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Language and Grammar

Tibetan Language Learning Tools

The Tibetan Language Project is a collection of audio, visual and text materials for the study of various aspects of the Tibetan Language – reading and writing, grammar and translation. The materials for these tools have been gathered from Tibetans in various monastaries across the Himalayan region. The material has been compiled by Dr Fabian Sanders and is part of the Shang Shung Institute Austria Ka-Ter Translation Project.
While filming the calligraphers, we chose to leave them complete freedom of movement (of the writing board, hand, pen and so forth), trying to compensate for unwanted shifts during the editing phase. Sometimes this may have resulted in some residual shifts and movements impossible to remove. We apologise for that!

The Tibetan Language Project includes the following features:

  1. Fabian Filming600px

    A series of short video clips illustrating the alphabet, the sound of the letters and the way to write them exemplified by standard Tibetan readers and calligraphers, in addition to computer graphics. Furthermore the construction of a Tibetan syllable is stressed, again with pronunciation of the spelling and calligraphy, spanning all possible syllables and thus enabling the student to read any Tibetan text. These video clips have already been prepared and are ready to be used (see Here). Further plans are to add other dialects (mostly eastern Tibetan and Amdo) and Ume (headless) calligraphic styles (currently only Uchen, blockprint style, is used). For the Dzogchen community similar material will be produced to learn Chögyal Namkhai Norbu's Drajyor phonetic system used in the practice books.

  2. Another series of videos, interspersed with some video recorded lessons and text materials will illustrate the grammar of the classical Tibetan language. The entire structure of the language will be explained starting from the formation of words, grammatical particles and so on. Through the use of colored text to highlight various grammatical functions, these are illustrated in a clear and easily understandable way. All examples have Tibetan audio. The first results of this method, which has been produced thanks to an initial sponsorship by the Shang Shung Institute Ka-Ter Translation Project, have been successfully experimented with students from the Ca’ Foscari university in Venice, and of the Ka-Ter Translation Courses of the Shang Shung Institute.

  3. The last aspect of the project is to produce a series of short videos on various aspects of Tibetan language, like readings in different dialects of the same text with subtitles, interviews with Tibetan grammarians and scholars as well as with western translators of Tibetan texts. This will constitute, over time, a substantial database of information on all aspects of Tibetan language.

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Students will start studying the basics, pronunciation and grammar, on their own or during the translation courses where they will work according to their possibilities (basic, intermediate and advanced). All students will receive exercises and a kind of ‘homework’ (short text parts to translate) and then we will correct it and send it back along with explanations and suggestions.

This project is produced by Dr Fabian Sanders and Margherita Pansa in collaboration with the International Shang Shung Institute. If you wish to find out more about the project, you may contact Dr Fabian Sanders Here.

Help to Support This Project

The Tibetan Language Project is only possible due to the generosity of our sponsors and there is much more to come. Please give generously...

Donate Online

Ka-Ter: Tibetan Alphabet Learning Tool - Wylie

Learn how to read, write and pronounce the Tibetan alphabet using the Wylie transliteration system

Click on the letters below and watch the popup video's. Donate

The Thirty Consonants

Unaspirated
High Tone


Aspirated
Mid Tone

Voiced
Low Tone

Nasal
Low Tone
Guttural 1 ka wylie 2 kha wylie 3 ga wylie 4 nga wylie
 Palatal 5 ca wylie 6 cha wylie 7 ja wylie 8 nya wylie
 Dental 9 ta wylie 10 tha Drajyor 11 da wylie 12 na wylie
 Labial 13 pa wylie 14 pha wylie 15 ba wylie 16 ma wylie
 Dental 17 tsa wylie 18 tsha wylie 19 dza wylie 20 wa wylie
 Low Tone 21 zha wylie 22 za wylie 23 'a wylie 24 ya wylie
 Mid Tone 25 ra wylie 26 la wylie 27 sha wylie 28 sa wylie
High Tone 29 ha wylie 30 a wylie

The Four Vowels

31 a gi gu I 32 a zhabs kyu U 33 a greng bu E 34 a na ro O

Letters for Sanskrit Transliteration

35 ta Log 36 tha log 37 da log 38 na log
39 sha log 40 ksha log 41 g ha 42 dz ha dzha
43 da log ha dha 44 da ha 45 b ha bha

Help to Support This Project

The Tibetan Language Project is only possible due to the generosity of our sponsors and there is much more to come. Please give generously...

Donate Online

Drajyor Tibetan Alphabet Learning Tool

Drajyor Transliteration System for the Dzogchen Community

drajyorlrgThe Drajyor transliteration system was created by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu to enable the practitioners of the Dzogchen Community to pronounce correctly the invocations of the practices and the most recurrent words of the teaching. To purchase the Drajyor text: Click Here

To learn how to read, write and pronounce the Tibetan alphabet using the Drajyor transliteration system, simply click on the letters below and watch the popup video's. If you enjoy using this tool, please help to support it by making an Online Donation.

The Thirty Consonants

Unaspirated
High Tone


Aspirated
Mid Tone

Voiced
Low Tone

Nasal
Low Tone
Guttural 1 ka Drajyor 2 kha Drajyor 3 ga Drajyor 4 nga Drajyor
 Palatal 5 ca Drajyor 6 cha Drajyor 7 ja drajyor 8 nya drajyor
 Dental 9 ta drajyor 10 tha drajyor 11 da drajyor 12 na drajyor
 Labial 13 pa drajyor 14 pha drajyor 15 ba drajyor 16 ma drajyor
 Dental 17 tsa drajyor 18 tsha drajyor 19 dza drajyor 20 wa drajyor
 Low Tone 21 zha drajyor 22 za drajyor 23 'a drajyor 24 ya drajyor
 Mid Tone 25 ra drajyor 26 la drajyor 27 sha drajyor 28 sa drajyor
High Tone 29 ha drajyor 30 a drajyor

The Four Vowels

31 i drajyor 32 u drajyor 33 e drajyor 34 o drajyor

Letters for Sanskrit Transliteration

35 ta log drajyor 36 tha log drajyor 37 da log drajyor 38 na log drajyor
39 sha log drajyor 40 ksha log drajyor 41 g ha Drajyor 42 dz ha Drajyor
43 da log ha Drajyor 44 d ha Drajyor 45 b ha Drajyor

Help to Support This Project

The Tibetan Language Project is only possible due to the generosity of our sponsors and there is much more to come. Please give generously...

Donate Online

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