Learning spoken Pali

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Learning spoken Pali

Postby Kwaingo » Thu May 15, 2014 3:12 am

Are there any resources for learning "spoken" Pali, i.e. conversation as it may have been used in everyday conversation?
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Re: Learning spoken Pali

Postby Kare » Thu May 15, 2014 11:25 am

Kwaingo wrote:Are there any resources for learning "spoken" Pali, i.e. conversation as it may have been used in everyday conversation?


There is one book that I know: A.P. Buddhadatta Mahathera, "Aids to Pali Conversation and Translation", Printed and published by The Colombo Apothecaries, Co. Ltd. There is no information about the year of printing, but I bought my copy in 1974, so it must be older than that. Maybe the BPS http://www.bps.lk/ can help you find a copy. You might at least ask them.
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Re: Learning spoken Pali

Postby bharadwaja » Thu May 15, 2014 5:59 pm

Sorry to shatter your hopes but there is no such thing as spoken Pali.

That is not to say there have not been a minority of misguided enthusiasts in Buddhism at any point of time who have tried to speak it.

It is largely a failed experiment, and has remained a failed experiment since the last 1500-2000 years. Part of the failure is because Pali1 is not a language by itself... it is a epigraphically distorted form of vernacular Old-Indic.

I use Pali1 and Pali2 to mean canonical and post canonical pali respectively, as they are very different from one another, the latter is a highly artificial derivative of Sanskrit modelled on Pali1. You need to make up your mind which one you are trying to learn and what for.
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Re: Learning spoken Pali

Postby cooran » Fri May 16, 2014 5:30 am

During the long years of imprisonment inflicted on Aung san suu kyi, she and her husband Michael Aris (before his death) were unable to speak privately when he visited her. There was always a prison official present.

So they conversed in Pali in which they were both fluent, and which was not understood by Burmese officials.

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Re: Learning spoken Pali

Postby mikenz66 » Fri May 16, 2014 5:39 am

That's an interesting story Chris.

I understood that Pali was also used relatively recently between monks from various parts of SE Asia. It's not "conversation", but Mahasi Sayadaw translated his guide, The Progress of Insight from Burmese into Pali, so it would be accessible to well-schooled Theravada monks. The English translation comes from that Pali text.

This is analogous to Newton writing his Principia in Latin, so that it would be readable all over Europe.

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Re: Learning spoken Pali

Postby Kwaingo » Fri May 16, 2014 11:28 am

They conversed in Pali? Sadhu x3, and btw I realize it is considered a "dead" language, yet, at one time, people spoke it, no? I have met a few abbots and educated monks who could muster up a few phrases in "conversational" Pali, but usually just as a joke or whatever.
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Re: Learning spoken Pali

Postby bharadwaja » Fri May 16, 2014 5:00 pm

Pali is not a dead language in the same sense that Latin is a dead language.

If an Old English text were written in the old-Chinese script a long time ago before writing in the Roman script had evolved (and that form of the language had many of the peculiarities of Chinese orthography not present in old-English), would that artificial language of that text be called old-English or known by its own name? Now if a group of fans of that text started claiming that the language was once spoken but now dead, would that make sense?
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Re: Learning spoken Pali

Postby tiltbillings » Fri May 16, 2014 5:11 pm

arhat wrote:Sorry to shatter your hopes but there is no such thing as spoken Pali.

That is not to say there have not been a minority of misguided enthusiasts in Buddhism at any point of time who have tried to speak it.
When I was a novice monk in Thailand in the mid 70's the abbot and other old monks and old visiting monks would often carry on conversations very casually in Pali, just nattering away.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
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Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Learning spoken Pali

Postby bharadwaja » Fri May 16, 2014 7:00 pm

tiltbillings wrote:When I was a novice monk in Thailand in the mid 70's the abbot and other old monks and old visiting monks would often carry on conversations very casually in Pali, just nattering away.

I too have seen two non-blind people communicating very well with each other using braille. What was your point again?
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Re: Learning spoken Pali

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Fri May 16, 2014 8:36 pm

That sounded a bit rude and unnecessary.... Why take that attitude?
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Re: Learning spoken Pali

Postby bharadwaja » Fri May 16, 2014 9:13 pm

Apologies to tiltbillings if that sounded rude. I was simply rhetorically questioning his logic thus, not trying to be rude.

Let me put it another way - does the prevalence and use of interlingua among a minority (or even majority) today mean that it was once the (native) 'spoken' language of a community?

My point is not that interlingua cannot be spoken, but that it was never spoken by any 'community' in history. The same applies to Pali, even if you manage to learn to speak Pali as fluently as you speak English, it doesn't make it a natural spoken language. It was never widely spoken.
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Re: Learning spoken Pali

Postby mikenz66 » Fri May 16, 2014 9:48 pm

The question was this:
Kwaingo wrote:Are there any resources for learning "spoken" Pali, i.e. conversation as it may have been used in everyday conversation?

Tilt and others have indicated that it has been used as a spoken language, sometimes in a conversational way. Therefore the issue of whether there were ever any native speakers of a language that was exactly Pali is quite irrelevant to the question. As I said, Pali seems to have been used in Theravada for millenia in much the same way as Latin used to be used in intellectual circles - to allow communication between people who otherwise would not be able to communicate.

English (often some local version that native speakers sometimes have trouble understanding!) has now come to serve that purpose in places such as India...

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Re: Learning spoken Pali

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Fri May 16, 2014 10:06 pm

Good point; in fact I sometimes watch cookery videos on YouTube where the presenters are from India, and they are speaking in their relative language or dialect - of which I cannot understand a word - and suddenly, as if from nowhere, in a seemingly completely random way, I will hear an English word, like 'napkin' or 'food mixer'... Which sounds very odd...
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



Image

Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....
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Re: Learning spoken Pali

Postby bharadwaja » Fri May 16, 2014 10:43 pm

mikenz66 wrote:The question was this:
Kwaingo wrote:Are there any resources for learning "spoken" Pali, i.e. conversation as it may have been used in everyday conversation?

Yes, and that's what prompted me to reply that Pali was never used in that kind of "everyday" informal speech i.e. at no point of time. It is a purely literary (textual) form of the canonical language. Some Theravadan monks (particularly since the start of the common era) have tried to speak it like a natural language with varying success, however there never has been a continuous & natural spoken tradition spanning multiple generations for Pali (unlike Latin, Sanskrit, Anglo-Saxon etc).
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Re: Learning spoken Pali

Postby tiltbillings » Sat May 17, 2014 12:10 am

arhat wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:When I was a novice monk in Thailand in the mid 70's the abbot and other old monks and old visiting monks would often carry on conversations very casually in Pali, just nattering away.

I too have seen two non-blind people communicating very well with each other using braille. What was your point again?
He sad, in a rather nasty manner.

My point was in response to your claim: "That is not to say there have not been a minority of misguided enthusiasts in Buddhism at any point of time who have tried to speak it."

My point is not that interlingua cannot be spoken, but that it was never spoken by any 'community' in history
.That is your claim, but you have yet to provide any real evidence to support it.
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: Learning spoken Pali

Postby bharadwaja » Sat May 17, 2014 1:44 am

That is your claim, but you have yet to provide any real evidence to support it.

How do you know what evidence is real and what is not?
I guess you have read my other threads where I have explained it in detail.
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=3215
viewtopic.php?f=29&t=4630
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=20715
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=20299
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Re: Learning spoken Pali

Postby tiltbillings » Sat May 17, 2014 2:07 am

arhat wrote:
That is your claim, but you have yet to provide any real evidence to support it.

How do you know what evidence is real and what is not?
I guess you have read my other threads where I have explained it in detail.
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=3215
viewtopic.php?f=29&t=4630
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=20715
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=20299
I have read your threads. Not very impressive, giving no real support for your contentions.
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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