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Translating Buddhism From Tibetan: An Introduction To The Tibetan Literary Language And The Translation Of Buddhist Texts From Tibetan [Hardcover]

Joe B. Wilson
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 85.00
Price: CDN$ 53.55 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

Jan. 1 1992
This complete textbook on classical Tibetan is suitable for beginning or intermediate students. It begins with rules for reading writing and pronouncing Tibetan, gradually carrying the reader through the patterns seen in the formation of words and into the repeating patterns of Tibetan phrases, clauses, and sentences. Students with prior experience will find the seven appendices—which review the rules of pronunciation grammar and syntax—provide an indispensable reference. It balances traditional Tibetan grammatical and syntactic analysis with a use of terminology that reflects English preconceptions about sentence structure. Based on the system developed by Jeffrey Hopkins at the Unversity of Virginia, this book presents in lessons with drills and reading exercises a practical introduction to Tibetan grammar syntax and technical vocabulary used in Buddhist works on philosophy and meditation. An extremely well designed learning system, it serves as an introduction to reading and translating and to Buddhist philosophy and meditation. Through easily memorizable paradigms the student comes to recognize and understand the recurrent patterns of the Tibetan language. Each chapter contains a vocabulary full of helpful Buddhist terms.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as it looks July 7 2003
Format:Hardcover
The first 5 or 6 Chapters are very useful for the Beginner but afterwards it becames increasingly difficult. It hard to understand the explanations on more advance grammar. I think that unnecesarilly tries to explain many concepts instead of teaching the howto of the language as in the first part. I think I should be reworked (at least the last part) in order to make the student to be able to use the grammar at least for some basic reading. I think I should include more practical examples of reading and interpreting texts. Vocabulary alone is not enough. So I guess that considering the few book about this subject this is a good one after all despite the shortcomings.
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By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Joe Wilson's book is an outstanding achievement. Any serious student of literary Tibetan should own a copy, along with Goldstein's Modern Literary Tibetan, Beyer's Classical Tibetan Language, and Erik Schmidt's Rangjung Yeshe Dictionary.
Wilson has achieved an effective (though in some respects unusual, and debatable) synthesis of grammatical approaches based on Latinate, English-language and traditional Tibetan grammars. Though expert readers will find much of this information redundant, students in the first three or four years of formal study -- and especially teachers of Tibetan language -- stand to gain much from this book.
Translating Buddhism from Tibetan will be particularly useful for students who wish to read Buddhist scriptures or study Tibetan scholastic commentaries. Most of the examples in the book are drawn from one of these two genres. Students interested contemporary and secular Tibetan literature should consult Goldstein's book mentioned above; those interested in a more deeply researched, scholarly discussion of Tibetan syntax and morphology, or in archaic forms of Tibetan language, should have a look at Beyer.
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Format:Hardcover
Joe Wilson's book is an outstanding achievement. Any serious student of literary Tibetan should own a copy, along with Goldstein's Modern Literary Tibetan, Beyer's Classical Tibetan Language, and Erik Schmidt's Rangjung Yeshe Dictionary.
Wilson has achieved an effective (though in some respects unusual, and debatable) synthesis of grammatical approaches based on Latinate, English-language and traditional Tibetan grammars. Though expert readers will find much of this information redundant, students in the first three or four years of formal study stand to gain much from this book.
Translating Buddhism from Tibetan will be particularly useful for students who wish to read Buddhist scriptures or study Tibetan scholastic commentaries. Most of the examples in the book are drawn from one of these two genres. Students interested contemporary and secular Tibetan literature should consult Goldstein's book mentioned above; those interested in a more deeply researched, scholarly discussion of Tibetan syntax and morphology, or in archaic forms of Tibetan language, should have a look at Beyer.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Less enthused May 21 2000
Format:Hardcover
I am less enthused about this massive tome than the other reviewers. I have a feeling that the book has failed to make the transition from a very lively university course to a textbook. The approach using all the different 'dimensions' is rather idiosyncratic. There problem is that there are few other choices when it comes to Tibetan textbooks. There is a heavy reliance for examples on the literature of logic. In my opinion more examples from practice-related material would have been useful. Too much reliance is placed on traditional Tibetan grammar for my liking. And that romanisation is unnecessarily complex. Still, it is a very significant work, and inspite of its short-comings, is still the best in this small field.
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