Born in Köln (1939, April the 16th), I had a humanistic school education (with Latin, Greek and Hebrew), and then I studied Semitic Philology, Indology and Catholic Theology. Later on, I shifted to Tibetan and Mongolian studies. My main interest is on the relationship and/or comparison between different languages and cultures – and this is why I came into contact with the studies on Desideri and missionary activity
A rather similar situation of mutual relationship and adaptation I found in the development of Buddhism in different cultural areas. It is fascinating to see how Buddhist Philosophy as expressed in the rather complicated Sanskrit language was “transferred” into Tibet and Tibetan language, creating there a new terminology. And several century later , the wealth of Tibetan Buddhist literature was “transferred” into Mongolian, again creating a new (adapted) terminology. These developments are quite comparable with the transition from the Hebrew Bible to Greek and then to Latin.
As to my present activity, I am still teaching Tibetan and Mongolian at Bonn University.
I made several expeditions (and also smaller journeys) to the Tibetan speaking areas of India and Nepal.