TibThob, a free tool for searching the Rangjung Yeshe Tibetan-English Dictionary.

  • a simple yet powerful tool for searching words in the Rangjung Yeshe Dictionary.
  • freely available on Windows and Linux, in binary and source form.

Distinctive features:

  • Tibetan-aware: can search by phonetics and approximate syllables
  • refinable searches
  • adjustable display of search results

Tibthob is included in the CD version 3 of the RY dictionary

Download and installation

Online user manual


TibThob screen shot

Saerching in phonetics

To search a word or an expression that is known only by its pronunciation or approximate phonetics is very difficult and tedious: in Tibetan, there are numerous combinations of prefix, superscribed, subjoined, suffix, post-suffix letters that can produce the same sound.

With TibThob you type a word in "natural phonetics", like "khandro" in the example above, then select the phonetic mode and find the word effortlessly.

Approximate Syllables

it also is possible to search Wylie Tibetan syllables with some degree of approximation. This can be useful if the spelling you have is not totally reliable (for example you don't find the word in the dictionary), or if you want to check for variant spellings. This mode works by ignoring the prefix, superscribed and second suffix letters of tibetan syllables

Refined queries:

since the RY dictionary has so many entries, a query can yield hundreds of hits. To avoid reading everything, you can reduce the number of matches by requiring or excluding words or fragments from your query. You can also specify in which part of dictionary entries these words should or should not appear. For example, it is possible to require all entries with the fragment byang chub, but not byang chub sems and additionally require the word "practice" to appear in the definition.

About the Rangjung Yeshe Tibetan-English Dictionary of Buddhist Culture:

Web page

`The Dharma Dictionary is an ongoing project involved in compiling Buddhist terminology and translation terms to bridge the Tibetan and English languages. Begun in 1979, it has slowly grown to a collection of more than 276,000 entries, approx 20 mb. Comparatively, the original Tibetan-English Dictionary of Sarat Chandra Das had approximately 27,000 entries, and even though it was a must 30 years ago, it had almost no vocabulary related to specific Buddhist topics.

This project is supported by Rangjung Yeshe Translations and Publications, located in the Kathmandu valley of Nepal. [...]'