Beginning Classical Tibetan Online Course

Teacher: Tenzin Ghegay Ph.D.

Next Course:

March 3, 2024 — May 26, 2024

Course Outline

This course is designed for students who are interested in learning “Classical Tibetan”, (ཡིག་སྐད། yig skad) which means written or literary Tibetan. Led by Tenzin Ghegay, Ph.D., a native instructor, the course spans 12 sessions, each lasting 1.5 hours. Participants can expect comprehensive course materials and opportunities for personalized guidance during office hours.

In this beginner’s classical Tibetan course, students will be introduced to the fundamentals of Classical Tibetan grammar. The goal of this course is to establish a strong foundation for reading and most importantly understanding classical Tibetan texts of any genre. 
At the end of this course, with a strong vocabulary knowledge, students can read classical Tibetan texts (literatures of Buddhism, medicine, astrology, fine arts, logic, poetry and so forth) correctly and comprehend their meaning independently with a help of a dictionary. 

This course will cover some of the most important grammatical points which include:

  • Punctuation, Noun and its categories, Formative particles (པ། པོ། བ། བོ། མ། མོ།),
  • Adjectives, Indefinite articles, Personal pronouns, Plural particles, Demonstrative pronouns,
  • Numbers, Verbs, Cases and Connecting particles.

Along with these grammatical lessons, the students will also be given a practical opportunity to read various excerpts from classical Tibetan texts in the class. 
Once familiar with these grammatical rules, Tibetan classical texts will become more approachable. For students who have been studying for many years but are not clear on these rules, this course will help clarifying their misunderstandings, and thus lead to a more confident approach to further study of intermediate level of classical Tibetan.

Course Material

  • Course materials for each session are included in the course and are available on our online learning platform Moodle.
  • The Qualities of a Translator by Changkya Rolpe Dorje. In the preface to “A Lexicon Resource for the Learned.” 


  • Prior knowledge of basics of Tibetan including knowing the alphabet and syllable formation.

Course Schedule (12 Live Zoom Sessions)

Time: 7:30 – 9:00 AM PDT

All course materials will be available for one year on the Moodle learning platform.