Tibetan Language Program Course Outline
Note: All language courses must be taken for a letter grade, without exception. Students may not take language courses for either R-Credit or Pass/Fail.
First Year Modern Colloquial Tibetan I & II: Instructor: Sonam Tsering. This is an introductory course and no previous knowledge is required. It focuses on developing basic abilities to speak as well as to read and write in modern Tibetan, Lhasa dialect. Students are also introduced to modern Tibetan studies through selected readings and guest lectures.
Second Year Modern Colloquial Tibetan I & II: Instructor: Sonam Tsering. For those whose knowledge is equivalent to a student who’s completed the First Year course. The course focuses on the further development of their skills in using the language to engage with practical topics and situations, such as seeing a doctor, reading news, writing letters, and listening to music.
Third Year Modern Colloquial Tibetan I & II: Instructor: Sonam Tsering. For those whose knowledge is equivalent to a student who’s completed the Second Year course. The course develops students’ reading comprehension skills through reading selected modern Tibetan literature. Tibetan is used as the medium of instruction and interaction to develop oral fluency and proficiency.
First Year Classical Tibetan I & II: Instructor: Instructor: Konchog Tseten. This course provides foundational instruction in the reading and writing of the classical Tibetan language used in the literary traditions of ancient Tibet. Beginning with the fundamentals of Tibetan alphabet and grammar, the class will culminate with selected readings from the classical Tibetan canon. Appropriate for students with limited or no previous knowledge of Tibetan, this course is a prerequisite for Intermediate and Advanced level study of classical Tibetan.
Second Year Classical Tibetan I & II: Instructor: Pema Bhum. Students will learn to identify commonly found vocabulary, grammatical constructions and other conventions appearing in Classical Tibetan texts, including religious, historical and literary genres. Students will gain greater proficiency in reading a variety of classical Tibetan writing styles and genres, including (especially in the second semester) texts relevant to their research. Students will be introduced to various Tibetan writing scripts and conventions (including skung yig or abbreviated words) for the purpose of reading primary sources from the Tibetan imperial period through the middle-20th. Students will also gain facility in the use of Tibetan-Tibetan dictionaries essential for reading classical texts, in particular for the use of the kāvya-derived ornamental vocabulary and rhetorical devices.