Learning Tibetan

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mandog
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Learning Tibetan

Post by mandog » Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:47 am

I am quite interested in learning Tibetan. I am currently attending college in a very remote part of the United States; studying with a teacher in meat space during the school year does not seem possible. For the time being, I am looking for online programs: besides Ranjung Yeshe Institute, which is currently not running due to website updates, does anyone know of any good online programs? Also, over the summer I would like to study in-person; I already know of a couple programs, but does anyone have recommendations for summer Tibetan language programs?

Aspiring.Monk
Posts: 57
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:16 pm

Re: Learning Tibetan

Post by Aspiring.Monk » Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:50 pm

How long has the Ranjung Yeshe Institute online learning been down?

I am interested in this so that I too may learn Tibetan.

Bristollad
Posts: 435
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:39 am

Re: Learning Tibetan

Post by Bristollad » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:17 am

There is also http://esukhia.org/

I haven't studied with them but have friends that have - their verdict was: Good, not cheap.

dharmafootsteps
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Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:57 am

Re: Learning Tibetan

Post by dharmafootsteps » Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:52 am

Esukhia's good, but very different. They're less structured, and mainly focused on spoken Tibetan, at least initially. Their approach is basically learn by doing i.e. trying to speak with a language partner. Very good if that's what your after.

The RYI courses are the other end of the spectrum. Their online classes aren't focused on modern spoken Tibetan at all, you have to go to the campus for that. The online ones teach you the alphabet, and the grammar and vocabulary found in Dharma texts, sadhanas etc. Leading up to translating sections of things like the Heart Sutra and Jewel Ornament of Liberation. Great if you want to deepen your understanding of the Tibetan in the practices you do, or as a first stepping stone on the path to learning to translate.

There's no official word on the timescale for the RYI courses to be back up, but my understanding is it will be soon, this month probably.

mandog
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Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:10 pm

Re: Learning Tibetan

Post by mandog » Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:24 pm

How distant is "Dharma" Tibetan from colloquial Tibetan?

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conebeckham
Posts: 4930
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: Learning Tibetan

Post by conebeckham » Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:09 pm

mandog wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:24 pm
How distant is "Dharma" Tibetan from colloquial Tibetan?
Fairly distant.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

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kalden yungdrung
Posts: 3840
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:40 pm

Re: Learning Tibetan

Post by kalden yungdrung » Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:10 pm

mandog wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:47 am
I am quite interested in learning Tibetan. I am currently attending college in a very remote part of the United States; studying with a teacher in meat space during the school year does not seem possible. For the time being, I am looking for online programs: besides Ranjung Yeshe Institute, which is currently not running due to website updates, does anyone know of any good online programs? Also, over the summer I would like to study in-person; I already know of a couple programs, but does anyone have recommendations for summer Tibetan language programs?
Tashi delek M,

Studying Tibetan language, important for those who dwell in the Tibetan Traditions.

One can study Tibetan for:

- Translating Dharma text
- Conversation Tibetan

Both exemples need a professional teacher.

To live for a while in a Tibetan settlement and follow there a program that is the best way.

I am looking also for some Tibetans , who like it to teach me Tibetan via Skype.
That is one of the best ways to learn Tibetan IMO.

Sure there are TIbetans who can speak English, German, French etc. They are mostly living in those countries.
Via the Tibetan Community in Antwerpen, are 5000 Tibetan immigrants living and via these Tibetans one can learn perfect Tibetan.
I will make a try to find one and my friend who is married with a Tibetan girl, can show me the way in the Tibetan Community there.

But look also here:
viewtopic.php?f=81&t=27513

Good luck in finding your Tibetan Teacher !
The best meditation is no meditation

mandog
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:10 pm

Re: Learning Tibetan

Post by mandog » Fri Oct 05, 2018 4:46 pm

In general, is it more important for a practitioner to focus on learning Classical Tibetan or Colloquial Tibetan?

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javier.espinoza.t
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Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2017 12:29 am
Location: Chile

Re: Learning Tibetan

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Fri Oct 05, 2018 5:00 pm

mandog wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 4:46 pm
In general, is it more important for a practitioner to focus on learning Classical Tibetan or Colloquial Tibetan?
i would like to ask the same.

dharma tibetan is different?
what are you doing

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conebeckham
Posts: 4930
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: Learning Tibetan

Post by conebeckham » Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:03 pm

javier.espinoza.t wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 5:00 pm
mandog wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 4:46 pm
In general, is it more important for a practitioner to focus on learning Classical Tibetan or Colloquial Tibetan?
i would like to ask the same.

dharma tibetan is different?
Yes.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

mandog
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:10 pm

Re: Learning Tibetan

Post by mandog » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:14 am

mandog wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 4:46 pm
In general, is it more important for a practitioner to focus on learning Classical Tibetan or Colloquial Tibetan?

Does anybody have an answer or even a non-answer?

Bristollad
Posts: 435
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:39 am

Re: Learning Tibetan

Post by Bristollad » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:42 am

mandog wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:14 am
mandog wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 4:46 pm
In general, is it more important for a practitioner to focus on learning Classical Tibetan or Colloquial Tibetan?

Does anybody have an answer or even a non-answer?
It depends. Is your priority to be able to read the texts for yourself? If yes, then it makes sense to priortise classical Tibetan.
Is your priority being able to ask questions of your teacher and understand their answers without needing an interpreter? If yes, then it makes sense to prioritise colloquial Tibetan.
Do you want to be able to read the texts and commentaries, ask you teacher questions and understand their answers? Then you need both.

SilenceMonkey
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:54 am

Re: Learning Tibetan

Post by SilenceMonkey » Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:53 pm

I'm currently attending a great 2 year program in Dharamsala called Lotsawa Rinchen Zangpo Translator Program. It's six months into the course, so the next generation of students will come in late March, 2020. Could be you! :tongue:

Generally, from what I gather... the most thorough language training (spoken and classical) comes from 3 places: Rangjung Yeshe Institute, Lotsawa Rinchen Zangpo and Sarah College (part of the Dalai Lama's monastery, very close to Dharamsala). RYI is super expensive, something like $12,000-$15,000 USD per academic year (degree program). Lotsawa is $8,400 total for two years. Sarah is insanely cheap (you only pay 10,000 rupees tops for room and board, tuition is free), but very difficult to get into. Why? Because they have very few dorm rooms and there is a huge line to get in. If you want to go there, you'd have to apply at least a year or two in advance, and there's no guarantees.

Esukhia is also pretty good (in Dharamsala or through skype). They have a reputation for teaching colloquial pretty well, but not Dharma. However, all the teachers there right now are new and a friend of mine who translates for Chamtrul Rinpoche is learning Words of My Perfect Teacher (in preparation for interpretting) with a teacher there who happens to have the knowledge.

I haven't looked at universities in the west because they tend to be very expensive.

Lotsawa was talking about opening up a summer course. There's also a very good Tibetan teacher at UVA teaching the summer course, Fransizka Oertle. She's something of a legend in Dharamsala.

You could also come to the Tibetan Library in Dharamsala. Classes are cheap and you can join and leave any time throughout the year. They can give you a study visa. There tend to be a lot of gaps in knowledge going from one level to the next, and both classmates and class materials tend to be a mixed bag.

*** Classical is absolutely essential for understanding Dharma. Plain and simple. If you want to know how to talk with Tibetan people (eg. if you plan on living in a Tibetan community) or be able to understand Dharma talks, you would need to understand spoken Tibetan. ***

For those of us who are relatively financially challenged... I'd say, if you're a good independent learner you could find yourself some good textbooks and get private lessons. Over internet, Esukhia and other people usually charge $5 USD (200 rupees) per hour over skype. Something similar in person. If you're staying in a Tibetan monastery, there are often monks and nuns who will give conversation classes for free. And sometimes you can organize a language exchange.

If you're living in a Tibetan community, it helps to be outgoing and talk in Tibetan with as many strangers as you can find. There's a lot of variation in how people say things depending on the region, and it's not all going to be in the books you study. (But talking with Tibetans from different regions, you catch on pretty quickly how to navigate conversations with just about anyone.)

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conebeckham
Posts: 4930
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: Learning Tibetan

Post by conebeckham » Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:18 pm

mandog wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:14 am
mandog wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 4:46 pm
In general, is it more important for a practitioner to focus on learning Classical Tibetan or Colloquial Tibetan?

Does anybody have an answer or even a non-answer?
Silencemonkey nailed it, but in case you missed it, he/she said:
*** Classical is absolutely essential for understanding Dharma. Plain and simple. If you want to know how to talk with Tibetan people (eg. if you plan on living in a Tibetan community) or be able to understand Dharma talks, you would need to understand spoken Tibetan. ***
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

mandog
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:10 pm

Re: Learning Tibetan

Post by mandog » Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:52 pm

SilenceMonkey wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:53 pm
I'm currently attending a great 2 year program in Dharamsala called Lotsawa Rinchen Zangpo Translator Program. It's six months into the course, so the next generation of students will come in late March, 2020. Could be you! :tongue:

Generally, from what I gather... the most thorough language training (spoken and classical) comes from 3 places: Rangjung Yeshe Institute, Lotsawa Rinchen Zangpo and Sarah College (part of the Dalai Lama's monastery, very close to Dharamsala). RYI is super expensive, something like $12,000-$15,000 USD per academic year (degree program). Lotsawa is $8,400 total for two years. Sarah is insanely cheap (you only pay 10,000 rupees tops for room and board, tuition is free), but very difficult to get into. Why? Because they have very few dorm rooms and there is a huge line to get in. If you want to go there, you'd have to apply at least a year or two in advance, and there's no guarantees.

Esukhia is also pretty good (in Dharamsala or through skype). They have a reputation for teaching colloquial pretty well, but not Dharma. However, all the teachers there right now are new and a friend of mine who translates for Chamtrul Rinpoche is learning Words of My Perfect Teacher (in preparation for interpretting) with a teacher there who happens to have the knowledge.

I haven't looked at universities in the west because they tend to be very expensive.

Lotsawa was talking about opening up a summer course. There's also a very good Tibetan teacher at UVA teaching the summer course, Fransizka Oertle. She's something of a legend in Dharamsala.

You could also come to the Tibetan Library in Dharamsala. Classes are cheap and you can join and leave any time throughout the year. They can give you a study visa. There tend to be a lot of gaps in knowledge going from one level to the next, and both classmates and class materials tend to be a mixed bag.

*** Classical is absolutely essential for understanding Dharma. Plain and simple. If you want to know how to talk with Tibetan people (eg. if you plan on living in a Tibetan community) or be able to understand Dharma talks, you would need to understand spoken Tibetan. ***

For those of us who are relatively financially challenged... I'd say, if you're a good independent learner you could find yourself some good textbooks and get private lessons. Over internet, Esukhia and other people usually charge $5 USD (200 rupees) per hour over skype. Something similar in person. If you're staying in a Tibetan monastery, there are often monks and nuns who will give conversation classes for free. And sometimes you can organize a language exchange.

If you're living in a Tibetan community, it helps to be outgoing and talk in Tibetan with as many strangers as you can find. There's a lot of variation in how people say things depending on the region, and it's not all going to be in the books you study. (But talking with Tibetans from different regions, you catch on pretty quickly how to navigate conversations with just about anyone.)

Thank you. This is very helpful.

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