Subject Guide Sections

  • Dictionaries, Grammars, Tools
  • Buddhist Texts: Databases, Catalogs, Digital Libraries
  • Translation and Translating
  • Tibetan Language Programs

“Studying Tibetan language at the textual level is one of the best ways to learn the practice and philosophy of Tibetan Buddhism…”
— José Cabezón, PhD, XIVth Dalai Lama Professor of Tibetan Buddhism at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a founding member of the Board of Trustees of Maitripa College

Dictionaries, Grammars, Tools


  • Hackett Paul G. 2019. Tibetan Verb Lexicon: Second Edition Updated and Expanded. Shambhala. JABL
  • Magee, William and Elizabeth Napper. 1993. Fluent Tibetan: A Proficiency Oriented Learning System. Snow Lion Publications. JABL (audio files)
  • Preston, Craig. 2005. How to Read Classical Tibetan. Snow Lion Publications. JABL
  • Wilson, Joe. 1992. Translating Buddhism from Tibetan. Snow Lion Publications. JABL (audio files and guide)

Buddhist Texts: Databases, Catalogs, Digital Libraries

Translation and Translating

  • Cabezón, José Ignacio, chair. “Translating the Dharma.” 2010 International Conference on Tibetan Buddhism, Emory University. – Jeffrey Hopkins and Thupten Jinpa, keynote speakers; Gerardo Abboud, Sarah Harding, Timothy McNeill, and Geshe Dadul Namgyal, panelists.
  • Doboom Tulku, ed. 1995. Buddhist Translation: Problems and Perspectives. Manohar. (Includes chapters by Cabezón, Napper, Ruegg, Wilson, and other noted scholars) (, JABL)
  • Hackett Paul G. 2019. Learning Classical Tibetan: A Reader for Translating Buddhist Texts. Snow Lion. JABL
  • Jinpa, Thupten. [n.d.] Thupten Jinpa on The Art of Translating Tibetan. A Wisdom Masterclass. (
  • Ruegg, David Seyfort. 2016. “On Translating Buddhist Texts: A Survey and Some Reflections.” In Wangchuk Dorji, ed. Cross-cultural Transmission of Buddhist Texts: Theories and Practices of Translation. Department of Indian and Tibetan Studies, Universität Hamburg. (
  • Translation and Transmission (Tsadra Foundation) — Meetings and conferences themed around the transmission of Tibetan Buddhism.

Tibetan Language Programs