Introduction to the Tibetan Language

Instructor Contact
Student Help

This course was created by Sonam Rinchen Chusang.

For questions about the course, please email

UBC Learning Commons
Tech Support
Student IT Helpdesk


Introduction to the Tibetan Language

Introduction to the Tibetan Language is an introductory course for students to study colloquial expressions in Lhasa Tibetan. This course is suitable for students with basic knowledge of Tibetan script. With English transliteration of Tibetan sentences,* Tibetan vocabulary translated into English, and audio and visual resources connected in each lesson, students should be able to navigate the course with ease. The layout of the course and lessons is explained below.

Lesson videos
In each of these short video lessons, grammatical points are explained along with a few typical example sentences. The videos include Tibetan, English transliteration, and English translations.

Lesson texts
The text of sentences and lesson vocabulary are included in each module along with Tibetan transliteration and an English translation. An additional vocabulary section is included with most lessons. A link to the Quizlet card set covering the vocabulary in each lesson is also provided in these sections.

Lesson on script
This section offers a video on the Tibetan script and its various components: constants, vowels, prefixes, suffixes, superscripts, subscripts, and folded letters. In each section, the text is provided with English transliteration.

*Based on the Tibetan & Himalayan Library's Online Tibetan Phonetics Converter (

This Open Educational Resource (OER) is designed to be a self-paced, self-study course undertaken by the learner. The site will not be actively monitored and no assignments will be graded. If you notice that any links have stopped working or encounter any other problems with the site, please contact the UBC Himalaya Program:

To continue your Tibetan language and cultural learning, please visit the Himalaya Program’s Language Learning website ( to learn more about courses offered during throughout the academic year and summer semester.

The development of the Nepali and Tibetan Open Educational Resources was made possible through funding from the Institute of Asian Research (IAR) at UBC’s School of Public Policy & Global Affairs and an UBCV OER Rapid Innovation Grant. The UBC Himalaya Program is grateful for additional support from the Centre for Community Engaged Learning (CCEL), Go Global, the Teaching and Learning Engagement Fund (TLEF), the Department of Asian Studies, and the Khyentse Foundation. Special thanks to Graduate Assistant Patrick Dowd and Undergraduate Work Learn Assistants James Binks and Belinda Suen for their support of this project.

We also thank our Tibetan community partners at Tsengdok Monastery, the Tibetan Culture Association of British Columbia, Kalsang Dawa, and Terra Breads for their ongoing support. 

Acknowledgment: UBC’s Point Grey Campus is located on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam) people. The land it is situated on has always been a place of learning for the Musqueam people, who for millennia have passed on in their culture, history, and traditions from one generation to the next on this site.

CC Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike This course content is offered under a CC Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license. Content in this course can be considered under this license unless otherwise noted.