Pāli Level 1
Start to learn Pāli with this Beginner course that covers all the basics!
Would you like to read and understand the Pāli canon for yourself? Do you want to be able to check translations instead of blindly relying on them? Did you ever ask yourself: “Is that really what the Buddha and his disciples teach in the Pāli canon?”
This course is the first step to your mastery of Pāli! It contains 24 lessons, each with one lecture, several exercises and further materials such as factsheets and vocabulary lists. All this enables you to learn whenever and wherever you want, fitting the learning into your individual schedule.
The course is cumulative, meaning that the lessons build upon each other but you are free to navigate through the course as you like. You can skip all exercises and just do the lessons if you want. You can view Lecture 1, then jump to Lesson 17, then do the exercise of Lesson 3 – whichever way you want to do it. However, a completion rate of 80% for all exercises of the entire course is necessary if you want to receive a certificate. Don’t worry: you have an unlimited number of attempts for all the exercises.
Access to a Pāli dictionary is helpful throughout the course – luckily, one of the best complete dictionaries is available for free online, as a searchable database: The Pāli Text Society’s Pāli English Dictionary
A few facts about the course:
Content: 24 Lectures, amounting to 3.5 hours + 24 Factsheets + 13 Vocabulary Lists + many Exercises
Duration: 4-5 weeks based on 3-4 hours of self-study per week
Difficulty: Absolute Beginner (no previous knowledge required)
Note that once bought, your access to the course does not expire. When we update the course – for example by adding material or exercises – you will automatically have access to the new version.
Learning Objectives for Pāli Level 1:
- Understand the early history of Pāli, including the reasons why Pāli can be considered to be the language of the Buddha
- Develop proficiency in the Pāli alphabet and sound system: you will learn how to read and pronounce Pāli correctly
- Build up a foundational level of Pāli vocabulary
- Nouns: Become adept in the system of nominal inflection
- Verbs: Receive a comprehensive overview of the Pāli verbal system, and gain an advanced knowledge of present tense conjugations
- Pronouns: Learn how to use the 1st, 2nd and 3rd person pronouns
- Learn how the principle of concord works: how nouns/pronouns, adjectives and verbs connect to create meaning
- Get introduced to difficult aspects of Pāli syntax, including various uses of the verb to be: the copula, its omission, apposition, statements of possession etc.
- Be able to form and translate complex Pāli sentences
- Understand the grammar of two important Pāli chants: homage to the Buddha, and going for refuge