Feb 27 - Mar 23, 2012

Intensive Classical Tibetan Language course

Prof. Kurt Schwalbe

This is the fifth Prof. Schwalbe is offering this wonderful course at Deer Park. Students from the last two years have given very positive feedback. In particular, this intensive and enjoyable course has high success rates with people who had previously started to study Tibetan and given up in frustration. Two levels are offered: introductory and intermediate. English is the language of instruction. Below is the approximate outline of the language course as a week by week plan.


First week: Learn the writing system and pronunciation
Second week: Start learning the grammar, the way thelanguage is put together. Illustrate by reading phrases together.
Third week: Continue learning grammar. Illustrate by reading simple sentences.
Fourth week: Read more advanced sentences. Read a folk tale and the Heart Sutra.


We will start with a brief review of Classical Tibetan grammar.  Next we will read some single stanza poems to get "warmed up".  Then we will read the "Praises to the Twenty-One Taras" and the "Heart Sutra" as examples of Tibetan translations from Sanskrit.  We will then read devotional poems written by Tibetan authors.  Everyone should have a copy of "Daily Prayer Book: a Collection of Essential Daily Prayers" which is available in the Deer Park Institute Book Store as well as pen and notebook

An Introduction to Classical Tibetan by Stephen Hodge is an excellent reference for both courses but is not required.

Kurt Schwalbe

Kurt Schwalbe holds a Ph.D in History of Religion from the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA. He studied Classical Tibetan and Sanskrit at graduate school and at Serlo Monastery in Solu Khumbu, Nepal. Kurt has taught History of Religions in colleges in Washington and California, USA, and Classical Tibetan at the Nyingma Institute in Berkeley, Ewam Choden in Kensington, CA, and Sakya Kachod Choling in Friday Harbor, WA. He has been teaching a popular month-long intensive course in Classical Tibetan at Deer Park Institute annually since 2008. Kurt is ordained as a Unitarian Universalist Minister and practices vipassana meditation, Tibetan sadhana and tai chi chuan.