Why Study Tibetan? Whenever the 14th Dalai Lama meets with Tibetans, he stresses the fact that the Tibetan language is the one that has best preserved the widest range of Buddhist teachings. Indeed, over the centuries Tibetan intellectuals have maintained and elaborated on Indian teachings on Buddhist philosophy, all the while composing original works on history, medicine, grammar, and other subjects. The written form of the language evolved beginning in the 7th century and is largely unchanged today.
The renown of the rich corpus of Tibetan literature has spread well beyond the confines of Tibet itself. Many Mongol and Manchu emperors sought Tibetan lamas as tutors for both themselves Now, whether under Chinese rule or in exile, Tibetans are adapting their civilization to modern times.
Learning Tibetan will make you part of that conversation and allow you to engage in the exploration of an ancient culture possessing a great history and a fascinating civilization. At IU, you can not only become proficient in Tibetan but also study Tibet in depth by choosing a Major or Minor in Central Eurasian Studies.