Jamyang Rinchen 1: Translating for the Dalai Lama


Jamyang Rinchen (蔣揚仁欽) moved away from his family in Taiwan at a very young age to become a monk and study at the Dalai Lama’s Institute of Buddhist Dialectics in Dharamsala. In this first episode of two, Jamyang talks about his early life and education at a monastic institution, and how he later went on to become the Dalai Lama’s principle Chinese translator.

Jamyang also tells the story of his journey to Boston to complete his doctoral degree at Harvard and shares some of the key points from his dissertation.

Jamyang now lives in Dharamsala, India, which is where this interview took place in Jamyang’s home.

Extra Content

Click here to listen to part two of this interview.

Jamyang translates for His Holiness


About the Interviewee

Jamyang Rinchen (born Chun Yuan Huang) was born in Taiwan, and at a young age had an epiphany that he wished to become a monk. At the age of 12 he moved to India to take robes, became known as “Jamyang,” and started his studies at the Dalai Lama’s Institute of Buddhist Dialectics (IBD) in Dharamsala. 15 years later Jamyang graduated from IBD with the equivalent of a Master of Philosophy. After graduating, Jamyang became a layperson, married his wife Yihua, and together they moved to Boston, USA where Jamyang completed his PhD in the department of South Asian Studies at Harvard University with a dissertation on the history, language, and efficacy of Tibetan Buddhist debate.

Jamyang now lives with his wife in Dharamsala, translating classical Indo-Tibetan texts into Chinese and traveling with H.H. Dalai Lama as His Holiness’s principal Chinese translator.

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