Dictionaries and Encyclopedias.

This section offers a selective list of titles, organized by subject, and should be regarded as a starting place only.  For additional titles, search the University of Toronto Libraries online catalogue, and consult the Columbia Online Research Guide for Modern Tibetan Studies.


THL Tibetan-English Language Tool

Rangjung Yeshe Tibetan-English Dharma Dictionary


Bkra shis Tshe ring & Li’u te cu, eds. English-Tibetan-Chinese dictionary = Dbyin Bod Rgya gsum shan sbyar gyi tshig mdzod. Beijing: Min zu chu ban she, 1988.

Dung dkar Blo bzang 'phrin las. Mkhas dbang Dung dkar Blo bzang 'phrin las mchog gis mdzad pa'i Bod rig pa'i tshig mdzod chen mo shes bya rab gsal = Dung dkar tshig mdzod. Pe-cin: Krung go'i Bod rig pa'i dpe skrun khang, 2002.  Encylopedic source for important Tibetan terms relating to Tibetan history, literature, religion, culture, place, and historical figures.


Jäschke, H. A Tibetan-English Dictionary, with special reference to the prevailing dialects (to which is added an English-Tibetan vocabulary). London. 1881. (Created in Ladakh.)

Sarat Chandra Das. A Tibetan-English Dictionary, with Sanskrit Synonyms. Calcutta: Bengal Secretariat Book Depot. 1902.

Chos kyi grags pa. Dge bshes Chos kyi grags pas btsams pa'i brda dag ming tshig gsal ba = Gexi Quzha Zangwen cidian: Zang, Han duizhao. Beijing: Mi rigs dpe skrun khang/ Minzu chubanshe, 1995 [1949]. 

Compiled by a Buryat Mongol in 1946. Entries are in Tibetan, with definitions in Tibetan and Chinese. The current edition includes corrections, and additional features, such as categories, synonyms, etc.



Gling dbon Padma skal bzang. De snga'i Bod sa gnas srid gzhung gi gzhung yig thog gi tha snyad spyod srol dang 'brel yod phyogs bsdus gsal 'grel. Beijing: Mi rigs dpe skrun khang, 2011. A list of Tibetan terms for offices, positions, laws, etc. used during the Ganden Phodrang administration. 


Bod Rgya skar rtsis rig paʾi tshig mdzod = Zang Han li suan xue ci dian / "Zang Han da ci dian" bian xie zu. Chengdu: Si-khron mi rigs dpe skrun khang, 1985.   Tibetan-Chinese terminology on Tibetan astrology. 


Lhun grub rdo rje. A mdo'i kha skad tshig mdzod = Anduo Zang yu kou yu ci dian = Amdo Tibetan Spoken Language Dictionary with Chinese and English Translation. Lanzhou, 2007.  

Rdo dgon gsang bdag rdo rje and Lhun par bstan ‘dzin lha ‘dzoms. Zhe sa’i lag deb blo gsar dga’ ston. Lhasa: Bod ljongs mi dmangs dpe skrun khang, 2002. (For Lhasa Honorifics, organized by literary Tibetan forms.)


Pasang Yoten. Dictionary of Tibetan Materia Medica. Motilal Banarsidas Publishers, 1998.

Tshe ring thag gcod & Tshe ring sgrol ma Drung tsho (Tsering Thackchoe & Tsering Dolma Drungtso). Bod lugs sman rtsis kyi tshig mdzod Bod Dbyin shan sbyar. = Tibetan-English dictionary of Tibetan medicine and astrology. Dharamsala : Drungtso Publisher, 1999.


Tshan chung (ed). Bod kyi nyer mkho' zas rigs tshig mdzod = Zang zu chang yong yin shi ci dian = Tibetan traditional food and drink dictionary. Zi-liṅ: Mtsho sngon mi rigs dpe skrun khang, 2000.


Dictionary of Common Tibetan Personal and Place Names = Chang jian Zang yu ren ming di ming ci dian (Beijing, 2004). 


Li yung khrang (Li Yingchang), ed. Bya tshig gtsig mdzod = Zangwen dongci cidian [Tibetan Verbs Dictionary]. Beijing: Mi rigs dpe skrun khang, 1988 [1993]

Hackett, Paul G. A Tibetan Verb Lexicon: Verbs, classes, and syntactic frames. Ithaca: Snow Lion Publications, 2003. 


Ngag dbang tshul khrims, Btsan lha. Brda dkrol gser gyi me long. Pe-cin : Mi rigs dpe skrun khang, 1997. Note by Dan Martin: "Bstan-lha's is the very best thing there is for 12th-century vocabulary, among other things.

Rnam rgyal tshe ring. Bod yig mngon brjod gcig shes kun grol. Lanzhou: Kan su'u mi rigs dpe skrun khang, 1991. (Note by Dan Martin: "There is nothing better than this for Abhidhana[mngon-brjod]-type, poetic vocabulary." This dictionary may thus also be helpful for understanding the poetic titles of works.)


Rnam rgyal tshe ring. Bod yig skung yig phyogs sgrig. Chengdu: Si khron mi rigs dpe skrun khang, 1994. Pocket guide to dbu-med abbreviations. Essential for reading manuscripts. 

Shes rab, ed. Skung yig gsal byed nor bu'i me long. Pe-cin: Mi rigs dpe skrun khang, 2003.

 Extensive guide to dbu-med abbreviations. Essential for reading manuscripts.


Tshe dbang rnam rgyal. Dag yig ma nor lam bzang/ Zang wen tong yin zi dian. Pe cin: Mi rigs dpe skrun khang, 1997.


Tsepak Rigzin. Nang don rig pa'i ming tshig Bod Dbyin shan sbyar = Tibetan-English dictionary of Buddhist terminology. Dharamsala : Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, 1993. 

Mgon po dbang rgyal. Chos kyi rnam grangs. Chengdu: Si khron mi rigs dpe skrun khang, 1988. (Buddhist terminology on various aspects of Buddhism arranged in numerical enumeration (the two XX, the three XX, and so forth).)

Gaṅs can rig brgyaʼi chos kyi rnam graṅs mthoṅ tshad kun las btus pa no mtshar ʼphrul gyi lde mig chen po. Ed. By Nor-braṅ O-rgyan gyis bsgrigs. Pe-cin : Kruṅ-goʼi Bod rig pa dpe skrun khaṅ, 2009. 3 volume dictionary of Buddhist enumerations, arranged in numerical and alphabetical order.

Bod Rgya nang don rig pa'i tshig mdzod. Chengdu : Si khron mi rigs dpe skrun khang. 1993. 

Wang Yinuan. Fo xue ci dian 佛学词典. Xining Shi: Qinghai min zu chu ban she, 1992.

 Chinese-Tibetan dictionary of Buddhist terms.