can people who are pali experts converse in it?

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can people who are pali experts converse in it?

Postby alan... » Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:15 am

pretend there's two pali experts, one only speaks english, the other only spanish, but both know pali inside and out. could they communicate clearly by speaking pali? naturally they would have to fill in modern words that didn't exist back in the pali days. but other than that how would it go?
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Re: can people who are pali experts converse in it?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:21 am

WhenI was Thailand I heard monks speak at length with each other in Pali.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: can people who are pali experts converse in it?

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:23 am

I've met a monk who was capable of speaking "on the fly" in Pali, and I imagine he could converse well with another at his level.
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Re: can people who are pali experts converse in it?

Postby James the Giant » Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:30 am

I met a Canadian monk who was good at Pali but no other language, and when he went to some big international Buddhist conference he was able to speak in Pali to some of the other monks there who had good Pali.
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Re: can people who are pali experts converse in it?

Postby alan... » Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:31 am

tiltbillings wrote:WhenI was Thailand I heard monks speak at length with each other in Pali.


awesome! i assumed this was logically possible considering it is a language and all...

i just thought that there could be some odd feature of it that would make it too difficult or something.
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Re: can people who are pali experts converse in it?

Postby alan... » Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:35 am

James the Giant wrote:I met a Canadian monk who was good at Pali but no other language, and when he went to some big international Buddhist conference he was able to speak in Pali to some of the other monks there who had good Pali.


very cool. so in theory, if one was an expert in pali, one could forgo learning the language of a country but still be able to move there and communicate within a community of monks! neat.

it's like our secret language... except it's not a secret. it's just really, really, really old, and dead, so no one but theravada buddhists care about it...

although i suppose a pali expert could understand a sanskrit expert a tiny bit. so mahayana people can talk to theravada people a little bit in their secret language too! although as far as i know sanskrit study does not hold anywhere near the importance in mahayana as pali study does in theravada.
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Re: can people who are pali experts converse in it?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:52 am

alan... wrote:
James the Giant wrote:I met a Canadian monk who was good at Pali but no other language, and when he went to some big international Buddhist conference he was able to speak in Pali to some of the other monks there who had good Pali.


very cool. so in theory, if one was an expert in pali, one could forgo learning the language of a country but still be able to move there and communicate within a community of monks! neat.
You would be able to talk with monks who know Pali at that level, which I would guess is not a common thing.

although i suppose a pali expert could understand a sanskrit expert a tiny bit.
Actually, it would work better the other way round. It is easier to go from Sanskrit to Pali than Pali to Sanskrit.

although as far as i know sanskrit study does not hold anywhere near the importance in mahayana as pali study does in theravada.
The study of Sanskrit would depend upon what it is you want to do. A scholar very well may want to -- or need to -- know Sanskrit.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: can people who are pali experts converse in it?

Postby alan... » Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:29 am

You would be able to talk with monks who know Pali at that level, which I would guess is not a common thing.

nonetheless, if you learn pali, in many theravada temples in countries around the world there will be at least a few monks you can communicate with. however if you don't know it then you have to learn the language of whatever country you are in too have any hope of communication. so learn pali and you have a common language. this would be useful if you were going to be going from country too country staying at theravada temples, even though you wouldn't know the native language there would be people in each country whom you could have perfectly fluent conversations with. other than that it's just a fun idea.
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Re: can people who are pali experts converse in it?

Postby cooran » Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:14 am

Hello alan,

Michael Aris, the husband of Aung San Suu Kyi, visited her in Myanmar when she was still a political prisoner. While in Myanmar, he was constantly in the presence of officers of the government. As he was a Pali Scholar and was able to converse with Burmese monks in Pali he managed to ensure privacy because the government officials could not understand conversational spoken Pali.

with metta
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Re: can people who are pali experts converse in it?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:36 am

The nice thing is, Pali is a relatively easy language to learn. Such books as the The New Pali Course , by Prof. A. P. Buddhadatta, Maha Nayaka Thera and Dr. De Silva's Pali Primer would be good resources, but if you are interested in reading sutta Pali, I'd skip the first and go with A.K. Warder Introduction to Pali after completing the second. The issue of pronunciation can be dealt with by using the Sanskrit pronunciations, and there are good resources for that on the Web. The first two books can be gotten free on the Web.

Now, the above is my opinion, and opinions will vary. Kare and Sylvester will be good resources. Ideally, learning Sanskrit first would be a good thing, and with hard work, that could be done (assuming moderate language learning talent) is about 5 years, but learning any language even one's own is an ongoing, lifelong process.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: can people who are pali experts converse in it?

Postby alan... » Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:49 am

tiltbillings wrote:The nice thing is, Pali is a relatively easy language to learn. Such books as the The New Pali Course , by Prof. A. P. Buddhadatta, Maha Nayaka Thera and Dr. De Silva's Pali Primer would be good resources, but if you are interested in reading sutta Pali, I'd skip the first and go with A.K. Warder Introduction to Pali after completing the second. The issue of pronunciation can be dealt with by using the Sanskrit pronunciations, and there are good resources for that on the Web. The first two books can be gotten free on the Web.

Now, the above is my opinion, and opinions will vary. Kare and Sylvester will be good resources. Ideally, learning Sanskrit first would be a good thing, and with hard work, that could be done (assuming moderate language learning talent) is about 5 years, but learning any language even one's own is an ongoing, lifelong process.


i just want to be able to read suttas, that's all. and not even necessarily without an english translation nearby. for example the word "sampajanna" is translated like eight different ways and i've learned what it means in different contexts and what it's a contraction of. so learning things like that are really important too me. for now i'm learning the satipatthana sutta in english and pali. if could learn just this sutta in both languages and what the ins and outs of each word are that would be enough for me for a while!

the contractions are where this becomes difficult! you can't look up a contraction in most pali english dictionaries, or if you can, it may not be under the heading you might think. instead you have too know the root words that it comes from which can be tricky if you don't know what words it's made up of.

out of curiosity, if all i want too know is sutta pali, why would i learn sanskrit?
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Re: can people who are pali experts converse in it?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:02 am

alan... wrote:
out of curiosity, if all i want too know is sutta pali, why would i learn sanskrit?
It would help one better understand Pali. it is not, however, necessary.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: can people who are pali experts converse in it?

Postby alan... » Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:25 am

tiltbillings wrote:
alan... wrote:
out of curiosity, if all i want too know is sutta pali, why would i learn sanskrit?
It would help one better understand Pali. it is not, however, necessary.


oh okay, since sanskrit came first and could be considered a root of pali it would be a good precursor? that makes sense.
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Re: can people who are pali experts converse in it?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:48 am

alan... wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
alan... wrote:
out of curiosity, if all i want too know is sutta pali, why would i learn sanskrit?
It would help one better understand Pali. it is not, however, necessary.


oh okay, since sanskrit came first and could be considered a root of pali it would be a good precursor? that makes sense.
Though the two languages are closely related, Classical Sanskrit did not necessarily come first. Classical Sanskrit is a far more studied language than is Pali. I would only recommend Sanskrit if you have a talent for languages.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: can people who are pali experts converse in it?

Postby polarbuddha101 » Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:54 am

tiltbillings wrote:Though the two languages are closely related, Classical Sanskrit did not necessarily come first. Classical Sanskrit is a far more studied language than is Pali. I would only recommend Sanskrit if you have a talent for languages.


It seems like it would be a whole lot easier learning all this (sanskrit and pali) at a University as opposed to on one's own.
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Re: can people who are pali experts converse in it?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:07 am

polarbuddha101 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Though the two languages are closely related, Classical Sanskrit did not necessarily come first. Classical Sanskrit is a far more studied language than is Pali. I would only recommend Sanskrit if you have a talent for languages.


It seems like it would be a whole lot easier learning all this (sanskrit and pali) at a University as opposed to on one's own.
Sanskrit, definely, but, as i said, Pali is easier, and one could probably do okay on one's own. But the advantage of learning Pali with a skillled teacher is that one is less likely to mislead oneself. One of the important things, for exmple, in translations is that while the lexical meaning is important, it is how the word is used is its contexts that determines actual meaning of how the word is being used. Such cognate words as dharma and dhamma would have much the same dictionary meanings, but as we see these words used in Brahmanical/Hindu texts and in Buddhist texts, we can see that there are also meanings that are quite different by virtue of contextual usage.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: can people who are pali experts converse in it?

Postby polarbuddha101 » Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:50 am

tiltbillings wrote:
polarbuddha101 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Though the two languages are closely related, Classical Sanskrit did not necessarily come first. Classical Sanskrit is a far more studied language than is Pali. I would only recommend Sanskrit if you have a talent for languages.


It seems like it would be a whole lot easier learning all this (sanskrit and pali) at a University as opposed to on one's own.
Sanskrit, definely, but, as i said, Pali is easier, and one could probably do okay on one's own. But the advantage of learning Pali with a skillled teacher is that one is less likely to mislead oneself. One of the important things, for exmple, in translations is that while the lexical meaning is important, it is how the word is used is its contexts that determines actual meaning of how the word is being used. Such cognate words as dharma and dhamma would have much the same dictionary meanings, but as we see these words used in Brahmanical/Hindu texts and in Buddhist texts, we can see that there are also meanings that are quite different by virtue of contextual usage.


Well, I'm transferring to a University of California in the fall and I've found out that UC Santa Barbara offers courses in Pali and Sanskrit. However, I'm a philosophy major, so I've emailed the religious studies department there to find out if I would be allowed to engage in the study of Pali in depth even as a philosophy major. I was planning on going to UC Santa Cruz because I like the environment (redwoods) better but I suppose if I'm able to learn Pali in depth at Santa Barbara I may go there instead. If I did wind up going to UC Santa Barbara, do you think it would be a good idea to also learn Sanskrit while I'm there, because they teach that too.

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"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: can people who are pali experts converse in it?

Postby Nyorai » Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:08 am

pretend there's two mandarin experts, one only speaks english, the other only pali, but both know spanish inside and out. could they communicate clearly by speaking spanish? Unlike languages, :heart: has no barrier. :buddha1:
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Re: can people who are pali experts converse in it?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:28 am

polarbuddha101 wrote: If I did wind up going to UC Santa Barbara, do you think it would be a good idea to also learn Sanskrit while I'm there, because they teach that too.
Santa Barabara is a lovely community and it has a lot to offer. Talk to the instructors. It will be interesting to hear what they have to say. Taking two languages, even if related, is a big deal. Unless you are really good with language, it may be better to concentrate on one or the other, and if Pali is what you want, then go for that. Ideally, if college did not cost an arm and a leg and a bit more, and if you had the time, then doing both would be great. They share much in common. Also I am guessing that the instructor for one is the instructor of the other.

Also, there is something to be said for reading the texts in the original language, which is worth the effort.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: can people who are pali experts converse in it?

Postby Kare » Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:12 am

polarbuddha101 wrote:Well, I'm transferring to a University of California in the fall and I've found out that UC Santa Barbara offers courses in Pali and Sanskrit. However, I'm a philosophy major, so I've emailed the religious studies department there to find out if I would be allowed to engage in the study of Pali in depth even as a philosophy major. I was planning on going to UC Santa Cruz because I like the environment (redwoods) better but I suppose if I'm able to learn Pali in depth at Santa Barbara I may go there instead. If I did wind up going to UC Santa Barbara, do you think it would be a good idea to also learn Sanskrit while I'm there, because they teach that too.

:anjali:


Even though Pali and Sanskrit are closely related, it may be a tough challenge to study both at the same time. You can easily get confused by the similarities and the differences. Much better to study one of them first and get familiar with it. Then it is much easier to study the other one afterwards.
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