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August Hermann Francke

August Hermann Francke

Translator of English and Tibetan
August Hermann Francke
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Translator of English and Tibetan
Was Linguist Translator Bible translator Author
From Germany
Type Literature Religion Social science
Gender male
Birth 5 November 1870, Piława Górna, Poland
Death 16 February 1930, Berlin, Margraviate of Brandenburg (aged 59 years)
Star sign ScorpioScorpio
The details


To be distinguished from his ancestor of the same name, August Hermann Francke of Halle

August Hermann Francke (5 November 1870 in Gnadenfrei, Silesia – 16 February 1930 in Berlin) was a German Tibetologist.

His grandfather was Christian Friedrich Francke, a descendant of the eighteenth-century theologian August Hermann Francke (1663–1727), after whom August was named. He married Anna Theodora Weize (b. 1875 Silo, South Africa) whom he met in Kleinwelka, Saxony. Before they married she went to Amritsar for a year to improve her English as a teacher. August Hermann joined her in India and married her there in 1897.

He was a Moravian Church missionary in the Himalayas serving in that capacity in Ladakh, a major region of Jammu and Kashmir Province from 1896 until 1909. His return to Europe was occasioned by his wife's illness. He was subsequently appointed professor of Tibetan languages at Berlin University.

After Yoseb Gergan produced the first draft of the Tibetan Bible in 1910, Francke corrected it and then sent it to David Macdonald, the British trade agent in Yatung. Also involved was his Moravian colleague Heinrich Jäschke who produced A Tibetan-English dictionary.

Francke became professor at Berlin and his students included Walter Simon.


  • 1901 A Sketch of Ladakhi Grammar Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal 70.1
  • A history of Western Tibet: one of the unknown empires
  • Antiquities of Indian Tibet - Vol. I: Personal Narrative Of A Journey In 1910 From Simla To Srinagar; Through Kinnaur, Spiti And Ladakh. For The Express Purpose Of Investigating The Buddhist Antiquities; Vol. II: The Chronicles Of Ladakh And Minor Chronicles Antiquities of Indian Tibet : vol.1 Antiquities of Indian Tibet : vol.2
  • Tibetische Geschichtsforschung und was man dabei erleben kann, 1911
  • Tibetan Grammar
  • "Historical Documents from the Border of Tibet." In Annual Report of the Archaeological Survey of India 1909–1910. Edited by J. Marshall, Calcutta: Government of India Press, 1914. pp. 104–112.
  • “The Tibetan Alphabet.” Epigraphia Indica 11 (1911): 266–273.
  • First collection of Tibetan historical inscriptions on rock and stone from Ladakh Himalaya (with Prem Singh Jina). Delhi: Sri Satguru, 2003.
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