Classical Tibetan

Classical Tibetan is offered from Columbia by Professor Sonam Tsering Ngulphu. For more information, please contact

Course Offerings

First Year Classical Tibetan I

This class is designed to meet the needs of both first-time learners of Tibetan, as well as students with one year or less of modern colloquial Tibetan. It is intended to lay the foundation for reading classical Tibetan writings, including religious, historical, and literary texts. By focusing on basic grammatical constructions and frequently used vocabulary, this class offers an introduction to the classical Tibetan language.

Second Year Classical Tibetan I

The Second Year Classical Tibetan will focus on reading and comprehension by studying the works of prominent Tibetan authors such as Gungtang Tenpé Dronme, Nyangrel Nyima Woser, Dza Petrul, Phabongka Dechen Nyingpo, and Gendun Chopel. The topics, drawn from different genres, primarily include religion, philosophy, history, politics, art, and medicine. In addition to reinforcing the knowledge of the case-, particle-, and phonological-based grammar paradigms covered in the foundational courses, this course introduces some essential style elements in Tibetan writings and publications to lay a firm substructure in reading advanced lexicology and poetics/poetry in written works. This course includes sessions on Umé Tsuktung (short unhooded serif) script to complement students’ formerly acquired skills in reading Uchen (hooded serif) and Umé Tsukring (long unhooded serif) scripts.          

Literary Classical Tibetan I

This course will focus on helping students gain greater profiency in reading Tibetan Buddhist philosophical and religious historical texts. 

For class times and locations, please see the Schedule page.