SOAS University of London

Department of Religions & Philosophies, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Pali: Intermediate Level

Module Code:
Module Not Running 2017/2018
Year of study:
Taught in:
Full Year

The course brings students from basic level Pali to a level where they can begin to use Pali themselves for research purposes. It provides students with a working familiarity of at least one traditional script used for Pali, important if students plan to use texts outside of the mainstream canonical tradition. Students will also be introduced to issues of philology, textual editing, and the history of Pali literature. 

Pali texts will be provided in class. Manuscripts will be read in the British Library

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

The aim of this course is to:

  • build on students' previous study of Pali to enhance their knowledge of Pali language, literature and philology;
  • to bring students to the level of being able to use Pali independently for reading primary sources, or analyzing secondary sources/use Pali for research;
  • to give students the experience of producing a translation/study of a Pali text.

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

  • attempt the translation of unseen Pali texts;
  • translate prepared Pali texts;
  • read Pali in both Roman script and one other script traditionally used for writing or publishing Pali;
  • demonstrate knowledge of a wide range of Pali grammatical forms;
  • demonstrate an understanding of Pali philology and its application in Buddhist Studies;
  • discuss the content, history and transmission of Pali texts;
  • demonstrate an awareness of some of the processes involved in editing;
  • provide a piece of sustained translation and study of Pali text.

Method of assessment

Coursework: one annotated translation and study of a Pali text, 2,000 words. Assessment: three hour exam paper 75%, annotated translation 25%.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules