Sanskrit

Yale-NUS offers various courses in the Sanskrit Programme. For specific questions about the courses, please contact the relevant faculty. If you need a reason to study Sanskrit, consider that it is the foundation of many Indian languages with a rich literary and philosophical tradition and some claim it is the best language to master computer programming.

Faculty

Courses

For a list of courses taught this coming semester, please visit the OurCORS website. For a complete list of Sanskrit courses, see below.

YIL1201S Directed Language Study: Beginning Sanskrit

Instructor(s): Mark Holum

Pre-requisite(s): None

This course offers four hours a week of language instruction in Sanskrit for beginners.  Instruction will cover the writing systems, vocabulary, and syntax of classical Sanskrit texts. Students will achieve a basic reading level by the end of the semester.

The course will be taught via teleconference.

Textbook:

Title Author Publisher ISBN
Devavanipravesika: An Introduction to the Sanskrit Language, 3rd Edition Robert P. Goldman Institute for South Asia Studies 978-0944613405
Teach Yourself Beginners Hindi Script Rupert Snell Teach Yourself 978-0658009105

YIL2201S Directed Language Study: Intermediate Sanskrit

Instructor(s): Mark Holum

Pre-requisite(s): YIL1201S Beginning Sanskrit or permission of instructor

This course offers four hours a week of language instruction in Sanskrit for students who have completed Beginning Sanskrit or have a similar command of the language. Students will continue developing their knowledge of the writing systems, vocabulary, and syntax of classical Sanskrit texts. In particular, the course will focus heavily on Sanskrit’s ability to form new words out of roots. The goal of Intermediate Sanskrit is to complete the study of major grammatical features, and develop the ability to begin reading the classical language.

Throughout the course students will continue to examine aspects of classical Indian civilization.
The course will be taught via teleconference.

Textbook:

Title Author Publisher ISBN
Devavanipravesika: An Introduction to the Sanskrit Language, 3rd Edition Robert P. Goldman Institute for South Asia Studies 978-0944613405
Teach Yourself Beginners Hindi Script Rupert Snell Teach Yourself 978-0658009105

YIL3201S Directed Language Study: Advanced Sanskrit

Instructor(s): TBA

Pre-requisite(s): YIL2201S Intermediate Sanskrit or permission of instructor

The goal of this course is to give students the ability to read literary texts in classical Sanskrit. To that end, this course will focus on a selection of the great Indian Epic, the Mahabharata. A deep meditation on the role of virtue in a world gone mad, the Mahabharata is the story of a world ending war between two royal houses. The Epic is probably the single most important literary work in India. Using skills developed in the basic and intermediate levels of the language, students will translate and discuss the relevant section throughout the semester. This course will also discuss a number of advanced and rare grammatical forms in Sanskrit. Time permitting and given student interest, we will finally read a small section of a classic philosophical or analytical work.

The course will be taught via teleconference.

Recommended Readings:

Title Author Publisher ISBN
Scholastic Sanskrit: A Manual for Students Gary A. Tubb and Emery R. Boose

American Institute of Buddhist Studies

9780975373477
Sanskrit Grammar: Including both the Classical Language The Older Dialects, of Veda and Brahmana, 2nd ed William Dwight Whitney Harvard University Press or Open Source 9780674788107


Textbooks

For course-specific textbooks, click on the course description above. For a complete list of course textbooks, please visit the textbook website.

Learning Goals

By studying Sanskrit, students will be able to:

  • Read Ancient Sanskrit texts
  • Master Sanskrit grammar and vocabulary
  • Be familiar with the geography and diversity of the Ancient world
  • Work towards the completion of the Global Antiquity Minor requirements

Resources