A reader asks:
I am learning Sanskrit and would appreciate any suggestions for an English-language, classroom-style “online” or “distance learning” intermediate class.
I have begun with Nikhil Gandhi (Maurer’s book) and plan to continue with an online class at the Australian National University; but am looking for a backup plan.
“Samskrtam Bharati” is not of interest nor any of the workshop-based trainings in the USA.
After a rapid consultation among members of the blog, Matthew Dasti suggested the Online course on “Introductory Sanskrit” by Antonia Ruppel (author of the recent The Cambridge Introduction to Sanskrit), but as far as I can tell this is more of a self-help group insofar as one reads a chapter of the book each week, gets a key for the exercises and can ask questions on a facebook group and gets answers from the other members of the group or from the instructor. Again, unless I misunderstood, there is no frontal teaching. Moreover, it is certainly for beginners only.
Personally, I usually suggest to interested people who cannot attend a university course to learn Sanskrit through skype meetings with a private instructor (they are not very expensive and I can provide you with some names if you want me to).
Do readers know of further online courses of Sanskrit?
You are right, there is no frontal teaching as participants in the course are scattered over all time zones; but all material is covered by custom-made videos (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTnCQNG_1WIlunxbp1SAOvw/playlists) that replace face-to-face lecturing. Hope this is helpful.
Antonia (course organiser)
many thanks for explaining! Also, can you imagine organising also an advanced course?
Yes, definitely! But that won’t be for a while – this current course started in October, and we will take about two years to go through the textbook (The Cambridge Introduction to Sanskrit), after which you’re ready to read Sanskrit literature. I am of course happy for those who already have some prior knowledge of Sanskrit to join during those two years when we have reached a point at which classes become useful for them. Anyone interested should contact me about details (firstname.lastname@example.org); but as a general guideline: the book has 40 chapters; I expect to do about 20 per year; look at the table of contents (available e.g. at http://www.cambridge.org/sanskrit) and gauge at what point the course becomes useful for you.
First of all thank you so much for this fantastic blog. It is super helpful! I am wondering if you can put me in contact with any private Sanskrit instructor who is willing to do Skype meetings? I am currently doing the Mphil in classical Indian Religions at Oxford and getting very good tuition there. However, it would be really beneficial for me to have some extra classes on Sanskrit grammar for my upcoming exams.
Thank you very much.
Unless Elisa has already pointed you to someone, please get in touch with me at the contact email on my website (www.cambridge-sanskrit.org – am not giving the email directly here in hopes avoiding spam:-)). Either I will be able to help you or I will be able to recommend someone who can.
All the best,
Thank you, Antonia. Good to know that you can help in such cases.