Franziska Oertle was born in 1980 in Heiden, Switzerland. She completed her teacher training degree in 2003 and worked in that field for three years. Upon her first encounter with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 2006, she moved to Bouddhanath, Nepal. Her aim was toe day – be able to understand His Holiness in Tibetan.
Immersing herself into the Tibetan language and culture by living with a Tibetan host family, she studied Buddhist philosophy and Himalayan languages at Kathmandu University (Rangjung Yeshe Institute – RYI). This career combined the two main interests and passions she has had since her youth: dharma and languages.
After completing her 3-year B.A. degree in 2009, she worked as a Tibetan language instructor at RYI – teaching B.A. students as well as training students to be interpreters. Co-teaching classes with Tibetan colleagues, she gained a deeper interest and fascination about the unique Tibetan language and grammar. Therefore, in summer 2011 she defended her thesis on indigenous Tibetan grammar and received her M.A. degree. Her thesis is a concise introduction to the two main Tibetan grammar texts, the Sum Cu Pa and rTags kyi ‘Jug Pa.
Since graduating, she has been teaching colloquial Tibetan language on various levels and institutions in Nepal and India. In spring, she teaches the Emory Study Abroad semester in Dharamsala, in the summer the RYI Intensive Summer Course, in autumn the fall semester for SIT (School of International Training) in Bouddhanath, and she currently lives and teaches at Sarah College in Dharamsala.
Having the sincere wish to contribute something to the world of ‘Tibetan learners’ as well as the preservation of an endangered language, she is writing a Tibetan Colloquial Manual. Unlike other textbooks, it takes the approach of synthesizing traditional indigenous Tibetan grammar and modern contemporary teaching methods. This work reflects her modern teacher-training background as well as the traditional Tibetan education she has been fortunate to receive.