The most systematic and extensive course system available in spoken Tibetan language, Fluent Tibetan was developed by language experts working in conjunction with indigenous speakers at the University of Virginia. Based on courses for diplomats needing to learn a language quickly, the method acquaints students with the sounds and patterns of Tibetan speech through repetitive interactive drills, enabling the quick mastery of increasingly complex structures and thereby promoting rapid progress in speaking the language.
Fluent Tibetan is the best course available anywhere for learning on your own. The package consists of a 1,000-page textbook and MP3 recordings arranged in fifteen units. The first three units are devoted to recognition and pronunciation of the Tibetan alphabet and its combinations in syllables and words. With unit four, vocabulary and grammatical patterns are introduced in situational dialogues. Each dialogue is followed by extensive drills repeating the vocabulary and grammatical patterns in different contexts, thereby teaching how to use the language creatively. The exceptionally clear voices in the dialogues and drills are both male and female indigenous Tibetans. The glossary is both Tibetan-English and English-Tibetan. Fluent Tibetan corresponds to a year of college-level language study. It is the first text recommended for language study by the Sera IMI House at Sera Monastery for Western monks as preparation for entry into the Geshe studies program.