The Lotsawa Rinchen Zangpo Translator Program is a specialized Tibetan language program which provides students with a broad knowledge of colloquial and dharma Tibetan language, dharma knowledge, and interpreting skills.

LRZTP7 will be a two-year in-class program and – for those students who graduate – a further two years working as an apprentice interpreter in an FPMT dharma center. The in-class program will start in October 2015, finishing in October 2017, and is open to those who wish only to study for the first two years, as well as to those who are interested in the further two years training at a dharma center.

The course will be divided into 10 modules of eight weeks each. The first year will focus mainly on colloquial Tibetan, and the second year will focus on dharma Tibetan.

During the course the students will have daily classes with our teacher Franziska Oertle, one-on-one conversation classes with native Tibetan speakers, daily listening comprehension classes, and dharma classes.

The second year of the program offers interpreter-training classes with Tica – a professional UN interpreter – and a module on Buddhist philosophy taught by Gavin Kilty.

First year

  • Conversation class
  • Listening comprehension class
  • Exams and assignments
  • Dharma knowledge in English

Second year

  • Class structure
  • The topics of the second year:
  • Module 8 – Introduction to dura and lo-rig taught by Gavin Kilty
  • Interpreter training with Tica

In general

  • Registration
  • FPMT affiliated students
  • Course fees
  • Visa
  • About
  • Daily Schedule
  • First and Second year Schedule

First Year

The main goal of the first year of the program is to give students a firm base in colloquial Tibetan to such a level that they can hold basic conversations fluently and have a basic knowledge of Buddhist topics in English, which will serve as a basis for the classes that will be taught in the second year.

Conversation Class

Conversation classes will take place every day for two hours at school in order to practice spoken Tibetan. In these classes students will practice what has been taught in the main class. Each student will have one-on-one classes with a conversation partner. All conversation partners will have training before the program starts in order to provide them with skills needed to teach students.

Listening Comprehension Class

The goal of this class is to improve students’ ability to identify words and structures and enhance memory and retention skills. The students will listen to recordings of sentences or conversations and will complete various assignments related to them.

Exams and Assignments

In order to keep a high standard of study and help students better retain what they have learned, there will be evaluating examinations every two weeks, and weekend assignments every other week. At the end of each module and there will be a concluding exam on all the material of the module. Also at the end of each year there will be concluding exam. Students’ overall marks will be 50% final exam scores and 50% small exams and assignments. At the end of the two years only students who have passed the final first- and second-year exams will be applicable for placement in a dharma center.

Dharma Knowledge in English

On Friday every week there will be dharma teachings in English in order to provide students with knowledge of dharma and dharma terms in English so that when students study these topics in Tibetan in the second year they will already have a general understanding. The teachings will be on the following topics: Lam rim, lo-jong, tenets, mind and mental factors, grounds and paths, tantra, and Buddha-nature.

Second year

The main goal of the second year is to teach “dharma Tibetan” and provide students with a foundation of interpreting and translating skills. The daily schedule will be the same as in the first year with daily conversation classes and dhrama teachings on Fridays. We will have two special guest teachers – Gavin Kilty and Tica. Gavin Kilty will teach an introduction to dura and lo-rig, and Tica will teach interpreting skills.

Class Structure in the Second Year

In the second year the students will learn dharma vocabulary related to certain dharma topics. For each topic there will be texts or sections of texts, and sometimes also teachings. The teacher will explain the written grammar, colloquial structures, and vocabulary of the teachings.

Topics of the second year:

Module 6 u0026amp; 7:          Lam Rim

Module 8:                Dura and Lo-rig (taught by Gavin Kilty)

Module 9:                Tenets

Module 10:              Lo-jong and Tantra

Module 8 – Introduction to Dura and Lo-rig – Taught by Gavin Kilty

We are blessed to have Gavin Kilty onboard to teach Module 8. Gavin Kilty will teach the Collected Topics (dura), Mind and Mental-Factors (lo-rig), and the basis of Debate.

Collected Topics: A collection of topics that set out basic Buddhist ontology, presented from the philosophical view of the Sautrantika school of tenets. The topics are presented through the medium of debate, and so the first is the basics of logic and debate.

This is followed by topics on the varieties of existence such as:

•  Permanent and impermanent phenomena

•  The five sensory objects and their divisions

•  The divisions of functioning phenomena

•  Hidden and manifest phenomena

•  Conventional and ultimate truth

•  Cause and effect

•  The three times, etc.

It will also include the basic types of perception as taught in lo-rig (Ways of Perceiving), and if time allows, the fundamentals of the four main Buddhist tenets.

Interpreter Training with Tica

From the second half of the second year Tica will teach interpreting methods for a few hours each week. This course will teach retention skills, note taking techniques, practice methods, and more.


In order to register for LRZTP7 you must do the following:

1.       Fill in the registration form included in the required documents.

2.       Sign the LRZTP student agreement.

3.       Pay the deposit of US$200. This deposit is non-refundable should the applicant decide to cancel.

There are only 20 places in LRTP7. Applicants who apply when there are already 20 registered students will go on the waiting list.

FPMT Affiliated Students

There are two ways of participating in LRZTP7 – either as an FPMT affiliated student or as a freelancer. FPMT affiliated students must commit to work in an FPMT center for two years after graduating from the first two years of the program. Freelance students do not have this obligation. Course fees are subsidized for FPMT affiliated students .

Course fees

FPMT affiliated students – (approximately ) 7170 USD

Freelance                             – (approximately ) 8300 USD

Course fees include lunch, school materials, and one-on-one conversation classes.


for information about Visas please contact

Daily Schedule

09:00 – 10:00 Library class
10:15 – 10:30 Meditation and prayer
10:30 – 11:30 Class
11:30 – 11:45 Tea Break
11:45 – 12:45 Class
12:45 – 13:45 Lunch break
13:45 – 14:35 Conversation class 1
14:35 – 14:45 Small break
14:45 – 15:35 Conversation class 2
15:35 – 15:50 Tea break
15:50 – 16:05 Meditation
16:05 – 16:50 Listening comprehension class

See the frequently asked Questions about LRZTP 7

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