This course focuses on acquiring the knowledge and skills needed to read Buddhist literature—primarily liturgical and commentarial texts—in Tibetan. We will open our studies in this course Khenpo Tsultrim Gyurme Rinpoche’s Illumination of Prajñā, ཤེས་རབ་སྣང་བ། which presents a graded introduction to foundational vocabulary and basic Tibetan grammar entirely in Tibetan. Khen Rinpoche’s text starts with simple phrases that build vocabulary and familiarity with common grammatical structures. In addition, we will also engage in a more formal study of Tibetan grammar. Students will be introduced to the traditional discipline of jor-lo (sbyor klog) — “reading the connections.”

 Knowledge of the Tibetan alphabet, spelling rules, and a basic grasp of Tibetan grammar. Students are asked to translate a short passage from Tibetan to English to help the instructor determine their proficiency. LAN500 or equivalent is recommended.  Instructor’s permission is required (;