How To Read Classical Tibetan

The following article is from the Autumn, 2003 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here.


Do you want to learn to read Classical Tibetan? If you know how to read the Tibetan u-chen script and can recognize words, How to Read Classical Tibetan will show youat your own paceall the relationships that make Tibetan easy to read. It is a complete language course built around the exposition of a famous fifteenth century Tibetan text summarizing stages of the path to Buddhahood.

All the language tools you need to work at your own pace are in one place. You won't need a dictionary because all of the words and particles are translated and explained upon every occurrence, and there is a complete glossary at the end of the book; every sentence is diagramed and completely explained so that you can easily see how tire words and particles are arranged to convey meaning.

Because everything is always explained in every sentence, you will easily learn to recognize the recurrent patterns, making the transition from learning words to reading sentences much easier for you. As you study How to Read Classical Tibetan, you will learn to: recognize the syntactic relationships you encounter, understand the meaning signified, and translate that meaning correctly into English.

CRAIG PRESTON has been studying Tibetan Buddhism for twenty-five years. He teaches Tibetan and Buddhist philosophy in Ithaca, New York at the Nagarjuna Language Institute ( which he founded. He has taught Classical Tibetan at Dharma Farm in Charlottesville, Virginia, and in Taos, New Mexico.

Below is a sample page from How to Read Classical Tibetan, Volume 1. 


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