Benefits of Learning Classical Tibetan

Even though classical Tibetan is considered to be a different language than modern, colloquial Tibetan, learning it has many benefits. There are many texts that still have no translation into English and having the ability to read Tibetan gives access to these texts. If one has practice texts in Tibetan, its my experience that they come more alive in the original language.

Learning Tibetan also can given deeper insight Buddhist philosophy because English can sometimes be a difficult language for getting a precise translation of technical philosophical term, while Tibetan gives a fairly precise translation of Sanskrit terms. Tibetan also preserves the beautiful poetic meter found in texts translated from Sanskrit, something that is extremely difficult to reproduce in English.

One great resource for learning classical Tibetan is through Ranjung Yeshe Institute. They provide two online courses that are supported by reference tables and exercises, unique ways to learn new concepts and words using Quizlet, and video instructions.

Tibetan Alphabet

As a preparation, one can read here about their online course in the Tibetan Alphabet. 

It aims at allowing a beginner to spell, read and pronounce Tibetan words.

Introduction to Classical Tibetan

Once someone has the basics of the Tibetan alphabet, the next step is to learn the grammar. One can click here to read more about their course in Classical Tibetan.

The course builds up a beginners vocabulary while learning to be able to read and write classical Tibetan. Its a great resource so that someone can get the basics and begin to practice translating of texts