can people who are pali experts converse in it?

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polarbuddha101
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Re: can people who are pali experts converse in it?

Postby polarbuddha101 » Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:29 am

Thanks for the advice Tilt and Kare, I'll focus on Pali if I go to Santa Barbara and learn Sanskrit later in life if I feel compelled to do so.

:anjali:
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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 Kare » Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:10 am

polarbuddha101 wrote:Thanks for the advice Tilt and Kare, I'll focus on Pali if I go to Santa Barbara and learn Sanskrit later in life if I feel compelled to do so.

:anjali:


A wise decision. Pali is more useful if you are interested in Theravada. On the other hand, if you get an opportunity later to study Sanskrit, just grab it. When you have a firm basis of Pali, a knowledge of Sanskrit gives a better understanding both of Pali and of the dialect continuum in India at the time of the Buddha.

When I studied Sanskrit, I already had a fair knowledge of Pali. My initial feelings were that Sanskrit is so "unnecessarily" more complex than Pali, both in grammar and in the rigid sandhi-system. But as I got more familiar with that language, and as I worked my way (with lots of help from my teacher) through poems by Kalidasa, I came to realize and appreciate the special kind of beauty in Sanskrit poetry. Or maybe I appreciated that beauty the more just because it had taken quite a lot of work to get access to it.

Wishing you the best of luck in your studies!
Mettāya,
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alan...
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Re: can people who are pali experts converse in it?

Postby alan... » Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:47 pm

Nyorai wrote: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:

Yes, They could communicate in both spanish and mandarin.

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

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Apr 23, 2013 1:52 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.

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...

This is exactly the way Latin worked in the Catholic church up until maybe a century ago (not sure quite when it died out) and in the European university world up until maybe 1700. The academics of Galileo's time disparaged his work because he chose to write in Italian, not the universal Latin, and Newton wrote his big maths/physics book in Latin too. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_language and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin for more if you're curious.

:namaste:
Kim

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

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:05 am

This writing of technical books in a common language was still alive in Burma last century. Mahasi Sayadaw translated The Progress of Insight http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Mahasi/Pro ... gress.html into Pali (from Burmese) from where it was translated from Pali to English by Nyanaponika Thera (a German monk, living in Sri Lanka, who presumably was more fluent in Pali than Burmese...). See his comment here: http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Mahasi/Pro ... l#Foreword

:anjali:
Mike


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