To provide a solid foundation in Pali grammar, syntax, and vocabulary for serious students of early Buddhism, especially those interested in translation or research.
- Weekly classes every Tuesday
- Vassa 2023: Tuesday 1 August through to Tuesday 24 Oct.
- One hour per class.
- 8:00pm AEST
- Sydney: Tuesday, 8:00 pm
- Colombo: Tuesday, 3:30 pm
- New York: Tuesday, 6:00 am
- Vienna: Tuesday, 12:00 am
The textbook will be AK Warder’s Introduction to Pali. Students need a copy, preferably in paper. Here is a digital copy together with an answer key.
Here is a supplementary set of notes on Warder by Justin Meiland; thanks to Ven Sunyo for sharing these.
If students need more resources, I recommend listening to the relevant classes on the excellent “Learn Pali” channel.
All students must have a fundamental grasp of grammar and how it works. If you don’t know what “participle”, “conjugation”, and “declension” mean, then you need to study a book on basic grammatical theory before the class starts.
Students must be familiar with the Pali suttas and have read them extensively in translation.
Students must read through and study the passages of Rune Johansson’s Pali Buddhist Texts Explained to the Beginner.
Students must read the introduction to Warder (pp. 1–9) before the start of the course.
Each week will cover one chapter of Warder. Each week before the class, students are required to:
- read the relevant chapter
- complete the exercises
- grade their own results with the answer key
In the one-hour class I will briefly summarize the chapter and discuss issues raised with the students. I will not be providing assessments; it is up to each student to do their own assessment and let me know where their problems lie.
The basic course will cover the first 12 (or thirteen) chapters of Warder. The way Warder is structured, the fundamental content is in the first 16 chapters, plus more advanced topics afterwards.
My initial proposal was for the 12 weeks, as that is what I can guarantee during the rains retreat. Thanks to the generous offer of John Kelly, we can now offer an extended course for students who wish to keep going. We’ll assess the details later, but John has offered to take over the classes, and if I am around I might be able to join as well.
Depending on interest, we might also work together on offering a further advanced Pali series, covering difficult translation issues, verses, and so on.
Students must make a written commitment to complete the course, and to complete all homework and preliminaries before classes as required. Students must attend all classes.
If a student finds they have to skip more than one or two classes or to complete homework, this course is not for them and they should drop out. There are plenty of other resources that might suit them.
- Classes conducted over Zoom.
- Classes will not be recorded for publishing, but students attending can record them for later revision if they like.
- Since the classes will be mostly discussion of issues encountered by the students, there is little point in making them freely available. In any case, the excellent Learn Pali series has this covered.
Between classes, students can connect myself or each other using a private thread on this Discourse platform.
Course registration has closed. 60 people successfully registered!