Sanskrit: an introduction for absolute beginners
Time: 17:00 - 20:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: RSM004
Available start dates
Duration: 4 sessions (over 4 weeks)
What is the course about?
Learn the basics of Sanskrit and apply them to objects and inscriptions from the British Museum collection.
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?
Students will learn to read out and transliterate Sanskrit inscriptions in the Devanagari script, while gaining an insight into the basic principles of Sanskrit grammar. Moreover, they will start exploring aspects of literary culture in Sanskrit.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Read out and transliterate an inscription written in the Devanagari script.
- Demonstrate some insight into the basic principles of Sanskrit grammar.
- Develop a curiosity for aspects of literary culture in Sanskrit.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is suitable if you are a complete beginner. As this course is taught in English, you should be able to follow verbal and written instructions in English and also take part in class and group activities.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The course will be taught online, working with digital images from the British Museum collection. The activities will follow the traditional approach but will aim at a high level of student interaction with pair and group work. Students are expected to participate in the activities and to do homework every week.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Resources and handouts will be provided by the tutor.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
A progression course at City Lit. The tutor will be able to advise you.
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.