Tsadra Foundation Hosts Tibetan Language Intensive at CU, Boulder

UPDATE! The 2019 summer program was the last of these events.

Tsadra Foundation’s first Summer Tibetan Language Intensive concluded on August 25, 2018 at the University of Colorado, Boulder. The course created an opportunity for twenty-four students who otherwise could not have afforded long breaks from work, family, or school–or travel to Asia–to experience a condensed and rigorous training with excellent language instructors and master translators.

Students from as close as Boulder and as far from Colorado as Australia and Brazil traveled to attend the two-week-long intensive course. Three tracks–beginning, intermediate, and advanced–were taught by Lama Sarah Harding, Dr. Jules Levinson, Cinthia Font, Miguel Sawaya, and Tashi Choezom. Students were placed according to a self-assessment of their skill level with classical and colloquial Tibetan and each track was designed specifically to support the development of skills in both classical/literary and spoken Tibetan.

“The content was perfectly suited to me and our class. It was useful, inspiring!” -Advanced student

Advanced students spent their mornings with Sarah Harding working their way through Mendong Tsampa Rinpoche’s commentary on the famous Aspiration Prayer of Definitive Mahamudra (Chakchen Monlam) by the third Karmapa Rangjung Dorje, while the beginning and intermediate students focused on classical and colloquial Tibetan respectively.

Afternoons of the eleven-day course featured Jules Levinson working with the advanced students to develop skills in oral translation while the intermediate students worked through classical works like the Praise to Manjushri (གང་གི་བློ་གྲོས་) and Tsongkhapa’s Three Principle Aspects of the Path (ལམ་ཙོ་རྣམ་གསུམ་,). Beginning students continued their work on colloquial skills by learning songs and practicing sentence construction utilizing various interactive methods.

Short workshops were offered during the course based on students’ interests, including lunch sessions on digital resources for Tibetan translators, Sanskrit for Tibetan translators, methodologies for oral interpretation, and a presentation on the Amdo dialect and the Ume script.

“I loved my teachers! Simply fantastic!” – Beginning student

Tsadra Foundation wishes to offer sincere thanks to Holly Gayley, the Center for Asian Studies, and the University of Colorado for helping us host the event!