བོད་སྐད་སྙིང་པོ། The Heart of Tibetan Language: སྲོལ་རྒྱུན་བརྡ་སྤྲོད་ཕྱོགས་བསྡུས་དང་དེང་རབས་སློབ་གཉེར་ཐབས་ལམ་ཟུང་འབྲེལ། A Synthesis of Indigenous Grammar and Contemporary Learning Methodology

· Library of Tibetan Works and Archives
11 reviews

About this ebook

This textbook will thus not only help you to acquire language skills in colloquial Tibetan, it will simultaneously introduce you to a whole new manner of thinking and viewing yourself and the world. 

   Unlike all other spoken Tibetan language textbooks that I’m aware of, this one (almost) does not make use of grammatical terms and categories commonly used in European languages. Instead, you will become familiar with the notions, logic and categorizations that are used by Tibetans themselves: namely, the all-pervasive notion of “Self and Other” བདག་ & གཞན་, volitional and non-volitional (བྱེད་འབྲེལ་ལས་ཚིག་ & བྱེད་མེད་ལས་ཚིག་), etc. In this way, you too, will eventually come to understand the Tibetan mindset.

   Being a strong advocate of such an approach is not personal philosophy and preference. It is, more importantly, the fruit of teaching Tibetan language from such a point of view over the past seven years. The response of all of my students to such approach has been extremely positive.

You may still ask: “Why bother to learn all these new categories?”

   As you will soon realize, the Tibetan language is very particular. Letters have genders, an honorific language register is used for certain people and even sacred places and buildings, and the use of an auxiliary indicates whether or not the speaker has direct experience of what is being said. None of this exists in the English language and there are, therefore, no English grammatical categories for such functions. Learning all of these differences may seem like a headache initially – but they are profound and fascinating and I trust you will come to enjoy putting the puzzle pieces together!

Ratings and reviews

11 reviews
Alex H
January 29, 2023
I recently purchaised the pdf version of this book. Yes, as many other books, is DRM protected so it cannot be printed out but it works well with Adobe Digital Edition especially on a laptop or desktop. The book itself is quite well done and the grammar part is the closest match to how Tibettans are learning about their own grammar. Regarding the audio material, it can be bulk downloaded but traks are hard to identify as the file names are Tibettan numbers+Tibettan text.
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Patrik Izing
November 10, 2022
The ebook version is really not user friendly. The resolution of the book is not good enough to enlarge the page to clearly see the characters if your vision is not perfect. You can see it, but forget zooming in too much. I have perfect vision, yet, finding it hard to read at times. For each listening you will need to scan a qr code with whatever app you can, find the listening, copy the link, open it in a browser and then create your own folder on google drive and save them there one by one if you would like to find the listenings at one place, because the author doesn't provide these in a collection. Also, the Google Play app doesn't support iPad pencils and you cannot take notes on the page. This book must have be nice 15 years ago but it forgot to keep track of time and keep pace with technological advances, hence the low score.
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Anthony Smith
September 3, 2020
If you want to learn Tibetan then get this excellent book. As a beginner who has had numerous false starts due to the lack of good learning material this book and course will transform your learning experience. It is well structured and there is detail in the explanations. The audio files which accompany the book not only have the conversations at a pace which new learners can follow but the supplimentaty parts are also in the recordings with words spelt out loud. This is really important part of learning Tibetan so it is great to see this included. The Author herself has been exceptionally helpful in responding to a number of questions I had. This really is a fantastic piece of work with a huge amount of dedication to not only learn this language but for it's preservation as well.
4 people found this review helpful
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About the author

Born in multilingual Switzerland, Franziska Oertle from childhood on was fascinated by foreign languages. Upon her first encounter with His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama in 2005, she left her teaching job and moved to Nepal to study Tibetan language and Buddhist philosophy. Her dream and goal was to eventually understand His Holiness’ teaching in Tibetan. While doing her M.A. in Buddhist Philosophy and Himalayan Languages at Rangjung Yeshe Institute in Kathmandu, Nepal, she started teaching colloquial Tibetan there. Co-teaching those courses with a Tibetan native speaker colleague, she developed a deep interest in the indigenous Tibetan grammar and the Tibetan way of explaining the language. She wrote her M.A. thesis on Tibetan grammar and decided then to write a 4-volume language text book using that “insider” approach. Over the past ten years, she has been teaching and developing Tibetan language curricula and programs in various institutions mostly in Nepal and India. She is presently teaching modern Tibetan at the University of Virginia over zoom platform to make the course accessible for students from various universities.  

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