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Can the Tibetans Speak English?

Tibet is a unique and beautiful travel destination, which is known for its stunning natural landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and friendly people.

However, for travelers who do not speak the local language, communication with the locals can be a challenge. In this article, we will discuss the language spoken by Tibetans and whether or not they can speak English.

What language does Tibetan speak?

Tibetan is the primary language spoken by Tibetans, which is a traditional local language with its own unique script. Nowadays, Mandarin Chinese is also widely spoken in Tibet due to the growing relationships with the mainland of China.

Language is never a problem to enjoy your Tibet tourEven most Tibetans can not speak English, you will find the language is never a problem to enjoy your trip in Tibet.

Only few Tibetans can speak foreign languages, and most of them are young Tibetans who have received well education.

Can Tibetans speak English?

Generally speaking, most Tibetans can not speak English. Those who work in the tourism industry may be proficient in English, because English is often used as a common language. The staff work in international hotel chains or some star hotels in big cities like Lhasa and Shigatse can speak English. Some waiters and waitresses in restaurants popular with foreign tourists in Lhasa are also able to speak simple English, while the common Tibetans may fail to understand English. And the younger generation, who have received education in English at school can speak it fluently. Sometimes, in some remote areas, you may meet Tibetans who can speak English and they have possibly learned it in India.

Our English-speaking Travel Guide Help You Communicate with the Locals

Since all foreign travelers have to travel to Tibet by being accompanied by tour guides arranged by the travel agency, you don’t need to worry too much about the language barriers.

Our English-speaking Travel GuideOur English-speaking Travel Guide Help You Communicate with the Locals

We offer professional Tibetan tour guides who can speak good English. They will help you in communicating with the local Tibetans. Moreover, we can also arrange tour guides who speak French, Germany, Japanese, etc. upon request. If you need a tour guide in a language other than English, please feel free to let us know in advance.


While Tibetan is the primary language spoken in Tibet, many Tibetans can also speak Mandarin Chinese. Some younger Tibetans and those who work in the tourist industry can speak English now.

For travelers who don’t understand Tibetan, our English-speaking travel guides are available to help facilitate communication with the locals.

Don’t worry about language and experience Tibet during your Tibet tour. Sometimes, the clear eyes and friendly smiles on the faces of the Tibetans show everything. Once you visit Tibet, you will find the language is never a problem to enjoy the charm of Tibet.

Master Kungga Dundruk

About the Author - Master Kungga Dundruk

Kungga Dundruk, often respectfully referred to as “Manager Kunga”, is the most revered and legendary Tibetan guide in our team.

Currently working as a customer service manager in Lhasa, Kunga used to study business overseas and got his Bachelor of Business in Nepal and India before moving back to his homeland. With pure passion for life and unlimited love for Tibet, Kunga started his guide career as early as 1997.

As a legendary Tibetan guide with 22 years of guide experience, Kunga was awarded the Gold Medalist of China’s Best Tour Guide in 2019, marking the pinnacle of his career. Today, Kunga loves sharing his wealth of Tibetan knowledge through travel articles and stands ready to offer prompt support whenever our guests need help in Lhasa.

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