SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of China and Inner Asia

Intensive Elementary Tibetan

Module Code:
Unit value:
Year of study:
Year 1 or Year 2
Taught in:
Full Year



Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

At the end of a course, a student should be able to demonstrate. . .

  1. knowledge of the Tibetan script and Modern Standard Tibetan pronunciation
  2. good command of basic Tibetan grammatical patterns both modern and classical
  3. ability to have basic interactions in Modern Standard Tibetan (greetings,  introductions, asking the way, etc.)
  4. ability to read basic Tibetan texts both modern and classical
  5. ability to use a Tibetan dictionary


Total of 22 weeks teaching with 8 hours classroom contact per week.

Scope and syllabus

At the end of the course, the student should be able to read elementary modern and classical texts with guidance from the instructor and hold a simple conversation in Tibetan and function adequately in standard social situations requiring the use of Tibetan.

Method of assessment

Two written examination (50% [25%each]) taken in May/June, one 15 minutes oral examination (20%); end of term 1 test (15%); mid term 2 test (15%).

Suggested reading

  • Hahn, Michael (Ulrich Pagel translator) 2005. A Textbook of Classical Literary Tibetan. London: SOAS. 
  • Tournadre Nicolas and Sangda Dorje. 2003. Manual of Standard Tibetan. Ithaca: Snow Lion.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules