Learning Classical Tibetan

For the past three weeks I have been studying under a new Tibetan teacher, Lowell, who is American and is the fiancé of one of my good friends here. He has studied Tibetan for a long time and often teaches at the Ranjung Yeshi Institute in Kathmandu, Nepal. He has been super gracious to Veronika and I, by offering to give us private lessons to study literary Tibetan. He says that if we are able to complete this first book before he heads to Nepal for a few months, we should be able to read most Tibetan sentences and be able to identify most parts of a sentence. One of the advantages of learning literary Tibetan is that it can help see the differences between the dialects and actually for learning Amdo Tibetan, literary Tibetan can be quite helpful as Amdo Tibetans produce more sounds in their dialect than Lhasa Tibetans do.  Read More

Language Envy

Sometimes I experience what I call as language envy. In many ways I am in awe of the person in front of me, who as an outsider of a culture, has learned another language and appears to be able to partake in conversation even if it is slow or with hiccups. I look at myself and think will that be me one day? Can I too speak at the same level confidently in this language? Why didn’t I start earlier? I should really start studying. All these thoughts enter my head at once and I think that this must be envy, haha. Read More

Confessions of a Lazy Language Learner

I always start out so excited and ambitious with languages and then well…I fall off that high horse real quick. I love learning languages, but I’m lazy. Sometimes I make a lot of progress only to backtrack, because I haven’t opened up a book in a month or two. Which is not how one becomes better at language it actually  makes the process that much slower and aggravating.  Read More

Studying the Tibetan Alphabet

 

Manual of Standard Tibetan. Colloquial Tibetan.  현대 티벳어.

In my spare time I’ve been trying to teach myself the Tibetan alphabet. I haven’t really gotten that far. I’ve managed to basically remember between 8-12 of the 3o consonants and I remember the 4 vowels. I haven’t made it through the rest of the alphabet though. Some of it is for pronunciation reasons. I feel like I’m close on the pronunciation and at other times  I feel like I have no clue if I’m pronouncing it right. Read More

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