Tibetan (Classical)

The earliest monument of written Tibetan that we have is an inscription on a bell that hangs above the entrance of Samye monastery in Central Tibet. It dates from the late eighth century. Written Tibetan thus has a history of more than thirteen centuries. Its body of literature is as immense as is the area that is occupied by peoples who wrote in the language: along the Himalayas from Ladakh, India, through Nepal and Bhutan to southwestern China, in what is now the Tibetan Autonomous Region, China, and in large portions of the Chinese provinces of Sichuan, Qinghai and Gansu. In addition, many Mongols also wrote in Tibetan. The department offers introductory, intermediate, and advanced courses in both spoken and written Tibetan. Courses in written Tibetan cover the entire range of subjects Tibetan scholars were interested in from works on history, biography and Buddhist philosophical and religious texts, to treatises on history, Indo-Tibetan poetics, astrology and medicine.

Tibetan 101A Elementary Classical Tibetan
Instructor: Xiaotian Yin; T/Th, 10:30-11:45 (Fall)
An introductory course designed for students with no background in classical Tibetan. Students begin with the Tibetan script, its standard transliteration into Roman characters, and pronunciation before proceeding to the basics of Tibetan grammar. After mastering a foundational vocabulary, students begin translating simple Tibetan texts.

Tibetan 102A Intermediate Classical Tibetan
Instructor: Zhouyang Ma; M/W, 10:30-11:45 (Fall)
An intermediate classical Tibetan reading course focusing on the development of translation skills through attention to grammatical and philological analysis. This course will also provide training in the research skills required to work with the Buddhist canonical texts of the Bka’ ‘gyur and Bstan ‘gyur. Readings will be selected from a variety of Tibetan literary genres, including Buddhist philosophy and path literature, as well as historical and biographical narrative texts.