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South Asia Department

Basic Pali

Course Code:
Course Not Running 2015/2016
Unit value:
Taught in:
Full Year
This is a basic course for beginners in the written and spoken language; students are not assumed to have any previous knowledge of the language or its script. The course covers all the major tenses and constructions of the language, enabling successful students to acquire basic skills in reading, writing, comprehension and speaking. Literacy in the script is taught early on, and much emphasis is placed on good pronunciation and on the social and linguistic conventions of everyday conversation. Classes are highly ‘interactive’, with much participation from students through drilling, question-and-answer exercises, and other such class activities. As in all language courses, full attendance and regular submission of coursework is essential, and the four hours of class time have to be matched with at least as much again in private study.



Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

At the end of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate:

  • knowledge and understanding of basic Pali grammar
  • knowledge and understanding of essential Pali vocabulary
  • knowledge and understanding of the appropriateness of basic Pali structures and expressions in a given context
  • the ability to understand short passages in Pali on everyday topics
  • the ability to produce short passages in Pali on everyday topics


Total of 22 weeks teaching with 3 hours classroom contact per week.

Method of assessment

One essay (20%) of 1500 words submitted on the last day of week 10, term 1. Four thirty-minute class tests (20% each).

Suggested reading

A reading list will be made available to students at the beginning of the course.