Tsetan (Chonjore) Nepali

Lecturer of Tibetan
Advanced Tibetan Language studies with late Geshe Ngawang Jinpa (St. Joseph's College), Darjeeling, India. BA degree from West Bengal, India.
B055 New Cabell Hall
Office hours: Wednesday 2:00 - 4:00 PM and by appointment


I have been involved with Tibetan language instruction since 1983 as an instructor, lecturer, research fellow, director, and coordinator of various Tibetan language initiatives in Nepal, the United States and Canada.

I have always been interested in Tibetan language since I went to a Tibetan school and later studied Tibetan at the University level too. My main motivation behind teaching Tibetan language has been to preserve this rich and unique language, as well as culture. From the very beginning of my teaching career I have been interested in writing a detailed grammatical analysis of the Lhasa colloquial that would help students as well as instructors. With the growing interest in Tibetan studies as well as Buddhism and seeing the need to impart this language pedagogically, I went through the process of writing a book. After several years of research and interaction with Tibetan language scholars as well as students, I came out with the first volume of my book in 2003. Currently I am working on the second volume of this book.


Colloquial Tibetan: A textbook of the Lhasa Dialect. Published by Library of Tibetan Works & Archives, Dharamsala, India, 2003. "Contextual ambiguity." Presented at the Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of Nepal, November 26-27, 1994."Tibetan: A non-tense language." Presented at the Fourteenth Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of Nepal, November 26-27, 1993."On the partial formal syncretism of categories of clause structure in Lhasa Tibetan" [with Mr. Asif Agha]. Presented at the Eighth Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of Nepal, Tribhuvan University. November 26-27, 1987. Published in Nepalese Linguistics, 1988.

Colloquial Tibetan, Volume II: A textbook of the Lhasa Dialect. (A book in progress)

Personal Interests

Teaching Tibetan language and preserving Tibetan Cultural Heritage are my passion.  As a Tibetan language analyst, I continue doing research on Tibetan language Studies, and teaching methodology. Creating language lab materials and presenting papers are also my interest.

Being a musician, I enjoy organizing Tibetan music concerts, teaching Tibetan musical instruments and songs to UVa students and Tibetan Community children, composing songs and music.


Fall and Spring Semester (Academic year)

TBTN 1010 /1020 (8010/8020)

TBTN 2010 /2020 (8011/8021)

TBTN 3010 /3020 (8012/8022)

TBTN 5010 5030 (8012 8030)

East 1559   (Tibetan Cultural Heritage)


TBTN 266 (Uva Summer Intensive Language)


* Clarifying the similarities and differences between literary and Lhasa colloquial grammar * Contextual teaching methodology * Tibetan cultural heritage (East 1559 New Course) * Tibetan language and Tibetan Buddhist concepts


A Textbook of the Lhasa Dialect
Library of Tibetan Works & Archives
January, 2003

Department Faculty

Lecturer of Tibetan
Lecturer of Chinese
Associate Professor of Chinese Literature
Lecturer of Korean
Associate Professor of Japanese Literature
Lecturer of Japanese
Lecturer of Korean
Assistant Professor of Korean Literature and Film
Professor of Chinese
Lecturer in Chinese
Ellen Bayard Weedon Chair Professor of East Asian Studies and Department Chair
Associate Professor of Chinese
Visiting Lecturer of Chinese
Lecturer of Japanese
Lecturer in Chinese Literature
Lecturer of Japanese
Associate professor of Chinese and Inaugural Director of the Institute of World Languages
Lecturer of Chinese
Professor of Modern Japanese Literature
Lecturer of Chinese