Study Tibetan Online: Classical & Colloquial Tibetan Language Courses

Begin your Tibetan language learning adventures with an experienced Tibetan-English translator and Buddhist scholar. Courses for beginners, intermediate learners and advanced students are offered, in both classical/literary Tibetan and colloquial/spoken Tibetan.

Image above: Thönmi Sambhoṭa (Tibetan: ཐོན་མི་སམྦྷོ་ཊ་, Wylie: thon mi sambhoTa; 7th century), traditionally regarded as the inventor of the Tibetan script.

Contact for more information: TibetanTeaching@gmail.com WhatsApp: +40 769 824 828

Do you want to study Tibetan language online, but with an experienced Western scholar and translator, who can accurately explain Tibetan words and grammar in English clearly?

Do you want to know how a translator would analyze a Tibetan text, directly from the source?

Do you want to become literate in classical Tibetan, but also want to know how to pronounce the texts properly?

Would you like to learn how to speak colloquial Tibetan in an authentic manner, according to the most easily understood standard dialect?

Or maybe you want to study a particular Tibetan text in detail? Or perhaps learn how to read your favorite Tibetan teachings and practices?

Erick Tsiknopoulos, a professional Tibetan-English translator and scholar of Buddhism who has been studying Tibetan language since 2004 and working as Tibetan-English translator and interpreter since 2008, offers a unique and effective online learning experience, for Tibetan language students of all levels.

Classes are held live with the teacher, via video and/or audio call. Group courses are also available through Zoom.

Having spent over 11 years in South Asia studying Tibetan language, literature and Buddhist philosophy while living in the Tibetan communities of the Himalayas (2008-2019), Erick Tsiknopoulos offers students a rare insight into the subtle cultural, social, mythical and psychological aspects of the language (so often overlooked and relatively unknown outside the Tibetan communities themselves), through a bilingual and cross-cultural approach which can be more readily understood by English speaking students. His primary areas of expertise which inform his teaching methodology are the careful and scholastic translation and explanation of Buddhist texts, as well as an unusual fluency in the ÜTsang (Central Tibetan) dialect of spoken Tibetan.

Every individual course is specifically designed to suit the students’ personal learning goals. Students can choose to focus on either classical (literary) Tibetan or spoken (colloquial) Tibetan language as their main subject of study during each course.

Courses on Tibetan-English translation theory and technique, as well as courses which cover particular Tibetan texts, are also offered. Students are free to to study specific Tibetan texts, so feel free to state your interests.

For more information, please contact by email:

  1. TibetanTeaching@gmail.com (tibetanteaching@gmail.com)
  2. E.Tsikno@gmail.com (e.tsikno@gmail.com)

Or by WhatsApp: +40 769 824 828


Types of Courses Offered

  1. Courses of different lengths and time-frames: Introductory Courses (5 classes), Short Courses (10 classes), Medium Courses (20 classes), Long Courses (40 classes) and Extensive Courses (80 classes).
  2. Courses in both classical/literary Tibetan and colloquial/spoken Tibetan are available. Please state your choice.
  3. However, courses which focus mainly on classical/literary Tibetan can, and usually do, incorporate some aspects of colloquial/spoken Tibetan, and vice-versa. This also depends on students’ particular interest and goals.

Course Basics

  1. Classes are 1 hour or 60 minutes in length.
  2. Longer class times, such as one and half hours (90 minutes) or two hours (120 minutes) are available upon request, and their prices will be adjusted accordingly.

Choosing Your Tibetan Language Course

For each course, please choose Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced for your proficiency level, and either classical/literary Tibetan or spoken/colloquial Tibetan as the main subject to be studied.

  • Introductory Course: 5 classes (5 hours total)
  • Short Course: 10 classes (10 hours total)
  • Medium Course: 20 classes (20 hours total)
  • Long Course: 40 classes (40 hours total)
  • Extensive Intensive Course: 80 classes (80 hours total)

Proficiency Levels

  1. Beginner Level Courses are for students who are new or relatively new to the language, or who have only learned the basics of reading etc. (0-100 hours of previous study).
  2. Intermediate Level Courses are for students who have taken some Tibetan classes before, and are able to read Tibetan to some extent (100-200 hours of previous study).
  3. Advanced Level Courses are for students who have the ability to read Tibetan to a serviceable degree of literacy (200-300 hours of previous study).

Classical Tibetan or Colloquial Tibetan?

  1. Please choose either 1) classical/literary Tibetan or 2) spoken/colloquial Tibetan as the main subject for each course selected.
  2. Although both of these aspects of the language, respectively, will be included and referenced during the courses, it is better to focus only on one aspect at a time. The courses should be mainly centered around the study of either spoken/colloquial Tibetan or classical/literary Tibetan, and will be structured accordingly.
  3. For most students, unless they plan on becoming Tibetan translator or interpreter, and/or plan on spending significant amounts of time around Tibetan speakers in Asia, classical/literary Tibetan is the more useful of the two.

Connection Method for Classes

  1. Skype and Zoom are the main apps used for class connection.
  2. For WhatsApp or Facebook video or audio call, please ask the teacher for contact details.
  3. Other video or audio call methods are also possible. Please state your preference.

Class times and scheduling

  1. To be arranged between teacher and student.
  2. Time zone differences must be taken into consideration for scheduling of classes. This will be discussed with the teacher prior to arranging the class schedule.

If you have any other questions, please email the teacher at tibetanteaching@gmail.com or e.tsikno@gmail.com for more information.


Course payment details

  1. Classes are offered at the flat rate of USD $25 per hour.
  2. PayPal is the preferred mode of payment.
  3. PayPal email addresses: tibetanteaching@gmail.com, trikayatranslations@gmail.com
  4. For PayPal payment, in order to avoid transfer fees, please select “For friends and family” before sending the payment. Doing this eliminates transfer fees.
  5. If this is not possible, please include an extra 5 percent of the total bill in order to cover transfer fees.
  6. Payment through other methods (non-Paypal) is also possible. Please contact us for details.
  7. Courses are to be prepaid before beginning classes.

About the Teacher, Erick Tsiknopoulos

  • Professional Tibetan-English translator and Tibetan language teacher
  • Amazon author profile: amazon.com/author/ericktsiknopoulos
  • Highly literate in classical/literary Tibetan, and also has a high level of fluency in spoken/colloquial Tibetan.
  • Lived in the Himalayan regions of India and Nepal among the Tibetan community from 2008 to 2019.
  • Has been working as a professional Tibetan-English textual translator since 2008, and since then has produced English translations of hundreds of Tibetan texts. Many of these have been or will be published in electronic and printed book form. Some of these are available for purchase on Amazon.com.
  • Familiar with most subjects of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, theory and practice, and is able to teach on most Tibetan texts by way of linguistic analysis and their meanings, with reference to their specific context. This includes hermeneutic exegesis and scholastic commentary within the broader spectrum of Buddhist Studies, according to both Western and Tibetan models.
  • Erick Tsiknopoulos is also able to teach in the medium of Tibetan language itself, teaching the classes in spoken Tibetan language, if desired or applicable, for more advanced students of spoken Tibetan.
Erick Tsiknopoulos feeding the pigeons in front of the Great Stupa of Jarunkhashor, Boudhanath, Nepal.

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