We are pleased to announce that SINI is expanding the Tibetan Language Online Program. In addition to our popular colloquial Tibetan classes we will offer classical Tibetan language classes, starting March 2022.
Introduction to Classical Tibetan
March 6 — May 27, 2022 (12 Sundays) — 10-11:30 AM PST
This course is designed for students who are interested in learning the basics of classical literary Tibetan, ་ཡིག་སྐད་ with Tenpa Tsering, a native instructor.
This course includes 12 live weekly Zoom classes, course materials, access to office hours with the instructor, and all previously recorded classes.
Students will be introduced to the fundamentals of reading and writing the Tibetan alphabet. This course will establish a strong foundation for basic reading and writing in Tibetan. At the end of this course, students will be able to read simple texts and write using the Tibetan script དབུ་ཆེན་ (u-chen).
We will examine the unique and beautiful features of the Tibetan language by looking at the ways in which the consonants and their gender, vowels, suffixes, prefixes, post-suffixes, superscribed letters, and subscribed letters all fit together within a logical, linguistic order.
Once familiar with these grammatical rules, the Tibetan language will become more approachable. For students who have been studying for many years but are not clear on these rules, this course will help clarify their misunderstandings, and thus lead to a more confident approach to further study.
Instructor: Tenpa Tsering
All course materials will be available for one year on the Moodle learning platform.
Classical Tibetan Reading and Pronunciation Practice
March 2 – April 27 (9 Wednesdays) — 10-11:30 am PST
This course is designed for those who are interested in improving their Tibetan reading and pronunciation skills with instruction from a Tibetan speaker.
In nine online, live, weekly sessions, students will be introduced to the fundamentals of pronunciation according to the central Tibetan dialect, with a brief overview of the Tibetan regional differences in pronunciation. This course will review the common challenges faced by non-native speakers in pronouncing Tibetan letters and words.
We will introduce key reading techniques, which include recognizing syllables and the grammatical rules for pauses.
The reading practice will begin with commonly recited prayers such as
- the Heart Sutra,
- the tenth chapter of Entering the Way of a Bodhisattva (Bodhicaryavatara),
- The Noble Aspiration Prayer to Excellent Activity (Arya Bhadracarya Pranidhanaraja),
followed by other scriptures such as
- Milarepa’s Biography (namthar),
- The True Path (Dhammapada/chö kyi tshigs su bcad pa),
and conclude with The Words of My Perfect Teacher, (kun zang lamai’ zhal lung), to help students gain an overview of the different genres, including rhythm, emphasis, pace, and pause.
By reading with a devotional heart, reading itself becomes a practice, generating a warm-hearted feeling and an invitation to study further. Upon completing this course, the student will be comfortable reading most Tibetan texts, even though the words may not be fully comprehended.
Instructors: Tenpa Tsering, Guusje Ebbens – van Zanten
Prerequisites: Familiarity with reading and recognizing the Tibetan alphabet.