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Lotsawa (Wylie: lo tsA ba) is a Tibetan word used as a title to refer to the native Tibetan translators, such as Vairotsana, Rinchen Zangpo, Marpa and others, who worked alongside Indian scholars or panditas to translate the texts of the buddhist canon into Tibetan from Sanskrit, Chinese and other Asian languages. It is thought to derive from the Sanskrit locchāva, which is said to mean ‘bilingual’ or ‘eyes of the world.’ The term is also used to refer to modern-day translators of Tibetan buddhist texts.

Yeshe De (ye shes sde), a Nyingmapa, was the principal 'translator' (Tibetan: lotsawa) of the first wave of translations from Sanskrit to Tibetan.[1]


  1. Rhaldi, Sherab (undated). 'Ye-Shes-sDe; Tibetan Scholar and Saint'. Tibetan & Himalayan Digital Library. Source: [1] (accessed: Wednesday April 1, 2009)

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