Sanskrit: an introduction for beginners
Time: 18:00 - 19:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: RS001
Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)
What is the course about?
This is a taster course to introduce students to one of the most ancient Indo-European languages in the world. A language that has an unbroken history of nearly 5,000 years, during which time, Sanskrit has been central to ritual and liturgy, statecraft, literature, medicine mathematics and science.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
Basic conversational Sanskrit. And a broad overview of grammar, and the role of Sanskrit as the repository of spiritual knowledge.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Have a basic conversation in Sanskrit in the present tense
- Be familiar with the content of the Vedas, epics, Puranas, key dharma and yoga texts.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is a beginner’s course. You do not need any particular skills. A knowledge of the Devanagari script would be useful, but is not necessary.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Classroom contact – lectures followed by an interactive Q&A. Each lecture other than the introduction, session will flow from a selection of verses from the Bhagvad Gita. Linguistic, grammatical and philosophical concepts will be touched upon.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Pen and paper.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Sanskrit level 1 from September.
Maddalena’s love for dead languages began at the Egyptian Museum of Turin, where as a child she would pretend-translate hieroglyphic inscriptions for the amusement of her mother – and the annoyance of her younger brother. Although she studied Greek and Latin at school, it wasn’t until her university years in Milan that she succeeded in deciphering her first inscription in what she thought was the most exciting ancient language – Sanskrit. It was because of Sanskrit that in 2011 Maddalena moved to London, where she completed a Master’s degree and a PhD in South Asian studies (SOAS). As she delved into Neo-Latin commentaries and translations of Sanskrit verses for her thesis, she realised that she still missed reading the Classics. Thus, Maddalena started teaching Greek and Latin at City Lit, where she feels she is constantly reminded why she embarked on a Classics degree more than a decade ago. What’s more, in 2018 she started a pilot Sanskrit course at the British Museum (in partnership with City Lit), which allows her to teach the rudiments of the language while sharing her passion for South Asian manuscripts and miniature paintings.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.