Buddhist Glossaries

Tushita Meditation Centre, McLeod Ganj, India attracts an incredibly diverse international student base and so English is the lingua franca. Typically more than half the students on the courses are not native English speakers and naturally communication difficulties arise, particularly when facing new, niche Tibetan Buddhist terminology.

To help with this, I initiated a project to put together multi-language glossaries. Being embarrassingly mono-lingual myself, my role was restricted to finding suitably fluent, capable Buddhist practitioners in a range of languages common to Tushita students and co-ordinate their various translations.

I began by editing a selection of previously prepared English-language definitions accepted within the Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism (Tushita’s lineage) and used this as a template for the translators to work from. I kept these glossaries fairly brief, as the aim was simply to provide extra assistance in understanding the course leader’s teachings in English, rather than provide an expansive philosophical resource.

Once the translators had sent me their final draft, I ended by formatting the documents in a consistent manner, having them re-checked for accuracy, and making them available to students online and in print on-site.

You can see the final glossaries I was able to co-ordinate in my time at Tushita below, just click on a flag!

ukEnglish franceFrench germanyGerman israelHebrew



spainSpanish portugalPortuguese


These can also be found on Tushita’s website here: http://tushita.info/resources/glossaries/