LAN 511 Intermediate Colloquial Tibetan (Semester 2)

September 13, 2021-December 15, 2021

Dates: Mondays and Wednesdays 6:00pm Pacific Time, September 13 - December 15, 2021

Faculty: Gerry Wiener and Nima Bhuti

This course is a continuation of our Colloquial Tibetan series and is oriented toward continuing students who have had training in the Tibetan alphabet, spelling, and beginning dialogs. The emphasis of the classes is on developing further fluency with spoken Tibetan both in listening and in speaking. Students focus on training in successively more complex Tibetan colloquial dialogs. Spoken Tibetan is emphasized in class and students are encouraged to use Tibetan when asking questions as opposed to resorting to English. The course covers the material in chapters 6, 7, 8 of The Heart of Tibetan Language (HOTL) by Franziska Oertle. Homework is assigned.

Prerequisites: Students should know:

  1. The equivalent of the first five chapters of HOTL
  2. How to pronounce in the Central Tibetan dialect all the letters and vowels in the Tibetan alphabet
  3. How to identify the main letter of a Tibetan word
  4. What prefixes, superfixes, subfixes, suffixes, and second suffixes are, and how they affect pronunciation
  5. How to spell a Tibetan word aloud
  6. What the essential and existential verbs are and how they are used (yin, min, red, ma red, yod, med, ‘dug, mi ‘dug, yod red, yod ma red)
  7. Demonstrative pronouns (‘di, de, pha gi, etc.)
  8. Personal pronouns (khong, khyed rang, etc.)
  9. Volitional and non-volitional verbs
  10. Transitive and intransitive verbs
  11. Verb tenses (past, present, and future) and auxiliary verbs
  12. Basics of locative, genitive, and instrumental cases
  13. Some understanding of the difference between honorific and non-honorific terms and when to use them
  14. How to read somewhat more complex Tibetan sentences aloud (but not necessarily understand their entire meaning)

Required Texts:  Heart of Tibetan Language: A Synthesis of Indigenous Grammar and Contemporary Learning Methodology (Vol. 1, Text Book) by Franziska Oertle and the associated Exercise Book

Available at:

Questions? Contact Elena at

Cost: $320