Pali Level 2

Would you like to read and understand the Pāli canon for yourself? Do you want to be able to check translations instead of blindly relying on them? Did you ever ask yourself: “Is that really what the Buddha and his disciples teach in the Pāli canon?”

This course is the second step to your mastery of Pāli! It contains 24 lessons, each with one lecture, mostly several exercises and further materials such as factsheets covering the essential points from the lesson and vocabulary lists. All this enables you to learn whenever and wherever you want, fitting the learning into your individual schedule.

The course is cumulative, meaning that the lessons build upon each other but you are free to navigate through the course as you like it. You can skip all exercises and just do the lessons if you want. You can view Lecture 1, then jump to Lesson 17, then do the exercise of Lesson 3 – whichever way you want to do it. However, a completion rate of 80% for all exercises of the entire course is necessary if you want to receive a certificate. Don’t worry: you have an unlimited number of attempts for all the exercises.

Access to a Pāli dictionary is necessary throughout the course – luckily, one of the best complete dictionaries is available for free online, as a searchable database: The Pāli Text Society’s Pāli English Dictionary


A few facts about this Pāli course:

Content: 24 Lectures, amounting to 3.5 hours + 24 Factsheets + 24 Vocabulary Lists + more than 200 Exercises
Duration: 4-5 weeks based on 3-4 hours of self-study per week
Difficulty: Intermediate (previous knowledge, equal to the content of Pāli Level 1, is required)

Note that once bought, your access to the course does not expire. When we update the course – for example by adding material or exercises – you will automatically have access to the new version.

This course is the second Level of our 3-Level Pāli instruction. Level 1 is already available and Level 3 will be open for enrollment before the end of 2018.


Learning Objectives for Pāli Level 2:

  • Understanding the different uses of the past participle in Pāli, including:
    – Passive and active uses
    – The past participle as a perfect tense
    – The past participle as a historic narrative tense
  • Understanding some different applications of the instrumental case
  • Understanding how to distinguish transitive from intransitive sentences, and the logical subject of a sentence from the grammatical subject
  • Understanding other participles, including the present participle and gerundive
  • Understanding the formation of –in declension nouns, and –in stem verbal adjectives
  • Understanding the following aspects of the Pāli verbal system:
    – The optative mood: how to express hypotheses and wishes/intentions
    – The imperative mood: how to form commands and prohibitions
    – The past or aorist tense
    – The absolutive
  • Understanding important aspects of Pāli syntax in greater detail, including word order, and the use of idioms, enclitics and adverbs
  • Understanding the three basic types of Pāli compounds: dvanda, kammadhāraya and tappurisa
  • You will start to read ‘The Discourse on the Establishment of Mindfulness’ (Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta, MN 10 / DN 22)
Take this Course