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Re: [Pali] Spoken Language?

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  • Lennart Lopin
    Hi Jesse, You might probably know of a book called Lingua Latina by Hans Orberg. I guess sooner or later something similar will be done in Pali and
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 14, 2010
      Hi Jesse,

      You might probably know of a book called "Lingua Latina" by Hans Orberg. I
      guess sooner or later something similar will be done in Pali and eventually
      spark groups like these:


      It is very interesting to hear Prof. Turnberg's reasoning why he started to
      "immerse" himself into the language. One of the reasons he gives is exactly
      what you mention:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqOFnYgyRr8 (from min. 3:40)

      The (currrent) spoken Pali of monks varies from place to place. The Galduva
      monks in Sri Lanka, for instance, go through some basic training and I
      remember a few conversations I had with a young monk in Sri Lanka who wanted
      me to teach him English (he did not know any) through the means of Pali. He
      explained that they had to learn (to speak) Pali as one of their monastic
      requirements in order to be able to converse with especially Burmese
      meditation teachers who would come once in a while to Sri Lanka and do not
      know themselves any English. So the exchange of meditation related questions
      would happen in Pali.

      The general monastic population (I can only talk about Sri Lanka) typically
      only learns a few "snippets" or "quotations" to back up their Dhamma talks -
      the biggest hurdle is appropriate learning materials, at this point, but
      again, I am pretty sure we will soon see "immersive type" Pali books/audio
      at which point people will also be able to grasp the language from "within"
      without relying on translations and thus seeing the texts through a (very
      often non-meditative) "filter".

      much metta,


      On Sat, Aug 14, 2010 at 2:58 AM, Jesse <threekiwis@...> wrote:

      > Hello,
      > I want to learn Pali in order to compare English translations in order to
      > avoid as much as possible the translators' biases. I like to memorize verses
      > in English and I want to also learn the corresponding Pali. But, I don't
      > want to just memorize it without actually understanding it. I am not
      > interested in learning Pali in order to carry on discussions of orthodox
      > dogma. I am a secular Buddhist and have been on long before Stephen
      > Batchelor gave it a name.
      > I think that Pali should be the lingua franca of the Buddhist world.
      > Perhaps it already is. But, the monks, nuns and lay teachers I've met have
      > only a superficial understanding of the language. Pali ought to be for
      > Buddhists what Latin is to the Catholic Church and Hebrew for Judaism.
      > I know from language study that translating the written word is only a
      > shadow of actually knowing a language. The point of my message is to
      > discover if there are others with whom I can communicate in writing and
      > verbal conversation.
      > I look forward to a reply.
      > Best Regards,
      > Jesse
      > New Zealand

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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