhism will find the importance of Tibetan language and appreciate the rich Tibetan literature on Buddhism and related subjects. Grammatically there is no great difference between the spoken and written language. Understanding the grammatical rules and their application in the spoken language will give textual scholars a greater access to the use of language as a spoken language. It is important to remind ourselves that the scribal convention was created to do service to the spoken language, not a barrier to speak. Even if you know how to read Romanized Tibetan and know few of its grammatical rules, you are not a Tibetan language scholar if you do not know how to speak the language as spoken among Tibetans. Numerous courses on 'Classical Tibetan' are taught at academic institutions around the world by people who do not speak or understand the spoken language. Graduates of such courses are left frustrated and confused as they cannot speak and understand a language they supposed to have studied several years at University level. Unlike Sanskrit, Tibetan language is a living and progressive language which is spoken in many countries in the Himalayan region.

...Tibetan is my mother tongue and I am well versed on the subject. I have had a thorough traditional training in both school and monastery under the tutelage of some of the leading Tibetan linguists, poets and grammarians alive today. My teacher, His Eminence Chogay Trichen Rinpoche was on the board of writers who designed the Tibetan school text book under the auspices of the Council of Tibetan Education in Dharamsala. I have been teaching Tibetan to non-Tibetans some years now and this book is an outcome of my own interest in teaching the language." (From the preface to "A Textbook of Tibetan Language" by Lama Choedak Rinpoche)


Tibetan Language Training

Annual Language Training intensive

Every year Lama Choedak Rinpoche leads an Intensive Tibetan Language Course, usually in January. This course is held in Canberra and the Virupa Retreat Centre just outside of Canberra. It runs each day for between ten days and three weeks. The course provides for beginners, intermediate, and advanced students. By the end of the course, complete beginners will be able to read the Tibetan script, construct short sentences, formulate tenses and have a reasonable vocabulary as a foundation upon which to develop their skills. Advanced students get some serious translation experience under the expert guidance of Rinpoche.

Accommodation is available at Virupa Retreat Centre. If you are interested in joining such a course the fee is about $300 for a two week course (accommodation not included). This year, Rinpoche is donating the nett proceeds to Nalendra. Go to <events> for current course. Contact us if you would like to enquire further.

Ongoing Beginners Course

Following the last language intensive course, Lama Choedak Rinpoche has been conducting weekly classes on Thursday evenings at RBTC, Evatt, for continuing students. Should you be interested in such a course please contact us on (02) 6238 2088 or mail@sakya.com.au.

A Textbook of Tibetan Language

This Tibetan language course handbook 'A Primer of the Tibetan language' is designed for people who want to acquire a good working knowledge of the language in a short time, and who will probably be working at home without a teacher. It will enable those with no previous knowledge of Tibetan to reach the point where they can communicate effectively and can read, write and converse on a range of topics. Originally written as a textbook for an intensive Tibetan language course, this handbook covers the essential elements of Tibetan grammar of both spoken and written Tibetan. This book has been used for the various Tibetan language classes conducted over the years by Lama Choedak Rinpoche and has proved to be effective as teaching material for both class and individual tuition. It is accompanied by an MP3 for pronunciation drills and chants.

Click here to learn more or to order a copy of Textbook of Tibetan Language.

Weekly Practice Sessions in Tibetan

Wednesdays at 7:00pm at RBTC 25 Alderman St Evatt, Rinpoche leads the Chenrezig, Green Tara or Ngondro practice sessions in the Tibetan language for the benefit of students of Tibetan language, and to honour the Lhakar movement. Everyone is welcome.

Quote of the Day

“The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed.”
The Buddha