Our courses are designed to accompany students from the condition of absolute beginners to the state of being competent translators of classical Tibetan texts.
Knowledge of Classical Tibetan language is particularly helpful for practitioners of Tibetan spiritual traditions, and is a priceless resource for students of medicine, arts and other sciences.
Participating in an ongoing series of courses and trainings, students learn to read and write, the basic grammar and vocabulary. Later they start to actually work on texts drawn from many different genres and milieus, schools and philosophical views in order to train their capability to understand the language and to build a cultural background that will assist their translation work.
At the intermediate and advanced levels, students are encouraged to work in groups, in order to exchange ideas and learn from one another.
You will learn
At each level, students obtain some concrete benefit: at the basic level they are able to read and correctly pronounce Tibetan texts, which is of particular benefit for practitioners. At the intermediate level students will be able to confront Tibetan texts with existing translations. Finally they will be able to read untranslated texts on their own and start producing their original works.
Module 1 - Reading and writing
The first module encompasses:
- Introduction to Tibetan Language
- Learning how to read and write the thirty letters and four vowel signs of the tibetan alphabet.
- Syllable formation (prescribed, superscribed, subscribed, final and post-final letters)
- Correct pronunciation and spelling exercises.
- Basic Tibetan Calligraphy
Module 2 - Grammar
- Basics of Tibetan lexical morphology and word formation/word formatives.
- Types of syllables
- Using dictionaries
- Nominal syntagms and word order
- The structure of a Tibetan sentence
- Grammatical connectors and their function
- Tibetan Calligraphy
Module 3 - Guided Translation (open)
In this module students start to read and to identify grammar and structure of simple sentences and excerpts from texts, they are guided in elaborating interpretation and translation step by step.
Module 3 - Guided Translation (restricted)
In this module students begin to read identifying grammar and structure of simple sentences and excerpts from texts. They are guided in elaborating interpretation and translation step by step, using practice texts commonly used in the Dzogchen Community.
Module 4 - Translation (open)
Students review in groups the translation of texts by different authors on a variety of subjects previously prepared individually.
Module 4 - Translation (restricted)
Students review in groups the translation of texts previously prepared individually, mainly focussing on "The Precious Vase" by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu and of extended excerpts from texts quoted therein.
Module 5 - Advanced Translation (open)
Students translate texts in groups and prepare them for publication. They also learn to research and produce a critical apparatus, footnotes, indexes and so forth.
Module 5 - Advanced Translation (restricted)
Students translate in groups and prepare them for publication texts exclusively intended for members of the Dzogchen Community. They also learn to research and produce a critical apparatus, footnotes, indexes and so forth.
Students specialise in understanding and translating basic Dzogchen texts, including technical jargon, doctrinal perspectives and so forth.
Module 7 - restricted
Translation of Dzogchen texts intended for publication.
Introduction and Practice of Tibetan Uchen and/or Umed Calligraphy.