Trikāya Tibetan Language Academy
Testimonials from Our Students
“Erick Tsiknopoulos knows his subject very well, including Classical, Colloquial and Modern Literary Tibetan. He is able to explain key language patterns and concepts in ways that I can relate to and readily understand, according to Western, Tibetan and East Asian cultural contexts. Further, for every vocabulary word found in the textbooks we use, Erick can easily generate several simple, easy to remember and down-to-earth colloquial Tibetan sentences without hesitation, utilizing his unusual fluency in the spoken language.
Erick is a gifted teacher. He is consistently patient and creative in helping me discover the unique qualities of the language that I’m learning. He uses songs, videos, children’s story books and many other interesting educational materials to enhance my learning experience. In fact, his encouraging patience inspires confidence in me that I am indeed picking up the language, as I progress through his courses.
In conclusion, learning the Tibetan language with Erick Tsiknopoulos is quite fun! I highly recommend his classes to all interested students of Tibetan language, especially those looking for an enjoyable and edifying experience.”
~ Sophie Gaen, student since 2021
“Erick Tsiknopoulos acted as my tutor from 2014-15 while I pursued post-graduate studies at Colombia University in literary and colloquial Tibetan. Admittedly, learning new languages does not come easily or naturally for me, so I was often overwhelmed by the sheer volume of material to be learned and the pace of the courses. Fortunately, Erick was able to provide reliable, consistent and highly specialized knowledge as a Tibetan language educator, which helped me to stay on track with my classes while also working full-time.
Erick’s teaching style is informed with his unique life experience as someone who lived and studied intensively among the Tibetan diaspora communities in India for over a decade, and who has practiced Buddhism for well over two decades. Having acquired a highly specialized vocabulary through the study of technical domains within Tibetan culture, such as Tantric literature and Buddhist philosophy, Erick is not your average Tibetanist. His classes are infused with expertise as well as wit, and he goes out of his way to make the material accessible.
Erick helped me to find the motivation to stick with the course load at Columbia University, and ultimately assisted me in deepening my understanding of both the theoretical and practical aspects of Tibetan language.
It is rare to find a teacher with equivalent experience in any domain, and Erick has truly dedicated his life to his craft. Whether you are a novice just starting out, or a more intermediate or advanced student seeking to refine their knowledge of Tibetan language and literature, he is a great resource who can enhance and enrich your learning experience.”
~ John Allen Gibel, student since 2014
“For me, it is not only the extensive knowledge that Mr. Tsiknopoulos brings to his teaching and translating of the Tibetan language, but his hard-won skills developed from deep experience of the culture, philosophy and religion from which it comes. Although the way he teaches, by employing his exceptional Tibetan skills, comes off as rather effortlessly casual, those skills were clearly gained through many years of personal sacrifice and dedicated effort.
His long experience as a translator and numerous years in Asia allow him to contrast and compare various cultural perspectives, etymological word origins and multiple shades of semantic meaning to a degree that others are — in my experience — incapable of approaching. By doing so, he illuminates the multivalent dimensions of Tibetan texts, with a view toward authentic interpretations from the native Tibetan tradition. All this is conducive to bringing about comprehension at levels that I previously thought to be impossible, for a person of my age and resources.
His approach transcends and yet includes academic approaches, and at the same time leaves behind oversimplifications. I feel that Mr. Tsiknopoulos — in only the short time I have been under his tutelage — has advanced my grasp of Classical Tibetan far beyond my expectations, with no sign of that stopping. I am indeed fortunate to have encountered his unique set of skills and capabilities, and “unreservedly recommended” is not even slightly an exaggeration.”
~ Andrew M. Mckenzie, student since 2021
“Studying with Erick Tsiknopoulos has been really helpful for me! There are many teachers of Tibetan language who speak or read Tibetan quite well, but very few who can speak (and read) both Tibetan and English as well as he does — and who have his level of erudition in both Tibetan and Buddhism. With Erick, however, I can communicate quite easily in English, and his pronunciation of Tibetan is excellent.
I find Erick’s classes to be well organized, informative and adaptable. Not only does he present the subject matter in a lucid fashion, but he is also remarkably knowledgeable in many aspects of Tibetan language and of the Buddha Dharma. This makes our time together intellectually stimulating, and even spiritually inspiring.
Under his tutelage I have been able to make significant improvements to my understanding of literary Classical Tibetan, as well as of modern spoken Colloquial Tibetan. His classes are extremely useful for serious students of Tibetan language.”
~ Andrei Foldeș, student since 2019