Learning Pali for a Hindi speaker

I am a fluent Hindi speaker (who has learnt some Sanskrit in school long ago) and would now like to learn pali to get started with reading the suttas on my own. My preference is to take some dedicated time out (say 3-6 months) to formally learn the language and also immerse in the suttas. I would prefer to learn the roman script even though I am can read Devnagri.
Can you suggest some options for me in India or neighboring countries? I am based in India, and cannot afford the living and tuition expenses in the West. My apologies if this has already been asked earlier. I did search the discussion forum but could not find a response to my specific question.

1 Like

You can use these books :


Thank you. But I was looking for places where I can learn this through a teacher, rather than do it myself.

The Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies has live online courses in Pali for beginners, although they don’t appear to be in session at the moment. I think they follow the UK semester schedule.

If you complete Level 1 then you can join the Pali Reading Club to discuss sutta translations with others.

I’m not sure if Ven. Bodhi is still running his course for beginners or not, someone else can comment on that.


You can try looking in Sri Lanka. There are several universities that teach Pali. They probably have online classes, and tuition won’t be as expensive as it is in the West. Here is one university with Buddhist and Pali programs: The Department of Pali and Buddhist Studies, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. They also have 1 year certificate courses, so you don’t have to sign up for multi-year courses.

Certificate Course in Pali Studies

  • The course provides a working knowledge of the Pali Language to those students who intend to pursue advanced studies in Pali language and literature or in Theravada Buddhism. It consists of 120 teaching hours in three steps:
  • Ability to comprehend and construct simple sentences
  • Competence to translate and compose complex Pali passages
  • Competence to comprehend Pali canonical and post-canonical literature
    Fees –
  • Registration – 100 (US$) [half fee for Buddhist Clergy and SAARC]
  • Course Fee – 1000 (US$) [half fee for Buddhist Clergy and SAARC]
  • Fees: US $1100 (US $550 for SAARC students)

It also mentions “casual students”:

Casual Student

  • Suitable courses by special arrangement with the Head of Department
  • Casual students will be entertained trough out the year. The courses/programmes will be conducted depending on the needs/requirements of the applicant.

Hi Vikas
I understand you prefer live instruction, but check out this link.

Requires a bit of discipline, but entirely web based and may be a good intro while you look for a live teacher.

( some users of the forum have followed this course and recommend it).

1 Like

Thank you. Will check this out.